In a speech to kick off the Smarter Mobile Marketing conference this morning, Millennial Media CEO Paul Palmieri trumpeted mobile advertising's rise in the marketing ecosystem and suggested it might be the pre-eminent place for brands to spend their digital advertising budgets — supplanting traditional digital budgets.
"We are now in a moment where consumer choice, consumer behavior, and consumer reception have gone past the tipping point of mattering," Palmieri said. "Mobile has become an indispensable part of the marketing mix."
Palmieri's opinion isn't controversial, of course. But everything Palmieri says is interesting for two reasons:
- He's incredibly press shy. He speaks to the media only rarely, often preferring cable television shows where he knows he won't get questions that are too surprising.
- And he sits atop one of the hottest, biggest, most interesting, mobile ad companies on the planet right now. Millennial has more than $100 million of cash on hand, even after acquiring competitor Jumptap and forging an important partnership with AppNexus to create a huge new mobile ad exchange.
Jumptap wasn't Millennial's only acquisition this year, either. It is one of the few companies that can match Google, Facebook, Twitter and Pandora in scale, and it's a mobile ads pure-play.
Palmieri's remarks echoed those of Mobile Marketing Association CEO Greg Stuart, who cited recently released statistics finding that 80% of marketers believe mobile is transformational for both business and their careers.
Palmieri, who was named global chair of the MMA's board, said that now that the industry has convinced marketers of its importance, the next hurdle is finding a way to more precisely measure the effects of mobile advertising on sales and brand lift. On Monday, his company announced a new suite of tools aimed at clearing this hurdle.
"We're now at a point where we're looking for the next vision," Palmieri said. "What I want to ask now is this: Is mobile the real digital for marketers?"
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