Monday, October 3, 2011
IAB Calls on Mobile Industry to Come Together to Create Common Standards for Research on Mobile Audience and Ad Effectiveness

IAB.mobileIAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence Releases “State of Mobile Measurement,” A New Study That Pinpoints the Drivers and Inhibitors of Growth in Mobile Marketing and Advocates for the Adoption of Reliable and Consistent Mobile Metrics

NEW YORK, NY (October 3, 2011) — Encouraging the advertising industry to take full advantage of the opportunities that mobile presents today and in the years ahead, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released the “State of Mobile Measurement,” a new study that examines the factors that have hindered the broad acceptance of unified research standards and recommends that the interactive marketing ecosystem immediately starts down the road to consensus.

Unveiled at the IAB MIXX Conference & Expo in New York City, the “State of Mobile Measurement” study was conducted by Radar Research on behalf of the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. It comes on the heels of an IAB survey of brand marketers, which found that three-quarters of them expect to increase mobile spending over the next two years.

“Today’s report is designed to get the discussion started toward reaching the goal of agreement on standards and measurement in the mobile medium and mobile advertising,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. “For the expected increased ad spend to become reality—and grow even faster than predicted—the industry needs to deliver reliable and uniform metrics.”

The “State of Mobile Measurement”  covers the following areas:

  • Drivers vs. Inhibitors - The report begins with a look at what is driving the development of mobile measurement—and what is holding it back. Motivators such as growth in mobile usage, increased ad spend, and demand for measurement currency have been counterbalanced by such inhibitors as lack of standards, technological challenges, a complex ecosystem, and an ambiguous regulatory environment.
  • Two Measurement Types, Three Discrete Channels - As with traditional web measurement, the mobile ecosystem needs to measure both ad effectiveness and audience. However, mobile throws in such new metrics as “location.” And, unlike the traditional web—where the main variables have been monitor size and browser—mobile measurement must also deal with three discrete channels: the mobile web, mobile apps and texting.
  • Fragmentation - Marketers must also account for multiple operating systems, carriers, handsets and device types. In addition, there are differences in the types of measurement tools used by different publishers, ad networks and online retailers.
  • Technological Barriers Cause Cross-Platform Challenges - Some technologies deemed essential in measuring the traditional web work far less effectively—or not at all—with mobile. These include cookies, server logs, and correlation between server logs and third party ad servers. An especially difficult challenge is how to assess numbers of unique visitors.

These factors and others make cross-platform measurement the industry’s “holy grail,” says Marissa Gluck, Founder and Managing Partner of Radar Research, and the report’s author. “Even as other digital channels, such as the PC-based web, email and social media have developed more sophisticated measurement, mobile media lags behind,” said Gluck. “Despite the lack of industry-accepted measurement standards, marketing investment continues to grow. While this report highlights some of the measurement obstacles facing mobile media, it is also meant to provide a roadmap as the industry and—excuse the pun—to mobilize the industry for further dialogue.”

“There is no question that the growth in mobile advertising over the last few years has been remarkable,” said Erin (Mack) McKelvey, Senior Vice President, Millennial Media, and IAB member of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence Board of Directors. “If we want to keep the momentum going, however, we need to heed this report’s call to create clearly defined sets of standardized measurements for mobile. With solid metrics at our side, the potential for mobile could be unprecedented.”

To view the “State of Mobile Measurement” study, please visit:

Study Methodology
Multiple interviews with key stakeholders were conducted from May through July 2011. Executives on the publisher and network side were interviewed, as well as executives at measurement vendor companies, to get a comprehensive view of the mobile measurement landscape. Other relevant information came from Internet and academic searches of nonproprietary literature that provides useful points of view on how mobile consumption and advertising is now—and should be—measured.

About Radar Research
Radar Research is a Los Angeles-based research and consulting firm aimed at the nexus of media, technology, culture and commerce.

Radar conducts research on behalf of media companies, technology firms, and non-profit organizations, aiding in the development of corporate strategy and addressing tactical questions about emerging consumer behaviors. When appropriate, we share our findings in the trade press, academic publications, and the mainstream media.

Radar can design and field market surveys, organize focus group sessions and assist in the development of corporate strategy. We understand the business of culture and culture is our business.  For more information visit

About the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence
The IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, an independently funded and staffed unit inside the IAB, is charged with driving the growth of the mobile marketing, advertising and media marketplace.

The Mobile Center devotes resources to market and consumer research, mobile advertising case studies, executive training and education, supply chain standardization, creative showcases and best practice identification in the burgeoning field of mobile media and marketing. Our agenda will focus on building profitable revenue growth for companies engaged in mobile marketing, communications and advertising, and helping publishers, marketers and agency professionals understand and leverage interactive tools and technologies in order to reach and influence the consumer. For more information or to find out how to join, please visit

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]