This afternoon’s Mobile SuperForum kicked off with a review of our Mobile Local Forecast from BIA/Kelsey mobile guru Mike Boland, followed by insights from a collection of mobile industry leaders weighing in on everything from how extensively mobile is being monetized today, to the real importance of check-ins.
Zaw Thet, CEO of 4info, kicked things off with a mini keynote address that focused on both the limitations and opportunities in mobile. Thet believes mobile is “still a primitive marketplace.”
He cited three key themes, or guiding principals, to bear in mind in approaching mobile.
- The smaller screen size will have a critical impact on the kinds of activities that people conduct on a mobile device. Not much “World of Warcraft” playing. Mobile is focused on actions that are taken within limited time and space.
- Consumers are on the go. Most actions on mobile devices reflect the consumer’s mobility.
- Mobile devices are “insanely personal.” People don’t share their mobile phones the way they might a desktop computer.
Thet says the holy grail for mobile is when true audience targeting comes to fruition. He believes that “no one has cracked the location nut yet.”
Thet was followed by a discussion panel of mobile leaders, who each offered a few key trends driving the mobile local ecosystem.
Evan Tana, director of product management at Shopkick, says the check-in trend is meaningful. He is “blown away” by user acceptance of sharing their location publicly. He believes one of the big opportunities is “closing the loop in store,” by interacting with the mobile device while physically in store, doing on-site comparison shopping and so on.
Alistair Goodman, CEO of Placecast, said its clear that advertisers have turned the corner and are taking mobile advertising seriously. “Advertisers have finally come around. I am starting to see six-figure buys in mobile.”
Surojit Chatterjee, senior project manager at Google, reiterated this point, pointing out Google’s recent announcement of its billion-dollar run rate on mobile advertising (a number he would not further clarify). He said the metrics for mobile specific campaigns Google is running for advertisers are very promising, with higher clickthrough rates than campaigns not optimized for mobile.
Matt Galligan, chief strategy officer and founder, SimpleGeo, offered a caution on enthusiasm for the opportunity presented by check-ins, noting a recent presentation in Europe where almost none of the audience indicated they had checked in. Galligan said the lack of a “coupon culture” plus some cultural aversion to the notion of checking in made him wonder if check-ins with be a largely American phenomenon.
Galligan sees “brand engagement” as a bigger opportunity presented by mobile.