Five Things I Learned at Mobile World Congress

The Metamarkets team has just emerged from a week in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress 2017 – it’s the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, with more than 100,000 attendees from around the world. It was a great opportunity for our team to connect with our current customers from the U.S. and across Europe, and to meet with new companies to learn more about how they are managing their programmatic data. And of course, we enjoyed a lot of tapas and sangria!

With more than eight convention halls and miles of booths, it was impossible to see everything the show had to offer, but we learned a lot from our conversations with leaders in the adtech space throughout the week. Here are some of the key themes we heard in our conversations:

1. Demand for Intelligence tools

Today, companies just don’t have enough exposure to what their partners want and what they are doing outside of their own silo. Several exchange partners we talked to at the show who aren’t seeing the fill rates they want have even stronger aspirations than in years past to get a better and immediate understanding of where their buyers are spending so they can properly pitch the right inventory. As these companies become increasingly data-driven, they are less willing to wait any length of time to understand what their buyers are doing. As an independent provider of analytics, it’s no surprise to us how important trusted, real-time information has become to the ecosystem. However, it will be interesting to see which players adopt new technologies and business practices in order to help gain the insight needed to achieve the a competitive edge.

2. The Other Side: Scheduled Access to Large Data Sets

On several occasions, we’d leave one meeting focused on constant, real-time data access and enter another one with leaders at exchanges who wanted nothing fancy – just a scheduled report in their inbox every week or month to export larger datasets using Metamarkets’ query tool. Many of these folks would otherwise spend no time or very little time in our system. It’s clear that the ways clients want to receive their reports varies widely – different stakeholders throughout the ecosystem want different levels of ownership around how they receive reports and when so they can repurpose them. This isn’t overly surprising but the disparity between regular and irregular access was apparent among those we met with at the show.

3. Customization is King

Last fall, when Metamarkets introduced our new Metamarkets API, we were excited to see how our clients would take advantage of it to build custom applications with their data. We met with several companies who are now turning more to our API for internal tooling and building customized client reports leveraging their own data sources.

4. Standardization of Data

Many clients we talked to have really strong needs for certain types of data analysis that they think require huge investments of valuable resources, but are actually easily attainable once they start working with Metamarkets. The biggest issue is often that they just aren’t familiar with the right terminology that helps them understand their data. One of the impacts of a lack of standardization across the industry is that different companies don’t know how the things they need are being described. I’m excited to continue working with our clients to tackle these problems, and they are really excited about some of the notifications we’re setting up to help them do more informative exploration within our interactive analytics dashboard so they can better navigate their data.  

5. Mobile World Congress is Huge!

The adtech wing of Mobile World Congress is just a small percentage of the massive presence of mobile companies in Barcelona. There are so many new developments in hardware and software that will bring new innovation to mobile devices – and those will all funnel their way to create new challenges for adtech in the very near future. This means we as an industry need to be prepared for the innovation happening outside our world, and keep our systems prepared to always adapt for the changes that tomorrow’s mobile innovations bring to our systems.

If you’re part of one of the many companies looking to make the most of your programmatic data, we’d love to hear from you on the challenges you’re facing. Metamarkets has been built to  tackle the unique challenges of the programmatic space, with interactive analytics that help turn mountains of auction data into revenue-driving insights. Contact us at the address below, and I hope to see you at Mobile World Congress next year!