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Kinetic: The Major Takeaways From Mobile World Congress For Marketers

Location and contextual data are opening up new ways to reach increasingly connected consumers, said CMO Liliana Caro.

If there could be one unifying theme from this year’s CES and Mobile World Congress events, it would be the rise of connectivity: From connected cars to the advances in communication between smart devices, consumers don’t go “on” mobile; they live it, 24/7.

“Mobile World Congress technologies usher in a new era where consumers are always connected and free from the boundaries of space and time,” said Liliana Caro, global CMO at Kinetic. And as the world becomes increasingly connected, “location and contextual data opens up ways to personalize and command the content that surrounds us.”

Below, the top trends observed by Caro and the Kinetic team at this year’s MWC:

Connected freedom: The coming ubiquity of wifi has the potential to transform mobile and out-of-home advertising, execs stated at this month’s Mobile World Congress, as Intel and Verizon displayed connected city poles with free wifi services and content screens at this year’s event.

This suggests that a future in which consumers’ smartphones are always connected to both wifi and the devices around them may be closer than previously expected. And it doesn’t need to drain the device’s battery: The future of connectivity is bolstered by increases in battery life, with companies from Nokia to Sony introducing smartphones with battery lasting up to a month.

Long distance ‘mind’ control: 5G is coming, and it will power new mobile and connected devices as well as connected environments, such as the aforementioned “smart cities.” Theoretically, this could mean a car — or a variety of other devices — could be controlled from afar via a 5G-powered phone, Caro said.

Making the virtual real: It wouldn’t be a technology showcase with out the obligatory VR mention, would it? But at MWC, this technology was less about the gaming factor and more about the practical: Companies displayed payments in mixed reality, smart cities’ shoppable windows, and more to show how VR might ultimately be able to transform retail and commerce — not just let users virtually set foot on the moon.

“We [marketers] have super powers as well, as we become more savvy, agile and true risk takers,” Caro concluded. “What has changed radically is that we do not have to create [connected audiences] but efficiently utilize them. At both CES and MWC, we have seen lots of dynamic and smart startups (Goindoor, Virtual Pitonisa, Emotion Research Labs, among others) that can accelerate our ability to understand and activate connected audiences.