LONDON: Context is vital for mobile marketers, who need to properly understand the environment in which people are using their devices in order to deliver effective advertising, according to leading industry figures.

Speakers at IAB Mobile Engage, an event held recently in London, declared that "context is king" and that context could be perfectly simple, such as tracking the weather for beer or OTC remedies and sending an SMS, or more complex, as in the case of an elaborate campaign for a Swedish horror movie festival.

For more, including how content and ease of use are important ingredients of mobile marketing, read Warc's report: Context, convenience and creative – the future of mobile.

"If you don't understand the context consumers are operating in, how can you deliver relevant creative?" asked Matt Goldhill, creative strategist at specialist digital agency Mobile5. He added that marketers were chasing a moving target in this regard as context was always changing.

Goldhill suggested that if people were looking at and using their phones 150 times a day, context could be inferred from the length of time spent on the device – a few seconds for a tweet, for instance, or 30 minutes or more watching a TV programme. "You have to think not just who, but how long, why and where are they, and how can you deliver a relevant message based on that," he said.

Meanwhile, Tom Chatfield, a tech author, argued that brands were only at the start of this process. Information used up consumers' time and attention, he warned, and marketers should be careful to avoid wasting either of those commodities.

Be useful, was his advice. "If you're not pissing them off you're better than 50% of the stuff that's already out there," he said.

The future context was likely to become even more complicated, as Ian Carrington, director of performance/northern and central Europe at Google UK, expected that within ten years everything would be connected all the time.

"If you haven't got a mobile-optimised website today, are you going to get a mobile-optimised website for cars, for wearables, for Glass? You've got to start thinking about future proofing your business," he said.

Data sourced from Warc