CTIA: AT&T Interactive’s David L Williams Kicks Off Mobile Web & Apps World Forum

AT&T's David L Williams Delivers Keynote ate Mobile Web & Apps World Forum (photo: Lyn Holley)

Today is pre-event day here at CTIA and there are mini conferences going on all over the Orange County Convention Center. The Andrew Seybold Wireless University, Diversity NXT 2011 panel, Mobile Marketing & Promotions Conference and the Mobile Web & Apps World Forum are all taking place right now at CTIA.

The conference most exciting to us would have to be the Mobile Web & Apps World Forum.  This forum runs all day and covers mobile web and apps with keynotes and panels from some of the biggest names like AT&T, MTV, Real Networks/Gamehouse and Paypal X.

This is mostly an event targeted at developers and features an Appovation exhibitor room for attendees to get facetime with some of the sponsors.

AT&T Interactive Vice Preside David L Williams kicked the event off with a presentation on how AT&T Interactive has evolved from the yellow pages, to the converged, interactive, localized content powerhouse it is today.

More after the break

During William’s presentation he paralleled the growth of the mobile web and mobile app space to the evolution of bridges.  He highlighted that in 1888 what started out as a directory highlighting names and addresses of townspeople and businesses in both alphabetical and category listings has become what it is today.

Williams brought up a good point that Yahoo in it’s heyday in the 90’s wasn’t even a search engine moreso than a directory, serving the results from within.  Prior to that infant version of yahoo (for some reason the most popular) the first incarnation of a website for the yellow pages was just a website that carried the exact same listings.

In it’s current state AT&T Interactive serves its customers through a mobile web product and a mobile app product. They use location based technology to turn interactions into transactions.  One of the most revealing facts that Williams offered was that even after 15 years of having a web presence for directories e-commerce still only accounts for 7% of transactions.

While it could be said that consumers rather exchange funds in person, it can also be said that there is more work to do.

AT&T wants to work both internally and with the developer community to interest that other 93% into using e-commerce channels to make interactions transactions.

Williams echoed another pattern that mobile marketers, including the grand salesman for Mobile Marketing Google’s Eric Schmidt, have been saying for the past few months and that is display advertising is back.  In 2011 with new ways to geo-target consumers the banner ad is more than just the place to get ringtones and smileys.

Although AT&T spokespeople are not doing Q&A’s this show (we wonder why) Williams did take the time to do 1:1s with attendees and press.

AT&T is set to become the largest wireless provider in the United States and AT&T Interactive is poised to grab the biggest part of the family pie.

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