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Day 2 from Mobility LIVE! Conference in Midtown Atlanta

Michael Zeto of AT&T and former Founder and CEO of Proximus Mobility (sold) kicking things off for Mobility LIVE! Day 2’s keynote!
Day 2 from the Mobility LIVE! conference in Midtown was a full-day affair chock-full of some crazy interesting, provocative speakers. (I was told I should use more “interesting” language to elicit laughs and be more memorable. So for you reading this, you know who you are… you’re welcome.)

Yesterday’s post for Day 1 was much longer than I wanted to type, but it happened, and now I’m afraid of this post because… well, like I said, it’s a full-day rather than the half-day of yesterday. Let’s cut to the chase, that’s all you want to read anyways!

Okay, so here we go -- Day 2 Highlights:

Keynote spearheaded by Michael Zeto of AT&T (former CEO of Proximus Mobility -- acquired in 2013). Zeto touched on the many strengths of Atlanta as the central hub of the growth and evolution of Mobility.
  • Global data traffic to grow 13x in 2017 from today. That’s an outrageous number, but I’m not arguing
  • Georgia was ranked No. 5 in “app intensity” by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). App intensity is the number of app economy jobs compared to the overall jobs in the state
  • Razorfish, the marketing/ digital advertising/ etc. agency, is spearheading the Atlanta Pulse initiative to bring together all the happenings around Atlanta into a common platform. Gone are the days (to come anyways) of searching Facebook for what friends are recommending, Yelp! for restaurants, etc.
  • 38% of 2-year-olds have operated a mobile device; 13-years-old… the average age of the first phone (see Common Sense Media)

David Christopher, CMO of AT&T Mobility, shared some of the Top 5 trends he and the company sees during the keynote.
  • Sees mobility in two lights -- Leadership & Innovation and Scale (able to capture opportunity now)
  • Cites Forbes’ 2014 ranking of Atlanta as the number 3 best city for young entrepreneurs (see Forbes)
  • Five main trends: Relationship marketing, video, smarter smartphone, wearables, education
  • For Relationship Marketing, the key is marketing at SCALE! That is, how are organizations reaching consumers on a relevant, personable context?
  • Customers believe word-of-mouth over advertising to the tune of 92%!
  • Use advanced analytics to engage audiences
  • David cited Atlanta-based InsightPool as a key player in Relationship Marketing saying, “Delivering sincerity at scale”
  • Video-wise, content should be available anytime, anywhere. AT&T obviously plays a significant role in this with its large LTE network (and beyond)
  • For wearables, the trouble is getting people to actually want to wear it. David cites 75% of people know of wearables, but only 9% want to wear it
  • Need to blend high tech with high fashion. enter: Atlanta-based Memi - smart jewelry “made for and by women”
  • Smarter smartphones really involves making the smartphone the keystone to everyday life including, but not limited to: the connected home, car, TV, music, health, etc.
  • David talked about FIXD, a startup by several Georgia Tech grads who have introduced a way to plug a dongle to the car’s OBD port that sends data to your smartphone to share information including if you have a warning light -- what’s that mean? What’s the impact if you ignore? What’s the potential repair estimate? etc.
  • On the education front, David sees a gap to fill in the next generation of STEM leaders
  • David showcases Great Parents Academy who works hard to develop education apps that are engaging for kids

Jeff Mitchell, Vice President of Sales of AirWatch got some airtime to share a couple tidbits, too.
  • Today, we’re in the “Age of the Customer” -- this was a prevalent theme throughout the conference where the Customers (users in most cases) have the power to select on-demand what they want to engage in
  • Shift in focus to “How to win in the age of the Customer?”
  • There’s also a shift from “system of record” to “system of engagement”. For this, look no further than Uber which disrupted one of the oldest, entrenched industries
  • Also, look at how to bring social into the enterprise to engage employees (B2E -- Business to Employees)

“Prove It: Mobile Media Drives Measurable Actions” session led by Millennial Media’s VP of Sales, Alia Lamborghini (side note: what an incredible last name…)
  • Panel included: Troy Brown of MSL Group (a PR agency) who is bringing app development (and really acumen) to the agency; Sanarr McLaughlin is the Manager of Interactive Marketing for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG); Chris Bigda of The Coca-Cola Company over Connections Planning and Investments; Lisa Cantrell of Turner Broadcasting serving as the Director of Digital Strategy and Activations; and Erin Arnett, an Account Director of Yahoo!
  • For Chris, “connections planning” includes the paid/ owned media
  • Lisa must consider the sizeable and highly variable audience to which Turner broadcasts to with channels including CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, etc.
  • Per Alia, 86% of time spent on mobile is in-app vs. internet (see Forbes)
  • There’s a growing interest and attention in anonymous content. Think: Snapchat (kind of), [Atlanta’s own] Yik Yak, etc.
  • The Coca-Cola Company doesn’t store so much consumer data (except for owned data through programs like Coke Rewards). Instead, the Company partners with other companies for more data (like agencies, McDonald’s, etc.)
  • Mobile marketing is more “finite” by being a lot easier to measure than TV (conversions, impressions, etc.). There’s a better sense of Return on Engagement
  • One area of opportunity is the growing fragmentation of screen sizes including this “phatblet” phenomenon whereby many companies are designing mobile web-responsive sites. However, their digital ads are not properly formatted

“Think Outside the Bricks and Mortar: Understanding How Mobile is Moving Retailers” session led by Mike Neumeier, Principal of the Arketi Group (B2B marketing/ PR agency)
  • Panel included: David Wilkinson, VP of Global Channel Sales for NCR; Jeffrey Smith, the COO of PeterBrooke Chocolatier; David Kaiser of Great American Cookies as a Vice President; and Brooks Robinson, Co-Founder and CEO of Atlanta’s Springbot
  • First, what a SWEET group of panelists! (See what I did there? Well, they said it before me…)
  • For Wilkinson, he’s focused on the omni-channel experience. Mobile is really an evolution of the physical store front
  • Per Wilkinson, the “consumer driving the experience” -- not different from the general theme of the conference
  • Jeffrey noted how his company’s many stores were moving towards mobile Point-of-Sale to better engage the Customer right as he/ she walks into the store. In fact, he was touting NCR as his POS of choice with Silver to leverage iPads
  • There’s a shift in the mentality and even the demographic of the employee behind the retailer when utilizing a mobile POS including getting out from behind the counter which used to be a natural barrier that isolated the cashier from the customer
  • 95% of PeterBrooke customers are women on the regular. Irregular probably being around Valentine’s Day or when men get in trouble with their significant others…
  • The demographic for PeterBrooke is also a little older where some consumers still don’t have smartphones. So for the Company, the phone number is key as an identifier (reminds me of WhatsApp)
  • For Kaiser and Great American Cookies, they have 5 different brands (including the cookie cake company we all know and love (okay, me especially), Marble Slab Creamery, etc.)
  • Kaiser and Company are looking at mobile as a means to have a strong online order platform
  • Like PeterBrooke, Great American Cookies is looking at NCR for Silver as their POS of choice. I’m wondering now if this was all a set-up that the two retailers are touting a fellow panel member’s new product… Hmm…
  • The cost and set-up of using a mobile POS is minimal with incredible benefits including the ability to engage the EMPLOYEES through learning management. Also, these POS systems enable better customer experiences by connecting loyalty programs
  • Great American Cookies noticed 60% of visitors a couple years ago to the mobile site also signed up for their loyalty program (that’s a great attach rate…)
  • For Springbot (very cool company that I’ve heard a lot about in the Atlanta startup scene), they can see data for hundreds of stores. They’ve noticed big shifts of mobile traffic from 19 to 28% over the last year
  • Like the earlier panel “Prove It”, Brooks sees a lot of merchants forgetting to mind the message and formats of their email marketing campaigns. If emails aren’t formatted properly for the mobile device, merchants aren’t going to reach customers (who can read that??!)
  • Speed of the site from an infrastructure perspective is a growing critical element… one that even Google’s ranking system takes into account
  • Springbot sends nightly email with recommendations to the customer (the retailer) on improvements -- go beyond just dashboards and reports by actually suggesting
  • David Kaiser is a HUGE advocate for a simple box that can aggregate and consolidate data across multiple POS systems. For Great American Cookies’ franchises, they can sit on different POS’s… getting meaningful data can be a challenge
  • A lot of excitement and interest in Apple Pay as well as Apple Passbook as means to not only pay via mobile to engage new, younger audiences, but also the ability to replace merchant-specific apps. Most consumers really don’t want to download and install new apps
  • Merchant-specific apps really have to add a lot of value in order to get engagement
Great. I just wrote another lengthy post… I didn’t even attend the last two session rounds, either. This was more or less an extrapolation of my notes I took. Very interesting insights, and I’ll need a few days (probably a week for next week’s blog post since I just wrote two this week for this) to digest and share my own personal thoughts.

Overall, really great event, and I’m excited it’s mobilizing Atlanta’s influential companies to gather and share. I attended the event for some additional inspiration in addition to satiate my technological interest. I’m looking forward to the event’s growth next year with perhaps some additional, event-friendly venues (you should use local startup Gather to help, Metro Atlanta Chamber!) as well as integrating some more startup companies -- mostly early-stage as the there were a number of advanced startups present. Adding in some foreign companies (beyond Georgian borders) will be good, too.

Also, event somewhat aside, it’s evident Atlanta is indeed sitting on the cutting edge and as a central hub for the mobile (r-)evolution. It’s exciting to hear all the stats beyond shown up on the projectors for all the great things Atlanta is being known for as well as the growth of the industry and the opportunities that abound for this great city. Heck, just look around at all the recruiting companies in attendance. Also, shout out to my under grad alma mater The Georgia Institute of Technology for getting all sorts of recognition and a source for a lot of the innovation happening in mobile. You could really see and hear and really witness how Georgia Tech is a major catalyst for the ecosystem. It’s all great news for not just Atlanta and the state of Georgia, but also for the country and the world.

To next year’s Mobility LIVE! conference! See you there.

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