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On Monday evening, Massachusetts’ Governor Deval Patrick declared this week in October “Innovation Week” in Massachusetts. As part of Innovation Week, MITX held their annual week-long and city-wide FutureM conference. With over 75 sessions, marketers from across the United States came to Boston to learn about the latest trends and best practices impacting the future of marketing.
With the Nanigans headquarters here in Boston and being leaders in the digital marketing community, we attended multiple sessions throughout the week and had the opportunity to learn from a variety of companies and experts. With over 15 sessions focused specifically on mobile, this on-the-go channel is undoubtedly on marketers’ minds and at the crux of the future of digital marketing. We heard panels on everything from challenges and successes to case studies outlining how marketers are approaching the channel, with monetization and advertising a theme that crossed most.
One of the mobile sessions that was very well attended during FutureM was titled, “The Future State of Mobile Audience: Scale, Targeting and Tracking.” Panelists, including Victor Milligan, CMO of Nexage, Matt Duffy VP of Marketing, Jumptap, Sonny Kim, SVP of Digital Media for PGR Media, and Ken Barbieri, Managing Director of Data Services, AdAdvisor and TARGUSinfo discussed trends in mobile advertising. Matt Duffy began the session with several interesting facts about the smartphone’s impact and proliferation:
The panelists made it clear that mobile devices are where users are spending their time and advertisers need to follow. For advertisers to be successful the panelists underscored the importance of layering demographic information (consumer insights such as age, gender and geography) with behavioral information (consumer insights collected from online behaviors and actions, such as purchases). With Facebook working to bring both to mobile, these points are certainly one of the reasons it presents such a compelling channel for mobile marketers. The Facebook mobile app install ad unit is a great example, enabling mobile app developers to reach their core segments on Facebook by demographics, interests and actions as well as track app install events that these ad units trigger.
Another well attended session was FutureM’s Mobile Commerce Summit titled, “The New Role of Media, Marketing, and Big Data in a world of Mobile Commerce.” This panel covered the convergence of mobile and big data in commerce primarily, but also in advertising. Panelists included Ben Saren, VP Marketing of Litle & Co., Molly Plozey, VP, First Data, Greg Garson, Practice Lead for High Start Group, and John Carron, VP Marketing of Catalina.
Facebook’s rapid mobile growth was the first topic covered, when Greg Garson shared that 2.7 billion likes occur everyday on Facebook mobile and desktop. The point was timely, with Facebook recently announcing their mobile audience has grown to count over 600 million people — 60% of their 1 billion person audience, and a number up from 47% in the prior year. The panel discussed how this large audience is part of the draw for mobile marketers turning to Facebook.
With more and more of our customers running Facebook mobile advertising campaigns through our Ad Engine software, we can certainly concur that the channel is in demand. Early results are promising, and we are seeing mobile Sponsored Story ads average 12X higher CTRs than for desktop Sponsored Stories. As for the more recently launched Facebook mobile app install ad unit designed specifically for mobile app developers, our customers report seeing 8-10X the volume on Facebook than mobile ad buys on other channels.
We hope attendees enjoyed the FutureM mobile sessions as much as we did, and look forward to next year’s event!