IAB Mobile Connect 2016 – Mobile is Everything


On Thursday 27th of October, Shannon, our Account Director, and I accompanied our Deep RiverRock client Oonagh to the IAB Mobile Connect 2016 Event– Mobile is Everything.

I'm a fan of IAB. Their events and speakers are usually better than most of what's on offer from the many society/groups conferences and events in Dublin. However, when I saw the topic of this event – Mobile is Everything – I was skeptical. We all know that mobile is everything, and have done so for the past few years. What were we going to learn?

The answer was quite a lot. There was a whole host of interesting nuggets; such as the majority of speakers referring to the difficult-to-grab attention in the ever-crowded social feeds and the ever-reducing attention spans of people – exactly what we've been saying for a while.

Here's some of the stand out points for me:

First up was Jerry Daykin talking a dose of digital sense on mobile marketing. I follow Jerry on Twitter and he does talk a lot of sense. He's a bit of an anomaly. He works in a media agency and he gets the value of social and content. He doesn't see it as something that's going to burn hours putting individual paid spend behind social content, like some agencies do. And I'm certain he wouldn't divert money that really should be invested in social promotion spend into things like display or an MSN partnership, just because that's the way the agency makes more money. Anyway...

Jerry, and Hugh Curran - another good speaker on the day, spoke about needing to adapt creative to best suit the various platforms and ad formats. They also both loosely referred to Facebook's three-second rule. Jerry said that you have three seconds to grab a viewer with Facebook video and that three seconds is an eternity. It's really one second. And less if you're Gen Z. He maintained that if your brand isn't in the first couple of seconds of a video, you're throwing 90% of your media away.

This is a scary thought and one that I don't necessarily agree with. And it's scare-mongering. We have found that if you have your brand in those first frames of a video... it completely turns off Gen Z and other groups. Unless you're a Red Bull, a Patagonia, a Sailor Jerry, or another brand of that ilk. Good branded video content is difficult to produce. It must entertain or provide utility, and it should never be too brand-centric. Think product placement. More on that here.

Another point made was that Facebook video has more in common with digital OOH than it does with TV. I'm not sure on this one. I think that is this a very media-driven way of looking at Facebook video. And it smacks of media agencies treating Facebook video like display. This is something that I see regularly. Also scary.

Jerry also made the point that 90% of engagements on Facebook are done by 10% of people. He went on to say that most people are passive and that people won't do very much. All very true and it's exactly what we're seeing across the 15 brands that we work with in the social/content space.

There are a lot of voyeurs out there, that are viewing and engaging with brand content, but they're doing it in an invisible way. They're clicking on links, they're watching videos, they're expanding imagery... but they're not giving the brand the satisfaction of giving them a visible Like, Comment, Share, RT, etc. Does this matter? Not really in my opinion.

Marie Davis from Google spoke about reaching and engaging millennials. She used excellent examples of how mobile has completely changed the experience of viewing events and large life moments over the past five years. Five years ago it was about capturing the moment. Now it's about YOU being IN the moment.

Marie went on to state that we check our phone 160 times a day and we spend 177 minutes a day on our phone in Ireland. Again – scary.

Wrapping up the day was Rossa Butler from Littlewoods. He told the story of how Littlewoods have gone from catalogue-first to mobile-first. And it was highly impressive. They've a very simple approach: make good things easily accessible to more people. Rossa spoke about their in-house UX-lab and the testing model that Littlewoods employ. It's a great case study.

All in all, it was another good IAB event. Looking forward to the next one in March.

To see the presentations from the day - see here.