Episode 9, The Tipping Point

E9: The Tipping Point

That’s a wrap, folks. Episode nine is the last in our nine-part series. 

The FIVE podcast was developed to help marketers cut through the 5G hyperbole and zero in on the specifics that matter: the opportunities, the concerns, the realistic, the near-term and the actionable. Over the course of the nine-episode series, host Jake Moskowitz and his guests have looked at 5G technology, devices and innovation and how they will impact consumers and change digital marketing as the new mobile network takes hold. The show has covered a lot of ground. It’s time to snap all the pieces together and take a look at the big picture.

Episode nine, “The Tipping Point,” summarizes the big takeaways from the series, including 5G’s impact on marketing data, programmatic advertising, retail and other physical environments, consumer expectations and the emerging importance of mobile carriers in the marketing ecosystem. Also, Jake’s guests share their informed predictions for how and when 5G will reach the tipping point and become mainstream.

Ep9 Guests (in order of appearance):

  • Yory Wurmser, Principal Analyst at eMarketer
  • Allison Schiff, Senior Editor at AdExchanger
  • Jeremy Lockhorn, Media Consultant and Founder of New Media Geek
  • John Penney, Chief Strategy Officer at Twentieth Century Fox
  • Yves Boudreau, VP of Partnerships and Ecosystem Strategy at Edge Gravity
  • Barb Kielhofer, Associate Director of Data Architecture at Spark Foundry
  • Kate Reinmiller, Cofounder and CRO at Ad Lightning

FIVE, The 5G Podcast for Marketers, is presented by the Emodo Institute and Ericsson Emodo.

Host
Jake Moskowitz, Head of the Emodo Institute at Ericsson Emodo

Producers
Robert Haskitt
Adam Kapel
Jake Moskowitz

Original Episode Art
Jeff Boese

Music
Dyaphonic
Small Town Symphonette


Transcript of Episode 9: The Tipping Point

I don’t like this paragraph. I think it’s that word, “hype,” that set me off. [Laughter.] Am I entertaining you guys?

Let’s talk 5G. Welcome to FIVE, the podcast that breaks down 5G for marketers. This is Episode 9: The Tipping Point. I’m Jake Moskowitz.

There’s a lot of talk about 5G, and not just from techies and telecommers. 5G is a marketing conversation. By now, you may be growing tired of all the hype about it. We set out to cut through that. Regardless, whether it’s small talk, hyperbole, research, or a podcast, there’s a reason the conversations continue. For brands and agencies, 5G presents real opportunities for impact, engagement, speed and efficiency. That much is true. The questions we set out to answer were about the specifics: the what, the how, the when.

We put this podcast together to help marketers envision practical possibilities – to uncover the realistic, the near term, the actionable – by bringing together a variety of perspectives from industry experts.

For now, this is our final episode of FIVE, the 5G podcast produced specifically for marketers. So let’s talk about what we’ve talked about.

Early on, as we rifled through our notes and lined up our guests, it became clear that some core themes were starting to emerge that would determine the direction of the show. When I say some, I mean there were five.

  1. 5G will have a significant impact on marketing data. 5G will change the way data flows, how it’s sourced, how we define audience segments and even how we handle issues like precision and privacy. The sheer volume of new devices and data sources that will spring from 5G will improve data models significantly and move marketing away from deterministic data towards AI.
  2. 5G will drive changes in how programmatic works. Today’s ad ecosystem is overloaded with tags, redirects, waterfalls, and complex multi-auction processes. The right-now speed of 5G will erode consumer tolerance for slow, irrelevant ads. Forward-thinking programmatic vendors, like DSPs, exchanges, SSPs, and data providers are going to have to look to edge-computing and true real-time AI in order to enable advertising experiences that don’t stand in the way of blazing-fast 5G expectations.
  3. 5G will enable retailers and other real-world businesses to attract customers in new and engaging ways. 5G’s small cell networking and enhanced IOT will take visitor tracking and in-store experiences to new levels, and make location targeting, personalization, and consumer engagement more robust and accurate. Armed with enticing 5G-enabled technologies, like augmented reality, real-time in-store targeting and inventory tracking, retailers and other businesses will have new enticing options for driving traffic into real-world location. Real-world retailers will increasingly benefit from the advantages of digital retailing.
  4. With all the speed and latency benefits of 5G, consumers will have high expectation. 5G is already igniting renewed excitement in AR, VR, IOT, and other consumer technologies. Once consumers jump in, they’ll expect certain brands to be there, too. And they’ll expect all their content to keep up with the speeds they’re used to. Brands will expect their agencies to be ready. Agencies that haven’t prepared won’t have answers.
  5. 5G is likely to elevate mobile carriers to new positions of power within the bigger marketing ecosystem. 5G puts mobile carriers at the center of so much of what will exist in a 5G world. They’ll be major ISP players using fixed wireless access as a superior alternative to cable modem, DSL and others. They’ll have more and more valuable data running through their pipes. They’ll be depended on for the implementation of the edge cloud that necessary to take advantage of 5G’s low latency. They’re potentially the best source of deterministic device-linking information. And lastly, they could potentially could be the ideal centralized home of consumer consent.

One way to leverage 5G to make a memorable impact is timing. Let the conversation, all that consumer anticipation work for you before 5G goes mainstream, while it’s exciting. Be a part of the transition. Be a part of the next 5G conversations, the ones about the new 5G experience as it’s being discovered, before the 5G tipping point.

As we worked on this podcast, I asked a number of our guests what they thought may be the trigger for the tipping point when 5G becomes mainstream. Here are a few of their thoughts.

Yory Wurmser:

I actually think the adoption rate for 5G is mostly going to be determined by two organic trends out there. One is just replacement cycle. People, I think, will opt to buy 5G is the price is competitive with 4G phones, or what 4G phones are now, as they replace their phones. I think that’s going to drive a lot of the 5G uptick before you really see these killer apps, these killer user experiences.

I think over the next couple years, the replacement cycle is going to drive 5G adoption pretty strongly. The availability of network areas is going to be a second driver of that. And then I think you’re going to start seeing these really transformative experiences in a couple of years, which is going to convince some of the laggards that, “okay, my phone’s not totally ready for replacement, but I’m going to buy a 5G phone anyway because that’s the only way I’m going to have this experience.” I think where you’re going to see that first is probably most likely games, possibly augmented reality or mixed reality. I can see that being the earliest use cases that are really transformed by 5G capabilities.

Allison Schiff:

I like the Pokemon Go example, because I think it will be something like that, something maybe even a little bit odd and that feels a little bit like a cultural blip. It makes writ-large the opportunity and it makes some marketers and their agencies will have already had a good think about where they might be able to take advantage of that sort of things. Others might be a little bit behind. I think it will be something like that, something that will just touch the zeitgeist for a moment.

For an experience like that, say it’s Pokemon Go-like, but it’s something that requires you to have 5G-enabled phones. You have to go out and buy the phone, so the phones will have to be out there first and at some sort of scale for everyone to have that sort of experience. I think that might be what it is, some interesting little cultural moment you can point to and say, “oh, that was it.”

Jeremy Lockhorn:

I think there will be a 5G tipping point. It’s easy, maybe, to look at the launch of the 5G iPhone as that tipping point. That’s looking like it’s going to happen late next year, late 2020, and I don’t know that the networks are going to be built out at the scale that really will enable consumers to capitalize on that by that time.

The one things that always makes me pause, though, when we start to think about predictions around timing on 5G is that it’s going to scale relatively quickly. But the other thing that strikes me as you look back over the last few years, two or three years ago aggressive forecasts from experts in the field predicted 5G would be a commercial reality – not a scaled commercial reality – by mid-2020s. Today, there’s what, three or four handsets on the market and it’s live and in a few cities. There are signs that it’s moving faster than anybody predicted, but it’s still going to take time.

John Penney:

I think the tipping point will come when 5G, which has a very strong B2B component – I want to make that clear for the audience – 5G works also behind the scenes to transform business models of industries within their value chains. Rather than just being an end-consumer – I go buy a phone that’s a 5G-enabled phone – we may scratch our head and go, “What’s the big deal here?”

What I’m just saying is the big deal will probably happen within the walls of business-to-business environments. For example, 5G will transform the value chains of the various components of the media delivery experience from the production – the creation of the content – to distributing it in ways that are far more localized and personalized than they are today. We may just look at it and say, “Wow, I have a 5G Apple phone. It’s pretty amazing now what I can do with that to make content more relevant to me wherever I am on the multiple screens that are surrounding me, if not the glasses that I might be wearing.”

I think it will be a moment, we’ll go, “Okay. Now we all get it.”

Yves Boudreau:
I think you’re going to businesses and technologies right now that are struggling to reach scale, where 5G and next generation wired access networks will finally help their businesses flourish. That could be in VR, in some of these industrial application. AI and machine learning I would consider to be far more transformational technologies than virtual reality.

But I also think that, over time, what we consider a feature – and 5G is an example – is actually fixing a fundamental problem that will allow technologies, that previously were deployed and failed, a second breath. I would actually encourage people to dust off and pick your ten favorite startups that haven’t succeeded because of technologies and say, “if I gave you access to ten thousand locations around the world with a better, more performing last-mile network, does your business fly.” I think we will find some of those companies where our networks were a limitation to scale.

Barb Kielhofer:

There is a quote from “Fault in our Stars” that said, “I fell in love with him like falling asleep, slowly and yet all at once.” I kind of feel like that’s a horrible quote, but I do think that’s the same way it’ll probably roll out. it’s going to feel slowly and yet all at once, because you’ll know a few people who have 5G and then all of a sudden everyone you know will have 5G. Isn’t that how all of our technology has worked?

We don’t think we have to adopt it just yet, and then all of a sudden we have to adopt it. there’s a perception of this idea of a slow roll out and we will get there. But we’ll probably get there faster than we think we will.

I think you’ve talked about three scenarios that are going to impact different areas of our industry.

The first one we’re talking about the new phone and the new roll out. that’s going to be the most broad-based [comparison [00:12:08] that everyone’s jumping on.

The next advertising opportunity or ad unit is when the agencies get really stoked and excited.

And a wired store, really interesting out-of-the-box opportunity, that’s where our clients are going to get really excited.

It depends on where you’re going to be sitting and definitely what capabilities your agency has, what capabilities your media partners have, what capabilities your advertisers and clients have. it’s really going to depend on where you jump in on that. My guess, is somebody’s going to do it big, loud and splashy, and that’s when our industry will jump on really fast across the board. If everybody is grabbing those devices or those phones, whatever it ends up being, we’re all going to have to follow suit.

Jake:

When you first buy a 5G phone, when the carriers get to the point of being live in a critical mass of markets, when Apple launches its first 5G phone, you may not immediately feel like life has turned upside down over night. The 5G revolution may seem gradual, but don’t be fooled. You know from listening to this podcast what the 5G world will look like after the tipping.

My hope is that you’ll be able to use some of the things we’ve discussed in this podcast to put the pieces in place. If you’re a marketer, the carriers’ race to 5G is a good time to do your own groundwork. Throw some big ideas around. Talk to your ad tech and data vendors. Put your lineup together. Get a sense of where you’re going, when and how you’re going to get there.

Before we go, a funny thing happened during our interview with [Kate Reinmiller 00:14:01] for our programmatic episode. She was the first person we spoke with who had a 5G home internet connection while she also had a cable modem as well.

Kate (in the background):

Those are infuriating.

Jake:

When we first started talking with her, she was using cable modem, but the call quality was untenable.

(To Kate): Those are infuriating, and then we lost you.

So she jumped on 5G.

Kate (in the background):

I’m going to switch my internet to my 5G.

Jake:
You have 5G at home.

Kate:
I do have 5G at home.

Jake:

We’re going to do a piece on that.

And voila!

Kate:

Okay, is this better? Can you hear me now?

Jake:

Yeah, you’re sounding great!

Finally, I’d like to close by thanking all the great people who shared their thoughts in the interviews over the course of the show. Thanks so much for your time and perspective.

And thank you for listening to the FIVE podcast.

The FIVE podcast is presented by Ericsson Emodo and the Emodo Institute and features original music by Dyaphonic and the Small Town Symphonette. This episode was produced by Robert Haskitt, Adam Kapel, and me. I’m Jake Moskowitz.