Results tagged “Joe Laszlo” from IABlog
Demand for programmatic buying in mobile has skyrocketed in 2013. At the IAB, we saw this trend unfolding and launched the Mobile Programmatic Buying Working Group, led by Joe Laszlo as staff manager and Victor Milligan of Nexage as chair, to address this rapid growth and the unique aspects of mobile programmatic. As the working group’s leaders, we co-wrote this post to outline some of the key takeaways from the group’s conversations, and share our thoughts for 2014.
While there are certainly similarities between PC and mobile programmatic, the differences warrant a working group dedicated to mobile. These differences are critical design points for publishers, exchanges, buyers, agencies, and advertisers, and include:
- Mobile’s unique and massive applications and game ecosystem
- Mobile’s data model that is built absent a universal, persistent third-party cookie
- Mobile’s unique targetable data including location (notably lat/long), mobile OS (iOS and Android), carrier, connection type, and device types.
- Mobile’s form factor and the importance of creative that is optimized for smartphones and tablets
The Mobile Programmatic Buying Working Group brings together 40 individuals at a diverse array of IAB member companies with a shared interest in how programmatic is evolving in mobile and how the IAB can help members understand and fully capitalize on programmatic.
The group’s first task was to organize the broad concept called programmatic and focus on those items important—and unique—to mobile.
Given that programmatic has come onto the digital landscape quickly and that programmatic itself describes a family of technologies, we needed to itemize and define the different programmatic markets. Aligned with the IAB Programmatic Publishers Task Force, we identified four types of marketplaces:
- Automated Guaranteed (reserved inventory at a fixed price, just transacted via an exchange, also known as programmatic reserved or guaranteed)
- Unreserved Fixed Rate (unreserved inventory at a fixed price, also known as preferred deals or first right of refusal)
- Invitation-Only Auction (unreserved inventory sold at auction, but to a select number of potential bidders, commonly referred to private marketplace or exchange); and
- Open Auction (unreserved inventory sold at auction, to any bidder, usually using real-time bidding [RTB]).
Although the world of ad exchanges (in both PC and mobile) started with a largely open auction model, other models such as various forms of invitation-only auctions like exclusive or first-look private exchanges have generated a great deal of interest from publishers and buyers alike. A recent analytics report from Nexage describes trending in programmatic and the extraordinary uptake in private exchanges, as publishers and buyers become more comfortable and adept at using private exchanges to accelerate their businesses.
The task force then began to discuss key mobile programmatic issues that will guide our work. Examples include:
- The data model: The lack of cookies in mobile has an impact across most elements of programmatic buying. Because third-party cookies are not typically available, mobile ad inventory relies on proprietary means of targeting, tracking, and accountability, which aren’t always articulated clearly to buyers. Nexage views exchanges in all their various manifestations as serving as a critical integration point between first-party data (e.g., from the publisher/network/inventory owner), brands’ CRM data, and third-party data.
- Targetable data: There are a number of data types that apply in mobile that don’t have PC analogs, including location, operating system, carrier, network connection (wifi, 3G, 4G, etc.), and even handset maker/device model. Some of the parameters, are sometimes considered complicating aspects of mobile fragmentation, but they can be better seen as methods for better targeting in an exchange setting, providing a valuable proxy for consumer demographics (e.g., iPhone users are different from Android users).
- Transparency: Ensuring that programmatic is not a black box but a clear box where transparency aids impression level decisioning is a priority. For example, latitude/longitude (lat/long) is a critical parameter for hyperlocal campaigns, but not all lat/long data are created equal. Some are GPS derived, but others are derived from zip code or post code, called centroid lat/long, which are far less precise. Some exchanges already have business controls to enable buyers to know which is which and target and price accordingly.
Across both PC and mobile, programmatic is shifting from a disruptive force to a valuable (and necessary) solution connecting ad buyers with desired ad opportunities. As we get into 2014, we have several ambitions for our working group:
- Analyze the issues related to mobile programmatic’s unique factors to help members best understand and capitalize on the opportunity.
- Provide input to the IAB’s other programmatic efforts, making sure that mobile’s unique aspects are represented.
- Continue to serve as a forum for exchanging experiences and sharing knowledge.
- Start collecting emerging good or best practices and case studies to illuminate what is working for buyers and sellers alike.
- Organize an industry town hall conversation to help disseminate our learning to marketers and agencies that need it.
It’s been an exciting year for mobile programmatic buying, and next year promises to be even more so. We’re looking forward to kicking the Mobile Programmatic Working Group into high gear, addressing challenges and ensuring continued growth for everyone.
About the Authors
For marketers just getting their feet wet in mobile, it can be hard to understand return on investment. At the macro level, spending on mobile advertising is booming (new research from IAB and IAB Europe pegs mobile ad revenue at $8.9 Billion USD worldwide in 2012). However, an overly narrow view risks undervaluing the benefits that mobile advertising brings. That’s why we are pleased to unveil the newest IAB Mobile Center web tool: Mobile Value.
Mobile Value enables a holistic view of the multi-channel impact of mobile advertising. Our calculator consists of a series of simple, fill-in-the-blank web-based forms that invite marketers to input basic data from a recent (or ongoing) campaign—no names or details needed.
The Mobile Value tool incorporates five key mobile value-drivers:
- App downloads
- Cross device purchases
- Mobile site visits
- In-store sales
Of course, not all of these will apply to all campaigns or all marketers, but completing a full circuit of the tool’s components results in a calculation that demonstrates, in dollars and cents, the value a marketer derives from its mobile ad investment.
Complementing each component is a set of measurement tips to help a marketer find (or estimate) the data they need, along with case studies that drive home how each of these components contributes to the total return from mobile advertising.
We’d like to thank our friends at Google for their help creating this tool, and we hope that marketers find it a useful compass as they navigate mobile’s waters!
Joe Laszlo is Senior Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB.
For those who have been out of the IAB news loop, last week we held our Annual Leadership Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. It was an intense, jam-packed few days. One of the highlights for me was that I got to be a “provocateur” in a Town Hall-style break out session we held on mobile monetization, called “Are Mobile Pennies Inevitable? The Challenge of Mobile Monetization.” Under the able moderation of Chris LaSala of Google and Cary Tilds of GroupM, participants jumped in to a lively series of discussions about the challenges facing mobile advertising today, and how we—the industry and the IAB—can contribute to solving them.
We started by enumerating and prioritizing the problems: according to a Kleiner Perkins study, mobile revenue is something like 75 cents per user as compared to $3.50 per user on desktop.
Most of the mobile problems we came up with are familiar ones:
· 1. Lack of knowledge about how to measure
· 2. Too much complexity (HTML5 v Flash, varied screen sizes, etc)
· 3. Creatives hate it: too small, too fragmented
· 4. Standardization is needed
· And so on….
But the biggest problem for investors and brands in mobile is that there’s a lot of chaos to sort through. It’s hard to figure out how to invest in mobile faster, and hard to keep on top of the landscape.
— cary tilds (@ctilds) February 25, 2013
What is Mobile?
One challenge is that we don’t even have a firm answer to “what is mobile?” And indeed, the distinction between “mobile” and “not mobile” may be fading away. Whether we separate out mobile, or how we divide up the world, depends on what we’re talking about.
From a marketing strategy perspective, there’s a compelling view that “mobile” shouldn’t be separated out, we should think in terms of at home versus office, event, retail, and other places. The tablet on the couch, the screen in the car dashboard, the smartphone in a restaurant: it’s where you are physically that defines the opportunity, not what device you happen to have. As the IAB says, mobile is really a behavior, not a device type.
Another participant advocated a hub-and-spoke framework, where mobile is not unique or disconnected from other media, but is the central device/medium for advertising, and other media (TV, outdoor, print, PC, etc) all are spokes that relate to the mobile hub.
While a marketing strategy perspective may be ready to move beyond the mobile/non-mobile dichotomy, a plumbing point of view still argues for looking at mobile as a distinct medium. There are unique, mobile-specific problems that need to be resolved before these integrated, cross-screen marketing plans are feasible. These relate to scale, approach, and currency, among other things. Technical solutions like HTML 5 will help with some aspects of the plumbing problem but there’s still a lot to do to get mobile advertising flowing easily.
Another strong theme from the Town Hall was that while standards are starting to exist (thanks, IAB!), they are not there, not deep enough, or not clear enough yet.
One of our subgroups recommended, “standardize first, and innovation follows.” Another asked if it shouldn’t be the other way around. That comment sparked the great question: “Is there a necessary trade-off between awesomeness and standardization?” The broader chicken-and-egg question is important, and it shapes the way the IAB approaches timing for mobile and other standards projects. We count on members and others in the ecosystem to let us know if we’re being premature or late to the game. And I do agree that we should strive for standards that permit, or even encourage, awesomeness.
One summary of the conversation held that mobile does not have a monetization problem, it has a measurement problem. And the measurement problem can be decomposed into two parts: a plumbing problem and a standards problem. However, we as an industry are not 100% sure on what the solution to the plumbing problem should be, and if it should cover just mobile or extend across screens/devices. And there’s not complete agreement that there should be standards yet.
A pithier summary of the conversation was: “The screen size is small. That sucks. Get over it, and learn to build mobile creative that works.”
In my mind, both of these conclusions imply time as part of the solution. Time is needed for brands and agencies to get their bearings where mobile is concerned, and it takes time for the media side of the industry to move from competitive land grab to cooperation. Any standards effort requires consensus around which aspects of mobile are just table stakes (where standardization helps everyone) versus things that are true competitive differentiators. Hopefully, via conversations like this and our ongoing standards, committee, research, and other efforts, the IAB’s Mobile Center can accelerate that process.
Joe Laszlo is Senior Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB.
Mobile media is booming. According to the IAB’s latest figures (released only yesterday), 2011 US mobile ad revenues reached $1.6 billion, up a remarkable 149 percent over 2010.
In addition to tracking the dollars and cents, the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence has undertaken a series of research briefs looking at the role of mobile in consumers’ lives, especially as it relates to major events (Super Bowl XLVI, holiday shopping). This week, we’ve released the latest piece in that series, looking at mobile and the NCAA’s March Madness 2012 tournament.
For this project, the IAB teamed up with Millennial Media to show that the real winners of the college basketball season were fans who kept their smartphones and tablets by their side. From checking scores and watching highlights to interacting with friends, family and alumni, consumers turned to their mobile devices as a key screen for engaging with content, driving overall traffic on the Millennial Media platform up over 10 percent during the games.
Our survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults reveals that nearly three out of four (79%) March Madness viewers who own mobile devices used them in some way to keep up with the tournament. A significant number of those people (69%) agreed that having a mobile device has made it convenient to follow the tournament, and 21% said that they purchased a mobile app specifically related to March Madness.
For enthusiastic fans of March Madness—people who agreed that they are passionate about the tournament this year because a favorite team was in it—“mobile madness” was even more the norm: 88 percent of them used mobile devices for a March Madness-related activity, and 26 percent said they followed March Madness primarily by using their smartphone.
Data from Millennial Media’s network uncovered keen usage of mobile during the tournament. On the opening day, when excitement was at its peak, impressions in sports apps were up over 30 percent relative to one week earlier, and from 7-11pm ET, social media app impressions were up over 40 percent. In the early days of the tournament, finance was the leading advertising vertical on the Millennial Media platform, followed by telecom, entertainment and retail & restaurants.
Mobile devices clearly upped the game for fans of March Madness, and these findings should also be relevant looking ahead to similar huge, multiday sporting events like the UEFA Euro 2012 soccer tournament and of course this summer’s Olympic games in London. Brand marketers need to know that mobile should be a key part of their strategy to reach fans effectively during these exciting, engaging events.
About the Author
Joe Laszlo is Deputy Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB.
Last month the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence launched a new working group focused on identifying, discussing, and (where possible) solving mobile ad operations issues. Tackling the challenges of online ad ops has been one of the IAB’s core priorities over the years—and an area of some of our most important accomplishments. We hope that we can leverage that long experience to help the mobile interactive industry tackle its unique challenges at an accelerated rate.
Working closely with both the Mobile Center and the IAB Ad Ops Council, the Mobile Ad Ops Working Group will help us keep pace with the fast-changing mobile world. I thought the first conversation was great. It uncovered a number of issues that I was aware of, but also some that I’d not really considered. Here is a brief review of some of the topics keeping the mobile ad ops community up at night.
- Mobile ad serving. I’ve been hearing a lot about the problems that exist around mobile ad serving, particularly mobile rich media and video ads. The IAB’s Mobile Rich-media Ad Interface Definitions (MRAID) is an effort to simplify life for creators of mobile rich media ads. We need to investigate further the state of mobile video serving, including the applicability of the IAB’s existing Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) and Video Player Ad Interface Definitions (VPAID) specs.
- Discrepancies. A longstanding thorn in the side of interactive advertising, discrepancies are a big problem in mobile impression counting and other measurement as well. The IAB/MMA/MRC guidelines for mobile web ad measurement should help by providing common principles for how to count impressions, but it’s clearly an area where more work is needed. Our group will also explore leveraging the IAB’s Impression Exchange Solution (IES) to help advance the mobile front of the war on discrepancies.
- HTML5. Many in the industry think HTML5 is going to be sort of a savior, a standard that will make content development much easier across the fragmented landscape of mobile devices. Online ad sellers need to set expectations about how much of a panacea HTML5 will or can be. We can help educate buyers about the when and how of HTML5, too. At the same time, some in the industry are beginning to think about how much HTML5 is going to change not just the mobile web, but the PC web as well.
- Testing and Validation Challenges. The testing and validation process is always going to be a difficult challenge in mobile—with thousands of devices all potentially behaving slightly differently from one another, it will never be simple. Establishing some best practices around testing and validation, and providing a forum for sharing insights, both came up as helpful steps.
- Geotargeting. It turns out that when you don’t have access to a handset’s GPS or other location data, geotargeting is problematic, with issues similar to the early days of the web: proxy server locations throw off automated technologies for geotargeting.
- Educating Agencies. Members of the working group see a strong need for a one-stop place the agency community can go for mobile education in laymen’s terms. They find themselves explaining even basic things, like the MMA ad sizes, and the lack of support for Flash on Apple devices. At the same time there’s a perception that agencies want jump straight to creating the most sophisticated “crazy shaking pouring-the-beer-type” ads.
- Communicating With Phone Developers/Manufacturers. The other common refrain from the ad ops group was the need for a better dialog with device makers. This is a big challenge, since some of them famously don’t listen to outsiders much.
Of course, some of these challenges are easier to address than others. But all are important, and I’m looking forward to working with our mobile ad ops group, the IAB Ad Ops Council, and the larger community of IAB Mobile Center and Mobile Committee members to develop a game plan and to start to tackle them.
About the Author
Joe Laszlo is Deputy Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, at the IAB.
Last week, I was lucky enough to escape the frozen tundra of New York for a few days to moderate a panel with a group of members of the IAB Mobile Committee (folks from CBS Interactive, Millennial Media, Pandora, and TargetSpot) at the Online Marketing Summit in San Diego. I thought (though as moderator I may be biased) it was a great conversation, looking at the year ahead in mobile advertising.
We kicked off by tackling one of the great industry clichés, namely that this is “the year of mobile.” This phrase has been a constant at every mobile meeting, event, summit, and panel since at least 1999, and onstage at OMS the panel agreed that we need to move beyond it. “Year of mobile” is irrelevant, because we’re living in the era of mobile, and it’s something that publishers, agencies, and marketers alike need to understand and internalize. With that in mind, I committed to never utter the phrase “year of mobile” at a conference again. If you catch me doing it, call me on it.
Someone did raise the question of whether this is the “year of the tablet,” which I reserve the right to repeat ad nauseum.
The best takeaways from the panel were some great pieces of advice for marketers, including the following:
- You can’t just cram a full website down onto a mobile device and expect success. Even if the network and smartphone can display your content, the screen real estate and more importantly the consumer mindset are different in the mobile world, so sites optimized for mobile will always do better than repurposed Web pages as mobile destinations/landing pages.
- Don’t create a mobile silo. Mobile works best when it’s integrated into a broader marketing strategy. Simply throwing the $30K left over after the rest of the campaign is planned out at mobile is not a path to success. In fact as mobile increasingly becomes the glue that binds all the other media in a campaign together, it’s going to be ever more important to consider mobile at the outset of any campaign planning process.
- Let someone else do the heavy lifting. Let’s face it, mobile is a complex landscape. With upwards of 5,000 devices and 15 operating systems, making sure that a campaign, site, or app works across devices and networks is hard. But there are tons of companies that can help manage that complex landscape.
- Focus on people, not devices. While it’s tempting to plan a campaign tailored to the new, hot device on the market, marketers should approach mobile like they do any other medium, and start with the goal of the campaign and who they want to reach. The device(s) to target should follow from that. In some cases it’ll be a specific device or operating system, but usually it’ll be a combination of several. Mobile’s evolved beyond targeting solely based on sites or devices; explore opportunities to target demographic, psychographic, and behavioral segments.
- Plan success metrics early to focus on the right ones. Mobile is a chance to grow an interactive advertising business with the hindsight of what we did right, and wrong, on the Web. Avoiding click-throughs becoming a dominant success metric would be a great win for Web hindsight. Clicks to mobile landing pages are just the tip of the iceberg of what you can do (and measure) with mobile ad campaigns. Interactions, shares, texts, calls, stores located, apps downloaded, views, coupon redemptions, and impressions, are all possible success metrics—and nearly everything is measurable. Just like the web, think about the goals of the campaign first, figure out what success metrics will matter, and go from there.
It’s an exciting year for the industry (even if I can’t call it the year of you-know-what), and an exciting time for the IAB as we ramp up our resources devoted to helping the mobile advertising industry grow. The IAB published a Mobile Buyer’s Guide in 2009. That was a long time ago in mobile terms, but the advice in it is actually pretty consistent with the points the panel discussed: details may change, but good strategy is good strategy. Marketers who want to learn more can start by looking there, and feel free to get in touch with the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence. We’re eager to help!
Joe Laszlo is Deputy Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, at the IAB