While we and all of the finalists patiently await MEF Global Forum next month, which culminates with the glittering Meffys Gala Dinner on the 19th November, we spoke to some of the Meffys Judges, drawn from an international panel of journalists, academics and technology veterans, about the tech trends and innovations on show in this year’s entrants.
This week, Peggy Anne Salz – well known mobile journalist, veteran Meffys judge and chief analyst & founder of MobileGroove – discusses the categories she judged this year, and shares her highlights of the awards so far.
Finalists in the categories Peggy judged include Carnival, deltaDNA, Locatrix Communications, Mblox, Pollen, AgeCheq, Bluebox Security, F-Secure, One97 Communications Ltd and The Wireless Registry.
Who are you, what do you do and what is your industry experience or expertise?
I produce and promote custom research, strategic thought leadership and knowledge resources for the global mobile industry.
As a Gigaom Research mobile analyst, a top 30 Mobile Marketing influencer and a nine-time author based in Europe, I enjoy the opportunity to connect directly and deeply with people, companies and innovators who are setting the benchmark for creativity, effectiveness and engagement across the multiple screens and devices that define our daily lives and unite our digital and physical worlds.
My work, which spans well over a decade, includes dozens of reports and white papers, as well as +300 articles covering mobile search & recommendation, mobile marketing, mobile loyalty and mobile trends.
My latest book, Apponomics: The Insider’s Guide To A Billion Dollar App Business, written in partnership with my client InMobi, describes the new App Economy and provides actionable insights into how companies can market and monetize their apps with success.
“In my view, the next phase of mobile will be defined by our very human requirements for simple, transparent services we can trust. So I was impressed by the entries in my category that have internalized this and have responded in kind.”
Which Meffys category were you judging?
What was your overall impression of the entries this year?
I have been a judge since the first Meffys and I enjoy the opportunity to be exposed to the amazing companies and customer case studies I might not otherwise have found in my research and work.
As with all awards, there will always be the companies that emphasize hype over substance, but I was particularly impressed by the quality of the entries this year and the number of companies that have moved beyond point solutions, apps or campaigns to understand that success in mobile demands approaches that unite multiple players and focus on the individual.
Companies like The Wireless Registry for Take Control of Your Wireless Identity and Pollen — The Wireless Registry focused on creating a trust model people really buy into because they are in control of the data and Pollen transforming the App Economy dynamics to benefit the developer — are excellent examples of this.
What makes a good entry for you?
In many ways, a good entry should resemble an elevator pitch. In the case of a service the company should demonstrate it understands the market it addresses, the needs of its ecosystem (partners, customers, developers — depending on the service) and articulate the value it provides.
If it’s about addressing a gap in the market or a pain point consumers have, then show you understand what is required and — more importantly — the connection between what you have observed and what you actually offer.
If it’s a campaign, then explain how it did more than generate buzz; explain and illustrate the real and lasting impact for the company or on the audience. Visual content (videos) are also essential to telling the complete story (they provide important context and background that I might not glean from the application) and numbers are key to showing effectiveness.
Can you share some of the themes that characterised the entries in the category?
As mobile is clearly ‘morphing’ to bridge screens, experiences and even the digital and physical worlds, it was encouraging to see entries that understood and embraced this shift. The theme wasn’t ‘mobile- first’ or ‘mobile-only’; it was showing how mobile genuinely enhanced experiences or removed the friction in daily activities.
In terms of tech trends, what in general impressed you the most?
I was most impressed by the number of entries where technology took a back seat, as it should since the biggest trend right now is to truly customer-centric design and services that truly adapt to the individual.
Technology will not determine the next step in the evolution of mobile. In my view, the next phase of mobile will be defined by our very human requirements for simple, transparent services we can trust. So I was impressed by the entries in my category that have internalized this and have responded in kind.
In your opinion what are the main opportunities for growth in the category that you judged?
Frequency and familiarity builds trust — and only a relationship built on trust will provide companies the access to customer insights and information they need to deliver the apps, offers and services that people genuinely appreciate (and ultimately monetize). Against this backdrop, the growth opportunities are all around removing friction, or simply smoothing over the gaps and chasms that interrupt the flow between digital and physical experiences.
Follow Peggy on Twitter. The Meffys provide companies and innovators with an unrivalled opportunity to be considered for the global mobile industry’s top accolades – the finalists were recently unveiled, and the ultimate winners will be announced at MEF Global Forum 2014 in San Francisco 17th – 19th November.