Key Takeaways from Mobile World Congress 2024

Ana Williams Global Director, Growth Marketing

The Mobile World Congress 2024 (MWC 2024) brought together industry leaders, innovators and experts to discuss the latest trends and advancements in the mobile and technology sector. Airship collaborated with partners Adjust and mParticle to establish the show’s first Mobile Marketing Zone, a new destination for mobile marketers to network and learn how to measure, optimize and scale their mobile growth. Coffee-fueled conversations and networking sessions at the Mobile Marketing Zone spanned the entire spectrum of the customer app lifecycle, from the crucial stages of discovery and acquisition to activation, engagement and loyalty. There was also plenty of discussion about AI. At the broader conference, the dominant theme was the escalating significance of AI and Generative AI (GenAI). Brad Smith, Vice Chair & President of Microsoft, even compared AI’s impact to the printing press’s revolutionary effects on learning and the economy.

Responsible AI: The  Crucial Input-Output Equation
Speakers were in broad agreement that AI is not a job-replacer but a task-automator. Lilac Ilan, Head of Global Telco at NVIDIA, emphasized the importance of data accuracy over sheer volume, stressing that the effectiveness of AI hinges on the intended purpose. Don McGuire, CMO of Qualcomm, shared insights into their dual chatbot strategy, one for internal use, which has been trained on the company’s internal data only, and a second for external use, which has been trained on public data. Depending on the type of query, one may be more relevant than the other. 

Adding to the importance of data accuracy, organizations must avoid feeding sensitive data into AI models to ensure private information remains private. There needs to be a stringent, secure and controlled environment for handling AI input, according to Joachim Jonkers, Director of Product and AI at Sinch. Companies like Qualcomm are already putting AI vetting committees in place to help ensure the AI meets all company requirements before being deployed widely. Airship’s Chief Legal & Administrative Officer, Virginia Llewellyn, agrees with this approach: “Frameworks for responsible use of AI will be an imperative for businesses of all kinds, and cross-functional teams spanning legal, product and infosec will put marketers in the best position to harness the best of AI and avoid the pitfalls.” 

The Mobile Marketing Zone at MWC24

Embracing The Hybrid Human-Machine Future
Examples everywhere are emerging of teams embracing AI in workflows to free up human resources for more strategic and creative endeavors. From customer support and coding to atomizing content for broad-scale experimentation, human efficiency increases without diminishing the importance of face-to-face collaboration and human vetting of inputs and outputs.

According to Sir Martin Sorrell, the founder of WPP and S4 Capital, who talked through the key areas of AI impact on brands, there is a significant benefit associated with the knowledge transfer brought by AI: it enables a company’s information to be decentralized, leading to more internal collaboration and equality within the organization, as well as improved productivity and decision-making. 

Unleashing Hyper-Personalization with AI
AI, especially Gen AI, emerged as a powerhouse for hyper-personalization — the ability to scale content with precision based on first- and zero-party data. This is why companies like Netflix can create billions of versions of creative assets specific to their customers with a high level of accuracy. Tsvika Besor, Senior AI Product Manager at, also addressed the importance of leveraging AI to personalize content throughout the customer lifecycle and across various channels. 

This need for AI and hyper-personalization is driven by the rising quality and efficiency expectations from customers, according to Deborah Battaglia, SVP Customer Experience at Assurant. She also addressed the rise in customer satisfaction due to better customer support provided by Assurant agents aided by AI. 

It’s Time to Thoughtfully Mobilize AI Initiatives
It’s only been 18 months since ChatGPT was launched, but the telco industry has overwhelmingly embraced it. However, according to GSMA’s Head of Data Acquisition Rhadika Gupta, the industry has the habit of swiftly moving between trends (metaverse, anyone?). There seems to be a big push towards using AI, but the quality of delivery is not there yet. She called for a more thoughtful and strategic approach to AI in the coming year, emphasizing the need for quality in AI delivery.

MWC 2024 underscored the pivotal role of AI, particularly GenAI, in shaping the future across various industries. It’s clear AI is here to stay. But the journey it will take is still one to be improved and shaped by all of us along the way. Having the right levels of internal corporate processes in place and teams broadly committed to driving continuous experimentation and optimization will help ensure AI adoption accelerates competitive advantage rather than facilitating mediocrity or exposing the business to undue risks.