Today at San Francisco’s Terra Gallery, around 200 of the Bay Area’s best and brightest minds in mobile gathered for Eniac Ventures’ semi-annual M1 Summit. Now in it’s fourth year, the event is invitation only and comes with a highly curated agenda of mobile topics covering everything from engagement to hardware. But among this variety of topics, three themes definitely emerged. The first is the importance of context. Second, is the trend towards predictive messaging. Finally and most importantly, the message that omnichannel strategies are critical to success of any marketing team.
I. Context is Queen
Jason Spero, Google’s VP of Performance Media, kicked off the morning with his keynote about the future of mobile. Among his key take-aways was the notion that if content is king, then context is queen. Indeed, content becomes pointless if you don’t get it to someone who cares at the time they care about it.
Gametime founder and CEO, Brad Griffith, expanded further on this point. He aptly pointed out that it’s critical for mobile marketers to give the right message, at the right time, to the right person. Spray and pray no longer cuts it. Apps must be intelligent, customizing their behavior based on users needs and preferences. For example, if a user likes the SF Giants on Facebook, Gametime wouldn’t send them information on Dodgers tickets.
We couldn’t agree more about the importance of context, which is why we recently introduced contextual campaigns, allowing users to self-trigger brand communications based on cues like time and location.
II. Customers expect apps to read their minds
Lauren Hockenson of The Next Web contended that apps needed to become like wizards, practically reading the minds of the users. She cited an example of receiving ads for Target while she was actually en route to that store. As Jeremy Ozen from Vistar Media pointed out, “mobile opens a whole new world in understanding consumer behavior.” Indeed, with access to such intimate data as our mobile devices have, it stands to reason that mobile marketing will grow more and more predictive.
Spero shared an example of this, demonstrating that by analyzing user behavior, the mobile team at Google is able to understand lifestyle and priorities of their users. He described a hypothetical woman named Amy, who has around 18,000 digital interactions over a period of time. Among these include visits to dating sites, travel sites, and Disney World resorts. Based on this, they can infer what problems she is trying to solve, such as finding a partner or planning a trip.
Now rather than sending her random ads, Google can predict her needs and provide relevant messaging. This kind of predictive targeting can be creepy if not executed correctly. Griffith urged marketers to only collect and use data that they need and will bring value to the customer.
III. Customers don’t think in channels, so neither should marketers
Paul Turner of Adbrain warned marketers that, “consumers don’t think in channels,” and neither should marketers. He challenged marketers to break down silos, explaining that we need to be considering the customer experience, holistically. Dividing our marketing into discrete silos is dangerous and risks our ability to understand the full funnel.
What’s more, Harrison Hunter from Maestro IQ explained the tremendous value of the mobile-touch point, even if the revenue occurs outside mobile. Spencer Scott of Fiksu warned against measuring ROI of media buys through metrics like Cost-Per-Click, which he said are sketchy at best. These impressions need to be factored into their influence towards purchases further down the funnel. The omnichannel approach is the only strategy that will win a world where customers interact with so many screens.
We learned a lot today and want to give a big thanks to Eniac Ventures who did a world-class job putting this event together. The content was outstanding and we look forward to the next one which will be in New York next May.