Welcome to another edition of Mobile Insights with InMobi! This is our new Q&A series, where we sit down with leading mobile marketing and in-app advertising experts to get their take on the current state of the world.
For this interview, I sat down with Rajat Wanchoo,InMobi's Global Head for Channel Partnerships and Enterprise GTM, to discuss how chief marketing officers and other marketing leaders are navigating the current situation. In this 20-minute conversation, we talked about why a mobile-first strategy is key even with consumers stuck at home, why it’s not too late to begin the journey towards digital transformation and how businesses that develop a pandemic-proof business that leads to future success. Tune in today to hear the full conversation!
Top Quotes and Insights from Rajat
Among CMOs, there’s been a “drastic realization that mobile is the key to the kingdom of connected world.”
“The CMOs who had a mobile-first strategy under their belt are staying afloat in this pandemic, whereas the other CMOs for whom mobile was an afterthought, we see those businesses are really struggling.”
- “If you take demand-delayed category of businesses (which are the fixed-cost heavy businesses like retail, auto, telco, fashion, OEMs), we saw two kinds of CMO conversations here in past few months:
First were those CMOs that already spent the last 4-6 years working with their digital agencies building a digital-first and a mobile-first business. And we can identify these CMOs by looking at the kind of work they are opening in front of us. For example, the way they have converged their MarTech and Ad Tech stacks, championed cross-device targeting, their mobile-first user intelligence platforms, software-defined infrastructure (optimized for mobile traffic), just brilliant - and most of these CMOs have survived because they were able to move their business from physical to mobile during COVID and get some oxygen back.
But the second category of CMOs were those who were mainly undertaking incremental innovation of their legacy digital infrastructure and never paid full attention to building mobile-first outreach. You see those CMOs under a lot of stress, and their businesses almost nearing a shutdown.
So bottom line is, this pandemic has brutally exposed the CMOs and CEOs who were actually building a digital-first and a mobile-first business versus those who were just brokering via third-party agencies and escaping the do-it-yourself rigor.”
- "Two categories of response strategies are emerging from the CDOs (chief digital officers). First are those CDOs who have been sitting on pretty large chunks of data on their consumers, audience personas, purchase habits, location, etc., but were not fully exploiting these assets to work for their core business. These CDOs are now aggressively asking our SI partners for deploying a soup-to-nuts monetization stack immediately. I think it's more like a SOS strategy rather a game plan, but this will become the status quo for 3-4 years.
But the second kind of response strategy is pretty interesting. These are those CMOs who were a bit ahead in the club. They had rich omni-channel consumer data, intelligent CDP platforms and also a robust digital-first strategy in place to reach and transact with customers. Now, these specific CMOs are asking us how they can upgrade their current version of digital platforms, which were desktop-first, cookie-first platforms, to properly perform in the shelter-at-home market, which is primarily mobile-first and CTV-first market, and increasingly a cookieless world.
So strong is this frenzy around making mobile the first channel, that some of the large banks we met recently, have started separate bank divisions that exists only on a mobile phone. With a totally separate logo branding and online ad tech platform. Same for insurance providers and also media giants.
It's an exciting time for players like us who were built on mobile first ethos."
- “People are sitting at home. Mobile is the only channel that works like nothing else. And it's deterministic, cookie-free and always-on. Beat that using desktop or CTV.
Interestingly, even the entertainment players, the OTT and streaming companies who have benefitted from the COVID home-stay, we were told, are having a tough time because there's suddenly a deluge of these OTT, social and gaming apps in front of you and premium OTT (SVOD/AVOD) brands are struggling to get more share of the consumer’s prime time, so I think private marketplaces will start taking more center stage."
- "Mobile is the only screen that today seamlessly extends what you are transacting on a desktop or what you're streaming on a CTV or tagging on social, or now with 5G and IoT, whatever you will see on a connected car dashboard or on your connected fridge screen, your mobile knows that and sees that. Mobile knows your identity, location, what you're watching, your real-time cravings, purchases, searches. I think mobile is the only moment of truth right there in your pocket, which brands have learned during this COVID and exploring aggressively with us."
- “I think very specifically, even if you look at the FMCG, Insurance or high-end fashion brands, for whom mobile was just a channel to display their product and drive branding. They are now convinced about mobile as a core performance and distribution channel."
- "InMobi, along with our SI partners, is working on several multi-system requirements for these CMOs, who are asking SIs everything from building their mobile-first architecture, to modernizing their underlying CDP assets, enriching their device graphs with our telco and mobile signals, and relooking at their retargeting strategy beyond the walled gardens in open-garden cross-device environment."
- “CMOs are increasingly wearing a chief digital officer hat more and more now."
- “So think traditional four P's of marketing. Those four P’s are being completely re-thought in mobile-first world.”
- “Most importantly a big undercurrent for Ad Tech is coming via 5G, as the world will be extremely different for CMOs to execute it. In 4G there are only 7 billion mobile phones globally, and brands can't even fully harness that. With 5G we will have 140 billion connected devices online, each throwing data, user signals, location, real-time purchases, preferences, transactions into your CDP. Can you manage that in that realm? The possibility for your brand to engage with the consumer in 5G is enormous, but your brand must think those possibilities must think of credibility.”
- “Mobile is the only key that can continue a user journey across OOH, CTV, Desktop, in-app, your connected home devices seamlessly. You see all those things converging in mobile, so if you don't explore mobile from a performance perspective, you're losing a major hook.“
- “We are in a pandemic situation where we have been forced to rethink everything. I think we must use this opportunity to open and embrace technologies and to bring more standardization around us, and be more compassionate and close to our consumers.”
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About the Author/Interviewer
Matthew Kaplan has over a decade of digital marketing experience, working to support the content goals of the world’s biggest B2B and B2C brands. He is a passionate app user and evangelist, working to support diverse marketing campaigns across devices.