Thoughts On Mobile World Congress

A hugely busy week in Barcelona for Swrve!

In amongst the announcements and the sheer scale of the exhibition space - to say nothing of the vast numbers of sessions - it's easy to forget that the real business of an event like MWC is really in the meetings and conversations with potential and existing customers, partners, analysts - and anyone else who happens to wander by!

I must have met dozens (and dozens) of mobile enthusiasts spanning everything from the biggest global brands you can imagine to one-person mobile start-ups. And although each has different experiences, a couple of things became clear:

  • This stuff is real. Of course there's plenty of mobile only businesses out there. But I heard major established retailers tell me that up to 80% of their online revenue was delivered from mobile or smart devices. That's a huge shift - in the space of only five years. It's implications for almost every organization are huge.
  • The small(er) screen of mobile creates challenges around user experience. A lot of the conversations I had revolved around the need to create really intuitive mobile experiences within that limitation. It's an ongoing challenge, involving not only classic 'ease-of-use' considerations but also questions about what to show, to whom, and when. Enter A/B testing!
  • Location is a major game changer. Whether delivering 'pure mobile' experiences based on location, or integrating with iBeacons in-store, there's a lot of excitement about how that capability is going to play out.
  • Omni-channel is an ongoing desire. Sure, it makes life harder for vendors, but I was hugely excited to see our open platform approach really resonate with the people I spoke to. In multi-channel businesses, being able to share data in real time is going to be a real killer-app for marketing automation solutions. In many cases those organizations are already well aware of what's required and actively building.

All in all - an exciting week. And the tapas wasn't bad too!