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MMA Kickoff in Germany – Why Mobile Is As Important As Ever In The Marketing Industry.

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), based in New York, is a non-profit trade association following the mission to “accelerate the transformation and innovation of marketing through mobile, driving business growth with closer and stronger consumer engagement” ( On September 22, the MMA launched its German Chapter in Berlin, thanks to the founding companies adsquare, Coca-Cola, Facebook, Google, SAP XM, Smaato, Telefónica and Unilever (read the press announcement here). But why now? And why Germany?

According to recent research from emarketer, Germany is the 5th largest market in the world, which represents a market full of opportunities. Peggy Anne Salz, Chief Content Officer at MMA, even considers it “Mobile Marketing Power House”.

Mobile Marketing Redefined

In order to facilitate greater understanding and education around how brands and marketers can successfully use mobile marketing, the MMA Germany has organized a program of thought leadership events and seminars. On Oct. 27, the MMA kicked-off its first event in Berlin with the topic: Mobile Marketing Redefined.

Redefined…what does “redefined” stand for? Mark Wächter, Mobile Strategy Consultant at and Chair of the MMA Germany, explained that for him the objective of this first event was about how marketing and mobile marketing redefined itself over time. In earlier days, we understood mobile marketing as placing banners on mobile websites or apps. However, it is so much more!

“I’d rather give up, like, a kidney than my phone”

Peggy Anne Salz started off with her keynote about mobile as the great connector. We are all aware of the current shift to the mobile world. We might even say that we are mobile, as many of us are addicted to our mobile devices as part of our daily routine. We literally depend on them. Peggy mentioned a great statement which was highly acknowledged by the audience and followed by some silent giggling: “I’d rather give up, like, a kidney than my phone”. That’s definitely food for thought…

Mobile is the new normal, it is basically “eating the world”. Due to this development, it is essential for marketers to hop on the train and start driving mobile marketing. Another interesting point in Peggy’s keynote was the fact that mobile removes friction from our worlds and “enables commerce at the point of inspiration”. That tells us: mobile is at the intersection of everything. It is about understanding our customers, thanks to all the data we have about them, and to give them exactly what they need, when and where they need it.

A perfect example was the adaptive marketing campaign from Neutrogena. The Smartphone measured the temperature outside and once it decreased below 10 degrees Celsius, you received a recommendation for winter hand cream to prevent your hands from dry skin.

Engaging and Connecting with the Audience

The audience learned from Coca-Cola how important it was to make products smart, interactive and personalized at scale. Some even discussed the fact that consumers will digitally interact with products and their smartphones as natural as they drink coffee. Interesting point of view, isn’t it?

Can you image another factor influencing our emotional perception of marketing? Yes, it’s music! We learned from Richard Harless (Country Manager for Germany at Shazam) how music is connected to our emotions and how brands can use this to reach our innermost desires. You may have recognized the small Shazam icon in the recent Magnum TV spot. If you start the Shazam app on your mobile device you are forwarded to a quiz asking for some personal questions to “release the beast” you actually are! Smart step, as Magnum collects personal data about their customers to further personalize their marketing accordingly.

Who doesn’t like to drive a fast car? Ever thought about speed as a criteria for mobile marketing? Thomas Wlazik, Industry Head Comparison at Google Germany brought this up to our minds: “Speed is an element constantly underestimated. If loading takes more than 3 seconds users bounce off your site.” As consequence, you don’t even get the chance to engage with your customers.

A great tool to engage with your audience visually is Instagram. Nadine Neubauer (Brand Development Lead at Instagram) explained what Instagram was all about and why brands need to start getting active – visually.

Instagram is about expressing yourself, sharing big and small moments. It’s about connecting with people who share your passions. Why not use this channel and share your products and stories as a brand? 9 million people are using this platform in Germany on a monthly basis – 300 million globally per day. Sounds like a huge community and a lot of great opportunities…

Mobile Programmatic – Welcome to the Machine Zone!

One of the highlights of the evening was a great Panel Discussion about “Mobile Programmatic - Welcome to the Machine Zone!” Susanne Thompson (Senior Director of Global Marketing, Smaato), René Bellack (Lead Advertiser Development, SAP XM), Simon Dean (Head of Media Services, Telefónica Germany) and Thomas Wlazik (Industry Head Comparison, Google Germany) shared their opinions and ideas for further development of mobile programmatic and mobile marketing.

Simon Dean explained it was more about Moment Marketing: “We need to connect to the right customer at the right time and location”. Doesn’t sound like a new intention - so far. The touchpoints on our consumers’ journey are becoming more and more complex – automation is needed. This automation is represented by programmatic media buying, which brought a completely new view to mobile marketing. According to emarketer, 42% of mobile ad spend in Germany is programmatic. Therefore, the necessity of a neutral platform is obvious. As René from SAP XM put it: “Machines are coming. Programmatic advertising will become standard.”

Most of the consumer’s interaction is taking place on mobile devices. A new advertising format, videos or vertical videos, is rising so what about mobile video advertising? Most YouTube views are already generated on mobile devices – most of all by the younger generation. Companies need to cope with this switch in consumer behavior and find ways to integrate videos in advertising.

Last but not least, Susanne Thompson mentioned that today was the tipping point where mobile was predominant. The biggest risk of the future was accordingly that brands are not making enough of mobile marketing. Maybe, mobile devices will vanish as ultra-connectivity is paving its way to our present lives. René went as far to say: “Soon, we’ll get rid of multiple mobile devices. Wearables, eye or face recognition, etc. will be the next standards to identify us as individuals.”

For now, we need to embrace the new medium, as it is mainstream. So let’s all have fun in trying some new things out and set the marketing world on fire with mobile!

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Working student for content marketing and social media

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