Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB, opened the 6th annual IAB Mobile Marketplace by shedding light on the day’s compelling theme, “Mobile: Key to Unlocking the Cross Screen Universe.” It all started with a town hall at the Annual Leadership Meeting in February, she said, about how the ecosystem can fully leverage the mobile opportunity. At the meeting, three focal areas came to light: creating ads from the mobile screen up, measuring ROI across platform, and the development of targeting solutions that cross screens. Today is “all about what the industry needs, what solutions exist, and how we can make even greater strides in the marketplace,” she said.

To the standing-room only crowd, Ben Phillips, Global Head, Mobile, MediaCom Worldwide, offered clear-sighted and sharp insights into media strategies for the “first screen.” Think strategy, not campaign. Campaigns are finite and disposable; strategy allows you to think a little more long term, he said. “We have a no-handset-left-behind model,” he said. Most mobile growth in the next 2-3 years will be in emerging countries where feature phones remain prevalent, he said.  “We need to start to demonstrate true ROI in mobile.” It’s the only way we can increase our budgets, and it’s the only way to demonstrate mobile’s power of engagement. How would he define mobile? “Mobile is engagement marketing not just the device.”

Kelly Jones, Head, Global Thought Leadership Research Program, Microsoft, unveiled the results of eye-opening research, created through a partnership with IPG Mediabrands and The Future Laboratory, showcasing consumers’ evolving expectations of mobile. She highlighted four trends: Value Me, Enhancing the Real, IntelligentlyOn, and My Analytics. Value Me speaks to consumers’ increased awareness of data collection and how consumers are more likely to buy from a brand if they’re rewarded for their digital data. Enhancing the Real describes consumers’ incredibly high expectation for technology to amplify real life by “bringing the best of digital into the real world and the best of the real world into digital.” IntelligentlyOn challenges the notion that brands should be always on, as consumers expect brands to know when not to contact them. My Analytic refers to the growing trend of self-quantification, and consumers’ desire to buy products that helps them identify how to make improvements to their lives.

Lou Paskalis, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Media Executive, Bank of America, challenged the audience to do better. “I am a little worried...a lot of the things that we’re seeing that we like are not routine,” he opened. The work that inspires us requires an extraordinary amount of effort. The time consumers spend with mobile has eclipsed the desktop, yet the desktop still receives the bulk of the resources. “This is a tidal wave of opportunity for us as marketers to get creative with our consumers,” but our great, creative minds have come up with banners, he said. As a result, the makers of next-gen apps see advertising as “meh.” “I don’t want to work in the meh industry.” His advice was direct and plentiful. “In order to be a successful advertiser, don’t think like an advertiser…do think of mobile as the human operating system;” “Don’t focus on transactions first…focus more on creating relationships in mobile;” “Don’t ask for a mobile extension to a big idea…we need to demand that a big idea be expressed in mobile first and then inform the other channels;” and “Add value to the experiences that consumers are having, and consumers will always reward you with brand love.”

Following a networking refreshment break, attendees enjoyed intimate deep-dive track sessions dedicated to these topics: Programmatic Buying and Selling in Mobile, Mobile Measurement, and Building Brands with Mobile. Then after sharing lunch in the Times Square Ballroom, the group of mobile enthusiasts split up for workshops on cross-platform audience measurement, the future of programmatic mobile, and how to leverage the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence.

The general session reconvened with a series of How-To’s. Stephanie Bauer Marshall, Director, Precision Market Insights, Verizon Wireless, advised the audience on how to really target with mobile. Her examples included bringing offline, direct marketing data to mobile and retargeting from the PC environment to mobile. David Wyler, Vice President, Business Development, AdTruth, and Ed Chater, Vice President, Media Operations, Somo, delved into how to maximize reach on mobile. Chater advised attendees to find technology that leverages across device IDs, referrer methodologies, device recognition technologies, and cookies, as well as to be flexible with attribution methods, use specialist tools built for mobile, work with transparent vendors, closely monitor performance, and be pragmatic.

Joe Laszlo, Senior Director, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB, and Marshall Cohen, Executive Vice President, Corporate Research, Univision, presented discoveries from the new study “US Hispanic Millennials: Portraits of a Mobile-First Generation.” The highlights presented fall into three categories: connections, devices, and advertising. Regarding connections, Hispanic millennials are naturally always online. The only time they want to be offline is when they want to hide. As far as devices, they want the coolest, new phone, but also feel great attachment to their old phones. Ads are welcome if they’re about something they want to purchase, are cute or sentimental, or feature a celebrity of interest.

Up next: busting the myths that hold mobile back. Craig Weinberg, Director, Mobile, Mindshare, busted the myth that it’s impossible (or unprofitable) to develop and deploy great creative across a myriad of screens, devices, and operating systems. “The market is now catching up to where marketers want to be,” he said. Marketers are doing cross-screen campaigns. Christine Cook, Head of Revenue, Flipboard, dispelled the myth that mobile pennies are inevitable with examples from Flipboard in which the ads act more like traditional, aspirational, beautiful, 100% viewable print ads, instead of interruptive banners. Jason Fulmines, Senior Director, Mobile Ad Products, Gannett, busted the myth that apps make the mobile landscape too fragmented to cohesively target and track consumers. Yes, fragmentation is a challenge, but there are ways to simplify the environment. On the publisher side, product and marketing teams must be in sync and he suggested the use of first-party data for better targeting. From a buying and selling standpoint, embrace programmatic. Programmatic budgets aren’t that high, but it’s not going away.

After a networking refreshment break, attendees split into three groups for marketplace conversations, an opportunity for attendees to engage one another in spirited discussion and debate—while sipping some spirits. The hot topics under discussion: consumer privacy and trust in the mobile marketplace, finding the best creative formats for optimal mobile experience, and the power of programmatic. The issues raised and possible solutions will be presented at the end of this chock-full day.

For the final keynote of the day, Graham Mudd, Director, Advertising Measurement, Facebook, opened by comparing mobile to traditional display, and ended with intriguing insights into consumer behavior and cross media measurement. “It is now the case at Facebook that everything is designed to work on mobile, and then it scales to desktop…It’s the center of our experience at this point,” he said. However, we must talk to advertisers about mobile and measure mobile in the same way we do display and video to enable cross media campaigns. Still, mobile is different. It’s snackable. It’s one of a number of devices that consumers are using all at once. “Within Facebook, large numbers of users are switching devices by the hour,” he said. “Forty-two percent of people switch between platforms to get things done.” Because of this, to truly understand consumer behavior and ROI, the industry needs to move beyond samples and cookies, and to census-based measurement. As more devices become addressable, identity needs to be the linking variable.

The jam-packed day of new ideas and new connections ended with report-backs from the marketplace conversations. Once adjourned, attendees headed to the networking cocktail reception to look back on what they’d learned and to share it with their new prospective partners and friends.   


IAB Mobile Marketplace 2014 in the News

  • MediaPost | BofA's Paskalis: Think Like A Marketer, Not Advertiser, In Mobile
  • MediaPost | DAA Issues Specs For AdChoices Icon In Mobile
  • Adweek | Here's How That Little Blue Ad Marker Should Appear in Mobile Ads


#IABMB on Twitter