Mobile World Congress: You're Mobile, But What Can You Do For Me?
Another great Mobile World Congress has come to an end and as always it was even greater and more spectacular than last year. As interesting as the event was, it was challenging to really grasp MWC 2012 as a whole because of the size and mass of things going on at the same time.
Brands, agencies, technology and operators seemed to be well represented in MWC attendance. While this clearly proves the greatness of mobile right now, it also highlights the problems an event like this faces when it no longer is “just for the tech folks”; there are so many cool things going on and so much networking it becomes almost overwhelming. The top things that stood out to me were:
- Less focus on technology and more on features or utility, such as M-Commerce, M-Wallet and Mobile banking. This represents huge opportunities globally—people want their mobile experience to reflect their lives and provide functionality, not just be a cool device. Mobile is no longer just about mobile. It is about media consumption and communication across several devices and platforms, and a tie-in to the way people live their lives across multiple screens.
- Regulation was also a continuously recurring topic of discussion. It is clear that the industry needs to show responsibility and start paying even more attention to regulators in order to continue growing, something the IAB Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. is closely working on.
- Advertising and monetization of mobile. While that theme was around last year, in 2012 this was actually a conference track. I led a panel in this track, “Mobile Advertising: The Mobile Advertising Ecosystem - Making It Work”, with a fantastic lineup: Google, Huawei, Telenor, Adidas and Initiative. The key takeaway was that the main things we all need to do to drive this forward are: Education, Education and Education and then Evangelization.
- 1% women max. Even though the event is getting broader it is somewhat sad to see that it is still hugely male dominated. Especially with the focus on mobile naturally integrated into people’s lives, busy female professionals and the strength of mobile moms are an incredibly powerful demographic opportunity for advertisers to capture.
- The Samsung Galaxy Beam projector smartphone. Everyone seemed to talk about this device. It’s fascinating to think about how phones and tablets with projectors can even further change media consumption. Check out MobileBurn.com’s video demo of it here.
Most importantly MWC 2012 was a great party, truly global, friendly, massive and totally worth it. See you at next year’s!
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