The Race to Mobile and Digital Unison


Noelia Amoedo, CEO at mediasmart

With mobile now the core consumer focal point, advertisers are fully aware of the true value of mobile screen time. They are also cautious however, that with multi-screen and multi device considerations becoming crucial, a mobile delivery must also work alongside other digital channels to maximise advertising budgets.

From an advertising perspective, we’re still some way off seeing fully converged mobile and digital worlds however. Much of the fragmentation stems from the fact that mobile comprises an app ecosystem, whereas Web and apps differ fundamentally.

From a tracking and audience management perspective, for example, advertisers rely heavily on cookies on the Web to understand consumer behaviour and tweak their ads for optimum relevance and context. In the app world, however, this simply isn’t possible. To work in a  cookie-less environment an entirely different tracking and attribution model is needed.

The app ecosystem is also much more complex. With Web campaigns advertisers look to deliver them via one of the four major browsers so, testing and quality assurance can be easily achieved. In the app world however, ads and landing pages are largely accessed within an application, rather than a browser. Manually ensuring that the end-to-end user experience is flawless is nearly impossible, as the experience depends on the specific software used within the app –  and the market is extremely fragmented. The right software is required to automatically detect where the ad is being properly shown and to ensure quality.

There’s also other technological factors to consider, with many of the benefits and opportunities within mobile, such as geo-location, requiring specific technologies to properly support those functionalities.

This type of complexity means mobile and digital still struggle to converge. With the app ecosystem becoming more prevalent it’s impossible to simply replicate technologies from the digital world into mobile, which companies born for desktop tend to do. Technologies that work effectively in the mobile ecosystem need to consider the particular intricacies of the mobile world from their core – taking into account not only mobile web, but the in-app ecosystem – and this has given rise to the growth of mobile-first ad-tech companies.

Advertisers can no longer be effective in mobile with a simple add-on to digital, and those who ignore the application ecosystem, will miss out on a huge captive audience.

It’s clear that mobile is no longer the future. It is the present. But for a clear impact on sales it has to be integrated with the digital world. The two can’t function in isolation. Market consolidation is coming, and it will be largely driven by the needs and demands of advertisers. Yet it’s surprising to see certain industry watchers assuming that it will be the digital world that will extend into mobile. Mobile is far more complex: it must handle multiple formats, rendering technologies and tracking tools both in Web and app environments. Could we see the mobile experts acquiring the digital ones? With convergence approaching we’ll soon see who is leading the pack.

What is the Value of a View?


Stephen Upstone, CEO & Co-Founder at LoopMe

It can be difficult to judge the effectiveness of mobile video advertising campaigns. The proliferation of different ad formats, from native to pre-roll to 360, and tech providers has made it more difficult than ever to before to judge the performance of an ad campaign.

For example, a recent report from eMarketer, stated completion rates for mobile pre-roll were on average 77%. By itself this stat seems pretty unremarkable, depending on the creative 70-80% completion rate is a fairly standard result for a non-skippable pre-roll campaign. But there’s the catch, unremarkable for a non-skippable campaign.

The vast majority of brands and advertisers understand the difference between a non-skippable pre-roll, which oblige a user to watch an ad before viewing video content, or a skippable format which allows the user to decide whether or not to watch the ad. What is perhaps less well understood is the difference in performance across KPIs that these two buying options will deliver. A non-skippable pre-roll can achieve the highs of 80% completion pretty easily (after all, how many people abandon watching a video because of a 15 second ad?) whereas a very successful skippable pre-roll would be looking at a 40% completion rate.

This does not mean that the skippable pre-roll is delivering poor results, although seeing them side-by-side in an excel might make a junior planner very nervous.

There are arguments using for both types of advertising – skippable ads are far more user-friendly and the people who do watch your ad are probably genuinely interested in the advert, unlike users who cannot skip and merely want to watch the video content after the trailer. On the other hand, non-skippable ads do mean more people see your message and, on average, this type of advertising tends to be cheaper.

The issue occurs when the two types try to be compared directly and conversation becomes ‘why has one provider delivered 40% completion while another has hit 70%?’. Both may be delivering pre-roll but they are very different offerings. The situation becomes even more muddied when campaigns are rolled out across a variety of mobile video formats, for example native video normally pulls in between 20-30% completion rate.

What all of this boils down to is what makes each view valuable to each brand, for each specific campaign. There is a key learning to be made – a high completion rate does not mean a campaign has been successful, and a low one does not mean it was bad. Campaigns should be judged on how they have contributed to the wider campaign.

If the goal is to raise awareness among a specific audience, then a skippable format, which allows a user to decide if they are interested will be more valuable, even if the overall completion rate is lower. Another campaign, looking at reaching as many people as possible, regardless on their initial interest, might see more value in a non-skip campaign. However, it’s important to remember that non-skip campaigns can irritate users, and as we know, users are becoming more vocal as to what they will and will not accept in advertising.

The way for brands to really judge the efficiency of their campaigns is to determine the effect it had on brand metrics, such as purchase intent or brand awareness. Thanks to developments in artificial intelligence and programmatic delivery, it is possible to survey users to determine their reactions to a campaign, and use these results to improve delivery. By judging campaigns against a brand metrics it becomes very easy to compare format and provider performance against the overall campaign goal.

The important thing for us as an industry is to compare like with like, whether that is across format, provider or campaign. By far the easiest way to achieve this is to move away from digital metrics, like video completion rate or clicks, and focus on the brand metrics which really matter.

Wired2016: The Democratisation of Information


Timothea Horwell, Jr. Marketing and Research Manager at Weve

It’s estimated that 40% of the world is connected in one way or another, with this expected to rise to 100% over the next 20 years. Ultimately, this will democratise internet access, but result in 8 or 9 billion people requiring network capabilities. With the burgeoning digital revolution 2.0 and the exponential need to connect ‘things’ as well as people, a reliable and dependable infrastructure will be critical. It seems fitting then that the Wired2016 conference was sponsored by Telefonica, one of the world’s largest telecommunications providers, as the emergence of IoT and M2M blur the lines between sectors, and telcos become increasingly tasked with connecting millions of devices, machines and users. Continue reading

Exploring the power of mobile as it merges with traditional display


Sofie Mobbs, Head of Mobile at Flashtalking

We’ve long been talking about the fast growth of mobile advertising. It’s no longer a prospect, but a fact. Mobile is taking a bigger chunk of the market share from traditional display – or rather traditional display is becoming more mobile. But as this happens, there’s a danger we forget to respect the differences between desktop and mobile screens. We may overlook the unique creative opportunities and tracking methodologies needed to secure true mobile performance, and thereby impair our ability to attribute its effectiveness correctly.


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