Mobile/Location/Platforms – Key Themes from BIA/Kelsey NEXT Conference

Last week BIA Kelsey held their annual Next conference in LA. Our Business Development Manager, Michael Taylor, attended the sessions. Here is his brief recap of the event:

The mobile marketing movement took center stage at the recent BIA/Kelsey NEXT conference in Hollywood, California. Anchored by presentations from publishers such as Facebook, G/O Digital, Nexstar, Google, and ESPN and Mar Tech platforms such as Centro, Yashi, Wanderful Media and others, mobile was the key focus by both sides.

Setting the tone for the conference was keynote speaker, Nicco Mele, Sr. Fellow at USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy. Melle’s session focused on his theory of the impact of “radical connectivity.” The introduction of an always on, powerful computer that is always available to consumers has “shifted the communication focus to the individual, making marketing more intimate and personal…making media consumption more intentional because people now seek out online experiences and information rather than having it pushed to them.” The always connected consumer is pushing brands to rethink their relationships with consumers, the digital skills sets required of executives, and how to add technology without adding “walls of complexity.”

While mobile is clearly advancing, the marketing model remains mired in the desktop mentality. Many of the speakers were pushing for better utilization of the power of mobile, its intimacy, advancing mcommerce, and furthering location capabilities with beacons and other technology. Steve Griffiths, SVP of Marketing and Strategy at DialogTech, hit on the key strength of the mobile phone saying, “the mobile phone is now the constant marker, it’s always with you, people maintain their mobile number over many years and it is upgraded regularly so new technology can be used to reach and learn about consumer habits.”

Content marketing also played a role in many presentations, given that many brand and local business interactions now begin with content. Sean Moriarty, CEO of Demand Media, talked about “the importance of on-going conversations rather than one time bursts of information or insights.” Thinking along the lines of a content marketing conversation, Moriarty pointed out that “consumers, marketers and decision makers have a higher expectation of design, production quality, engaging with unique content and having the content address specific rather than general needs. These are the new requirements to get noticed and to maintain engagement”

With the increasing complexity of the marketing mix and coordinating multiple media approaches, the drive is certainly towards marketing platforms that integrate data and media types, while stripping out the complexity. On the local side, consumers want frictionless experiences with local businesses both online and in-store. Technology certainly has the capability to streamline both operations and consumer experiences. The value of bringing together multiple media, sales data, customer service, and reputation management is a central platform that captures richer usable data and simplifies the marketing process. Katie Risch, SVP Publisher Development at Centro, reinforced the value of platforms sharing data to better inform online marketing decisions, “brands and local merchants need to partner with publishers and financial institutions to have a better sense of their audiences and their path to purchase. Having access to first and second party data better informs digital marketing, making it more relevant and powerful in attracting and keeping customers.”

In the end, keynote and digital visionary Richard Scoble framed best what is next for digital marketing and that is location. “Marketing needs to address where I am, who I am with, what am I doing, what I’d like to know, and what I would like to be doing or experience.” Mobile now allows consumers and businesses to interact and provide relevant information and purchase opportunities at the time and place people want it. “Businesses like Uber or Airbnb are just the tip of the iceberg of the new convenience economy. Immediacy and convenience will drive business growth and new products coming on the market.”

Jason Peaslee

Jason Peaslee is the Managing Partner of Thrive Analytics, a marketing research and analytics consulting firm. His career spans more than 20 years in marketing, advertising, product development, research, and business management. Before founding Thrive Analytics in 2010, he held several senior leadership roles at AT&T, Reynolds & Reynolds, Berry Network, & The Berry Company.

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