By: John Haake, Chief Marketing Officer, Verve Mobile
For years we’ve heard “this year is the year of mobile.” Premature as that was in 2012, it’s safe to say that marketers have quietly reached mass adoption. In a natural evolution, marketers and agencies have begun exploring how to leverage mobile data and technology programmatically to boost campaign efficiency and effectiveness. Yet, the biggest hurdle to flawless execution isn’t the complexity of the programmatic ecosystem; it’s an inability to apply the lessons learned from the more than five years of programmatic buying online.
Lesson 1: Context, Inventory Quality, and Creative Matter
Prior to the programmatic revolution, buying was largely limited to contextual targeting, or direct–to-publisher deals isolating pages or site sections relevant to a specific audience. This was less than an exact science and led to large media waste and issues of scale.
With the advent of programmatic buying, advertisers and agencies were excited by the ability to purchase audiences at scale across inventory sources. The context in which the impressions were served was less important than reaching a specific audience. Remnant inventory reigned supreme on the exchanges, as did the lowest common denominator standard .gif ad units.
We know that audience targeting works best when applied to contextually relevant, high-quality inventory and creative. This is true with programmatic mobile as well, where inventory comes from either mobile web browsers or mobile apps. Currently 80 percent of mobile usage takes place via apps, and in general these impressions are contextually more relevant and provide more engaging user experiences.