New AdExchanger Research Points to Mobile Ad Growth

Mobile marketing is the fastest-growing and fastest-changing part of the ad tech business. Most marketers are doing it by the seat of their pants and learning as they go. However, AdExchanger’s new research tells us that marketers have some high expectations for where mobile will go in the next five years.

They want it to be

  • Extremely well-targeted and personalized (80 percent of marketers; 79 percent of agencies and technology providers)

  • Distinct from online display formats (68 percent of marketers; 55 percent of agencies and technology providers)

  • Bought and sold on a premium basis (48 percent of marketers; 51 percent of agencies and technology providers)

Believe us, publishers want the same. They’d like to do some kind of Deal ID or guaranteed inventory, which is what we are all working for now at ZEDO and ZINC. We’re also working with our brand partners to find the formats that work best for them. And don’t forget the measurement tools to demonstrate efficacy; we’re working at those as well.

But as you all on the advertiser side already know, nothing happens overnight.

“43 percent of agencies and technology providers believe marketers still see mobile advertising as experimental with budgets too small to accomplish anything, while 35 percent say their clients do not have enough mobile expertise to have appropriate expectations about their programs’ performance.”

Of course we’re at the same place we were in when advertising first went online. Marketers can’t get larger budgets until they can see that their mobile campaigns work, but agencies and providers like us can’t run effective campaigns unless we have the budgets to do that. The entire nature of advertising is to provide access to customers at scale, and bigger budgets are required. Right now, it is one of those vicious cycles waiting for one side or the other to break it.

But that will happen. It will happen because the consumer has moved to mobile, and advertising budgets must follow the customer. We have to answer several important questions as we develop mobile ad strategies:

What kinds of advertising will users tolerate?

What formats work best for mobile?

Should we try mobile web or just in-app ads?

How can we measure the effectiveness of campaigns? We know that CTRs are a poor metric, and we also know that forcing a viewer to complete a video doesn’t necessarily lead to a sale. On the other hand, we suspect that engagement with an ad might signal an intent to buy.

Unfortunately, that leads us to another question: what constitutes engagement with a mobile ad?

These are questions we talk about with our development team all the time. We try to stay ahead of the trends and help our brand advertisers cope with all the change. But since our ZEDO side has been around since 1999, we’ve got lots of experience in how to ride these trends to an effective outcome, no matter how you want to measure it.