08/03/2017 Events

Mobile World Congress – 2017 – Recap

Our Product Manager for Mobile Advertising Kumar Samanvaya Misra a.k.a. Samy was at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and we asked him to share his key takeaways, and keep us up to speed on the latest developments. Sammy, thank you for sharing!

How often do you get a choice to explore the beautiful Carrers of Barcelona, with the smell of amazing tapas in the air? Accompanied by the sunny weather, it was a perfect break from the freezing Berlin winter. However, one thing that totally disrupted this experience was an amazing exhibition of cutting edge mobile technology. Yes the Mobile World Congress , Barcelona, to which tens of thousands of people traveled from all across the globe to witness the latest innovations in the domain.

For me, day 1 at the conference felt like a teenage kid meeting all his geeky fantasies like drones, automated cards, mobile phones and robots. But one corner that kept me engaged 80% of the time was AdTech section. Not only because it is my passion but also because I was super curious to know what’s new. So, for me, the temple was this small corner of MWC called Hall 8.1, which was not a fortune, but also nothing to be sneezed at. As I explored more companies in Hall 8.1, I recognized a pattern:

  • More than half of the companies were related to the mobile ad ecosystem (no surprise), as it is fueling the next wave of AdTech.
  • 70% of the companies have similar USP i.e. faster and better technology. But no one can quantify their tech stacks.
  • People are finally moving away from the fad of App installs and starting to understand that mobile is an experience. Mobile ads should blend into that experience like poetry.

Additionally, I interacted with dozens of people in this domain. So interesting thing would be to share my key takeaways:

  1. Mobile will ride the next wave (until advertising finally becomes device agnostic)

Mobile is the most intimate device we all have by far. The majority of people is reluctant to share their device. This adds a sort of personality to every device. The next wave will try to tap the personality of the device, which will be based on the observations made on the basis of usage pattern. Mobile is a proven leader across various verticals in engaging the prospects which are at the top of the funnel in consumer journey.

  1. Programmatic is the way going forward

Historically there were so many ways of trading stocks. However, over a period of time the most modernized, safe and efficient form of trading is high frequency trading aka programmatic trading. Imagine if the ad impressions are bought like stock prices in an automated manner:

  • The ease of trade increase, which furthers the transactions and keeps the price of the impression governed by the forces of demand and supply.
  • The supply is perpetually infinite. However, there are various flavors to programmatic buying depending on willingness to invest in lieu of perceived value of the impression.
  • Access to direct supplies without the hassle of managing them. The programmatic world is clearly divided into Demand Side and Supply Side and they both solve to different problems. Thus the barriers to entry are very low from the point of creating a network of supply partners, as long as one has the demand.
  1. Data will decide the destiny

Data is often treated like an appendix, while everyone has it nobody knows how to use it. And I believe that data will bring the new dimension into the whole AdTech ecosystem. Before getting excited about data, we must try to understand – how we define data? What part of data can be responsibly used for advertising? What is the perishability of data? Having said that here is my understanding of the data quality based on the source of data.

For me, the MWC was an immersive experience and every point I mentioned above deserves a post on their own. But time is always a luxury, which is not widely relished by the product guys. Nevertheless, this was not my last blog post, I promise.