The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), recently held a roundtable discussing the state of mobile as a follow-up to its report The State of The Industry: Mobile Marketing in MENA 2017.
The attendees included:
Marcus Siddons, managing director, GroupM Digital MENA at GroupM
Andy Powell, Director of brand advertising, Inmobi EMEA
Franck Boissinot, vice-president of marketing and digital, MAF Retail Carrefour
Samantha Billingham, digital and mobile advertising sales director, AdColony MENA
Sam Daghash, regional director of business development, Noqoush
Rami Zeidan, vice-president of partnerships, Anghami
Walid Yared, chief marketing officer, Choueiri Group
Fadi Goshn, chief marketing officer, Nissan Middle East
Lewis Naim, marketing and brand director, MAF
Nouran Heimann, digital marketing specialist, Beiersdorf MENA
John Thekanady, vice-president, global media strategy, Emirates
The discussion centered around three key topics:
The panel unanimously agreed that more education is needed so that mobile is part of an integrated strategy and not a separate pillar. At the end of the day, it’s all about the consumer journey, and it’s important for brands and agencies to understand where mobile sits within this journey and devise their strategy accordingly – especially as not just the use of smartphones, but also that of connected devices increases. Simply put, follow the consumer.
Within mobile, unique content platforms focusing on audio and video are growing, which requires advertisers to think about mobile content strategy and put more effort in it, instead of copying or adapting assets from other channels such as TV. The story board for a digital video, for instance, is completely different than one for TV due to different screen sizes, user behavior and consumption patterns.
When it comes to data, analytics and measurement, undeniably a clear, human view is of utmost importance. While the panelists agreed that brand safety is essential, they also felt that with a proper understanding and analysis of data, brand issues can be avoided.
2. Technology and data
Data is the golden boy of the hour but it’s not without its challenges. With advancing technology, there is a huge amount of data. The conversation wasn’t about the quantity or quality of available data, but rather about what agencies and advertisers can – and should – do with it. If anything, the sheer quantity of data is what creates difficulties in making it actionable.
In order to turn data information into data action, the industry needs analysts. Indeed, not only agencies, but also brands are setting up their own analytics departments, which is key in creating their own data sets, systems and to models. As one panelist pointed out, the best attribution model is the simplest one.
A key piece of the data conversation today is location data, which enables advertisers to target not only as per user interests and behaviors but really micro target as per location. That location, however, needs to be specific, which can sometimes be a challenge due to the tech itself, if not the setup of stores within a short distance of each other in a mall.
Furthermore, roping in the consumer-facing retailers, especially in the premium goods and luxury sector is a challenge and of course, is a completely different game from that of FMCG brands.
In certain industries and markets in this part of the world, it is likely that the purchase itself is not made on mobile. But, by no means does this diminish the importance of mobile in the consumer journey – something marketers need to start understanding and valuing.
Mobile also seemed to have a perception or brand image problem with marketers often treating it as a platform for performance and not branding, which in turn leads to lower creative budgets resulting in mere resizing instead of creating for mobile.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, measurement is the biggest challenge. Tracking across devices and tracking online to offline conversions and vice-versa is still evolving while it remains difficult to measure the conversion rate for each touchpoint.
And while the challenges are many, they are also opportunities for the industry to try, test, learn, fail, and eventually, grow.
What is MATT?
MATT in an initiative by MMA that consists of a community of marketing experts including marketers, attribution experts, academics, and other thought-leaders industry. MATT was formed to rethink marketing attribution and provide better measurements, tools, and confidence in connecting marketing to business outcomes.
The MATT Steering Committee and the Attribution Advisory Task Force comprises of experts that decide the course of action and provide guidance to the industry. The steering committee is comprised of Luis Di Como, senior vice-president, Global Media, Unilever; Sanjay Gupta, executive vice-president, Marketing, Innovation and Corporate Relations, Allstate; Lou Paskalis, senior vice-president, Enterprise Media Planning, Investment and Measurement Executive, Bank of America; and Amit Shah, senior vice-president, Online Marketing, Mobile and Social, 1-800-Flowers.com.
MATT’s first initiative is Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA), “which is the science of using advanced analytics, on user level data, to allocate proportional credit, across a granular list of marketing touchpoints across many, and hopefully all, online and offline channels, leading to a desired customer outcome,” explains MMA. Basically, it is a goodbye to the last-click attribution model in exchange for one that takes into account all touchpoints. MMA explains that MTA works by calculating the probability that a user will convert (brand, sales, other) based on exposure to a combination of marketing activities based on modeling the behavior of individual users. Marketers can of course build their own solutions or opt to work with any of the 20 MTA providers who, in turn, might work with the media agency and DMP to construct the necessary data connections.