February 2020 may seem a long way off, but for brands with Mobile World Congress (MWC) on their radars, it’s time to start thinking about making the most of next year’s show. In fact, the GSMA confirmed it just last week, there’s no time to lose.
Last year MWC was dominated by talk of a brave new world, built around the arrival of 5G and with it the reality of the Internet of Things (IoT). With the roll-out of 5G already underway (set to increase bandwidth tenfold), and forecasted spending on IoT predicted to top $745 Billion by the end of 2019 (IDC), consumers can look forward to richer experiences and businesses can look forward to more data. It’s going to touch every area of our consumer and industry world, from smarter homes and connected cars to tech manufacturing and telecoms. The challenge for businesses now is to communicate what the technology helps make possible in an accessible and compelling way.
The biggest communication challenge for brands is linked to the fact that networks and tech companies are all battling to tell the same story. When it comes to exhibitions like MWC, brands can find displaying technology in a way that shows the real background or context challenging, meaning that visitors struggle to connect with real-life benefits. So, how can they successfully stand out in one of the most attended, influential technology and mobile events of the year?
When it comes to a successful show experience, it’s not just the technical capabilities of new innovations that count. It’s the human stories that best showcase the possibilities of the new tech. These help visitors interact with the technology and understand the power and impact that it has in day-to-day life. We know this from working with GSMA, Google and IBM at MWC 2019 that a moment of storytelling can differentiate the product/service.
It’s all about showcasing the impact of tech developments on life and business.
How can brands tell a compelling narrative?
As technology evolves, the possibilities for captivating storytelling through experience also grows. It’s important that brands strive to stay at the forefront of these developments and make sure they are fed directly into their marketing and experience strategies.
In an age of automation and increased technological intelligence, storytelling can ensure that innovation truly cuts through the noise and delivers an emotional impact that really resonates. Our work with IBM at MWC 2019 was structured on this principle, bringing the power of new technologies and innovations to life through interactive AR experiences that allowed visitors to understand how mobile can transform travel and transportation. Immersive pods and a fully interactive touch screen ‘agility cube’ brought to life the power of a good story.
For GSMA, GPJ brought MWC’s 2019 theme of “Intelligent Connectivity” to life by developing “Innovation City” – a dynamic and fluid concept which fused together some of GSMA’s partners such as KT, Sierra, Huawei, Google and the GSMA programmes with technology. Encompassing dynamic design and movement, ever-shifting colours, shapes and perceptions Innovation City conveyed one common message that harks back to the brand identity.
Another activation within GSMA Innovation City was Google. We worked with them to present a future of their new operating messaging. To bring this to live we envisaged ‘A Day in the Life of’ which enabled Google’s Rich Communication Services (RCS). It imagined a daily journey and invited visitors to sit below the central Google Tree and surround themselves with a tableau of everyday items signified in micro art installations. With an immediate connection to the everyday activities entitled ‘’Getting Stuff Done” and “Shopping, Eating and Travel”, the Google narrative seamlessly integrated the normality of today into the technology of tomorrow using a simple human story.
A great example of a brand who is showcasing the real, human stories behind 5G is Seoul-based coffee franchise dal.komm COFFEE. In collaboration with KT, it showcases a robotic barista arm that greets customers and makes coffee to order. When a customer places an order through a smartphone, it gives you a number, and when your number pops up your coffee is ready to be served. Whilst it isn’t a human arm, it is the human interaction that engages and realises the magic. A growing trend in automation.
It is these experiences that can fuel interest, understanding and the power of decision and can change audience behaviour. At MWC, the competition is immense but utilising relatable human stories can quickly inspire a quick and lasting advocacy for brands to inspire action and conversion.
Technology is moving faster than most consumers can keep up with, and the rate of evolution is only increasing. This means that for tech and telecoms brands it’s more important than ever to communicate the real impact of tech developments on everyday life and business in a standout, engaging way.
We see mobile technology as a huge part of what is coming next. It has become a habit creator. As people spend more and more time on their phones, it is increasingly one of the most effective channels to drive engagement. Research commissioned for our recent whitepaper, The Power of Mobile, revealed 93% of C-suite decision-makers believe mobile-first businesses have transformed consumer expectations of brands, while 92% said they plan to increase mobile budgets in the coming year. Bringing the human stories behind the tech to life will be crucial for brands looking to make the most of these opportunities, and live experience will play a central role in making that goal a reality.
As innovation stands at the forefront of the future of technology, testing and learning should be a priority. MWC could be the right audience for this – particularly considering that our Power of Mobile report found that live experience is a good testing environment for brands to showcase their tech in a brave new way. There are a number of opportunities on the horizon when it comes to bringing MWC stories to life:
- Using mobile to reduce unwanted friction in experiences
- Utilising devices to control and access content making experiences more personal
- Living and breathing 5G by showing not telling
The introduction of facial recognition entry this year illustrated a focus on reducing event pain points and unlocked more valuable time for attendees. We’ll be working with clients to make more tools available and remove friction where possible. Brands should consider a mobile-first approach in how they present stories, how users engage and ensure that it shapes content holding 5G at the heart of all experiences.
By David Foulger, Senior Account Director at George P. Johnson and as featured in Digital Doughnut.