Notes from New York: 3 Takeaways from the MMA Leadership Forum

Last week, the Verto Analytics team attended the Mobile Marketing Association’s Leadership Forum in New York City. The two-day event, Mobile: The Marketing Imperative, focused on the intersection between brands and mobile and what’s coming up next. Below, our team shares three of the most important highlights from the show.

1. AI Will Redefine Brand Engagement

Artificial intelligence has long been a looming specter in the technology sector, and as machine learning and deep learning have evolved, apps like Siri and Alexa are no longer novelty items – they’re setting the standard for consumer-facing AI. During his keynote, Suffiyan Syed from SapientRazorfish noted that brands need a change of mindset as the we move towards an AI-first world. The opportunities for AI to drive brand experiences and engagement are huge: virtual assistants, natural language processing, AR, VR, and image recognition are just some of the options that should be at the forefront marketers’ minds – and strategies. But with new technologies come new challenges: for example, how can we identify ROI in AI? The new mobile imperative is proactive – in order to scale from mobile to AI, for example, brands and agencies need to start preparing now.

“We will move from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world” – Sundar Pichari, CEO, Google

2. Brands and Data: the Fight for Best Practices

Brands and agencies are interested in finding most efficient way to allocate their spending spend. And while consumers hate ads in general, not all ads are equal, particularly when it comes to mobile. Instead, brands are still fighting to define best practices and standards to measure and understand mobile ad effectiveness: what is driving which action, and why and how was a particular ad served? And as mobile expands into a cross-device standard, how can brands measure the impact of the cross-device customer journey and ad ROI? The key to doing mobile well is identifying the purpose of metrics and developing tools that can quantify attribution and the amount of time consumer are spending on various devices and content.

“If you have first party data, use it. It allows you to buy based on the user, not the site” – Lindsey Roy, VP of Marketing, Hallmark

3. Reimagining the Future of Mobile Advertising

Mobile, of course, played a central role at the show. It’s clear that brands are struggling to keep up with the ever-changing mobile needs of consumers. So which companies are doing mobile advertising well now, and what can we expect in the future? The path to purchase is no longer a linear track – presenters from leading brands presented examples from recent work. Corinne Baker from Coca-Cola explained the company’s holistic view of campaign frequency, describing a connected ecosystem that includes internet, broadcast TV, network TV, and print to connect with consumers on an individual, tailored level. Similarly, Allstate has invested in mobile targeting, while trying to tackle the challenges of cross-device measurement. Ultimately, it all comes back down to metrics: understanding attribution is the key to developing the next generation of mobile advertising innovation.

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