Mobile Marketing #mobs13 @exchangewire


This Monday I attended the Exchangewire Mobile Marketing Event. As always, thanks to Ciaran and Paul for organising this industry get together.

I am still trying to get my head around the question whether mobile is a channel, a device or if people are right that tablets should be desktop devices (allegedly it is Apple’s fault that tablets are counted as mobile devices). Or is mobile just a second screen and we ignore everything else. Will banner ads work or is video the way forward to grab someone’s attention on the small screen? But it is also a private screen. And if you look to Asia, the importance of mobile takes another dimension.

According to the industry there are a few things to consider. Paul Wright started off that we need to look, amongst other things, at:

– cross platform tracking (ID across devices/finger printing)
– consider the volume of data available
– accept that we move away from keyboards
– that the society moves towards hybrid interaction like screens in cars
– local, social, mobile is still key and we keep forgetting that (or haven’t really understood it yet)

Looking from an agency perspective there are of course limitations set by the advertiser in terms of where is the ad shown (premium inventory) and they still like to be associated to Facebook or Twitter as they are prestige and trusted publishers. DSP buying is still not considered as much as it probably should be.

The following discussion supported the idea that mobile is about a “situation”, e.g. on the move, in the tube etc. and that the PC is going to die. Some argue it is more of a private storage or “cloud access device” moving forward.

mobilesInmobi (mobile ad network) says it touches each mobile user about 200 times a month and that the time being spent on mobiles is almost as much as watching TV. I might even challenge that in my case because I spend more time on mobile devices than watching TV. Again this supports the 2nd screen debate.

Is mobile the new way of catching consumers whilst watching TV or is TV the extension of mobile? Will only a multi channel attribution be able to figure that out? What about display, e.g. banner ads – are they still in the equation or are they moving onto the tablets as being the new “online”?

InMobi had a few points like:

– value of data
– mCommerce on the raise
– context being key, e.g. if someone is on the move they might want to have a more picture heavy ad than someone being at a static location; someone with small fingers having different context to someone having bigger fingers (female/male identification without prejudice of course 😉 )
– buying ecosystem: RTB only accounts for 0.5% of all mobile spent and eCPM is too high, fill rates are too low
– market maturation: rich media on the move and more money being put into programmatic buying

The following panel discussion was about the usual: “ROI”, “agnostic”, “audience buying”. However, one point really stood out: We have cracked the tracking on mobile. Wow. If that is the case why don’t we spend more on mobile? Is there an integrated strategy moving forward that allows us to ramp up the mobile spend, track the increased attribution (direct response or branding) and make mobile a full accepted channel after all? Is there enough inventory and commit from advertisers to actually spend money on mobile?

I believe it is time to integrate mobile into every media plan but for some reason we haven’t seen the “big spend” coming to mobile yet. The “year of mobile” is getting postponed 🙁

The Pizza Hut case study proved the point. proved the point. Both (ex) SMV agency guys who have a lot of confidence in mobile. The main targeting options were: tim, geo, audience (families & socialites) and that at scale.

Strikead’s CTO Michael Dewhirst summed the difficulties up: tracking is still not 100% sorted as there is a gap between browser and app cookies. The location data is not 100% reliable and the IP targeting might only be for the provider not the phone itself. So restrictions still apply whilst Strikead seems to have figured it out in regards to tracking. With 29bn data requests each months and the first global (!) mobile DMP.

A short presentation from WEVE and that they can reach 80% of UK mobile users, think that SMS are effective and that 40% of their database are happy to share their location data. More to follow they said….

mobile-devicesAdmobious presented their audience management platform. then pointed out that there is no turn key solution for tracking but what exists is good enough. And, quite frankly, Angus made it clear that it is not important whether the media is bought in real time, through a single platform or not, via API integration or any other “intangible benefit” as long as it works. Simple 🙂

The following talks from Rubicon and Twitter were a nice summary of how much is spend on mobile in the UK: it is as much as the total ad spend in Slovakia per annum. Twitter has been real time from the outset….and has always been predominately mobile. So here we go.

In summary my take away:

– mobile is huge, has potential of a massive spend and ultimately will grow
– only a few companies really know what they are talking about in terms of tracking and data usage
– tracking has been cracked but advertisers don’t seem to embrace it yet
– media plans need to take the 2nd screen into consideration and always add some mobile budget
– a combined media plan for mobile/connected TV seems a good option
– mobile is very fragmented and difficult to gauge whether it ever is having “a year of mobile”
– the mobile device stays personal
– the mobile device will replace the wallet

From a marketers point of view: there is NO way to ignore mobile. It is going to be huge. However, we need to move away from the classification of “mobile being a device” but as an industry re-define what we consider “mobile”. If that is “on the move vs. static IP” or “WIFI vs. 3G” to make best use of the possibilities and tracking options available, I don’t know.

Maybe you have some comments and ideas?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, and should you have any questions re mobile RTB don’t be afraid to tweet, comment or send me a SMS 🙂

Best wishes,