Acceleration 2016 Recap: Why Mobile Is Different

Spotify’s Dimitar Dzharov, Airbnb’s Dmitry Stavitsky, and Mike Molinet from Branch tell us how to go all in with mobile.

By: Jessica Lindsay, Digital Marketing Manager

If there was ever any doubt, the speakers at last week’s Acceleration conference made it clear why desktop solutions typically fail at mobile jobs. As Jonah Goodhart, Co-Founder & CEO of Moat, put it: “Mobile is not necessarily better but it requires building environments that are different and fit for the purpose of mobile.” We’ve compiled a list of highlights from some of our conference panelists below.

Mobile is Lean-Forward. Nick Johnson, Senior Vice President of Digital Ad Sales Strategy at Turner, explained that when Turner creates content for CNN’s app, it needs to be “lean-forward” content as opposed to “lean back” content designed for TV viewing. For that reason, on Cartoon Network’s mobile apps it’s all about games, and there’s hardly any linear content at all.

Mobile is a Communications Channel. Online Marketing and Technology Lead at Airbnb, Dmitry Stavitsky, noted that while desktop is still widely used for guests researching places to stay, mobile is the preferred channel for hosts because it encourages them to respond more promptly to communications from guests, which creates a better guest experience (regardless of which channel the guest is messaging from).

Mobile is Location-Specific. Several speakers noted that mobile presented location specific opportunities. Foursquare President Steven Rosenblatt even argued “the atomic unit of mobile is location.” Airbnb’s Stavitsky and Anna Zeng from Starwood Preferred Guest echoed these remarks, noting that mobile is really the only option for reaching travelers.

President of Foursquare, Steven Rosenblatt explains the “atomic unit of mobile.”

Mobile is Ubiquitous. Dimitar Dzharov, a former Performance Marketing Lead at Spotify, described how mobile created “net new” engagement opportunities as a result of its ubiquity. If you have Spotify premium, for example, you can integrate with the Nike+ iOS app. When you walk into a Starbucks, you can also discover what songs are playing, listen to Starbucks music everywhere they go, and save “Starbucks songs” to a playlist.

These use cases and more make it clear that the difference between mobile and web isn’t simply one of degree, it’s a difference in kind.

In upcoming posts we’ll cover the Future of User Acquisition, Ways to Engage Users in Mobile, and Technology Perspectives. Check back in a few days for more.

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