To veterans of the annual mobile jamboree that is Mobile World Congress, the Barcelona-based event never fails to reveal its value as a showpiece for how mobile is changing the very fabric of our society.
In a time when must-attend global events are ever more numerous – in the next six months we have Advertising Week Europe, Festival of Media, Cannes Lions and dmexco, to name a few – it can be easy to overlook MWC, with its roots as a show for telcos and mobile operators.
That’s all changed. Last year MWC turned a corner when it came to attracting "non-traditional" mobile brands to Barcelona. Throughout the show our team had organisations of all kinds, including some of the world’s largest advertisers, coming to talk about their mobile strategies.
The Millennial Media team on the ground in Spain this week is braced for more of the same, and we’re expecting a few key trends to dominate the agenda for brands at MWC…
The mobile-centric Data Management Platform (DMP)
As marketers aggregate more data from more sources, this centralised platform can help to realise the full value of those large volumes of data. The next phase of mobile advertising will involve increasingly sophisticated layering of data, and it is only through DMPs that advertisers will be able to build up a deeper, enriched, picture of audiences that can be targeted at scale.
Enabling advertisers to utilise their own data
Providing brands with an open, fully transparent platform that doesn’t lock them into running campaigns in one place, but supporting them to use their data in the ways that suits them – what we call "Data In, Data Out."
Evolving native advertising in mobile
People often think of native ads as elements in a newsfeed. While perhaps the most scalable version of native, it’s really only the beginning. Native ads are deeply integrated, look and feel like the content surrounding them, and can play out in a number of ways, based on the type of app in which the ad is delivered. Ads should look and feel like part of the app experience. The more integrated, the greater the likelihood of engagement, and the better outcome for advertisers and publishers alike.
Viewability in digital advertising
Advertisers are placing greater emphasis on where their ads are placed and how they are being viewed in digital media. While the Media Rating Council (MRC) and IAB standards don’t yet apply in mobile, we are working with these and other partners to define best practice in the critical areas of brand safety, ad verification, and viewability.
Brands see benefits of industry consolidation
Last year saw record M&A activity in the ad tech market, according to advisory firm Results International. Consequently there is an emergence of end-to-end technology platforms, such as ourselves, that provide brands with a comprehensive service giving access to more in one place – meaning they can focus on driving their own businesses rather than how mobile works.