Mobile Engage 2015: The Connected Future

At the start of the decade, IAB UK launched their yearly Mobile Engage conference at a time when the power of mobile marketing was just on the cusp of becoming something big in our industry. Five years later at the 6th (and final) Mobile Engage, Guy Phillipson (IAB UK’s CEO) announced that given how prolific and truly mainstream mobile has become as an advertising channel, it no longer made sense to hold the mobile conference in silo. After all, mobile advertising now accounts over one third of all digital ad spend and over half of internet traffic in the UK alongside tablet devices. Therefore, from next year onwards, the IAB will focus on a bigger and better IAB Engage digital conference that runs over two days and incorporates mobile into the core of the programme.

Nonetheless, this last Mobile Engage treated us to a number of great speakers, stats, and strong views on how to best leverage mobile as a marketing platform. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Psychologist Dr Simon Hampton warned that wearables and the Internet of Things could easily put consumers off if they regularly told us things about ourselves that we simply don’t want to hear which may hurt our self-esteem (for example, that we’re not getting enough healthy foods and exercise, etc.)
  • Google’s Martjin Bertisen reminded us that an average of 3.4 million people get a new smartphone every single day (more than the population of Madrid). More impressively, it took Apple about a year to sell 1 million iPods in 2001 but only 6 hours to sell that many iPhone 6 handsets in China alone
  • Marc Mathieu from Unilever argued that the reason why Google and Apple have higher brand rankings than the most loved FMCG brands is that they provide utility. All marketers should look provide the same in some shape or form
  • Ben Dimond from Opera Mediaworks reminded us of the importance of keeping video short and simple on mobile devices as people show a higher propensity to turn off after 8 seconds if given the choice to do so
  • Twitter’s Dara Nasr spoke of three Cs (Communication, Content, and Consumption) being key drivers of Twitter usage via smartphones whilst reminding us that on average 78% of people feel a high level of anxiety tantamount to feeling ill when they lose their phones or signal
  • Richard Ayoade (star of the IT Crowd) sparked a lot of laughs in the crowd when saying that Twitter is like ‘a jacket that reads “Kick Me” that expands across the globe’.

Farewell Mobile Engage and many thanks to our friends at IAB UK for giving us another great conference. Looking forward to the revamped IAB Engage in 2016!

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Milton Elias

As head of OMD UK’s Mobile Team, Milton’s interests are in exploring the capabilities of mobile data and technology to create innovative and effective campaigns for our clients.

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