Google, Twitter, Financial Times, MediaCom, Coca-Cola: Insight from the IAB Mobile Engage Conference

A blog from The Drum's editor, Stephen Lepitak, covering reaction to events in media, social media, marketing, advertising and communications in general.

The Internet Advertising Bureau today held its annual Mobile conference, aiming to promote the adoption of mobile as an advertising platform to marketers. According to IAB chief executive, the conference, held in London, was the largest in the world, bigger than last year, which was also the biggest in the world.

So here are some tips and pieces of insight that came to light during the day.

Simon Morgan, industry leader technology and hardware for Google, and the company’s industry head of mobile and solutions Jonathan Abraham acted as evangelists for mobile, bringing enthusiasm to their presentation, while revealed that by 2014, mobile advertising spend in the UK is expected to break the £1bn barrier. A powerful incentive for any brand to ‘join the mobile movement’ as more Android phones are apparently being activated than babies being born each day.

They claimed that one in two people in the UK now have a smartphone (51%), with 59% using mobiles every day to access the internet. Meanwhile, 28% of people now check their social networks before even getting out of bed.

They also highlighted four questions that brands should ask before adopting mobile as part of their engagement strategy;

How does mobile change my value proposition?

How does mobile change my web presence?

Is our organisation adapting to mobile?

How should our marketing adapt to mobile?

The duo also showcased some examples of how mobile is being adopted by retailers, with clothing store Oasis having installed instore tablets to allow customers to complete their purchases into order to beat the queues. This seems to be the beginning of the future when it comes to retail and mobile.

Bruce Daisley, Twitter UK sales director, discussed mobile users increasingly using mobile in different situations, and highlighted three laws of how businesses can succeed in using mobile; be authentic, be easy to understand and be easy to action. He presented ‘truly mobile’ companies that were mobile first – Angry Birds which has recently passed 1 billion downloads, Instagram, Pinterest and Drawsomething. He added that Twitter was also mobile first.

Daisley also made reference to Twitter’s UK statistics of having 80% of its 10 million active UK users use Twitter on mobile

One of his key messages was; “Simplicity really should be at the heart of success in mobile.”

The next line up saw a panel of ‘Myth Busters’ brought together that included Gavin Stirrat, managing director EMEA of Millenial Media, Nick Buckley, business development, advertising and media for Everything Everywhere, Illico Elia, head of media for lbi and Jude Brooks, digital activation manager for Coca-Cola GB.

The format saw the audience asked to offer their reaction to some questions, with the panel then offering their own opinions.

The questions included; ‘The User Experience of the internet is poor (the majority of the audience agreed), ‘Mobile does not have the scale to warrant serious investment from brands (most of room disagreed), while the statement that mobile advertising was too complex divided the room.

Elia said that he felt that the user experience was poor, but that mobile development was still at an early stage where most adopters had simply integrated their web content, while Stirrat said there were more bad examples than good examples of mobile websites at the moment.

Discussing the cost of introducing mobile advertising, Brooks highlighted both the cost to budgets of including mobile advertising within campaigns, and then later added that the cost of building an infrastructure that could cope with the emerging mobile technology, and hiring people to operate that, in order to create a unique experience, was also costly.

Asked whether tracking was holding back the industry, Stirrat bemoaned the lack of an industry standard when it came to the creation of a trusted tracking solution.

Mary Beth Christie – online product management director for the Financial Times took to the stage to offer the growth of the publication online having developed a web app.

She discussed the problems facing publishers, shrinking revenue, shrinking staff numbers as a result, but the constant demand for information from readers online, for free.

She revealed that the company was now seeing it’s highest ever readership figures for print and online of 600,000 subscribers – implementing a subscription policy that has succeeded despite being based on a strategy that was devised to grow registrations initially to the website.

Christie also talked about the need for publishers to maintain conversations with readers, saying that 15 readers were invited to offices of the FT all around the world to share their views – which would then influence the publication’s development.

Also covered was her reasoning for moving away from the use of an iPad app – following Apple’s decision to take 30% of revenue from publishers, the FT chose to scrap its IOS app and develop the web app, having looked at the other 102 possible Android enabled devices, which it decided was not an option due to the scale of development needed to run across the many devices.

As a result of the new app’s launch last June, readership habits were also found to change, with more people reading in the morning, at earlier times than before, and at around midnight when content for the next day’s printed publication would be placed online. Weekend readership numbers were also found to grow as a result too.

Stefan Bardega, managing partner for Mediacom discussed how mobile is affecting marketing services agency thinking, with his own company having introduced mobile as a KPI across its 600 members of staff last year, having witnessed the growth of the platform.

He revealed that 18% of digital ads were being viewed through mobile devices and offered six key learnings that he had discovered in recent years; Get the foundations right – referring to the need for companies to have the right digital assets that function properly. Accept Diversity – learn to understand your users. Harness Device Attributes – understand what functions and features mobile devices offer, Integration Everything – integrate with other media platforms rather than create a cylo for your content. Be Brave – agencies must push clients hard, and allocate budgets to test mobile developments, and learn from failure. Finally, he advised to Make New Friends – create partnership agreements with start up companies and platforms.

Make New Friends: making new types of partnership arrangement is going to be critical – new start ups emerging,

The IAB has issued its own summary of Key stats from conference below Pictures from the event can be found here also.

Guy Phillipson, opened the pop art-branded Mobile Engage 2012 with a challenge to the marketing industry to join the mobile movement.

Key stats

40% of advertising spent on mobile is social

24% of people have bought a product via a mobile

Average mobile commerce transaction increased from £12.20 to £17.49 in 2011

Investment in mobile space in marketing and advertising has shot up globally to $592 dollars in 2011, from $29 million dollars in 2005

In the UK, mobile ad spend in 2010 was £83m, in 2011 it was £166m. Forecasts predict £962m by 2014. In less than three years from now mobile will be a billion pound medium

Simon Morgan, industry leader technology and hardware, Google

Jonathan Abraham, industry head mobile and solutions at Google

Simon and Jonathan introduced why marketer should join the mobile movement and what does this mean for your business. Google has adapted a ‘mobile first’ strategy and they offered that marketers need to think about why people use smartphones:

1. Kill time

2. Save time

3. Entertain

Key stats

28% of people check their phone and social networks before they get out of bed

YouTube 600 million view on mobile, more than 10 per cent of video total views

3 hours of video uploaded per minute to YouTube from mobile devices

YouTube mobile traffic tripled in 2011

85% of UK mobile users seek local information

81% take action after looking

57% won’t recommend business with poorly designed mobile site

17% of mobile users have changed their mind about purchasing a product or service in store. As a result of information gathered using a smartphone.

Twitter, Bruce Daisley took the stage to discuss how mobile is driving social media

The central theme of Bruce’s presentation was marketers need to understand that mobile is all about the gaps, and that his presentation could be delivered in one word: “interstices” – the gaps between things.


To truly understand potential of the internet and of mobile you need to mind the gaps. The most successful brands to have emerged that are filling the gaps are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, joined recently by Draw Something

There are three rules to succeed in mobile: Be authentic, Be simple, Be easy to action

Simplicity is at the heart of success in mobile. People are doing something else while using their mobile

Twitter creates ads that sit targeted at interests, sitting in your news feeds. We only charge for ads that work

Mobile is about fast easy interactions, connecting through interests.

A good example – people are filling the gaps, which in itself is becoming an integral part of life. The notion of first or second screen isn’t helpful anymore

You need to ensure the ability to use the second screen is simple. Seize the opportunity in the interstices

Businesses like Instgram, Draw Something, Pinterst and Twitter see there is a market in the gaps

Key stats:

This week Angy birds passed 1 billion downloads

Draw Something already achieved 50 million downloads

80% of active UK users use Twitter on their mobile phone

Twitter has 140 million active users

10m active users in the UK

Average time an email takes to be opened is two days

The average SMS is opened in four minutes, therefore an average SMS is read 720 times faster than an email

(Email used to laugh at snail mail, irony is that posting a letter could be faster than opening an email)

People look at their mobiles 150 times day, that’s once every six and a half minutes.

Industry average click rate 0.05% for standard display with twitter's average click through rate between 1-3%

Mobile challenging media consumption, Richard Firminger, managing director of Flurry

Key stats

529 millions smartphones in the world as at April 2012

109 millions smartphones in US, 17 million in UK, only 35 million smart phones in china – much growth to come

We are racing past 1m available apps

600 apps in iTunes app store

460 apps on Google Play

We spend 94 minutes on apps vs 72 minutes on web browsers (December 2011

Apps are the dominant media consumption tool between 7am and 6pm

91% of Interbrand top 100 brands have apps

Only 4% are in top 100 in the UK

Consumers download an average of 85 apps

But app retention is an issue. After three months 76%, after six months it 86% and after 12 months most app developers have lost 96% of their audience

It takes 15-20k downloads to get into the top ten on iTunes UK

You have to spend $10k dollars to reach top 10 in UK app market

O2, Claire Valoti (mobile with other media research)

O2 partnered with Starcom and Pizza Hut in a campaign to drive footfall through highly targeted communications. The campaign targeted families and sociables, near restaurants with the aim of delivering relevant offers at key times.

Valoti said Customer journey is not linear and difficult to attribute. Working with StarcomMediaVest POEM tool to measure earned and paid media.

POEM allowed O2 to understand the complex relationships that exists between channels including mobile, TV, Facebook, OOH and radio. This quantified all the channel relationships, identified the role of each media and provided channel level ROI – both direct and indirect.

Although OOH was proven to be a direct driver, mobile was the number one performing media. It was 142% more efficient in delivering incremental sales revenue than the campaign average.

Mobile 4.4 times more efficient than TV at driving incremental sales compared to digital, which was 2.6 times more efficient than digital.

Why did mobile work so well? Three areas: Mobility – think of how mobile is used, the mindset, not the device. Connectivity – opens up far broader opportunities, adds value or makes a consumer’s life a little easier. Thirdly, personalised messages – right people, right time, right message.

Challenging agency thinking - Stefan Bardega, Head of Mobile & Innovation, Mediacom

Six key things MediaCom has learnt about mobile:

One: Get the foundations right:

• Make sure digital assets are fit for purpose and the three core elements -- the site, advertising, search –work in harmony

• Ensure your digital creative works in the mobile space

• If building in Flash, build in HTML 5, and with a gif back up up, because there are many devices that do not support Flash

Two: Accept Diversity

• In this fast growing market, everyone is using mobile differently

• Be aware the way people interact with a single device is different for everyone

Three: Harness device attributes

• Only use the attributes right for your audience.

• Harnessing digital attributes will increase impact and brand shift

• Access the unique attributes of mobile that are meaningful

o For every 30 second viewing brand shift increases by 6%

o For every 60 second viewing brand shift increases by 14%

o For every 90 second viewing brand shift increases by 20%

Four: Integrate everything

• Integrate with other media

Five: be brave

• Make sure you test

• In a rapidly moving market there is always something new, the challenge is how far you push the client

• Clients are allocating budgets for testing. Sometimes the key learning may be in the fail not the success

Six: Make new friends

• Scout around for new partners

• In this market where barriers to entry are low, new partnerships are critical to innovation

Key stats:

• 60% of UK businesses do not have a mobile site

Challenging advertiser thinking - Jay Altschuler, Global Communications Planning Director, Unilever

• The global media innovation director wears two hats: the first is partnering with (product) categories and the second is driving mobile innovation for the company

Key takeouts

• In the third world people do not have post codes, but they have a mobile number

• Unilever is creating apps to authenticate products in areas of high counterfeiting

• Our phone is our identity and the thumb is how we interact with our world

• Mobophobia – fear of being locked out or not being with your phone

• Moving from 360 degree communication to 365 degree continuous dialogue with consumers

• Real vision is that mobile is the enabler for our entire communications strategy

• We have a vision of always on communications

• One of the challenges is to tell emotional stories on a small screen and create a true story telling environment. Mobile has unlocked a canvas to tell a story

• Mobile is this wonderful rabbit hole you can go down, it truly affects every part of our business

• Making mobile campaigns is getting easier with more standards, but it is still incredibly difficult to deliver a consistent message across multiple markets

Key stats

• 6 billion plus mobile phones worldwide

Challenging high street thinking - Marks & Spencer, Dominos and Debenhams

Chaired by Alex Moir from OpenMarket

Challenge for high streets. Is mobile a threat or an opportunity?

M&S (Rosie Srao): mobile provides the ability to augment the customer journey. There’s no one component it’s how mobile fits into the entire customer journey.

M&S: said that one of its biggest audiences is ‘mums on the go’ and kidswear is a number one purchase as well as gifting on the go. “We’re seeing customers buying kitchen ware and kitchen sinks on their mobile.”

Debenhams (Sarah Baillie): identified a threat from pureplays such as Amazon and eBay telling customers to scan on the high street and check prices. Retailers must engage on the high street or they will lose out

Dominos (Nick Dutch): it’s about making the journey as quick as possible. The opportunity is to drive footfall -- move from delivery to getting people in-store.

Debenhams on wifi: wifi in retail stores is inevitable. Customers will be able to double check prices against our online site

M&S: we positively encourage customers to engage instore. We put wifi into a few of our stores, we put decor in with QR codes as calls to action. It’s about giving info to customers quickly and easily

Dominos: We’re considering rolling out wifi, it’s about that 10 or 15 minute window instore. Make sure they [customers] don’t feel board for ten minutes

M&S: the opportunity to promote online exclusives instore is a real opportunity. In Kensington store we had decor in wine section that told customers about exclusive offers, and the wine club

M&S: Customers want to be kept up to date daily on offers either instore or online. Also, the store finder is very important... it’s about understanding and listening to the customer.

Debenhams: Mobile has been very successful, higher conversion rates. More can be done to improve conversions, including making payments simpler.

Debenhams: One of biggest challenges is that people use each device in a different way and how you track where they go after their visit? Attribution is one of the biggest challenges.

M&S on tablets: Our tablet strategy is about the optimising the experience; What digital value can we bring, what inspirational content.

M&S on location based: we’re excited about making mobile local

Debenhams: we’ve introduced a service where you can go into a store and you can call for help and someone will come

M&S: making sure we’re always there no matter which device they are accessing from

Jon Mew, IAB, (the rise of tablets)

Key stats

In 2010 IDC predicted that 5m tablets would be produced. In 2010 Apple sold 15m

In 2011 IDC predicted 69m would be produced, which was revised up to 106m in Q1 2012

By comparison with iPhone sales and growth, the iPad has sold at three times the rate of sales of the iPhone

74% of tablet usage is at home

4.8m tablets in the UK, which is same as smart phone penetration four years ago

50% of tablet use s are after 7pm, it’s an evening medium, which impacts on how used.

51% tablet usage with a TV

35% mobile usage with a TV

Very much an entertainment device:

PC 29%

Tablet 49%

Mobile 22%

Tablet owners watch videos for 28% longer on a tablet device

Consumers spend 4.26hrs per week shopping on their tablet

People love exploring on tablets:

PC 36%

Tablet 42%

Mobile 21%

Key takeaways

Tablets are not a mobile device, they are used predominantly at home -- 74%

Usage: consumers use it differently to mobile, to PCs

Tablets have more impact than mobile.

Usage focuses around entertainment, exploration and retail

Marketers need to move with the consumers, so must move to tablets now

Do i need a T commerce strategy? Tablet owners shop a lot

People spend 4.26 hours shopping every week on a tablet.

Some retailers using tablets but not many – yet

Do I need a search strategy? Tablet owners prefer to search on tablets

Tablet share of paid search clicks is significant – 30% of paid click share

By end of year it could be 50%

What’s next for tablet devices? Kindle Fire launched in Sept 2011, now has a 54% share of Android tablets.

Windows 8 could make a big impact: it’s the same interface across all devices and Apps are at the heart of windows 8

Andrew Fisher, Shazam (mobilising marketing)

Key stats

3 times more mobiles than fixed line phones in the world

Big opportunity for advertising: only £200m spent on mobile, but over £4bn spent on TV

80% of us have our phones next to us while we watch TV. For the most part people are on Facebook or Twitter

Whats the first thing we do in the ad break? Fact: 60% actually check our phones

Consumers are more comfortable with new opportunities than they’ve ever been


The next inflection point in consumer empowerment is now

Why interact with a TV show and bring the experience together

Shazam and red bull in USA. See the Shazam app on screen, tap the app on your phone and see a snowboarder’s eye view of a run, which is different to the TV experience

Why interact with a TV commercial?

Might want to buy, share, receive an offer or voucher.

Shazam sees 1m new users each week

45% of users Shazam a TV show

[during superbowl] Viewers Shazam’d ads as much they commented about the brands on all social media channels combined

On average all Shazam TV campaigns have seen 65% or more ‘post tagging’ engagement

Old Navy campaign saw a purchase rate in one campaign high as 27%

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