Mobile's Impact On Marketing: Insights From MMA Conference

The second annual Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Impact conference, held this past week in New York, offered marketers new perspectives on how to leverage mobile in their branding and campaigns. New technological advances such as VR, AR and AI can be creatively used to help consumers better engage with products and services. 

The Power of the Consumer

Mobile in particular is a very powerful tool to reach consumer. Kristi Argyilan, senior vice president, marketing, Target, stated that, “We can no longer simply buy their attention. We have to earn it every day.” 

To that end, she explained that, “We engineer relevance for true one-to-one.” Relevance is pivotal in a time of fragmented attention and a flood of messaging.  And the fear of brand safety and fraud means that ads and campaigns are under more scrutiny than ever before. 

Overcoming Brand Damage



What do you do when a brand is damaged? Jonathan Beamer, CMO, Monster, admitted that his company, “hasn't rocked it for a decade.” 

Monster was founded 25 years ago and offers a cautionary tale to others. “We were disruptors and then we were disrupted,”  said Beamer.

Beamer blamed bad management for losing sight of the original purpose and squeezing profits when they should have been re-invested in the business. “We missed how mobile and other technology could also be used to serve our mission,”  he said.

Data and insights gleaned from research have helped Monster re-establish itself with a firm mobile presence that speaks to an invigorated target consumer: the job seeker rather than the recruiter. 

“We dug deep into consumer research’” and found that “consumers want a champion. They want a company that will do right by society,” he concluded.

Enhancing Brand Position

Ophelia Ceradini, vice president digital innovation and technology, Estee Lauder, is charged with the task of enhancing an already strong brand through the use of new mobile technology to better match products to consumers. 

She focuses on “the power of the human touch, and emotions [that] underpin the high-touch approach.” 

Estee Lauder has advanced a myriad of AR elements to its site, including allowing customers to personalize their experiences online using facial recognition tech. The site then makes personalized recommendations for skin-care products. Voice assistants are now enabled to recommend store locations.

The Next Steps for Mobile

In this fast-paced, competitive environment, how can mobile continue to grow its marketing prowess? Neil Morgan, Ph.D.,  of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University is spearheading the MARS (Mobile Analytics Realtime Social) project, which asks what marketing capabilities companies need to survive today.

His project interviewed over one hundred executives at over 80 companies over a range of performance metrics and levels of digital adaptation. 

Morgan found four areas of concentration that impact a consumer’s expectations across categories: individuality, immediacy, integration and information. 

“We should be in the golden era of marketing with accuracy, accountability and agility,” he stated. “But instead we find entropy, barely concealed chaos, like a roller coaster creeping up before they drop you down.” 

Morgan advises that companies first choose a strategy and decide how they will compete. Develop growth stacks based on exchange, experience (eliminating pain points) and engagement (to drive enhanced functionality) and then join, build and manage communities. 

Finally, marketers need to integrate all learnings into the fabric of the organization, creating an environment of trust where people are willing to share. 

Next Steps

From damaged brands that can come back from the dead to successful brands who strive to maintain their brand position, the promise and perils of mobile need to be understood and fully integrated into a company’s mission.

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