Marketers Talk Mobile First At Media Tech Summit

On average, people have 30 apps on their phones. Do they use ’em? No. Well, they use probably 10 of them. The rest they probably downloaded because some brand created it and it seemed like the thing to have. But at the Media Tech Summit on Thursday, participants agreed that mobile is now the center of the universe, and apps are just one part of it. 

Frank Cooper, CMO of the PepsiCo global beverages group, said mobile has essentially replaced desktop -- and that means marketers and media buyers have to put mobile to the forefront. "People are now reading long-form articles on mobile. If you think that way, the way in which you create content and distribute it shifts significantly. And if you believe in the 'Internet of things,' that device will be a remote control, so I would make mobile the priority in my mix but also in a way that lets you interact with consumers."



Participants dealing with how mobile changes data, creative and media strategy said they focus on user utility. Lee Bushkell, VP of PGA Tour, said that apps are a good indication of how to interact with individuals. "People use what is most useful. We know that, so we focus on reaching a large audience, but also on frequency. We call it 'golf crack cocaine'; we have focused on destroying the productivity of the American workplace," he joked. 

Bushkell said that frequency can't be generated from ads. "The form factor makes it a poor ad platform. The average golf swing is three seconds long, so pre-roll is death."

Mike Treon, VP of strategy at AOL, said advertising on mobile is easy, but that doesn't make it right. What's right are formats and experiences that aren't interruptive. "You want them to engage with content regardless of screen." That means granular data. "The problems we want to solve now include identifying individuals across screens. It won't work or be measurable or attributable, or accountable unless data is connected. Individual marketing is fueled by convergence and the need for marketers to understand users across screens. That paves the way for a pure device-agnostic movement." 

Bushkell said that the PGA Tour mobile engagement used to be 20% of aggregate traffic. Now it accounts for most of the traffic. "Mobile has destroyed the desktop. It's mobile first, desktop second: it's flipped." The convergence issue is an easy one to solve because PGA fans who engage with the brand digitally are happy to give more personal data. "We have this data ability because people interact with us, form a relationship with us. We haven't been able to take advantage of it and that will bring us the next level of sponsorship."

"Person Using Smartphone" photo from Shutterstock.

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