Mobile-first future revealed at Resolution forum

Dubai, March 9, 2013: Speakers and panelists at Mobile Hotspot, the first mobile marketing forum organized recently by Omnicom Media Group’s Resolution, explored a near-future where mobile is a lot more than an afterthought. The event gathered over 70 delegates in Dubai to discuss opportunities, techniques and trends in mobile marketing. Its key message was that the significance of mobile in people’s lives requires it to be placed higher in marketers’ priorities.

Today, investments in mobile marketing are not keeping pace with its share of media time but are growing rapidly. They are expected to double in value over the next 12 months, with mobile’s share of total digital investments growing by 50% over the same period. In other words, mobile marketing is outpacing the rest of the digital market.

Part of Omnicom Media Group, Resolution specialises in performance and content marketing services, including social and mobile. Nadim Khouri, its director for mobile/web in MENA, set the scene, stating that mobile is fast becoming the prime access point for digital services. “We’re getting to the stage where mobile will overtake PC in terms of penetration. In usage terms, it’s second after TV.”

There was a consensus on the scale of the opportunity that mobility, rather than just mobile devices, presents for marketers. “With the increasing role of smartphones and other devices in people’s lives, reaching consumers this way makes perfect sense,” commented Khouri. “However, instead of retrofitting mobile into a more traditional plan, we encourage our clients to embrace a mobile-first approach, considering both creative and targeting. Various techniques within mobile marketing should be considered depending on the objective, including mobile search, mobile social ads, standard mobile display and rich mobile media. Today, a brand can really engage consumers in a relevant and optimal time, place and manner.”

Speakers and panelists also agreed on the need for further data analysis in order to achieve smarter targeting. According to Paul Berney, CEO of mCordis and former managing director of the Mobile Marketing Association EMEA, “more than 25% of data is collected through mobile but only around 1% of it is analyzed. We need to use big data to influence small decisions.”

“The more data that we use, the clearer the picture we get. The more layers of information we look at, the more precise and effective our approach is,” added Mark Halliday, head of mobile at Omnicom Media Group APAC. “We are moving from guessing where the consumer hangs out, towards knowing where they hang out and how they behave. If today is about real-time, we’re working on predictive approaches, based on historical data, that will anticipate behaviors.”

Two panels, featuring representatives from Facebook, Twitter, Nimbuzz, OMD, PHD, Clique Communications, inMobi and Celtra, discussed the topics of social media in the mobile context and mobile performance measurement.

“We are very bullish about the development of mobile marketing, largely because we believe all the elements are now in place,” stated Dimitri Metaxas, managing director of Resolution MENA. “Whether it’s consumer appeal, technological and commercial infrastructure, creativity, insights, data or marketers’ interest, mobile marketing is picking up speed. Our Mobile Hotspot forum was designed to harness all this energy and stimulate further growth.”

Mobile Hotspot was sponsored by Exponential, a leading global provider of advertising intelligence and digital media solutions, and supported by Uber and Lime&Tonic.