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VentureBeat’s Mobile Summit: The Future is Now

Written by: Cheryl Morris, VP Marketing

Nanigans participated in the VentureBeat Mobile Summit at the historic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito earlier this week. CEO Matt Marshall and the entire team at VentureBeat put on a top tier event, bringing in speakers from many different verticals. Here are a few takeaways:


While the audience heard from a great group of keynote speakers, the true learnings and interactions took place within VentureBeat’s “Boardroom Sessions,” which were comprised of 20-30 industry leaders and engendered the type of industry leading conversations that actually change things. Those sessions were broken out as follows:

Session 1: Attribution & Transparency in Mobile
Hosted by: HasOffers, Criteo, SuperCell, Fetch

Session 2: Targeted Advertising
Hosted by: Facebook, Drawbridge, Mediaworks, VentureBeat

Session 3: Advertising Formats
Hosted by: Onswipe, Vungle, Twitter, VentureBeat

Session 4: Game Monetization
Hosted by: Tapjoy, NativeX, GamesBeat

Session 5: Analytics Tools & Strategies
Hosted by: Localytics, Groupon, ESPN, Forrester

Session 6: Wearables
Hosted by: Motorola, Pebble, Wearable World

Session 7: Infrastructure
Hosted by: Pivotal Labs, LinkedIn, Crittercism

Session 8: Local Mobile Commerce
Hosted by: Yelp, Groupon, Nanigans, Factual

As we think about the current state of mobile and where it’s going, it’s interesting to note that these 8 topics are really the themes at the forefront of brands, agencies and vendors regardless of industry or vertical. For you mobile-focused brands/apps/vendors, how are these themes impacting your strategy? Are they at the forefront of the conversations you’re having internally? If not, they should be!

One recap example is from the local mobile commerce session, in which we challenged participants to think about whether local mobile commerce was enhancing or disrupting the market. While the conversation covered B2B, B2C, services and products, the session overall left participants with three main takeaways from a few industry leaders including:

  • Mike Ghaffary, VP of Business Development, Yelp
  • Mihir Shah, VP & GM of Mobile, Groupon
  • Tyler Bell, VP of Product, Factual, Inc.

Local Mobile Commerce Takeaways

Level playing field

The SMB and local businesses now have access to the same software and technology as the enterprise, so your local sub shop can now compete with Subway by giving users the same experience, or better. This was a fascinating point. When you think about your own town and which sub shop you would rather buy from, is it Subway or is it the local sub shop that you’ve known for years? For me personally, I would rather get my favorite buffalo chicken sub from New London Style Pizza in Concord. Now that the playing field is a bit more leveled it sounds like great news for local businesses and something that larger brands will need to remained focused on to stay relevant.

The impact of a control shift

The control is shifting more and more to the consumer, which means personalization is more important than ever. Using data, history and predictive analytics, consumers will want experiences, recommendations and offerings specific to THEM not just their “demographic.” Just because my mother may share the same “demographic” as your mother, does that mean they want the same things? Of course not, and it’s understanding how everyone is unique, understanding what makes them unique and then using that data to influence future behavior that will make for the most successful future ventures and enhancements.

Can we do better?

We have more data than ever about ourselves, each other, services, products or foods that we do or do not like thanks to companies like Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. As we build more for the future, mobile can go in all sorts of ways. How will wearables impact future companies or products? How will geo-fencing or iBeacon help with location and targeting? At the end of the day, what’s the true goal of the future of mobile? Is it simply, “to make something easier” or can we do more? Can we give people an experience they’ve never seen before like Uber? Should we be thinking more about humanity like Tom’s, Charity Water or Adam Braun?

In the end, a truly compelling takeaway from the conference for start-ups and brands building for the future and vendors enhancing offerings can be summed up in one question. When thinking about your target market: “Why should the consumer or business care about what you’re building?” It’s a thought that is seemingly so simple, yet often forgotten.

So, hats off to another fantastic conference put on by VentureBeat, their staff and all of the participants/speakers who attended. We look forward to the next one. Now go!


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