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Somo’s Ross Sleight on Mobile’s Role in the Enterprise, Europe, Music and More

Known as the “Professor of Mobile,” Ross Sleight is Chief Strategy Officer at Somo where he advises brands like Red Bull, Audi and Universal Music on how to harness the potential of mobile technologies. Ross was recently named to The Drum’s list of the 50 most influential players in mobile.

Before taking the stage on November 9 at Mobile Media Summit London, Ross shared some thoughts on where mobile is going in 2016 with Global CEO of Mobile Media Summit/ad:tech/iMedia, Paran Johar.

Paran: Ross, great to connect with you again and congrats on recently being named the 6th most influential player in mobile marketing by The Drum!
Ross: Thanks – it’s been wonderful to be voted into The Drum’s Top 50 mobile list and Top 100 Digerati list for the past 3 years!

Paran: At Mobile Media Summit London you will be participating on a panel discussing how mobile will evolve in 2016. Can you give us a preview of the changes you expect to see in wearables, the Internet of things, and virtual and augmented reality?

Ross: Earlier in the year at Somo we identified what we considered to be the six major disruptors in mobile in the next 12 months. Alongside Wearables, Internet of things and VR/AR, we also highlighted three other disruptors including the rise of Context (where, when, how, etc.) in both service delivery and marketing in mobile, the role of loyalty and payments (especially the importance of notifications and messaging), and the velocity of change in Interface with our connected devices and the move to a simplified and voice-driven UI (what we are calling Zero UI).

Wearables and IoT continue to fascinate us with the data they are providing and the potential insight we can draw from interpretation of this, but we are seeing an increasingly fragmented world of individual products, particularly in the connected home and Wearables spaces. Understanding how these devices all play together nicely both from an interoperability level (I don’t want 50 individual apps on my phone to control my house) as well as from a data sharing level will be key to ensuring mass adoption of these devices for the connected self, home, car and city.

Augmented and Virtual Reality in particular will become mainstream engagements in 2016. The launch of the consumer headsets for VR such as Oculus, and the continuing march of the cheaper options like Google Cardboard will drive more home usage of VR, but we see the real opportunity for VR in high street retail and at brand events for 2016 to provide controlled environment immersion into VR for the mass market.

Paran: Marketers often claim to be “Mobile First.” Given the present ubiquity of mobile in all phases of consumer media consumption, what does “mobile first” actually describe at this point in time? What will it mean in the near future?

Ross: I think mobile first was a useful phrase in pulling people up in their thinking and getting them to think from a consumer’s perspective rather than default to desktop as the preferred design format. Ultimately, whether we are designing for a connected TV, desk-top, tablet, smartphone or wearable, we have to understand both what a consumer needs to do on a device and how they can best achieve this. Context first is far more important than a phrase such as mobile first, but mobile first was an important stage we had to go through to get out of desktop dominance. So now it’s all about thinking about why a consumer turns to a particular connected device and how we can best create a service that fits that consumer behavior and the form factor we are designing for. Mobile undoubtedly has to be the core form factor we consider now and in the future.
Paran: Social networking, casual games, and the app economy have propelled mobile to a present position of dominance in consumer share of screen. What needs to happen for mobile to take an equally dominant position in the enterprise?
Ross: What’s interesting with Enterprise is that at Somo we always stress that the person using a device at work is still a normal user – so everything they see and interact with on their devices during their leisure time they expect to see an equal quality of service in Enterprise applications and services. We don’t think that we are here with this yet though.

Most mobile is being used in Enterprise for very simple tasks – reporting, sales support and reference. Development of Apps is still being held back by the legacy systems that enterprises use, and the need for security and legal to ensure that data is protected. These together create friction in Enterprise mobile services. So I don’t think it’s a lack of wanting to do these services, or to create services that are of the same quality and delivery as consumer services in the Enterprise – it’s just that we need to overcome some natural corporate and systems friction to ensure long term transformation.
Paran: Much of the Mobile Media Summit audience is based in North America. As an influencer in the UK and larger European mobile scene, can you explain what American audiences may overlook in understanding these markets?
Ross: I think that in Europe it’s often easy to say “let’s localize” and address pricing or language and then dust your hands off and wonder why your service isn’t getting traction. You need to think about localization on a cultural level, not just a practical language level. How users behave is radically different across each country and each culture. For example, in Scandinavia or Germany the majority of digital commerce is run through invoicing not credit cards; in Southern Europe, penetration of mobile may be higher than Northern Europe but data usage is lower; there are different operators with different tariff structures across every country in Europe.

All of these issues mean you need to have local presence on the ground in each country to adapt your product or service to local consumer expectations. As a rule there is more cohesiveness in city or urban usage of mobile across countries, which gives a good urban starting point for new entrants. But Europe, despite a shared currency in many countries, is certainly not a homogenous entity, and those who treat it as such are setting themselves up for short term failure.
Paran: Ross, you are one of the biggest music fans we have ever met. What mobile streaming service do you prefer, and where do you see this fierce competition between platforms ending up? More importantly, what are the top five tracks right now in your playlist?
Ross: I’m a Spotify premium member and have been for ages. I also use Soundcloud a lot, particularly at home where I have a Sonos system in place. I think once you are in an ecosystem it’s hard to find real reasons to switch. I haven’t seen the benefits of switching to Apple Music or Google Music even though I have trialed these services, and because I have now invested so much in time in Spotify and Soundcloud with playlists and “likes” it would take something significant for me to switch with that friction of time invested. For example, I’m listening to more new music through Spotify’s recommendations and related artist algorithms than ever before, and it’s certainly more relevant than what Apple Genius or Last FM ever provided me with.

I think that it will be hard to move the existing premium market as a whole between services (which is probably 20% of customers but 80% of revenue to these services). The free market is much less involved in the services and could be moved, but unless they are really provided with a key reason to upgrade then this will be hard to monetize. Maybe the inevitable adblocker consumer awareness will become one of the core reasons to upgrade as users recognize that ads can be circumvented by direct service payment. But a healthy market is where good competition exists so I hope all the main services have enough runway and revenue to survive and compete moving forward.

As for my top tracks- well, here goes:

  1. “Go” – Public Service Broadcasting (fabulous mash up of internal Houston communications for the Apollo 11 descent and landing)
  2. “Gosh” – Jamie XX (‘cos you gotta have a bit of contemporary UK Rave in any playlist)
  3. “Those Who Know Know Who” – Public Enemy (return to form for the 55 year old (!) Chuck D)
  4. “Left Side Drive” – Boards of Canada (because everything in life is richer with a BoC soundtrack)
  5. “Etude No 5” – Philip Glass (Beauty encapsulated in music)

Deutsch’s Chief Digital Officer on How to “Kill It” in Mobile

As Chief Digital Officer of Deutsch North America, Winston Binch has transformed the company from an ad agency to a digital innovator. He’s won at Cannes 30 times, including two Titanium Lions, three Grand Prix awards, and Interactive Agency of the Year three times. 

Some of the most innovative digital in advertising can be credited to Winston. He helped bring customization to Nike by way of Nike iD, Whopper Sacrifice to Burger King, and the Pizza Tracker to Domino’s. Most recently, he reinvented Volkswagen’s approach to online car shopping and is currently helping Taco Bell reimagine mobile ordering. In 2015, Deutsch was #2 on Ad Age’s Agency A-List. Check out his full bio in the speakers section of our website.

Winston will be talking mobile video at Mobile Media Summit New York During Ad Week on September 28 and recently chatted with Mobile Media Summit CEO & Founder Paran Johar. 

Paran: You are very deeply engaged with the concept of advertising agencies as inventors, building ideas into prototypes and actual products. Can you give a deeper explanation of what you mean by that, and how mobile fits into this concept?

Winston: The best ads aren’t always ads. Sometimes the right answer is a new product or service. Great marketing starts with the product experience itself. In terms of how mobile fits in, since the launch of the iPhone and rise of the app economy, we’ve increasingly taken a mobile-centered approach. With U.S. smartphone penetration at 77%, if mobile’s not at the center of your thinking you’re nowhere.
Paran: Digital marketing is now a mature industry. Is the “mobile “part of digital marketing mature?  Is there any meaningful difference between digital and mobile marketing?
Winston: Mobile marketing has made strides, but it’s still figuring out what it wants to be when it grows up. Display has had challenges since the beginning based on the small size of the units. People also don’t like banners. It’s not a model we should be replicating. Search works because at their core, smartphones are amazingly powerful discovery and way-finding devices. Native apps were attractive for a few years, but unless you’ve got a truly remarkable idea that’s core to your business, it can be challenging to get downloads and sustained engagement.

The one thing we do know is that social and video are and will be a very big part of the future equation. As of last winter, 65% of Facebook video views happened on mobile. That number will continue to increase. In addition to smarter mobile content, a big opportunity for brands is more contextual, personal, and location-aware advertising. Platforms like Facebook enable you to do some amazing hyper-targeting, yet most ads aren’t as intelligent or personal as they could be.

My advice to brands looking to kill it in mobile is to shift more of your spend to platforms like Facebook and experiment/make a lot of content with a focus on personalization and entertainment. Also, find creative ways to partner with emerging platforms that your target customers are using with high frequency. Investing in this type of creative experimentation is critical to mobile marketing innovation.

We’re seeing a lot of blurring between brand, digital/social, and mobile marketing. That’s to be expected as things mature. The blurring will continue. But right now, I see social and mobile as vital components of digital marketing. And if you want to make ads that matter in a mobile world, you need people who specialize in these areas leading your business.
Paran: If you could change one thing about how brands and agencies approach mobile, what would that be?
Winston: Brands and agencies need to get better at creating advertising designed for the medium. Too many are simply re-appropriating TV spots. That doesn’t work. Mobile isn’t just another screen. It’s an entirely different context.
Paran: The iPhone has been with us since 2007 which means those graduating from college in 2015 have had access to smart phones since they were freshmen in high school. How have these “mobile natives” changed marketing? What’s the best way to reach them?
Winston: Internet kids are the future and now. Hire as many as you can if you want to create marketing that resonates with them. That’s not to say that digital can’t be learned — there are no experts. Things move too quickly. I know people in their fifties who are smarter digitally than some kids coming right out of school. But having more of them in your company ups your odds of success. They not only approach marketing problems from more of a digital first and user-centric perspective, but also aren’t burdened by the rules of old advertising. They’re more likely to bring you ideas that a fan (not a corporation) would make. Ideas that are Internet-smart and don’t look like traditional ads. Ads that may scare you but will get attention.

The best way to reach them is on a platform that a lot of people over 34 years of age don’t know what to do with. SnapChat. It’s valued at between $10 and 20 billion and is the definitive social network for young people. The ad products are new and not yet totally proven, but it’s a really important platform to get good at. It represents a significant paradigm shift in how people connect with each other and share things. Unlike the previous generation of social networks, it’s impermanent, highly intimate, surprising, a low judgment and anxiety zone, and was born and remains mobile-only. Brands, if you’re not here, change that.
Paran: What can we expect to see from Deutsch in the coming year? How will your mobile marketing efforts evolve?
Winston: We’re doing a lot of interesting things in mobile and beyond in both NY and LA. A couple of things I’m particularly excited about are helping Taco Bell re-imagine mobile food ordering as well as the work we’re doing with Anthem to make shopping for insurance a more calming experience. In terms of how our mobile efforts evolve, product development and commerce will remain priorities, as will smarter content creation and production. We already live in a “skip ad” culture but with iOS 9 coming, we all have even more pressure on us to make original and shareable advertising.

It’s an exciting time to be in the business. The rules keep changing, the expectations keep getting bigger, and the advertisers aren’t in charge anymore. It’s time to level up our game, put customers first, and make work that leads (not chases) culture. “Innovate or die” has never been truer.

Countdown to MMS NY During Ad Week

In less than two months we’re heading back to one of the greatest cities in the world during the biggest week in advertising. Mobile Media Summit New York During Advertising Week is September 28 and your chance to be there begins now.

Don’t miss the must attend event for mobile-first marketers. You’ll get the tools of the trade directly from the brands and agencies who are dominating the digital media space.

Register by August 16 to lock in the Early Bird rate of just $995—the lowest price you’ll find on a summit pass.


Featured Speakers


David Cohen
Chief Investment Officer
Universal McCann

David leads UM’s North America Integrated Investment team across all buying functions. He also leads the global digital community, driving thought leadership and innovation across the UM universe. In 2002, he became a Senior Vice President, overseeing all digital media strategy, planning, buying and analysis operations for the New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco offices.
Under David’s leadership, UM was recognized as one of MediaPost’s Agency of the Year winners for Best Media Planning & Buying.  David was also named an “Online All-Star” by Media Magazine. He provides leadership across UM’s roster of clients spanning Automotive, Entertainment, CPG, Retail, Finance, Spirits and Finance categories. He has been named a “Media All-Star” by Adweek and was named one of the “Adweek 50” in 2012. He serves on the Global Board of I-COM (International Conference on Media Management) and numerous advisory boards, including Google, AOL, Yahoo, and the Chairman’s Advisory Board of the MPA (The Association of Magazine Media).


Vanessa Newkirk
SVP, Digital Director

Vanessa is responsible for leading the digital media strategy and innovation for multiple MediaVest clients, including Post Foods, Aflac and Yahoo!

With over 15 years of digital marketing and media experience, Vanessa started her career as a business consultant in Barcelona, Spain before returning to the states and transitioning to international marketing with toy company Learning Curve International, in Chicago. A true industry pioneer, Vanessa co-founded three startups earlier in her career,, and, further encouraging the influence and importance of digital.  Since then she has used her digital expertise to drive digital strategy and innovation for many Fortune 500 brands, such as Verizon, Comcast, Sears, Toyota, Kraft Foods, Delta Airlines, McDonald’s, NBC Universal, Purina, NYC Tourism, REI, HP and Microsoft.


Joe Kilcsu
Senior Manager, Digital Communications

As the senior manager of digital brand communications, Joe is responsible for working with all brands (Schick, Playtex, Banana Boat, etc.) within the Edgewell Personal Care (EPC) portfolio to implement best practices and drive greater innovation across all aspects of the digital media ecosystem. Prior to joining EPC, Joe spent 6 years at digital marketing agency Modem Media, as well as other client side roles at GE and Microsoft. He graduated from James Madison University in 1996 and lives in CT with his wife and two daughters.

ICYMI: 3 Takeaways from #MMSCHI15

CHICAGO — ICYMI (In case you missed it), nearly 700 attendees filled the seats at Revel Fulton Market for this year’s Mobile Media Summit Chicago. Some of the best and brightest leaders of the industry joined in to discuss the latest developments, successes, and challenges in the mobile world. To get the ball rolling, the event kicked off with a networking breakfast. By 9AM sharp, the room was bursting with energy as Mobile Media Summit founder & CEO Paran Johar set the stage for yet another successful summit.


Here are three important takeaways attendees gathered from #MMSCHI15:

The Real “L” Word:

  • Out of the fifteen sessions on Tuesday, we couldn’t seem to stray away from the special “L” word: location. Location, location, location seemed to be the #1 trending topic among the speakers in attendance. That’s because location-based data is one of the fastest-changing attribution methods used in the industry today. In fact, we learned that using the “cookie” is slowly dying. Meanwhile, location services and third-party purchasing data are becoming more popular among marketers. A few panelists touched on this topic, including Waze’s Sara Hall on “Native Breaks the Paradigm”. In her discussion, Sara demonstrated how Waze uses real-time location data to implement ad campaigns on-the-go.

Millennials Have a Short Attention Span:

  • While millennials are the key target audience in mobile advertising, marketers are finding it difficult to keep their attention. University of Michigan Associate Professor Sy Banerjee explained in his unforgettable lecture that increased mobile use is driving this short attention span and consumers’ inability to process information. In his data-driven discussion, Banerjee noted that millennials are more likely to make a purchasing decision while on-the-go. Because of this, marketers must learn how to get creative with the little time they have to grab their consumers’ attention. An example of this new creativity was mentioned by Pandora’s SVP of Strategic Solutions Heidi Browning in the panel, “Cracking the Code on Mobile ROI”. Using Pandora music to attract target consumers, Heidi presented the campaign’s recent successes in reaching households across the U.S. by implementing the Pop-Tarts Pandora station.

Privacy is Still a Concern:

  • Marketers are finding new unique ways to get to know their consumers on mobile. There’s tons of data to be discovered — in social media, location services, you name it. Despite this whole new world of discovery, marketers need to keep in mind that privacy still remains a concern for most consumers. When discussing, “when location data goes from useful to creepy”, Starcom’s Lisa Bradner drove home the point that “opt-in and privacy DOES matter”. In the panel, “Gathering and Using the Mobile, Online, and Offline Data Points”, panelists explained that privacy, in fact, empowers the user to be in control of the experience. Presenting the user with the decision to exchange data for a particular value or functionality has proven to be most effective.

Mobile marketing is evolving and marketers are starting to latch on to the most innovative, unique methods to understanding their consumers on a more personal level. This evolution was on full display in Chicago and made #MMSCHI15 a summit to remember.

Check out #MMSCHI15 event photos here. Next up, Mobile Media Summit is taking over Advertising Week in New York on September 28!

Orbitz Director of Mobile Marketing Talks Attribution and More

Since 2005, Paul Rattin has done it all at Orbitz Worldwide, from online marketing to business strategy and business development. Now, Paul serves as Director of Mobile Marketing and leads the mobile marketing function for the Orbitz & CheapTickets brands. He is responsible for developing the mobile strategies for app acquisition, activation & engagement. In addition, Paul’s responsibilities include aligning all of the digital marketing strategies across mobile browsers & apps and driving campaign optimization in the mobile environment. Paul will take the stage on July 28 at Mobile Media Summit Chicago to talk attribution. Before he does, Mobile Media Summit’s Paran Johar caught up with Paul for a quick chat.

Paran: Travel is one of the best use cases in mobile. What type of traffic does Orbitz see on mobile web and app, and what data might be a surprise?

Paul: We don’t typically disclose mobile stats publicly, but we have shared that 34% of Orbitz Worldwide hotel bookings in Q1 2015 came through mobile devices. Orbitz users are definitely adopting and leveraging our mobile experiences across their various devices.

As you mentioned, there are many use cases that warrant travelers downloading the award-winning Orbitz app on their devices. Our apps allow users to search and book hotels, flights and cars while providing in-trip itinerary access as well as alerts for flight delays, baggage claim information and gate changes. While apps are showing great growth, the majority of our mobile traffic still comes through our redesigned mobile websites that leverage responsive design and provide access to hotels, flights, cars and packages.

Like many other eCommerce companies, we see tablet traffic most resemble desktop customer booking characteristics while smartphone browser and apps tend to see more close-in and last minute travel. In fact, the majority of our same day hotel bookings take place via a mobile device. In terms of growth across devices, we have started to see tablet slow while smartphone continues to explode.

What may be most surprising is that for Orbitz, customers are doing more than just window-shopping and booking last minute travel on mobile. Through mobile, we see strong booking volumes across a broad spectrum of products, destinations, price points and advance purchase bands. As a whole, we believe that we have done a good job giving travelers the tools they need to research and book on a mobile device but we know there is still work to be done to give an even better experience.
Paran: At Mobile Media Summit Chicago you’re on a panel talking mobile attribution. Can you give us a preview of your thoughts on making attribution work in the mobile environment?

Paul: The evolution of mobile has broken the marketing attribution models that we have become accustomed to. Users are now bouncing back and forth between smartphone apps, smartphone browsers, tablet apps, tablet browsers, laptops and PCs to research and book travel. Given the importance of proving out marketing ROI, understanding multi-touch attribution across channels and experiences is a requirement.

For marketers, the value of a signed-in or recognized user across experiences is gold. It’s important to partner with your Product team to develop a strong value prop that encourages users to sign in. Sign-in should be messaged prominently across all of your experiences and the process to sign in should be simple and painless. That said, the task of getting all users to sign in can be challenging or even impossible so you may need to find other solutions to supplement your attribution efforts.

There have been some exciting new third-party offerings within the last couple of years that can assist marketers in seeing customer paths to booking and understanding which channels are positively driving performance. If a third-party solution is leveraged, my best advice to marketers in this area is to maintain diligence in whatever solution is pursued. Given that the technology is still developing, the measurement, attribution logic and user links don’t always work as well as more established tools, so it is important to continually monitor your data and trends for consistency.

Paran: What are the things marketers should keep in mind regarding how consumers use mobile web vs. mobile apps?

Paul: First and foremost, users want a consistent experience across all brand touchpoints. The look and feel of your brand between your desktop site, mobile web, and mobile apps should be similar. That may sound obvious but you would be surprised by the number of brands with desktop experiences that look completely different than their mobile web and mobile apps. Additionally, users want the brand to remember their various interactions across devices. As an example, for signed-in Orbitz users, we provide recent search activity for our products across all touchpoints so users can quickly and conveniently access searches. This means that if they do a search on the app, it will appear in recent searches when they go to the desktop or mobile website. These two simple things will increase the frequency of your user’s cross device behavior and make it more likely that you will be able to capture the customer booking.

It is also important for marketers to understand the fundamental differences in how mobile web and mobile app users behave and how this may impact your campaign customer lifetime value (CLV) calculations. App users tend to become your most loyal customers that return directly to your app to transact, while mobile web customers tend to be more transient in their behavior and thus need to be reacquired through paid channels. The fact that there is virtually no reacquisition cost on the repeat bookings made through an app can have a significant impact on your mobile app install (MAI) campaign ROI calculations. So a key takeaway for mobile marketers is when comparing efficiency of MAI campaigns to traditional paid customer acquisition campaigns, be sure to include a complete view of customer lifetime value that includes future cost needed to reacquire a customer. You likely will be surprised at how much better the CLVs of your MAI campaigns look relative to other paid acquisition channels.

TBWA\CHIAT\DAY’s Vaino Leskinen on Storytelling in Mobile Advertising


Vaino Leskinen’s career in mobile spans 16 years, four continents and numerous industry firsts. He created his first mobile campaign in 1998, first mobile marketing platform in 2000, first mobile app in 2002 and a fully functioning mobile banking system in 2005. Last year, Vaino’s teams took home a ton of advertising awards for Adidas Windowshopping and McDonald’s Angry Birds campaigns. Currently based in Los Angeles, Vaino serves as the Global Director of Mobile at TBWA\CHIAT\DAY. Mobile Media Summit CEO/Founder Paran Johar was able to chat with Vaino before his anticipated July 28 panel at Mobile Media Summit Chicago.
Paran: Welcome back to our favorite Finn, Vaino Leskinen. Vaino, Finland is obviously a global center of excellence in mobile. As you are now working in LA, what can you tell us about the differences in approach to mobile marketing in hyper-connected Finland from North America? What have you seen there that we will see here soon?

Vaino:Thank you for inviting me back. It is always a pleasure.

Storytelling has always been and continues to be a challenge for brands in mobile. Stories are the way we make sense of our world. For any brand, stories are also the strongest way to form an emotional connection with its audience. However, scalable mobile ad formats like banners and interstitials have been fairly simple and sometimes downright boring. Pioneers, such as Rovio and Supercell, followed by tens of game studios, have trail-blazed mobile as a narrative technology. Whether it’s been the actual mobile games, fresh in-game advertising formats, or video ads for user acquisition, Finnish studios have been at the forefront of storytelling in mobile for over a decade.
Paran: In Chicago you will join a panel on doing social and mobile correctly. Can you give us a preview of your discussion? Where do we start to make social work on mobile?
Vaino:I think all the usual suspects are important, such as capturing the data and listening. But when the right moment for engagement occurs, the brand needs to have something to say. It needs to be culturally relevant and it needs to have a clear point of view.
Paran: We hear so many organizations say they are mobile first, but how many are actually living up to that statement? How do you know when you are truly mobile first?
Vaino: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I do not believe a brand or its agency should be mobile first. I don’t believe TV or Virtual Reality should come first either.

You guessed it – brands should be story-led.

There are a few simple questions you can use to see if the way you tell your stories is mobile proof. (1) have you built an insight of a mobile moment where your brand’s story has natural attention? (2) Have you figured out a way your audience can turn into users of your story? (3) How can they immerse and engage themselves and how can they play your story? (4) Does your brand’s presence in mobile feel authentic and magical to the user? (5) Are you capturing the analytics that help you improve and improve again?
Paran: Finally, what changes and new developments in mobile will we be talking about next year at Mobile Media Summit Chicago in 2016?
Vaino: We’ll be focusing on the topic “How to advertise in a zero-interface environment”.

Talking Mobile with Intel’s David Veneski

David Veneski spearheads media initiatives for one of the world’s largest brands. As Intel’s Director, North America Integrated Consumer Marketing and Advertising, David has developed industry-leading media strategies, gaining wide recognition for his innovative and unique approach to digital, social and mobile campaigns. Mobile Media Summit Director of Programming Jay Field caught up with David to talk about the growth of mobile and what to expect when he takes the stage at Mobile Media Summit Chicago.
Jay: David, welcome back. At this year’s Mobile Media Summit Chicago, you’ll be reprising a discussion you had at our San Francisco Summit in 2013 with John Durham of Catalyst S+F. Looking back, how have the changes in the past two years matched what you predicted then? What are some surprises in mobile you didn’t see coming?
David: Thank you for the opportunity to join again this year, Jay. Glad to be coming to the Windy City and sharing some time with John and Paran during Mobile Media Summit Chicago. A lot has happened since 2013. One thing that I’ve been saying for years is that the mobile device is our ‘First Screen’. What we’ve seen with the evolution of mobile over the last few years proves that. Not only is it our first screen, for the younger generation (Millennials) it is sometimes their ONLY screen. Imagine a world where you consume every piece of content in your life on a 4-6” screen – everything from music and short form video, to books and images shared through Snapchat & Instagram, to – dare I say – full length TV shows and feature films. Two years ago I don’t think you would have seen such an aggressive shift of content consumption from the ‘horizontal’ screen of Television to the ‘vertical’ screen of your mobile device.

As you can see by the pace of the industry and the innovation around mobile, this is the platform to focus on from a media and marketing perspective. Looking back at what John and I discussed in 2013, it’s remarkable to see how much our brand accomplished in the mobile space up to that point – and we’ve only gotten better since. Intel is built on innovation. We take that very seriously, not just in the products we develop but also how we market them.

Our work in mobile is 4+ years in the making and we’re extremely proud of the programs we’ve built with key media and agency partners. As early as 2011 we realized that smart mobile executions around key passion points (such as music, sports, and entertainment) were critical to us reaching a desirable audience. You could almost say that we were ahead of our time focusing on those passion points as evidenced by how prevalent music, sports and entertainment are in mobile today.

We’re experiencing an acceleration in innovation like none we’ve seen before on a media platform. It’s exciting. I’m glad Intel is invested in, and continuing to be a leader in mobile brand and media executions.
Jay: As you touched on, in 2013 you said that mobile is no longer the 3rd screen, it is the 1st screen – particularly with the 18-24 age group. How have you been able to integrate this insight into Intel’s marketing in 2015?
David: Our audience focus for 2015 is squarely on Millennials in the U.S. The larger media platforms like TV obviously provide air-cover across a range of ages and audience types – but even then we purchase programming that is favorable to our Millennial target.

With regard to mobile (and all of our strategic media buys), we definitely implement the data and insights to identify the right opportunity, for the right target, on the right platform.

We have two jobs this year with our marketing efforts: continue to build the Intel brand while driving demand for Intel-based products. With mobile, we have a unique opportunity to do both through a very personal platform. We are working to customize ad formats for the ‘vertical’ screen. They are often fast, interactive, and predominately video or rich media with a trend toward ‘buy’ buttons that are optimized for mobile to allow our customers the ability to transact immediately.
Jay: Give us a preview of your upcoming talk with John Durham in Chicago, where you’ll be discussing ways to keep mobile media fresh and innovative. How do you build an organization that makes great mobile marketing?
David: John and I are still forming our chat. We’ve done this a few times before and I love John’s perspective on the industry and the opportunity in mobile. I’m sure the discussion will be lively. He’s a great interviewer that does a wonderful job of tailoring a fireside chat to the subject (mobile media and marketing) as well as his partner on stage. I’m really looking forward to sharing some time with him.

Regarding your organization question, I’m a firm believer in collaboration with leaders in the industry. We have great internal talent at Intel that teams well with media partners, agency partners and mobile-specific experts outside of the walls of our buildings. Mobile is still pretty new territory for most brands (we’ve been blessed to be exercising our marketing and media muscle in this space for some time) so I think it’s critical for companies to be open to that outside collaboration with partners that live and breathe this space every day. That said, you also need internal champions that identify trends and have a passion for these emerging media platforms. I’ve got a strong interest in mobile and an affinity for breaking new ground on media platforms that allow for continued innovation. In the U.S. region we’ve had the opportunity to consistently test new media and marketing capabilities in mobile and we’ll continue to do that in 2015, 2016 and beyond.
Jay: What can we expect to see from Intel in the coming year? How will you evolve your efforts to take advantage of wearables, location-based services, the internet of things, and other new tactics and strategies?
David: I mentioned previously that we have two jobs at Intel this year and in 2016: continue to build the Intel brand and drive demand for our products. With that brand building you’ll see a messaging shift that brings the goodness of Intel on the ‘inside’ of your product to be a more clear value proposition and show how we are an enabler of great product experiences on the ‘outside’. We enable so many experiences that people are not generally aware of, beyond being a component in a PC or tablet. Our focus on our core business remains vital – we won’t waver from that. You will also see us embrace all compute platforms that are available to us while growing our footprint into new areas, including wearables and the internet of things. We lead in innovation and we have great history to draw from. I’m excited about what’s ahead of us.

Starcom MediaVest SVP, Director Dan Bruinsma on the Future of Mobile Advertising

At Starcom MediaVest, Dan Bruinsma serves as the head of the Mobile Center of Excellence, where he leads a team focused on building training programs, publishing agency best practices, and consulting across the client roster on a variety of business challenges. Mobile Media Summit CEO & Founder Paran Johar got the chance to catch up with Dan before he joins us as a speaker for Mobile Media Summit Chicago on July 28.
Paran: Thanks for joining us, Dan. Let’s start with some open questions. What are you excited about for mobile in the coming year? What changes do you expect to see?
Dan: I’m excited about the mobile device continuing to entrench itself as the remote control of the consumer’s life. The more that IoT’s becomes real, the more that consumers are going to look for easier ways to control all these connected devices. The smartphone and its well-designed apps are going to be the answer.

I’m also expecting to see more and more advertisers and creative agencies really embracing the right way to build messaging for the mobile ecosystem. We are still somewhere early on the continuum where people are building ads primarily for desktop display and then trying to translate them into mobile environments. The more that advertisers see they need to concept for mobile first, the better the advertising experiences will become in the space. Creative improves, performance improves, media investments climb…it should be a virtuous cycle for mobile media.
Paran: You work at one of the largest media buying companies in the world, so I’m curious to know if clients are really and truly behind mobile as a key part of their marketing mix. Are they finally comfortable with mobile?
Dan: I don’t think there is any doubt that our clients are really and truly behind mobile. That said, there are some real challenges in the space that prevent huge ramps in spend. Prominently among the challenges is the inability to seamlessly take their existing third party ad verification services and point them at their mobile investments. Whether it be vCE, IAS/Moat or other tools that have helped them stay brand safe, in-view, in-target etc. in other digital media, those solutions just are not fully there yet in mobile. So the industry has adopted these solutions to confront the challenges of non-human traffic, viewability, brand safety and the like, and wants to fully bring them to their mobile investments but simply cannot today.

I think one of the other challenges that eComm clients specifically have is with proper attribution in the mobile space. I’m optimistic that new solutions on the ad server side as well as in-house ad tech solutions like RUN (recently acquired by Publicis) will help clients see the cross-device, cookie-less path that frequently robs mobile of proper value and begin ramping investments in the space. Today, those clients who have not invested significantly in in-app measurement, cookie-less solutions and building their own device graphs mapped to CRM are just not seeing what mobile is actually driving in value. As companies like Doubleclick start to natively bring cross-device attribution to their existing stack it will make it easier for clients to see the true value of mobile – and then spend more in mobile with known ROI. Today if they are spending up in mobile, it’s on faith.
Paran: The pace of change in digital, especially mobile, is difficult to keep up with. How do you stay up to speed as an individual and within your teams to make sure you are presenting the right solutions to your clients?
Dan: I think first and foremost you need to be naturally curious and fascinated by the devices themselves. If you have a burden to always have the latest devices and be using them to their fullest, you’ll be out front with the consumers who are early adopters. While I’m not always the first person in the agency to get every new type of wearable device and the like, I’m certainly asking LOTS of questions to those who are about their experiences and trying to put it into some sort of framework where I can see a human experience for a brand.

With respect to ensuring we are bringing the right solutions for our clients I think we have the benefit of the way our agency teams are structured. We don’t just have technologists or just media buyers or just media strategists running point on this. We are working in concert as a team to unearth and evaluate opportunities. If I have this new whiz bang connected appliance I think Kellogg’s should be embracing, that technology opportunity gets married with intimate knowledge of the brand challenge by the Starcom Design specialists to ensure it meets a consumer and client need.
Paran: Finally, what is the best way for digital ad technology vendors to approach you? What will get a second look, and what is ignored?
Dan: Yeah, it’s a good question. I guess first I would say that partners need to be self-aware. If you are an ad network of some kind or another you should recognize that you are in a crowded space and you should lead with the thing you think is most differentiated. In order to break through the inbox and get a meeting, I’d lead with the thing that is unique about what your company does. There are just too many companies out there in the space who are actually vaporware and just a sales front end for someone else’s back end.

Secondly, I’ll say that I’m a huge fan of simple presentations that have you whipping out your own device to see the product live. If something can be presented ‘in the wild’ vs. on a PowerPoint slide I give it a lot more credit. Anyone can put together a PPT slide that says they have a proprietary this or a best in class that…rather, let’s look at it together. If it’s an ad experience, where is it live right now? If it’s powerful targeting technology, let’s pull up the UI and build a campaign right now. I’m really weary of having to feign interest for the first part of a meeting or call before the suspicions I’m riddled with start seeping out. Try to set the table from the start with something material that engenders trust, now you’ve got me leaning forward.

Mobile Marketing’s MVP

Mobile is a marketing game changer, bringing brands closer to consumers than ever before. In this new advertising game, mobile data has proven to be the perennial MVP. The data is endless. What to do with it is a different story.

Leading national brands reveal how they’re using mobile data to interact with their audience in a whole new way—only at Mobile Media Summit Chicago.



  • Bill Beck, Senior Director, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana Brands & Channel Marketing, Whirlpool
  • Yanyan Ji, Global Brand Director, Qualcomm
  • Rich Goldsmith, Director, Digital & Social Media, Mike’s Hard Lemonade



Check out the full agenda and join us for this session and much more on July 28 in Chicago.

Just Released: MMS Chicago Agenda


The agenda for Mobile Media Summit Chicago just went live and we can’t wait for you to check it out!

We’ve got an awesome schedule lined up and more speaker announcements coming soon, including a huge keynote you won’t want to miss. Here’s a look at just a few of the sessions you can expect when you join us on July 28:


Pandora and Mobile
Get mobile insights from the viewpoint of one of the world’s most downloaded apps.

Creativity and the Mobile Future
Some of the most innovative creative technologists share how to make great creative in mobile.

Street Level Marketing: Reaching Consumers on Location
Learn how marketers are using location technology to find and reach consumers where they are.

Likes, Retweets, Pins, and Snaps: Making Social Work in Mobile
Get the checklist for marketers who want to master social media and mobile.

Check out the full agenda.