04/14/2015 09:53 am ET Updated Jun 12, 2015

Stars & Cars at the Mobile Media Summit

What better way to start your week then gathering with hundreds of powerful brands and agencies at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, and watching Playboy Playmates judge a game of cornhole. While attending the Mobile Media Summit this week, I was able to listen and engage with major automotive and entertainment C-Suites, enjoy amazing BBQ under the LA sun, and indulge in mobile insights from huge digital agencies.

"The consumers have spoken, 50% of publisher traffic is coming from mobile devices. Major companies are becoming mobile first. It started with Instagram, then Facebook and Twitter. Now more mainstream entertainment companies are mobile first, and agencies are creating marketing strategies making mobile front and center of their media plans," explains event organizer and founder, Paran Johar.

Since Paran started the event several years ago, he's seen a huge shift in the most powerful C-level advertising executives taking charge in mobile. Brands like Pepsi, Master Card, and Unilever are all leading the march towards mobile being critical in their advertising mix. Here are some of my key takeaways from the brightest minds in digital advertising on how to sell a brand to mobile-first consumers:

Mobile First & Millennial First Initiatives

Three years ago, C-suite's were uncomfortable broaching the subject of mobile.  Now, more and more CMO's and CEO's are excited about mobile and engaging and embracing the topic. Knowing that 68% of teenagers only access the internet from a mobile device, executives know mobile is the future, and have started siphoning their tech dollars and headcount towards mobile. More of their decision-making is around mobile choices, knowing the millennials and teenagers have grown up with a mobile device in their hands, and these devices have changed the way brands are purchased.

By 2019, 75% of marketing spend will be in mobile. What is your brand doing to starting thinking about mobile and looking at mobile metrics? How many of your key initiatives are combining both desk top and mobile?

Understanding The Mobile Customer Journey

Brands have an understanding that they can't build their own apps, as no one wants to use an app that is pure advertising. Brands are choosing to be where the audience is, whether that's through buying advertising on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or on streaming video. They also understand that they have to serve various ads throughout the customer journey, and they can't keep serving the same ad to a customer, no matter what the location. Ads need to be different, specific, contextual, and follow a buyer throughout their purchasing journey. Ads are now becoming dynamic throughout the mobile experience. One insight shared by Adam Gerhart of Mindshare was the concept of "zones" by a mobile user.
  • Hot Zone: When the customer is in the aisle in the moment of purchase.
  • Comfort Zone: When the customer is at home on the sofa, browsing.
  • Idle Zone: When the customer has downtime at work or at a coffee shop.
Brands need to be aware of what type of ad is served in each zone, with stronger call to actions happening during the hot zone, such as my online invoicing company Due. This is something that we're really pushing for in the next 3 months when we launch is pushing mobile and being aware of our zones.


All ads being served online are now "programmatic". This is a fancy way of saying that advertising inventory is being bought and sold through computer learning on a bidding platform. A brand can tell an agency that they want to spend X amount of dollars to reach X amount of eyeballs, and a computer would bid to maximize the results using data.

So ads are all now scientifically served versus human served. This might be why sometimes you're watching the same commercial 5 times in a row on your favorite channel's mobile app -  you've been identified as a core target for a cheap price so you keep getting served the same ad. Its estimated 63% if digital spending will be programmatic by 2016

I had a great time at Mobile Media Summit, and hope to attend again. There is still a ton to learn about the mobile field as the area continues to grow.