For Programmatic to Succeed on Mobile, We Need New Models

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Recently we wrote about how programmatic ads are radically reshaping media - and how media and advertising may never be the same. Rupert Day, the CEO of London's tenthavenue pointed out that most of our analysis centered on desktop models for programmatic. He also shared some interesting thoughts of his own about how programmatic can succeed in mobile:

Online has the distinct advantage around targeting and measuring audience and online user behavior using a "cookie." The effectiveness of the "cookie" in mobile, especially in mobile apps is far less reliable. Other techniques such as finger printing and different device ID are often used together to pinpoint a unique user.

Data enrichment in mobile is also far more complex than online. The key difference can be traced to specific mobile specific attributes that define a consumer's context, intent and behavior - mobile app, device/OS and location.

Here are a few issues related just to location alone which does not exist for the desktop environment:

· What location and its importance means to a consumer, combined with knowledge of their actions

· Location data capture, understanding more about who a consumer is and what they do in the physical world

· Applying advertising to not just there online actions, but their real world actions

The complexity surrounding unique identifier and mobile data impacts how efficiently mobile audience data and segments can be organized, analyzed and used. The programmatic marketing scenario of matching of online buying behavior and relevant content is primarily relevant for online today (e.g. audience targeting or re-targeting). It relies heavily on "cookies", an abundance of advertiser/brand data and the use of ad tech (e.g. real-time bidding or RTB) that is optimized for "cookie" targeting and tracking.

Once the same degree of audience segmentation, targeting and tracking is available at scale for mobile (but now add cross device, apps and location), the potential of mobile extends way beyond the desktop. Mobile Audience Buying (via RTB) will inevitably open up cross channel buying based on reliable audiences, location and context, and thus, becoming the primary medium for consumer identification and engagement.

We believe mobile RTB will play a key role leading this change. However, the approach outlined so far is too simplistic in its current form.

For mobile programmatic to achieve success, it will revolve around the data model , how quickly the ad technology (e.g. ad servers, targeting, bidders, algorithms, etc.) can be adapted for mobile, and how the industry addresses data ownership, transparency and privacy. The power will likely shift to those in the value chain that own the data and/or those that can help data owners analyze and use they data insights efficiently.

And all of that needs to happen before we get to ensuring the content experience is optimized on mobile.

Rupert Day is the CEO of tenthavenue , a London-based global firm looking to understand how people with different mindsets engage with content in a multitude of environments, both physical and digital to add real world relevance to all our communications and to bring true utility. Follow his firm on Twitter @tenthavenuewpp.

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