Marketers Must Align Mobile Creative with Strategy and Media According to New Report from Mobile Marketing Association and Kantar Millward Brown | MMA Global

Marketers Must Align Mobile Creative with Strategy and Media According to New Report from Mobile Marketing Association and Kantar Millward Brown

November 14, 2016

Annual Report Analyzes Winning Mobile Campaigns From 2016 Global Smarties™ and Cannes Mobile Lions to Help Marketers Maximize Impact, Effectiveness

New York – November 14, 2016 – The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), the leading global trade association for the mobile industry, together with Kantar Millward Brown, today released its 2016 Global Mobile Trends Report, the second annual and largest review of mobile campaigns. Based on observations from analyzing the past year’s award-winning mobile campaigns, including MMA Smartiesand Cannes Lions winners, the report suggests marketers rebalance their mobile campaigns with an equal focus on strategy, media and creative.

“A key insight from our analysis indicates that brands are evolving their strategy and media, but, in many cases, have an uneven focus on creative. Smarties submissions are judged on equal parts strategy, execution, creative and effectiveness, and we saw a clear shift between last year’s focus on creative and this year’s focus on strategy,” said Sheryl Daija, Chief Strategy Officer of the Mobile Marketing Association. “Brands have a wonderful opportunity to learn from campaigns that were courageous in pushing the creative and story-telling potential of mobile, while still executing on a strong strategy.”

The Global Mobile Trends Report is a unique look at mobile marketing trends as it evaluates both finalists and winners from the MMA’s Global Smarties Awards and the Cannes Mobile Lions – the two pre-eminent mobile-first awards competitions. It provides perspective on the common elements shared by the most successful campaigns  and sheds light on areas in which marketers can innovate in the future.

Strategies That Help Brands Win at Mobile
Examples of strategies that permeated the winning campaigns included:

  • Campaigns that tie in to broader business strategy: Many of the winning campaigns cited “improving brand relevance” as a primary objective leveraging the mobile platform by increasing the brand perception as personally relevant and differentiated from its competitors.
  • Driving emotional connections, solving problems: A majority of Smarties Award winners leveraged human or emotional avenues to connect with their audience. The report notes that nearly 20 percent of the campaigns were tied to causes. Other notable campaigns drove common mobile behaviors, such as conducting a search or watching a video, but went deeper. Those campaigns that either solved a problem or provided an experience were far more engaging and effective. This shows how brands continue to align with issues that their audiences care about, and debunks the myth that emotional connection is not possible in mobile.
  • Leveraging immersive and visually compelling ad formats: Live video and 360⁰ formats present a massive and mostly untapped opportunity to engage audiences. While there were few campaigns leveraging this new opportunity, those that did stood out from the pack.
  • Mobile emerging as a powerful center of gravity:  Some of this year’s winning campaigns were built from a mobile-first mindset, adding channels to provide both a unique perspective as well as another level of engagement with the brand.

A Window Into Areas of Growth:
The report also offers four emerging area for potential:  

  • Deepening consumer engagement: With the unique opportunity mobile offers for getting closer to your consumer than any other media, there is a shift in campaign goals from just sales to engagement and equity. Marketers still need to gain more clarity around what engagement means to their brands.
  • Striking a balance between targeting and quality creative: Marketers are increasingly taking advantage of targeting solutions and the effectiveness they deliver – this work, however, needs increased balance with creativity.
  • Tapping innovative tools such as Augmented and Virtual Reality: While augmented and virtual reality are an exciting innovation in mobile technology this year, it is neither being implemented at scale nor has it reached its potential effectiveness.

This year’s winners showcased the amazing use of technology to enhance mobile campaigns, but sometimes the focus on innovation was to the detriment of creative excellence,” says Joline McGoldrick, Vice President of Research, Kantar Millward Brown. “

The MMA will showcase both the Global Smarties and Cannes Lions Mobile shortlist as part of its Case Study Hub, which currently features nearly 800 mobile marketing campaigns from all over the world. The report is available for download and a webinar to discuss the highlighted campaigns and results is scheduled for December 14, 2016. To register for the webinar, visit

About the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA)
The MMA is the world’s leading global non-profit trade mobile marketing association comprised of more than 800 member companies, spanning nearly fifty countries around the world. Our members represent the entire mobile marketing ecosystem, including brand marketers, agencies, mobile technology platforms, media companies, operators and others. The MMA’s mission is to accelerate the transformation and innovation of marketing through mobile, driving business growth with closer and stronger consumer engagement. Anchoring the MMA’s mission are four core pillars: cultivate inspiration by driving innovation for the Chief Marketing Officer; build mobile marketing capabilities for marketers through fostering know-how and confidence; champion the effectiveness and impact of mobile through research providing tangible ROI measurement; and advocate for mobile marketers. Additionally, MMA industry-wide committees work collaboratively to develop and advocate global best practices and lead standards development. 

Members include:, Allstate, American Express, Bank Of America, Campbell’s, Chase, Chobani, Choice Hotels, Citi, Colgate-Palmolive, DataXu, Dunkin’ Brands, E*TRADE, Electronic Arts, ESPN, Facebook, Ford, Foursquare, Google, Havas, Hilton, iHeartMedia, InMobi, Johnson & Johnson, Krux, Marriott, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Mondelez, Nestle, OpenMarket, Pandora, Pfizer, Pinterest, PlaceIQ, Procter & Gamble, R/GA, RadiumOne, Razorfish, Samsung, SAP, Sears, Spotify, Starcom, The Coca-Cola Company, The Rubicon Project, The Weather Company, T-Mobile, TUNE, Ubimo, Unilever, Verve, VEVO, Vibes, Visa, Walmart, Wendy’s, xAd , Zurich and many more. The MMA’s global headquarters are located in New York with regional operations in Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) and Latin America (LATAM). For more information about the MMA please visit