Mobile World Congress 2017- The Top 5 Things you Missed

mobile world congress

Fira Gran in Barcelona, Spain hosts Europe’s biggest tech confab in Mobile World Congress

It was yet another record for Europe’s largest technology conference- Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week, and while the title of the conference implies mobile, the content and discussions really transcend mobile into all areas of connectivity and mobility.  And while Barcelona tapas bars and restaurants will be just fine, the rest of the tech industry and related press will spend weeks trying to figure out what just happened.

Over 108,000 attendees circulated around over 2,200 multimillion dollar booths and enough cutting edge wireless technology to make even the NSA blush.  It is big, massive really.  And while CES in Vegas may claim larger numbers…nothing feels quite as important as Mobile World Congress.  All the major players are there (sans Apple…because you know, they don’t do conferences).  Samsung stole the show again but perhaps for all the wrong reasons.  The South Korean chaebol received a lot of press coverage before the show for the absence of a new phone introduction to offset the Galaxy 7 Note fiasco….only to close the show at the top of the headlines with their beset CEO Jay Y Lee arrested for bribery charges.  The kind of stuff that keeps the media and marketing communications teams really busy, but not in a good way.

So what possibility could outshine all of that headline grabbing buzz?  A lot.  Here are my top five highlights:

1. IoT and the Connected Car

Is it the “Internet of Things”, IoT, or just Things?  Regardless, the next wave of sensors, connected machines, high speed data gateways, and the networks to carry all those bits/ bytes were on prominent display.  One of the more interesting demonstrations was in Intel’s booth showcasing the fully autonomous driving BMW 7 series connecting multiple internal and external sensors across a fully functioning 5G broadband network…actually two of them.  One powered by Nokia and the other by Ericsson.  The amount of sensors on the car are staggering, all processing internal and external conditions out to the cloud where AI acts on the decisioning and sends it back down to the vehicle for execution adjustments.  Of course, this all happens in milliseconds, because seriously, anything slower would result in a really bad outcome for the car and others on the road.  That is more than 4,000 gigabits coming off a single connected car.  I still don’t even know what that really means, but I know that it is a lot.

2. 5G

We need this if we are ever going to have any hope of approaching Ray Kurzweil’s “singularity” and seeing Skynet from the Terminator movies in our lifetimes.  Honestly, neither one of those propositions are particularly interesting to the viability of the human race…but the promise of high speed 5G networks is just too compelling to not pursue.  From instantaneous high-bandwidth communication networks in a disaster relief scenario (think Nepal earthquake) to connected autonomous vehicles on the roadways…we are going to need more bandwidth and my spotty LTE is not going to cover it.  There is still a lot of work left to do on standards, protocols, etc…but there are a bunch of smart people working on it so it is going to happen.

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Lots of  products and services demonstrated at MWC that could nest under the heading artificial intelligence, but IBM Watson and their application of cognitive technology continues to impress.  So many demonstrable examples in their booth that it is hard to narrow it down to one, but their collaboration with high fashion design house Marchesa for the MET Gala was particularly interesting. The blending of technology in high fashion, a field that habitually is associated with artistry, craftsmanship, and human touch, shows the diversity of this technology.


4. Sony Relevance

Sony spent so many years defining categories (read: Walkman) that it is nice to see them back on the side of innovation again.  They showcased a number of products under their Xperia smart home product line. The Xperia Touch was super interesting as a means of creating a touch screen interface on any surface (table, floor, wall, etc..).  This compact device runs on Andriod 7.1 and will list for around $1,500.


5. Graphene-

Maybe the most interesting thing of all on display at the show was the area entirely devoted to the application of the atomic material “graphene”.  I am hardly qualified to even discuss graphene, but Nobel Laureate Konstantin Novoselov was there to discuss it.  I understand, generously, maybe a third…ok a quarter of what he was saying, but it is hard not to acknowledge how much of a role his material is going to play in our future lives.  It is the thinnest, strongest and lightest known material.  It is both flexible and impermeable to molecules and extremely conductive (both electrically and thermally).  I mean seriously, this stuff is straight out of Star Wars, or Superman, or both.  Showcased applications included everything from chemical based sensors to race cars built from the material.  Flexible screen technology and biomedical devices, including deep brain implants (what?) are some examples of the application of graphene.  Dang.

So what does all of this have to do with advertising?  Nothing…and everything. More on that in later posts.

A Majority of Travelers Book on Mobile.

US travelers are increasingly turning to mobile.

Whether it is convenience, spontaneity, or just the increased proliferation of more powerful travel applications, consumers are using their mobile devices for all of their travel planning and bookings.

Recent eMarketer Digital Report 2016 states:
52% of all online travel bookings will be made on mobile devices this year.

and according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB)
• Time spent online using a mobile device continues to grow, up 40% from a year ago.
• For Adults 35-54, nearly half of their online time (49%) is spent on their smartphones.

The increase in mobile engagement signals to travel and tourism companies the need to focus on creating a comprehensive mobile strategy. This involves a lot more than simply paid search with mobile extensions or a geo-targeted Facebook campaign. There are considerably more advanced tools and techniques in the market today including mobile wallet, beacons, audience segmentation via device IDs, pattern and data analysis, and mobile optimization that can work together with other elements of the media mix to form a holistic mobile strategy to reach today’s travel consumer.

Why Mobile….Because it is Summer.

It is hard to argue that mobile phones occupy a prominent place in our daily lives – in fact they are now our constant companions and something we apparently check more than 150 times daily. This trend presents an unmistakable marketing opportunity for the Tour and Travel Industry by providing a valuable and necessary option to market directly to their guests. .

Almost 63% of all tours and attractions are booked while “in-market” – tourists typically plan a few major things ahead of time – but they wait until they are at the destination to decide what to do. It is a spur of the moment decision – and the mobile phone is in their hand.

During the summer months mobile usage grows significantly as people move outside, take trips, and are generally on the go.

For the Travel and Hospitality industry today:
• 49% of internet visits are via mobile
• 80% of those visits are via Apps

During the summer months, mobile usage skyrockets as maps, tourism info, weather, news, events, and travel takes center stage.

During summer months Facebook mobile usage sees an increase of at least:
23% for ages 18-44
33% for ages 45 and above

During summer months for all social media there is a:
46% increase in social media posts tagged “travel”

While the usage of mobile has matured so have the tools, technologies, measurement, and efficacy of mobile marketing.


• Where is your customer this summer and what are their technology priorities?
• What are the opportunities to reach them on-the-go, in-market, and while traveling?

The good news is that for successful tour and travel companies, the opportunity to create highly effective and successful mobile strategies exists today. Through a well informed mobile strategy, these brands are able to communicate with their current customers while reaching new guests in ways that fit the modern lifestyle. Whether social media, mobile apps, mobile display, mobile wallet, or location based beacons the ability to target defined audiences, provide real-time offers, and capture customer data a mobile strategy is now a critical part of your overall marketing strategy.

Mocentric Selected as a “Future Star” by BIA Kelsey

Mocentric was delighted to qualify and be selected as a “Future Star” at BIA Kelsey’s upcoming SMB conference in Austin, TX this Sep 11-13 – Leading In Local. With an exciting new offering for small-to-mid size local ad agencies, Mocentric will soon be the talk of the agency community for easy to schedule, geo-fenced local mobile ad campaigns for any advertiser.

We hope to see many of you in Austin next month. Please be sure to come by for a quick visit to our display on the Future Stars Alley.


Bill and the rest of the Mocentric team.

Digital Advertising Boosts Ad Agencies’ Competitive Position

Digital Advertising Boosts Ad Agencies’ Competitive Position

From Seeking Alpha

By Michael Corty, CFA

The advertising agency holding companies are well positioned to benefit from the growth of digital marketing over the next five years, and we assign Omnicom (OMC), WPP (WPPGY), and Interpublic Group (IPG) narrow economic moat ratings. The consolidated nature of the industry and high switching costs of severing the agency relationship for clients contribute to a solid competitive position. The emergence of online advertising–once seen as a threat to the ad agencies–is an opportunity for these companies to enhance their competitive position. Omnicom, WPP and Interpublic are trading above our current estimates of intrinsic value, which are based on explicit five-year cash flow forecasts and not sensitive to weakness in one year. These stocks can trade lower on company-specific or macroeconomic weakness, though, and we’d gladly recommend them if they dropped to an appropriate margin of safety.

Advertising Agency Industry Has Consolidated

Following significant merger and acquisition activity from 1990 to 2005, the ad agency industry has become fairly consolidated; we estimate the top five global holding companies now have a combined global market share of around 70%. Lead global agencies (such as WPP’s Young & Rubicam) are independently managed and offer a broad array of marketing services to clients. Additionally, hundreds of smaller agencies within WPP are focused on a particular geographic or niche area of expertise (for example, mobile marketing); they work independently but can be called upon by any of the lead agencies when it serves a client need. read more at Seeking Alpha


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