Blog

December 2, 2015

5 Unique Programmatic Buying Considerations for Mobile

Zachary Belmont, Trading Manager EMEA, OpenX

Mobile is so ingrained in modern life that it has overtaken desktop as the preferred search method in 10 countries, and consumers spend more than two hours using mobile devices each day. This presents a significant opportunity to combine vast audience reach with advertising automation — programmatic now accounts for 64% of mobile ads — but there are unique considerations advertisers must take into account to ensure success:

Data

Enabling better consumer targeting and relevancy, data is essential for mobile campaigns. Advertisers can access data via operating systems or user profile information, and obtain third-party data from supply chains. Specific data sets, such as location data, can be used to deliver relevant ads to consumers wherever they are. Device identities also enable marketers to track users in a cookie-less world, ensuring that ads are as targeted and engaging as possible.

Creative

In programmatic mobile, there are four key types of inventory both in-app and on mobile web: banners, interstitials, video units, and native units. It is paramount for advertisers to consider which format is best suited to the creative and the needs of the audience. Banner ads are by far the most prevalent, though many advertisers are starting to adopt programmatic buying of interstitials and native ads to capture audience attention and provide an advertising experience that blends with its environment.

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Inventory

Ad buyers want a clear picture of exactly what they are buying, which makes inventory transparency a priority. Consequently, publishers frequently offer 100% transparency as a premium option during automated guaranteed or private marketplace trading. Many mobile buyers therefore find the lower prices of semi-transparency more attractive and seek to ensure premium quality is achieved via other means, such as white lists.

Measurement

Cookies cannot be served on mobile, which has led the industry to use alternative measurements, such as server postbacks and identity-based targeting. Both methods produce valuable insights that can be used to gauge the performance of mobile programmatic campaigns. In mobile apps, they are commonly used to measure cost-per-install KPIs — and increasingly — app opens and purchases. In mobile web, they are more typically deployed to measure CTR and video views.

Viewability

With research suggesting that ads on mobile are less viewable than they are on desktop, where more than half of ads are not seen, viewability is a serious issue that the digital advertising industry must tackle promptly. In May this year, the MRC and IAB issued interim guidelines for mobile viewability that stated the industry should follow the existing desktop standard: 50% of pixels must be seen for a minimum of one second for display ads and at least two seconds for video.

Conclusion

Mobile advertising in the UK is on the rise and is likely to become more prominent than TV and print advertising in 2016. This makes it crucial for advertisers and publishers to understand how programmatic buying for mobile differs from other environments. By considering the key factors of mobile programmatic, marketers will be equipped to serve fully integrated, highly relevant and successful mobile campaigns.

Want to take a deep-dive into the programmatic mobile advertising space? Download our Mobile Programmatic Playbook, published in conjunction with the IAB, which provides a comprehensive introduction into mobile programmatic including a look at current and future industry trends:

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