2mobileA focus on last week’s Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Forum Singapore 2017 has been how mobile industry players can harness the power of machine learning to transform complex data points into a tool for effective targeting and measurement. A wide range of topics, from programmatic and multi-touch attribution to vertical video and retargeting campaigns, have been discussed on stage by more than 20 industry leaders.

“As we move forward, data insights are going to be very powerful, especially on mobile. Data like context, location, or time of day to target consumers. No other media but mobile can give you that and our next step is to channel this data towards building mobile as a reliable platform with the same accountability as any other platform,” said Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director of the MMA in Asia Pacific (APAC).

Breathing new life into mobile

Hailing multi-touch attribution as the holy grail of marketing measurement, Rohit Dadwal added that it will pave the way for agile marketing by improving transparency and verification of data, standardizing terms and performance metrics, while linking advertising data from many touchpoints – effectively resolving key challenges currently faced by mobile marketers.

He explained further that achieving multi-touch attribution is difficult, as it requires advanced analytics of user level data to allocate proportional credit across various marketing touchpoints. However, as big data increasingly comes into focus, so would the development of multi-touch attribution and machine learning.

Echoing Dadwal, Sapna Chadha, Head of Marketing, Google India and Southeast Asia, said: “We’ll soon be seeing a massive explosion of data, from 16 ZB today to 163 ZB by 2025.” She called for industry players to channel user data into machines, to allow them to develop the discretion and intelligence needed to optimize outreaching and advertising. From personalizing advertisements at scale to automating bidding processes, machine learning is revolutionizing digital advertising, helping marketers achieve more in scale, speed and efficiency.

Amidst rapidly declining attention spans, strategic targeting has become all the more important, the speakers generally agreed on, be it through innovative technology or contextual storytelling.

“If you can’t hook consumers within two or three seconds, you might as well not do it at all,” said Richa Goswami, Head of Digital and Innovation, APAC, Johnson & Johnson, calling for marketers to marry content and context to tell compelling stories on relevant platforms.  Jayesh Easwaramony, VP and GM, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, InMobi, confirmed that, saying: “The first 15 seconds of a video count in driving brand recall. If you’re still doing 30-second pre-roll ads, you’re doing it wrong.”

Creative solutions to tackle other roadblocks in targeting, such as ad-blocking and declining app downloads, were also discussed at the Forum, as well as the Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) or buffer-free, immersive and meaningful user experiences in general.

Paving the way for mobile

Anyway, what has become clear is the fact that the data explosion is creating new questions and complex challenges for the industry, which is why leaders across various industries call for new data-driven metrics that are responsible, accountable, and reliable, as they are critical in informing mobile spend, driving programmatic adoption, and boosting trust in the industry.

Bryan Kim, APAC Managing Director, TUNE, emphasized, for instance, that cross-channel measurement and attribution is a top priority among 57.1% of marketers in 2017. Still, as Joe Nguyen, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, comScore, Inc., revealed in his presentation, data is currently missing in the use of programmatic in APAC and the industry needs more data and better metrics that can inform programmatic buys in delivering desired return on investment.

Rohit Dadwal harked back to the need for reliable measurement in his closing speech, saying: “To truly position mobile as a formidable platform equaling TV, we must make it attributable. Businesses need to know the exact impact on their ROI and sales, or they wouldn’t be able to justify the hefty investment they have made into this tiny device.”

Seems there is still a long way to go regarding mobile analytics and attribution, which will probably continue to be the main topics of MMA’s Forum 2018.

By MediaBUZZ