HONG KONG: Mozilla, the internet non-profit known for its Firefox web browser, can’t compete directly with the likes of Google and instead emphasises its difference and its conscience, its CMO has said.

In an interview with Marketing Magazine in Hong Kong, Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, who joined the non-profit in 2015, did not criticise the search giant Google, but explained that one of Mozilla’s values is “that we are not Google,” a fact it uses to its advantage.

“We are not a big advertiser, so we make different decisions on behalf of users.”

Outnumbered in terms of its personnel, Mozilla needed more of a focus, Kaykas-Wolff added. According to recent research, the organisation found that for the 3.2-3.6 billion world internet population, around a fifth (750-950 million people) could be classed as ‘conscious choosers’ who, he said, “kind of carry a millennial mindset”.

These younger, more affluent, typically urban people that form the target will soon be influential as buyers and trend-setters. Though he admitted it is not yet the norm, “it’s becoming more of a trend; as a marketer I see the need to start talking to the conscious choosers and provide values that are meaningful”.

In its most recent campaign, beginning this May, Mozilla spoke to these consumers with “browse against the machine”, an effort to persuade users to switch from Chrome to Firefox as their main browser. The new positioning emphasises Firefox’s less intensive memory use, as well as its independence, non-profit status, and privacy credentials.

At its core is the question of whether people want a browser developed by the world’s largest advertising company, or by an organisation “whose mission is to preserve a healthy web in part by keeping corporate power in check”.

A focus on this group has caused the brand to willingly take on data privacy measures that other companies have been forced to adopt. For instance, though Mozilla uses a Data Management Platform (DMP) for media buying and optimisation, the company consciously ensures that the DMP can’t share its data with the exchange.

In addition, the brand does not hold on to customer data, and neither does it re-target. Mozilla's reasoning accommodates the consumer's interests as much as the company's.

“For growth-minded companies, collecting customer data for the sake of collecting data is more risk than the rewards can usually justify,”  Kaykas-Wolff said.

For the consumer, data gathering diminishes the experience because they must load around 75 different technologies in addition to the web page they asked for. “[I]t slows down the entire experience.”

Data sourced from Marketing Interactive; additional content by WARC staff