Advertising Week Europe 2016 officially kicked off yesterday and as the first day drew to a close our very own Mascha Driessen took to the stage as part of The Economist’s ‘Masters of Monetisation’ panel. Alongside representatives from Facebook, The Guardian, The Washington Post and Media IQ Digital, the mobile track was the topic of the hour.
As the panel looked towards the future of mobile and how brands and marketers alike can best take full advantage of the opportunities it offers, three key themes emerged.
Mobile isn’t going away
Smartphones are a modern day essential for consumers. ‘Mobile’ has been a discussion point at previous Ad Weeks as well as multiple other industry gatherings as one that holds infinite potential, and yet, it’s a platform brands and marketers alike have yet to truly master.
Although there may be many myths surrounding mobile, one thing all panellists agreed upon was that, as chair Nick Blunde, Managing Director of Global Client Strategy at The Economist, succinctly put it, "mobile is the future of digital". It isn’t going anywhere.
Drawing on the theses of Benedict Evans, the need to move on the conversation about mobile was unanimous, evolving away from ‘mobile internet’ to understanding the mobility of experiences – central to how we address mobile here at Microsoft.
As Mascha outlined "if you want to understand success on mobile, the ultimate realm of personalisation, you need to understand consumer behaviour". Diving into the nuances of how consumers interact with mobile devices and their role in the ever evolving consumer journey has to be at the crux of any successful strategy.
But, while mobile may be the future of digital, is it the future of monetisation?
Artificial intelligence is your must-know for mobile in the future
At the heart of the debate was the convergence of technology and human engagement. It was a point Satya Nadella spoke to recently at BUILD, the notion of "conversations as a platform". As The Washington Post’s CRO, Jed Hartam, explained to the audience, it’s about a change of interface, not behaviour. In his words, "to win in the media world now you can’t just be good at technology" – we all need to understand the connection between human intelligence and machine learning.
Richard Dunmail, CRO at Media IQ Digital likened it to the pre-industrial revolution – machines aren’t there to replace human beings, they’re there to enable humans to be more productive, more creative. When it comes to mobile, there is a need to recognise its critical role in delivering this new bot technology through a variety of mediums, central to which is the evolving way in which consumers are using the devices increasingly intuitive and conversational, as it is with voice search.
But it all boils down to context and relevancy
As always when you have some of the industry’s brightest and best on stage, unsurprisingly not everyone always agreed. However, what rang clear was that the key to realising the monetisation power of mobile is for brands and publishers alike to personalise their offerings and remain relevant for consumers, delivering the right content, in the right place, at the right time. In this way an ad becomes accretive to the user’s experience and helps them get what they want out of their day.
As the lights came up, it was clear, there’s no more important platform for the industry to nail as we look towards what the future holds for mobile and beyond.
Keep up to date with all our discussions, thoughts and session takeaways at Advertising Week Europe @BingAds. Make sure to also get involved with our #BingBites – digestible insights infographics summarising key themes from throughout #AWEurope