In A Mobile-First World, Smartphones And Smartwatches Are A Dynamic Duo

Buzz Lightyear to the rescue — on the smartwatch? IAB conference insights on mobile in the age of connectivity, from Disney World and beyond.

It took a Disney World trip to get Jeff Malmad, Mindshare’s head of Mobile and Life+, thinking about “adaptive mobility.”

In line for an interactive Buzz Lightyear ride with his son — riders attempt to hit targets with Lightyear lasers — Malmad was surprised to receive a notification on his smartwatch. When he swiped on his phone, he found an article full of pointers about how to win the laser-target game on the ride. In the end, Malmad and his son scored over 100,000 points more than anyone else, and Malmad had an epiphany about the nature of mobile in 2015.

“It was highly targeted, relevant content, and I got it before I even knew I needed it,” Malmad said. “I’m the ‘mobile guy,’ and it was something contextual that even I didn’t expect. That was an ‘ah-ha’ moment for me.”

Malmad’s morning presentation at IAB’s Mobile Marketplace conference focused on the need for such relevant content — delivered in a way that responds to a new world of mobile that includes the rise of connectivity.

A Dynamic, Connected Duo

“We’re in the third wave of digital advertising: Adaptive mobility,” Malmad said, meaning that marketers must adapt content to be delivered to consumers across all kinds of devices at specific times.

“We’re a mobile-first society,” he continued. “If you’re not mobile-first as a brand, you’re failing. That’s the first place that [new] generations are touching your brand. [But] it’s time to refine that content through location, sensor, and context. And data is the glue holding it all together.”

Essentially, Malmad’s Disney story is more than just an amusing anecdote. It’s a larger lesson about the way that consumers like their connected devices to interact with their smartphones — that is, to deliver information that is relevant and important in a key moment.

“We always say that the smartphone is the ultimate wearable,” Malmad said. “But if the smartphone is Batman, the smartwatch is Robin.”

As such, Malmad urged marketers to think about how connected devices supplement and engage with the ubiquitous smartphone — they don’t replace it — and how to create content that will make consumers actively want to interact across these devices.

The Age of Adaptivity

Malmad’s ultimate question was this: How do we take this age of “adaptive mobility” into a content perspective and make it applicable for brands in today’s world? His answer was to provide three “challenges” for marketers that he believed could help them succeed.

  • Challenge: Use location. “If you’re not already using location in your ad spend, you need to. If you want to talk about driving in-store traffic, it works,” Malmad said. He provided an example of a brand that Mindshare had recently led to a 41 percent increase in in-store traffic simply by giving a mobile campaign a location overlay. “You’ve heard it before, but we need to be able to push the right message to the right consumer at the right place.”
  • Challenge: Make it relevant. No interruptions. No one is going to want to look at their smartwatch for something that isn’t completely relevant and helpful to the moment that they’re in. Provide information before consumers even know that they’re looking for it — context is huge.
  • Challenge: Leverage wearables and smartphones, and bring them together. The two can, and should, work together. What if a connected car could send a consumer a push notification on their watch as they walked back to their parking space, reminding them that they needed to stop on the way home to get gas? The sky, Malmad stressed, truly can be the limit.
About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.