With Mobile World Congress kicking off this week, it is worth noting that this year’s theme is “Building a Better Future”. I’m glad that we’re getting back to talking about moving forward as an industry, as so many of the industry’s recent conferences seem to have focused more on ruminating about what we had done wrong in the past or what we weren’t doing very well in the present. And while a little bit of soul searching is probably warranted, it’s always good to get back to thinking about the core promise and potential of mobile and, in particular, mobile marketing.
So what does that promise look like? The full potential of mobile as a marketing channel is still coming into focus, but we know it involves the ability to communicate with audiences in better, more effective ways. I’m talking here about true communication – not speaking to audiences, but speaking with them, via a two-way street that involves a true back-and-forth. It’s communication that is less jarring than traditional forms of advertising, less disruptive and annoying. I think that at this year’s MWC, we will hear from a lot of marketers who are trying figure out how to make their conversations with their audiences better and more valuable.
Of course, creating value through marketing is something we think a lot about here at Tapjoy. Our model has shown that advertising doesn’t have to be as one-sided as it has been in the past. In fact, advertising cannot be one-sided like it once was, or it won’t work in the mobile-centric future. Only when advertising creates value for all parties involved – advertisers, publishers, and, most importantly, consumers – can we build a better future.
Just look at what’s happening with GDPR — the General Data Protection Regulation passed by the European Commission to strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the EU. GDPR is helping to put an individual’s personal data back in their own hands to let them control who has it and what they can do with it. It basically says that if there’s not an honest value exchange taking place, marketers can’t just use (or misuse, as is the case) someone’s data, and it forces advertisers – and effectively the entire advertising ecosystem – to rethink how they can offer consumers something of real value.
The same concept of consumer consent inherent in GDPR is probably the most basic tenant of value exchange advertising as well. It recognizes that consumers are in control of their mobile and digital experiences, and gives them the power to engage only with those advertisers who they deem relevant, interesting and valuable. Any ads lacking one or more of those three qualities will be summarily dismissed. But those ad experiences that meet consumers’ standards for consent will be given their full attention, leading to exactly the kind of honest and open exchange that represents the new paradigm in mobile marketing.
In my next post, I’ll talk more about how consent, transparency and user choice are necessary ingredients for the future of mobile advertising. But for now, please let us know if you plan to attend this year’s MWC and whether you’d like to meet up to discuss how we, together, can “create a better future”.