Mobile World Congress
Truth | Insights

EverythingYouNeedToKnowAboutMobileWorldCongress

photo of Christopher Davies Christopher Davies 05 March, 2018

For the seventh consecutive year, McCann Worldgroup hosted an exclusive event to enhance our clients’ participation at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. MWG Europe organized the client experience, which was made up of over 100 marketing leaders to hear some of the world’s leading brands and visionaries reveal what it takes to succeed in the Mobile era, a time of unprecedented speed and scale for brands and businesses. Agency leadership came from 16 markets including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Romania, Singapore, Spain, UAE, UK and USA.

Guests in attendance were present from over 30 client brands ranging from ALDI, Barcelo hotels, Coca-Cola, eBay, IKEA, L’Oréal, LATAM, Lotto Bayem, Mastercard, Nestlé, Nestlé Purina, Novartis, Pfizer and Whirlpool.

“We were delighted that so many clients attended from so many markets. Fundamentally we must provide not only creative talent but also real business value for clients, which our Theatre event and Tech Safaris together really deliver. This is the first year we have led this from Europe and we’ve had great feedback from clients so far.” said Pablo Walker, President, McCann Worldgroup Europe.

Heroes of the Mobile Age

This year’s theme was titled ‘Heroes of the Mobile Age.’ Setting the context for the theme and the reason for choosing it, Harjot Singh said, “Certain conditions have to exist to create heroes. They are a result of their environment and their actions. They are as much a result of what they do and how they think. But more importantly how they inspire you to think, dream, imagine and create.” He added, “The mobile age has created an environment with unprecedented opportunity – of speed, scale, creativity and commercial impact; for brands to tap into.”

Key insights

Thirteen guest speakers provided unique points of view from their industry. Here are just a few: “Mobile is a way we can feel closer to our consumers. It’s the best channel to personalize messages and it’s a huge opportunity to build a brand experience and get closer to customer needs,” said Elena Alti, Head of Digital Marketing at Santander.

Mobile has already had a massive impact on people’s lives and it has transformed the way brands talk to them every day. But the opportunity for more mobile disruption continues. How to maximize this opportunity and become a hero of the mobile age, underpinned the theatre session.

Putting the consumer at the centre of mobile innovation is key according to Tinder’s Chief Product Officer, Brian Norgard: “At Tinder, we worship the customer, we work backwards to what their needs are. We essentially built an interface on top of that need. All our features are pragmatic and simple.” Monika Schulze, Global Head of Digital at Zurich also believes being human-first is vital, she said: “Love technology but don’t forget emotions.”

There is no better time to innovate in the mobile age and Facebook’s Head of Messenger Business, Stefanos Loukakos believes “thinking consumer first is a good place to start. One example of how we look at building for the consumer is we understand that people are on Messenger to create connections with people and businesses they care about. This knowledge helps us to guide businesses to create interactions that build connections effectively and ultimately drive outcomes that benefit consumers and businesses alike.”

Maximilian Backhaus, CMO at HelloFresh spoke about how their success began when they identified and solved a consumer problem and described the role technology plays. “Five years ago we spotted there was little innovation in the way you shop and prepare your meals at home. We found a way to change that at Hello Fresh and we empower our customers to have a delicious achievement in the kitchen every night. And we use tech where it makes sense to get to the best result.”

Max Amordeluso, EU lead Evangelist, Amazon Alexa believes every the opportunity for brands is not only through mobile, but through voice: “We’ve seen internet, we’ve seen mobile. We’re living beyond the mobile age, we are in voice age. It is something that compliments mobile. It’s an augmented way of getting info to and from machines. The opportunity is here and now”.

The rapid age we’re living in forces brands to have a more mobile mind-set and “gets you a quicker way to build and implement proposals” according to Alti. “I want a brand to help me in my everyday life – that’s the mobile way of behaving. To be fast and to respond in a personal way is key, but, to be useful, you must give them something they need at the right time, being simple, personal and fair.