As mobile usage overtakes desktop, mobile advertising is now undoubtedly the most efficient and effective way to target your existing customers and new prospects whenever and wherever they are.

But how do this most effectively? Engagement must now be engineered through the use of programmatic tools and programmatic advertising through private ad exchanges brings the ability to buy and sell advertising in real-time and target audiences with the right messages at scale – a benefit that’s even more applicable for mobile because of its uniquely personal characteristics. Better targeting means improved ad relevancy, increasing the value for both consumers and advertisers alike and so increasing click-through rates and sales. There are also significant cost efficiencies generated by outsourcing most of the heavy lifting to computer algorithms and reducing the dependency on expensive media buying/sales teams. A key differentiator between ad networks and ad exchanges is that the latter can provide full transparency to both buyer and seller of the media space so maximising revenue.

Moving forward, a top tip is to tailor ad spaces to each user, their schedule and browsing behaviours. This will yield greater mobile ad engagement, and therefore higher prices. For instance, when users are researching a product they want to buy, they are less open to being distracted and less likely to click on an ad. Where possible, it’s best to incorporate ads when users are in a more open such as when browsing for blogs to read or presents which is most often seen between 8-9am, 5-7pm and after 9pm.

 Elsewhere, data can immeasurably boost the value of ad space. Advertisers will pay higher prices for these if they know their specific target audience will see a certain campaign. However, unlike desktop advertising, which is driven by cookies, mobile ad space is currently less intuitive and is sold with no user data attached to it. This means the advertiser has no idea who is going to view their ad. Therefore publishers who have user data, such as their gender or age, can boost the value of their ads by appending this data to each ad request.

Over the next five years advertising will undoubtedly be led by the insights gathered from mobile data, meaning that any publisher or advertiser who isn’t fully mobilised will soon be left behind. Programmatic and real-time ad exchanges will become not only the preferred channel, but the essential channel to keep ahead of competition and reach the target audience first. In addition, advertisers and premium publishers may also look to incorporate their own private and white label ad exchanges. These will empower businesses to take control over the way their data is traded and create a secure marketplace which will enormously maximise the value of their mobile ad inventory.