Mobile is making headlines as the hottest space in advertising. Just this week, Audi reported 80 percent higher completion rate on a Le Mans racing ad campaign using vertical video creatives.  Ad budgets from many brands, including NBC, AT&T and Target, are steadily shifting towards mobile, and by next year, mobile will consist of over 50% of all digital advertising.


However, there are still many challenges when it comes to advertising on this medium. For example, over 80% of time on mobile is spent in apps. This brings challenges for measuring effectiveness of campaigns as apps essentially form data silos. In addition, mobile ads often have spillover effects to other channels, making ROI calculations even more complicated. Clearly, brand advertisers are dealing with challenges so here’s advice from Personagraph, an audience data platform (and my company), on how you can hit KPIs on mobile programmatic and mobile video advertising.

  • Shift towards people based marketing

2014 was the year of viewability. Advertisers demanded that impressions were counted only when an ad was actually viewable, and viewed by human beings, not by crawling bots. Having – at least partially – met these terms, this year, the adtech industry is seeing a new demand: not only do advertisers want to know whether their ad has been seen, they also want to know who saw it. For every single impression. 2015 will be the year when there’s a shift towards “people based marketing”, a term coined by Facebook’s Atlas late last year. This shift will cause marketers to focus on a new set of KPIs that go beyond standalone impressions.

People based marketing means that KPIs are always connected to actual persons, regardless of what device, and how many devices they are using over the length of ad campaigns. This need implies that cookies fall short as identifiers since these are not reliable to provide accurate cross-device data. With cookies, the reach of an ad campaign is often overstated (and hence frequency is understated) because multi-device people are linked to more than one cookie per person.

DOWNLOAD OUR Q2 2015 REPORT: This quarter we cover mobile ad spend, which will see 430% growth between 2013 and 2016, and whether the current ad-tech ecosystem can keep up with this growth. Click here to download now.

The essence of people based marketing is to take a customer-centric approach: every single customer is individually profiled and receives personalized messaging accordingly. Taking a customer-centric approach also means joining ad impressions over a variety of touch points and attributes these to a single person, for example by using 1st party data such as an email address or phone number. These are then matched with both online and offline conversions (through loyalty cards, coupons, etc.).

  • Data-based Mediation

Today, advertisers want data on the impression level. Ad mediation companies are cut-out for this daunting task as they already analyze vast quantities of data to optimize fill rates, eCPM, CTR, and with mobile video, completion rates over a variety of ad networks. Programmatic technology ensures that bidding occurs most efficiently and that ad spend is optimally allocated across the highest performing ad supply.

But until recently, mobile has been lacking in an area crucial to advertising: audience intelligence. Despite the fact that smartphones are the most personal of devices, marketers and advertisers still struggle to effectively access the data that it provides. The shift towards people based marketing goes hand-in-hand with the development of new technologies that are finally closing this gap. By tying in audience data on a per impression level, advertisers can reach their target audiences on an individual level. Especially mobile video advertising will benefit enormously from this as TV dollars start to flow to the device where people spend more and more time: their smartphone.

opportunityAfter years of discrepancy between time spent and ad spend on mobile, the advertising ecosystem is moving towards an equilibrium. The times of cheap mobile ad inventory are over and are replaced by highly effective ad inventory. This is due to improved ad formats, such as rich media in combination with better targeting capabilities, and advertisers having learned how to effectively use mobile in their campaigns. The underlying factor however, is the improved access, flow, and utilization of data. Without this, other efforts are simply drops in the ocean.

  • Shortening time between collections and results

Today, companies collect more data than ever. Desktop, email, social, and mobile all provide their own streams of data which are not always easy to combine. Improvements in data flows are the first step to move towards real-time campaign optimization. To achieve immediate, tangible results the time between collecting the data and collating the information needs to be minimized.

However, realizing the technology that is needed to facilitate these high demands is no easy feat. Massive streams of data need to be combined and analyzed in real-time in order to give an accurate image of how different channels are performing. Audience programmatic mobile data will require platforms and data scientists to create streamlined and results-oriented processes in order to execute. Here’s an article that digs a little deeper into the technicalities of this topic in case you are into data science.

For marketers there’s just one thing they care about and that is simply whether it works. Many are switching to programmatic buying because they have given it a try and have now seen the power and efficiency that it brings. Programmatic buying has already drastically reduced reporting time (compared to direct) and will continue to do so. A utopia of real-time campaign optimization across all channels has not yet been reached (at least not for most) but we’re moving forward every day.

In conclusion, for marketers, buying advertising inexpensively is eclipsed by the opportunities data can provide to drive more effective media — especially when data can assist in identifying, segmenting and targeting the right people at the right time. An expanded audience is the primary motive on mobile and with these improved business outcomes, we will see KPIs met from campaigns.