Results tagged “mobile” from IABlog

Who are Mobile Gamers and Why Do They Matter?

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Mobile Gaming apps are the most popularly used mobile app type, according to the recently released IAB study “Mobile Gamers: Who They Are, How They Shop, and How to Reach Them” which is based on an IAB analysis of Prosper Insights data and represents the self-reported media behaviors of about 15,000 US adults 18 and older (A18+). Not only is Mobile Gaming the number one app type, but Mobile Gamers represent a substantial 37% of the US adult population. 
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Who are Mobile Gamers and why should marketers and digital publishers care? Mobile gamers are likely to be women (56% vs. 51%A18+), professionals (35% vs. 28%), higher earners ($68k vs. $62k) and purchase influencers (40% vs. 32%). They earn more, they spend more and they’re more likely than the general population to be planning both major and minor purchases. A full 16% are planning to buy an auto (vs. 12% A18+). Female mobile gamers are more likely to be planning a vacation (25% vs. 18%A18+) while male mobile gamers are more likely to be shopping for a new mobile device (17% vs. 10% A18+). This is a desirable audience.

But perhaps most important to digital publishers, Mobile Gamers are heavy mobile media users who can also be reached on digital media via their mobile devices. While male Mobile Gamers tend to be heavy gamers (74% play videogames during the week), female Mobile Gamers’ video gaming habits are more reflective of the general population (49% game during the week vs. 44% of A18+). Female Mobile Gamers are casual gamers and they spend their time online, taking in all forms of media on their computers and smartphones.

As heavy digital and mobile users, Mobile Gamers’ purchases are much more influenced by various forms of digital and mobile media than the general adult population, providing ample opportunities to reach them using these ad formats. Not only is this desirable audience more likely to watch online video (73% vs. 56% A18+) and mobile video (65% vs 41%A18+) but they’re also more likely to watch the video ads (62% vs 34%A18+) and even say that their Electronics (18% vs. 13%A18+) and Clothing (12% vs. 8%A18+) purchases are influenced by mobile video.  

Being digitally savvy and mobile focused, 94% of Mobile Gamers regularly research products online (vs. 89% A18+) and on their mobile devices before buying. Interestingly, the products they’re most likely to research (Electronics and Clothing) are also the ones that digital advertising is most likely to persuade them in, presenting an ideal environment to serve such ads. Internet ads and Email ads have more influence on them than Cable TV and nearly as much influence as Broadcast TV. One in three Mobile Gamers say their Electronics purchases are influenced by Internet Ads (vs. 24% A18+) or Email Ads (vs. 25% A18+). Female Mobile Gamers are heavier Social Media users and 23% admit that their clothing purchases are influenced by Social Media (vs. 13% A18+). Thus, ads served to them while researching products, whether online or in the store on their phones, will likely be rewarded.  

Mobile Gamers are more likely to own a smartphone (52%) than a desktop computer (45%) and they regularly showroom. They’re also much more likely than the general US adult population to make purchases using their mobile devices. While Mobile Gamers ‘showroom’ regularly, consisting mostly of reading product reviews and price checking, they most often end up buying the product in person at the store or at a competitor’s store. Interestingly, Mobile Gamers are more likely to both check email on their smartphones (90% vs 62%A18+) and to be influenced by email ads, providing another opportunity to reach them in store. Since they’re reachable on the go via mobile while in the stores, targeted ads, offers or email coupons during their shopping experience would likely sway their purchases. After they’ve left the store, many Mobile Gamers will buy the product online, offering a second chance for advertisers to reach them through digital media.

In summary, Mobile Gamers are a desirable audience that is planning to spend and they shop armed with a smartphone. As heavy mobile users, they are reachable online and are always connected. Their overall media consumption profile implies that a sequenced media mix to these Mobile Gamers could be effective. An ad on a mobile video game, followed by a targeted ad online while they’re researching the product, then followed up with an email offer or targeted in-store offer (for those who are reached by beacons) to catch them while they’re showrooming could win Mobile Gamers’ dollars. Digital and mobile ads are likely to influence Mobile Gamers’ purchases so intercepting their online activities with ads and offers is likely to pay off. A savvy marketing mix that makes good use of the variety of digital formats and mobile technologies could transform Angry Birds into Happy Marketers and Words With Friends to Advertisers With ROI.


About the Author

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Kristina Sruoginis

Kristina Sruoginis is the Research Director at IAB.


From the Winter Olympics to a fantastic World Cup, it’s already been a great year for sports around the world. And as the summer baseball season unfolds in the US, the IAB Mobile Center and InMobi have collaborated to publish a look at how US consumers use their smartphones to plan and purchase tickets to sporting events.

This report completes a trilogy of studies examining mobile and ticketing. Previously we looked at mobile and movies and mobile and live theater and music performances. Like those event categories, sports benefits greatly from the ease and convenience of the mobile internet.

Among the key findings from the sports research:

  • 85% of mobile sports fans turn to mobile after seeing ads for entertainment events on other channels. 
  • 49% of mobile sports fans say they find information about entertainment activities via mobile, making that channel more important than PC and print for entertainment information.
  • 78% of mobile sports fans use their mobiles to help plan trips to watch live sporting events.
  • Sports fans use their devices during games to record videos and watch replays.
  • 1 out of 3 mobile sports fans purchases game tickets directly through their phones or tablets. Box office, online and mobile are now all major sources of ticket sales. 

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Like mobile consumers generally, mobile sports fans gravitate toward ads that combine fun and relevance. Sports marketers seeking to make mobile an MVP on their media team should remember that 36% of this group prefer ads that showcase video, sound, and photos; 33% like deals or other promotions; 28% like pre-sale ticket opportunities; and 27% like ads that feature their favorite sports team.

It’s hard to imagine a category of marketer that’s a more natural fit for mobile than entertainment ticketing. Whether it’s a spontaneous movie night, the game of the year, or the concert of a lifetime, mobile has the immediacy and relevance to help a fan learn what’s going on, act on that, and share the experience with friends and the world. We hope these three studies help open marketers’ eyes to the value that mobile brings to the world of event ticketing, and look forward to seeing even tighter and better integration of mobile into sports, music, theater, event, and movie marketing.


About the Author

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Joe Laszlo

Joe Laszlo is Senior Director, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, at the IAB.

 



Make Mobile Work continues with Design with Device in Mind

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On Tuesday, May 13th IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence hosted our second Make Mobile Work webinar of the four-part series. Devoted to cross-screen creative and “Designing with Device in Mind” we had a great discussion with insights from Xaxis, Doubleclick and Tremor Video. View the full webinar, download the slides and sign up for future webinars here.

As we continue our call to help marketers navigate mobile and cross-screen opportunities - we’ve invited Time, Inc. to share some additional studies of brands successfully connecting with their always-on, device-agnostic, digital consumers. Additionally, be sure to check out the Mobile Center’s new launched creative and case study showcases page where you can see examples of HTML5 mobile and tablet creative as well as cross-screen case studies from our members.

The Driven Campaign 
A Time Inc. Digital Experience 
Coming from a publisher’s point of view there are several important factors when addressing cross-screen capabilities for our sites and ad campaigns.  With upwards of 50% of our digital audience visiting us from mobile devices, and growing, it makes cross-screen strategies an imperative from both the user experience and business operations point of view. Today Time Inc. has 21 Tablet Magazines, 25 Mobile & Tablet Apps, and 19 Mobile Websites  ̶  many of which are going through responsive design reboots. 

For this post I’m going to focus on a specific campaign we created for Land Rover that was powered by our Watercooler LIVE content marketing platform. The platform comprises several unique products and capabilities that come together like Voltron to help marketers win the battle for attention and engage with audiences across devices.  

In the demos below you can see the Land Rover - “Driven” campaign as it renders for users across multiple environments. Time Inc. curated the “Driven” campaign content from paid, owned, and earned media channels into a responsive site that was iFramed into landroverusa.com/driven. We also put a re-direct on that domain pointing to a standalone site for users coming from mobile devices in order to ensure an ideal user experience for every device.  

This is how visits were divided by screen:
  • 66% Desktop
  • 12% Tablet
  • 20% Smart Phone
The HTML5 responsive site worked seamlessly across screens and was also engineered to provide dynamic content to its accompanying Time Amplify ad units. All of our products are designed to increase both reach and engagement by allowing advertisers to take context (Time Inc. content) to go.  Through our data assets and platform connections, we were able to run these units both on and off of the Time Inc. network, finding our audience at the right place, at the right time, and on the right device. As part of this campaign, we also created a custom unit to roadblock sponsored editorial content and provide users with another opportunity to engage with the “Driven” campaign as a 100% opt-in experience. The video below showcases the Time Amplify units that dynamically pair Sports Illustrated content to the “Driven” campaign elements. 
Using MOAT analytics to measure in-view and interaction across all screens, we delivered the equivalent of over 10 years of measured in-view time across desktop, mobile and tablet in a two-month period. As you can see, the “Driven” campaign really benefited from us taking device into consideration from the outset. The campaign garnered an average engagement rate north of 7% and Average Time Spent across all elements of the campaign of nearly a minute. Great results across the board.

Here are a few tips for marketers wondering where to get started for a winning cross-screen strategy of their own. Developing for cross-screen has never been easier:
  • Start with the basics - Campaign objectives, creative brief, brand guidelines
  • Tailor your objectives to fit each screen—While you can leverage desktop assets across screens you should be mindful of screen size, bandwidth, and device-specific user behavior
  • Leverage platforms and tools to develop/experiment in faster cycles
  • Chart your users’ journey and create meaningful touch points using the screen and technology that’s most appropriate
  • Measure the metrics that matter for each screen and look at campaign results both holistically and in detail A/B test, measure, analyze, improve, and repeat
  • Always identify what could be done better and incorporate that learning into the next campaign

At Time Inc., we strive to leverage large, impactful, flexible, and standardized canvases — including the IAB rising stars — by painting them with dynamic, content-driven ad experiences that feel authentic to consumers and drive engagement and results for marketers. Make sure your partners are equally committed to approaching cross-screen in a way that resonates with your customers. 


About the Authors


headshot.jpgBelinda J. Smith

Belinda J. Smith is Senior Manager of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the Interactive Advertising Bureau



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Sam Mansour

Sam Mansour is Director of Digital Ad Product Experience at Time Inc


The IAB’s standardized interfaces for rich ads—Video Suite (VAST, VPAID and VMAP), MRAID, and SafeFrame—are among our most important contributions to enabling engaging, dynamic advertising to scale.  In three different ad environments, these technical specifications standardize communication between the ad creative and the systems that host the content. In a video player, the player must be able to understand and process the ad’s requests to operate smoothly (VPAID). For mobile in-app ads, the mobile app must be programmed to recognize the ad’s requests (MRAID). In a webpage where the ad runs in an iframe, a line of communication is needed between the page and the iframe (SafeFrame).

The three specifications IAB and our members have developed to standardize these communications have significantly reduced the friction associated with buying and selling advertising in web, mobile, and video environments. 

However, there’s a challenge.  Each of the three IAB specs was designed for a distinct scenario, and we live in a world where those scenarios are increasingly blurring together.  Companies are increasingly dealing with the convergence of these standards, asking questions like: 

  • How can VPAID and MRAID best be used together? 
  • While MRAID was developed for in-app experiences, what about browser-based apps? 
  • Should SafeFrame be the sole solution for browser-based experiences?

To formulate a game plan for addressing this convergence, IAB assembled leaders from each of the three standards efforts, along with relevant IAB staff, to publish a perspective on the challenges of bringing these standards into harmony with one another.  This document includes an overview of the specifications, the challenges we’re hearing about from the industry, and an overview of next steps IAB intends to take.  Over the long-term, there’s no question that we should place VPAID, SafeFrame, and MRAID on a convergence path.  But that’s necessarily going to be a lengthy process.  

In the short and medium term, we are talking with industry representatives about how to formulate best practices for working effectively with these specs, notably combining VPAID and MRAID, and other best practices as industry need warrants.  We encourage interested members to get involved as we make sure MRAID, VPAID, and SafeFrame stay relevant and valuable in a rapidly evolving—and converging—digital advertising world. 


About the Author

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Joe Laszlo

Joe Laszlo is Senior Director, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, at the IAB.

 


Digital Video In-Stream Metrics Released!

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If you are familiar with the story of the Tower of Babel, you’re aware of the potential power behind a commonly understood language. When everyone accepts definitions in the same way, the chance of confusion is eliminated and time can be spent more efficiently in progressing forward rather than having to consistently translate various interpretations. Digital Video In-Stream Metrics serve this exact purpose for buyers and sellers of digital video in-stream advertising, and have played an important role in maturing the industry and supporting its evolution. 

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Digital video is a fast moving marketing channel undergoing a large amount of innovation and technical functionality, so the industry will need to periodically review and revise standards to reflect the needs of current practice. The last update to the metrics was in 2008, so IAB convened a working group to modernize the metrics but we found during comment periods that there were some prevailing questions that we chose to address outside of the document. 

We hosted the webinar, Digital Video Metrics Modernized to provide an overview of the document and addressed those questions, and as an added layer of clarity we have outlined them in an FAQ. Ultimately, our goal is to enable growth in the industry. We do this by building and maintaining consensus around the use of these metrics and concepts so that buyers understand sellers and transparency is established.


FAQ Digital Video In-Stream Metric Definitions 

Why not combine the metric definitions with the Impression Measurement Guidelines?

IAB Impression Measurement Guidelines, which have been developed for display, mobile and digital video, describe technical details for how an ad impression should be counted in each of the specified contexts. Each of the Impression Measurement Guidelines documents is used in the industry to establish sound measurement practices for ad impressions. 

In contrast, the Digital Video In-Stream Metric Definition document, simply describe a baseline of interactive metrics that companies can voluntarily track in digital video. No technical guidelines are imposed for how each metric is measured, allowing companies make the best use of their technology while offering the Industry a common definition for select interactive digital video metrics.

Why isn’t viewability covered in the update to metric definitions for digital in-stream video?

Viewability in digital video is a more complex issue than simply defining a term. The 2014 Digital In-Stream Video Metric Definitions only defines a baseline set of interactive metrics that the industry can use as a common lexicon. However, establishing common measurement practices for determining whether an ad is in view requires a process that identifies and addresses technical and operational challenges. The Make Measurements Make Sense (3MS) initiative is leading the efforts toward more effective impression measurements. As a standard becomes adopted in the industry, these metric definitions may be updated to reflect relevant changes.

We serve video ads into 300x250 placements on websites. Why is this being excluded from the definition for digital video in-stream video ads?

The format of an ad does not make it a digital video in-stream video ad; the context into which the ad is served defines digital in-stream video ads. The technology for receiving and executing ads is different and requires different resources when the ad is served into a webpage and when served into a video player. Video ads that are served into a webpage are commonly known as in-banner video ads and are executed by the browser. Separately, ads served into a player are received and executed by the player—each of which may be built using proprietary code. Therefore, only ads served to a player (video or otherwise), constitute a digital in-stream video ad.

What constitutes a “player?”

In the context of digital in-stream video, a player is a browser-based computer program that executes videos, animation, or games that streams publisher content.

One advertising strategy we use is to stream short clips of content along with ads into a display placement on a publisher’s webpage. Our ads are played before, during, or after the content we serve, and they’re served into a player. Are our ads considered digital in-stream video ads?

If the content being streamed belongs to the same publisher that also owns the webpage content into which you are serving the clips and ads, then yes. For example, a news publisher may post several short news clips in the sidebar of their page. Ads served into these news clips are considered digital in-stream video ads.

However, if the content belongs to publishers other than the one who owns the page content, and especially if that content is served to a display ad placement on the page, the content is a form of advertising. In this case, the content, as well as the ads served with it, are being served to the webpage and classified as in-page, or in-banner video ads.

Is mobile covered in this metric definition update?

Ads served into browser-based players that stream publisher content are considered digital in-stream ads, regardless of the device in which they play. However, mobile devices present some challenges to tracking ad interactions. Native players in mobile devices are capable of playing content while offline and therefore lack the persistent connection required for communicating ad interactions in real time. For now, the 2014 Digital In-Stream Video Metric Definitions are restricted to the context of live streaming content. However, to the extent possible, these metric definitions may be applied to native digital players in mobile.

Are the ads we serve into games considered digital in-stream video ads?

Yes, game publishers may sell ad inventory that is served into their browser-based game players. Ads served into these players are considered digital in-stream video ads.


About the Author
Jessica Anderson
Jessica Anderson is Senior Manager of Advertising Technology at IAB. 





There is no doubt that mobile gaming is a hot topic that is attracting the notice of brand advertisers. Mobile gaming is growing significantly due to three key trends:
  1. Growth in smartphone and tablet usage (according to the IAB Mobile Center research, as of January 2014, 57% of all US adults owned a smartphone and 44% owned a tablet)
  2. Increasing sophistication in mobile app ecosystem
  3. Growing willingness among consumers to pay for virtual goods and accept mobile advertising
Mobile game monetization comes from:
  1. Virtual goods
  2. Paid apps and downloads
  3. Advertising
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Per eMarketer, mobile game monetization is projected to increase significantly over the next four years. All three of the primary monetization models—downloads, in-game/virtual goods, and ad-supported—will grow, but the mix will shift in favor of in-game/virtual goods.
 
For these reasons, the IAB Games and Mobile Committees convened a Town Hall discussion titled “The Future of Mobile Game Advertising.” Susan Borst, Director of Industry Initiatives and the IAB lead for the Games Committee stated that interest in game advertising has never been higher and bringing these two committees together is important given that nearly a third of all time spent on mobile is on games. Joe Lazlo, Senior Director of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence added that successful game advertising has much to teach the rest of the mobile ecosystem.

Following a welcome and some perspective on the state of mobile games advertising from event host, Jeff Colen, Ad Sales & Marketing at Zynga, Lewis Ward, Research Director of Gaming at IDC, shared some background information on smartphone growth and share, consumer spending on games and consumer sentiment for game play by device.
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Lewis noted the growth of the tablet for game play, and in particular the iPad as gamer’s favorite iOS devices. He went on to say that significant demographic differences exist across the various mobile platforms, notably HH income and gender, which have obvious implications for game developers and advertisers. For instance, the IDC study showed a big disposable income gap between iOS and Android, and game play on Kindle Fire skews heavily female.

Defining and sizing smartphone and tablet ads is “tricky due to technology fragmentation and the rapid pace of market innovation and evolution,” said Lewis, and the audience agreed. This is an area where the IAB could work to provide some clarity. 


Source: IDC
PANEL DISCUSSION
The key takeaway from the Town Hall discussion is that there has been a significant and important shift in just the past year or so and the momentum is building.  
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Key Highlights:

  1. Ad format evolution taking place: From advertising that offers player rewards, value exchange video advertising, rich media creative, branded content and more native integration—ads on games are becoming less aggravating—and more frictionless. 
    • There is an overall increased acceptance of advertising among users when advertising is executed in a way that brings value to their experience, is contextually relevant, delivered in a format that is visually appealing or synergistic to their mobile experience. Benjani highlighted inMobi’s focus on “working with studios and brands to create deeply integrated native ad experiences to connect advertisers to audiences globally.”
    • Emotional targeting that is additive to game play (creating value exchange between advertiser and user) tapping into players’ emotions and serving ads in the right place at the right time with the right message is a win for both advertisers and consumers. This allows the brand to be a welcome “hero” for the player, taking part in the user experience and offering players rewards during moments of “achievement” or tips at points of “frustration.” 
    • “In-game advertising is the only way brand marketers can reach and reward, encourage and rescue players in a way that adds value to the user experience. For example, during Breakthrough Moments™ (BTMs™), brands can reach game players during moments of “achievement,” such as when they get a new high score or a longest jump. With this approach, people will reciprocate the brand’s gift and take a post ad action—such as purchase a product or visit a website—and further engage with the brand, giving marketers a unique way to make lasting, meaningful connections with people,” said Brandt.
  1. Increasing focus on brand metrics: As Lewis noted, CPM, CPC, CPA and CPV all have some traction in mobile games, but increasingly, better brand metrics, analytics and real-time decisioning are changing the way effectiveness is measured. “Keep in mind as to where your ads are running as not all impressions are equal. If your primary KPI is to deliver a positive brand experience and association, look at where the ad is running and ask if you were playing this game - would you feel interrupted by or helped by this advertisement? User experience is at the paramount of successfully advertising on mobile and simply porting over outdated ad units and placements from display advertising is not enough. These are personal experiences on mobile and the key is tailor advertising to match this new medium”, said O’Connor.
  2. More options for developers and advertisers: From in-app to HTML5, more options are emerging for game developers and advertisers to foster “native” experiences. Grossberg added: “Brands are also beginning to leverage HTML5 to create their own mobile web games (the game is the advertising!) to engage their target audience at scale through this preferred activity on mobile, and do so in a cost effective manner in a way that fosters social and viral growth.”
Mobile game integration is a reality and has become industry standard for marketers.  The IAB Games Committee is  finalizing a white paper titled “The Games Advertising Ecosystem” report which is intended to help the industry understand today’s game play, the core game types and advertising categories for marketers to reach consumers.  Stay tuned!

About the Author

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Kym Nelson

Kym Nelson serves as an IAB Games Committee Co-Chair and is Senior Vice President of Sales at Twitch TV, the world’s largest live-streaming video platform. In this role since May, 2013, she has created Twitch Media Group, launching an inside, direct-sales media group at Twitch. She is responsible for creating and leading a world-class sales organization that delivers completely new and innovative digital solutions on a platform that is spearheading digital media as we know it today. 

IAB Standards Reach Japan

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As we hear of increased demand for IAB or IAB-like standards, guidelines and best practices in countries where IAB does not yet have a local IAB operation, we are intentionally seeking ways to engage in meaningful discussions and collaborate on specific initiatives in strategic markets like Japan.  
 
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IAB has been working in close collaboration with D.A. Consortium in Japan for nearly a year. As strong advocates for IAB standards and guidelines, DAC announced its launch of IAB Mobile Rising Stars in Japan and conducted research into their effectiveness in that marketplace. DAC has also translated and published on their subsidiary PlatformOne in Japan the IAB whitepaper “Programmatic and Automation: The Publisher’s Perspective”, part of IAB Digital Simplified Series.
 
Continuing this trend, the DAC team just recently they published a translation of the IAB whitepaper “Privacy and Tracking in a Post-Cookie World”. Click here to view the Japanese version or here for the original English version.

About the Author

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Alexandra Salomon

Alexandra Salomon is the Senior Director, International at the Interactive Advertising Bureau



Just before Valentine’s Day we held an industry town hall style conversation in San Francisco on the romantic topic of mobile and cross-screen audience metrics and measurement.

Before an audience comprised of members of the IAB Mobile and Tablet Committees, and the Research and Ad Ops Councils, a diverse panel of experts shared what their companies are doing around mobile and cross-screen measurement, what buyers want from metrics, and areas where this part of the mobile ecosystem needs to improve.

I want to thank my great group of speakers, including:

  •  Yvonne Chou, Product Management, Ads, and Monetization, Flipboard
  • Anne Frisbie, VP and GM, Global Alliances, InMobi
  • Graham Mudd, Director, Advertising Measurement, North America, Facebook
  • Steve Yarger, Head of Mobile, Trulia

Particular thanks to the folks at Trulia, who kindly let us use their event space for this conversation.

One topic we discussed was the traditional view of “reach” as an important metric—and the question of whether simply being the biggest was still a valuable differentiator for a network or media company.  The answer seemed in general that, yes, scale matters to ad buyers.  But raw, undifferentiated, mass-audience scale is not as valuable as it once might have been.  So InMobi, for example, tends not to talk about its raw reach number, but rather a smaller number (though still a big number—759 million) that counts only those end users for which it has some user-level targeting capabilities.

And of course where reach goes, so goes frequency, and to some extent duration as well.  I wondered (devil’s advocate-style) whether the age of audience buying meant that the good old GRP (reach x frequency) was obsolete.  None of the panelists really felt that way—indeed they all felt that there was increasing need for standardization of GRP-type metrics, for digital (including mobile) and then for cross-screen as well.  Making Measurement Make Sense deserves great credit for coming as far as it has, but the panelists agreed (and I think most 3MS participants would as well) that they still have a very long way to go.  Ad sellers are increasingly hearing demand from agencies to buy based on Nielsen OCR or comScore VCE, and see a role for IAB to help ensure those and any other GRP-style metrics are a sound basis for transactions.

And on the cross-screen frontier, there is a lot of interest, but a lot of concern as well. Vendors helping establish bridges between PC and mobile audiences are great, but some on the panel worry that they are either not transparent enough (or there’s no good way to validate their accuracy) and that on the consumer side there is not enough disclosure yet. Users need to accept and expect what you’re doing with their data, goes the sentiment, and with cross-screen data aggregation, there’s a risk of backlash from not-yet-informed or aware consumers.

Capping this part of the conversation I asked about the future of metrics and Alex from Weather said (half serious half in jest, I think) that we need an industry standard around cross-screen view-through conversions.  He’s probably right, but that’s an intimidating project.

Another point of metrics agreement among all five panelists was that clicks still matter too much in mobile.  First off, we shouldn’t even be calling them “clicks” or using the acronym “CTR” at all—in mobile the term is “taps.”  So even getting marketers talking about “tap rates” would be a minor victory.  But the major victory would be moving them from talking about taps to identifying and using better, deeper metrics to judge whether their messages are working.

I’ve been a proponent of trying this for some time, indeed IAB’s been on the “down with CTRs” message on desktop for ages.  But one interesting thing that came up in the town hall was that specific verticals have metrics they like, that they feel have proven (at least in terms of conventional wisdom) correlations to business results.

The two cited were:

Media and entertainment: movie studios look at trailer completion rates, believe a higher completion rate correlates with better box office.

Pharma: pharmaceutical companies look at the number of ad viewers who go three-clicks-deep into the content about a given drug. There’s a belief that people who do that are much more likely to go on to talk to their doctors and possibly get a prescription.

I am intrigued by these “magic metrics”—I’d like to start a collection of them for other verticals.  There’s a huge  value to simple, relevant, consistently defined metrics, especially if those metrics have an accepted correlation with actual leads, sales, or other valued business results.

Making mobile measurement make sense (which I’ve already heard referred to half-jokingly as “4MS”) is very much on the Mobile Center’s mind this year.  This town hall  was the first, but certainly not the last, industry conversation we’ll be facilitating, and Metrics and Measurement is going to be big at our upcoming Mobile Marketplace conference on April 7 here in New York.  I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on these issues, either there or in other venues later in the year.

About the Author

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Joe Laszlo

Joe Laszlo is Senior Director, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, at the IAB.

 

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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. 

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The Mobile Value tool incorporates five key mobile value-drivers:

  • Calls
  • 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!

About the Author 

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Joe Laszlo


Joe Laszlo is Senior Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB.

3 Strategies to Reach Mobilecultural Users

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Top publishers, mobile and social media experts discuss how to reach multicultural audiences

On Thursday, February 21, 2013, the IAB in partnership with Social Media Week New York held “Mobilecultural: How to Reach the Emerging Mobile, Social and Multicultural User”, a discussion about how brands, marketers and publishers can reach multicultural audiences on social and mobile platforms. The IAB AdLab was packed with more than 100 attendees from agencies, publishers, and brand marketers. Panelists included representatives from all sides of the digital ecosystem, who were able to give a broad perspective how mobile and social media are converging for African American, Hispanic, and other multicultural audiences.

However, it’s not enough to just tell people where the industry is going, it’s better to show them. Monica Bannan, VP of Mobile Media at Nielsen dexterously set the stage with Nielsen’s newly released data that featured the latest trends and data on social and mobile media usage within the last year. Monica opened the presentation with data on how digital is becoming increasing mobile with 36 hours spent online vs. 34 hours spent on mobile devices. This data is in line with the mobile research done by the IAB Mobile Center such as Mobile’s Role in a Consumer’s Media Day.  Monica’s presentation also revealed how multicultural users are over-indexing on smartphone adoption with 74% by Asians and 68% by African American and Hispanic users. Such numbers reinforce not only the increasing growth of mobile but that multicultural usage of the mobile platform is growing at encouraging rates.

 Cheryl Contee, Co-Founder of Fission Strategy, Attentive.ly, and the popular blog Jack & Jill Politics greatly directed and moderated the panel discussion with thought leaders: 

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The conversation was exciting and dynamic, but if I had to pull out just three main takeaways from it they would be the following:

Marketers and brands must move toward mobile and social to engage users, particularly within multicultural audiences.  

Lateef Sarnor was able to hone in on what most of the thought leaders are seeing at their companies which is that “social is part of the DNA” and with the high adoption of mobile devices by multicultural users “those realities have informed mobile strategy and everything is becoming mobile first.” 

Marketers, advertisers and brands creating engaging multicultural content should avoid the pitfalls of a one-size-fits-all formula.  

As Adrian Carrasquillo said, “multicultural consumers don’t want a second rate experience just because it’s niche. You have to elevate the conversation.” Diana Valencia noted that when creating content for multicultural users “it’s important to play into cultural cues whether it’s with content, style or humor you have to differentiate that. This will enhance affinity and empathy of the consumer.”  

So, what is the future for publishers, marketers and brands reaching mobilecultural users?  Manny Miravete didn’t have his Google glasses on hand to tell us the future but did state that “what is now local engagement will become macro.” It will be increasingly important for all businesses to sync their local and national efforts for both social and mobile campaigns. A second important trend for the mobile industry is as Marcus Ellington concretely states that “in the future more businesses will invest future budget in multicultural, mobile and social because they will see it works.”  

Behind every mouse click or swipe is an actual human.  

Cheryl Contee brought it all home with a statement that many advertisers, brands and marketers can agree with which is that “it’s important to remember you have the technology but be smart with how you’re applying that technology to actual human beings.”  The IAB Mobile Marketing Center strongly supports that idea and will continue to facilitate these and other conversations to continue to move the industry in a direction of growth and understanding of technology and the human beings behind them. 

To learn more about events and groups on this topic please visit iab.net/mobile.

About the Author

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Yolanda Brown


Yolanda Brown works with the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB on their various mobile committees, events, and initiatives. She also manages IAB Mobile Center’s ‘Tap Into Mobile’ program which helps businesses small and large optimize their sites for the mobile web. She can be reached on Twitter @YolandaMBrown.  


Understanding Mobile Discrepancies and the Technology Frontier

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Mobile is often referred to as the Wild Wild West of digital media. Well, the West didn’t stay “wild” forever, and neither can the mobile marketplace. It is one of the roles of the IAB to help tame this new frontier. Discrepancies, differences in the count of metrics like impressions or interactions between two parties, are one of the major challenges that make mobile seem lawless today. While discrepancies aren’t unique to mobile campaigns, some of the challenges with investigating and solving them are.

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To dig further into this issue, the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence hosted a mobile discrepancy working session on February 5th here at the IAB Ad Lab. We brought participants from each part of the mobile supply chain together to talk through mobile discrepancies with the objective of identifying where they are occurring, why, and potentially avenues where the IAB can help the industry. Having a collaborative mix of different perspectives all together in one room fostered knowledge sharing and brought to light new insights.

 

From a combination of breakout sessions and group conversations we learned that while the troubleshooting process and even some of the root causes of mobile discrepancies are pretty similar to display campaigns on the web, new technology drives some differences. This includes new technology from within the advertising industry as well the innovation taking place in the marketplace.

 

The new ad specific technology of mobile is an area where the IAB can help. New mobile-focused ad  products result in differences in how metrics are counted, reported and even terminology is defined. Like in the early days of web advertising, this is a clear place where the IAB along with our members can help by developing definitions and guidelines. We have already started this with initiatives like MRAID, Mobile Web Measurement Guidelines and the Mobile Phone Creative Guidelines.

 

Addressing marketplace technology, the fragmentation of devices, operations systems, screen sizes etc., is a bit more challenging. Not only does this create a challenge for developing ad creatives and testing them on devices, but also targeting and even traffic validation, especially for campaigns running across platforms. While some of these variables are beyond the advertising industry’s control, education and best practices can help reduce the friction they cause.

 

Now that we have clearer understanding of the many factors causing mobile discrepancies we can buckle down, roll up our sleeves, and work together to reduce them and grow trust in the mobile platform. This will take time and involvement from all parties in the digital advertising ecosystem, but based on the enthusiasm of everyone who attended the working session it is clear this is something the industry needs and is ready to do.  After all, the West wasn’t settled in one afternoon.


 About the Author

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Sabrina Alimi

Senior Manager, IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence


Sabrina Alimi is the Senior Marketing Manager of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, where she has a focus on ad operations and key mobile initiatives such as HTML best practices, mobile creative guidelines, discrepancies, and the future of the cookie. In addition, Sabrina leads the IAB’s Local Committee, exploring the opportunities that the use of location unlocks for mobile advertising. Prior to the IAB, Sabrina worked at Microsoft Advertising on the Atlas Media Console where she became a product expert providing technical support to clients and managing bug escalations. She can be reached on Twitter @SabrinaAlimi.

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Responding to the innovation boom and an increased focus on the burgeoning mobile revolution, the international IAB MIXX Awards has expanded its mobile categories this year. IAB President & CEO Randall Rothenberg explained how mobile is changing the industry in an Adweek interview earlier this year. “There is an unusual intimacy with mobile—literally a physical intimacy. You’re holding, swiping, pinching ads and content. That represents a real change in user experience and content and advertising. That requires rethinking,” he explained.

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In advance of the judging for the MIXX Awards, we asked the judges to share insights on how mobile marketing has developed over the last year.

1. Mobile Integration Across Platforms
It takes a period of experimentation to discover any medium’s true capabilities. Agencies and brands alike are finally discovering how versatile mobile can be as a marketing vehicle. Alberto Ferrer (@albertoferrer), Managing Partner, Marketing and Operations at The Vidal Partnership, says he “particularly likes the integration of mobile with other channels−controlling an experience on your computer via your mobile phone, interacting with a video or TV campaign via your phone.” MIXX Awards judges Lincoln Bjorkman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, North America, Digitas (@viabjorkman), and Lori Senecal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, kirshenbaum bond senecal (@digitalori), mentioned campaigns such as AMEX Sync with Twitter, which integrates mobile and social, and BMW’s Evolve app, which expands the product experience of an electric car for consumers as good examples of work that’s out there. Work like this proves that mobile can be successfully integrated with other platforms and unify a campaign.

2. Branded Mobile Apps
MIXX Awards judge Alan Schulman, Vice President, Chief Creative Officer, of SapientNitro NY (@DIGschulman), is particularly interested in the growth of mobile applications that “bring brand messaging and transaction together in 4- 5 simple steps. This is the real opportunity—to bring brand messaging, service platforms, and CRM together in a simple seamless way that yields business results.” Andreas Combuechen, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Creative Officer of Atmosphere Proximity, mentioned the Nike Golf 360 app, which brings together golf techniques and Nike attire, as an example of “mobile experiences that are being developed to deliver sales instead of just buzz.” Branded Mobile Apps is also one of the new mobile categories for this year’s MIXX Awards.

3. The Future of Mobile
We sensed an energy of excitement when we discussed what might be ahead for mobile with our MIXX Awards judges. Benjamin Palmer (@bnjmn), Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Barbarian Group, feels that mobile is “actually where the most movement is. We’re in the very early stages of figuring out how we as marketers can do something that’s effective for the brands but also appreciated by our audience.” Dyshaun Muhammad, Senior Marketing Manager of General Mills (@DMBiteandChew), concurs, adding “mobile is rapidly expanding beyond the ruthless focus on utility to embrace being beautiful and visual.” With more interest in mobile than ever before and a newfound flexibility to include form AND function, the future of mobile is powerful.

If you’re a mobile advertising innovator or are creating outstanding interactive advertising, be sure to check out the new MIXX Awards categories and submit your entries before our extended entry deadline on July 20!

*These campaign selections are independent of the MIXX Awards competition. They may or may not have been entered in the 2012 program.

About the Author

sp_keller_tracy.jpg Tracy Keller
Sr. Manager, Events Marketing, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)

Tracy is responsible for the strategy and execution behind marketing all IAB events, including managing marketing partnerships.

A Method to the Mobile Madness

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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.

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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

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Joe Laszlo


Joe Laszlo is Deputy Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB.

Another great Mobile World Congress has come to an end and as always it was even greater and more spectacular than last year. As interesting as the event was, it was challenging to really grasp MWC 2012 as a whole because of the size and mass of things going on at the same time.

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Brands, agencies, technology and operators seemed to be well represented in MWC attendance. While this clearly proves the greatness of mobile right now, it also highlights the problems an event like this faces when it no longer is “just for the tech folks”; there are so many cool things going on and so much networking it becomes almost overwhelming. The top things that stood out to me were:

  1. Less focus on technology and more on features or utility, such as M-Commerce, M-Wallet and Mobile banking. This represents huge opportunities globally—people want their mobile experience to reflect their lives and provide functionality, not just be a cool device. Mobile is no longer just about mobile. It is about media consumption and communication across several devices and platforms, and a tie-in to the way people live their lives across multiple screens.

  2. Regulation was also a continuously recurring topic of discussion. It is clear that the industry needs to show responsibility and start paying even more attention to regulators in order to continue growing, something the IAB Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. is closely working on.

  3. Advertising and monetization of mobile. While that theme was around last year, in 2012 this was actually a conference track. I led a panel in this track, “Mobile Advertising: The Mobile Advertising Ecosystem - Making It Work”, with a fantastic lineup: Google, Huawei, Telenor, Adidas and Initiative. The key takeaway was that the main things we all need to do to drive this forward are: Education, Education and Education and then Evangelization.

  4. 1% women max. Even though the event is getting broader it is somewhat sad to see that it is still hugely male dominated. Especially with the focus on mobile naturally integrated into people’s lives, busy female professionals and the strength of mobile moms are an incredibly powerful demographic opportunity for advertisers to capture.

  5. The Samsung Galaxy Beam projector smartphone. Everyone seemed to talk about this device. It’s fascinating to think about how phones and tablets with projectors can even further change media consumption. Check out MobileBurn.com’s video demo of it here.

Most importantly MWC 2012 was a great party, truly global, friendly, massive and totally worth it. See you at next year’s!

About the Author

Anna Bager

Anna Bager

Anna Bager is Vice President and General Manager of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, at the IAB. You can tweet her @AnnaBager and follow the IAB on Twitter @IAB.

 

Peter Minnium did a great job of gathering about 50 ad industry professionals of various digital make-ups in the same room. He certainly had a good reason: voting for the new Mobile Ad Standards doesn’t happen very often. Consequences are long-lasting.

Mobile is an interesting area. Amount of time users spend on their smartphones and tablets is not proportional to the amount of knowledge that either marketers or agencies have about how to effectively reach via mobile those same consumers. We’ve seen a lot of formats during the course of the day. At the end, I was not sure anymore what a format means. It seems I was not the only one—my confusion has apparently shared by a lot of entrants, too. There were quite a few solutions that resembled a Content Management System (CMS) more than a mobile ad. Others looked (and were) very expensive solutions, more expensive than we are used to seeing spent for an ad. Some suffered from non-intuitiveness and usability challenges. There were very, very good ones, of course—but I can’t reveal those until the winners are announced soon!

Our task was to pick a half-dozen Mobile Ad Standards that will work across the mobile ecosystem so that any stakeholder can develop a creative concept for a single mobile ad unit. The idea was that, in the future, these standards would allow wide mobile ad buys, aligned in the scale and scope with the online ones. (I can see the clients already getting excited). All of this is new.

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New things usually happen by experimentation, testing different hypotheses and learning from results. Trying to replicate the process in the course of six hours is difficult, but not impossible. Diverse group of people, from various backgrounds, specialties, and points of view create a robust discussion where different perspectives are challenged, questioned, or supported. All of us there knew that our opinions count, and furthermore, that we will be held accountable for what comes out of that room. It made us even more critical and bold in our feedback. That was hopefully a good thing.

My overall takeaway is that innovation is hard. Replacing 2D mobile banners into immersive and engaging new ad units that utilize the full potential of mobile behaviors will take time. The standards will be updated. Ads will hopefully become more integrated into the overall mobile user experience and more naturally aligned with the user navigation as they intuitively move through content, commerce and communities. It won’t be something that needs to be swiped in a specific way or, something that provides islands of peculiar experience separated from everything else. Companies creating fully interactive banners will think more about how to get users to their banners as much as they are thinking what happens in banners once users click, or swipe, or do whatever the vendor envisioned them to do to start the experience. Tech back-end development, production costs and platform and OS hurdles will be slowing the process down, too. So will the education of 25-year old media buyers used to repeating the same buying practices and relying on the proven sources of revenue.

We are clearly just at the beginning. But the best thing about the beginnings is that they give you something to start from.

About the Author

Ana Andjelic

Ana works as Digital Strategist at Droga5 in New York. Before joining Droga, Ana worked at HUGE, Inc, Razorfish, The Barbarian Group, AKQA and Wunderman. Her work has been focused on digital branding, digital marketing, and digital content strategies for clients like Citibank, Nokia, Toyota, CNN, Target, Maybelline, and Burberry. Ana is a frequent contributor to AdAge, where she writes about digital marketing, and also shares her thoughts on her blog, I [love] marketing. Her presentations included Miami Ad School, Hyper Island Master Class, and Social Media Week. You can find her on Twitter @andjelicaaa.

 

When one considers the current economic climate, there is little doubt we are becoming a global community defined by constant connectivity and ultra-convenience. Mobile devices are a major factor in this as they are now ubiquitous and one’s device fulfils a multitude of requirements, connecting them to a plethora of information and facilitating all types of interactions. Mobile marketing and more specifically, mobile barcodes play a pivotal role in this new world of enhanced communications and on-demand information.

As the IAB’s Mobile Buyer’s Guide points out, mobile barcodes are an important way of activating traditional media, furthermore they can help boost sales, increase customer engagement, build brand loyalty, and educate an audience. These small black and white squares, reminiscent of ink blots, represent a great opportunity for marketers to bring traditionally static marketing and advertising to life so brands can instantly engage with their target audience. For example, adding a mobile barcode to a print or outdoor advertisement, on pack or at shelf that links to a discount, sweepstakes or provides additional information on a product or service provides an opportunity for the brand to engage with their target consumers 24/7/365.  However, to ensure success, the marketers integrating mobile barcodes into their strategies should be mindful of best practices, ensuring that consumers have high quality experiences, conducive to repeat interactions. This positive experience will ultimately lead to increased consumer engagement and customer loyalty, improve ROI and make a significant difference to a brand’s bottom line.

NeoMedia has developed best practices focused on the successful introduction of mobile barcode campaigns globally, to help brand owners and agencies leverage the use of mobile barcodes to ensure the success of all of their mobile barcode initiatives. You can quickly access the best practices on your smartphone by scanning the mobile barcode below using your preferred QR code reader.

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Need a mobile barcode reader? Go to get.neoreader.com on your phone

Here are some additional tips to use when planning your next campaign:

1. Think Holistically

Integrate mobile barcodes into all digital and traditional media to maximize the consumer experience, dialogue and interactivity, ensuring mobile barcodes are planned as a part of the holistic campaign and not simply an afterthought.

2. Think Value and Ease of Use

Consider content that will compel the consumer to interact with your code, a la giveaways, discounts, free tickets and exclusive access. If your code simply offers the customer a chance to view a TV advertisement or link to a website, it may not achieve the results that you desire. Scanning a barcode should provide the consumer with a brand experience that is exclusive, dynamic and interactive - encouraging them to interact with you again.

It is also important to consider where a mobile barcode is located on the ad. Consumers must be able to find it easily and scan it quickly. For outdoor ads, place the code at eye or arm-level. In a print ad, the barcode should not fall over a fold.  Be sure to leave some white space around the code and use a minimum of 1 x 1-inch print specification. For TV or cinema, the code should remain onscreen long enough for the viewer to launch the scanning application and scan the code - a minimum of 15 seconds.

3. Think Reach

Branded or custom QR codes are certainly appealing, but it’s also important to create a code everyone can recognize and easily scan. Producing your code in black and white will increase the number of phones and code readers that can scan it. Also, ensure you use global, open standards (i.e. QR or Datamatrix) to achieve broadest customer reach and maximum impact for your brand.

4. Think Context and Environment

Remember that the consumer who has just scanned your code is mobile. They will be viewing the brand content on a mobile screen and are likely on the go, therefore expecting instant results. Make sure the barcode links through to a mobile-optimized site rather a PC-designed site. Remember that codes that don’t resolve content properly, go nowhere, or deliver the wrong information are the equivalent of a slammed door - the consumer may not try again.

Test the barcode for functionality across a variety of devices and scanner applications before launching. It’s important, especially because the consumers that scan codes are likely tech-savvy and vocal - the kind of consumers you want as brand loyalists.

5. Think ROI

Whatever the campaign, be sure to define goals before integrating a mobile barcode and choose a provider who will enable you to monitor the campaign via a managed barcode management platform.

Mobile barcodes offer an easy means to unlock a relevant, dynamic and interactive experience for consumers. And mobile barcodes are already gaining traction with many high profile brands as marketers begin to realize their value. Indeed, the uses of mobile barcodes are almost limitless, but to ensure consumers continue to interact with mobile barcodes well into the future they must have a positive experience. Essentially, to give your marketing campaign the best chance of success, use mobile barcodes and follow best practice advice!

NeoMedia will be to working with the IAB Mobile Center in the coming year to further educate the market about the best ways to accelerate their member’s mobile barcode efforts. For more info on NeoMedia, visit us at http://www.neom.com.

About the Author

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Laura Marriott

Laura Marriott is a member of the IAB Mobile Advertising Committee and CEO of NeoMedia Technologies,Inc.. You can follow her on Twitter @kanadawomaninus and @NeoMediaInc.

 

The IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence held our second tablet event in the IAB Ad Lab last week. A breakfast session focused on the theme of creativity, this event included some intriguing data from Nielsen, inspirational examples of ads and content pushing the bounds of tablet creativity, and a spirited discussion on what 2012 holds for the tablet.

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That part of the conversation focused on looking ahead particularly caught my attention. The answers varied broadly and included:

  • The rise of the “7-inch” tablet form factor; the question of where smartphones end and tablets begin will be a really interesting and tricky one.

  • The web experience on tablets. Delivering a better web experience, or hybrids of web and app experiences, will be a potential game-changer.

  • Fragmentation and the lack of standardization. A myriad of screen sizes, app user interfaces, and ad formats all combine to make tablets a great creative opportunity, but a tricky and hard-to-scale one, too.

  • The tablet as foundation. Right now tablets enter late in the media conversation. But that could flip: imagine discussions that center on the tablet as the start of the process of designing a new content offering or consumer service.

All great food for thought, and beyond that ongoing issues like the race to be the number 2 tablet, what Apple does next, and how tablets influence and affect overall consumer media consumption behaviors, virtually assure that we’ll have a lot to watch and learn from in the coming year.

The thing that intrigues me about tablets is that, more than any other device today, people see in them any and every device or medium they want to see. For people with a TV heritage, tablets are TVs you can hold in your hands. For people coming from the print world, tablets are the ideal, interactive magazine. And for those from the Internet universe, tablets are the perfect, tactile, portal onto interactive content. And all of these seemingly incompatible views are correct. Tablets really can be all these things, and more.

But given this wonderful, amazing diversity, how do content owners and marketers make sense of the tablet opportunity? As with previous interactive media, this is a place where the IAB can help.

The IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence is turning the Tablet Task Force group into an official Tablet Committee, taking its place alongside the other platform-specific IAB committees. This group will be open to any IAB member company that wants to participate, taking on projects to grow the tablet advertising market and providing an industry-wide forum for discussing how the tablet is evolving as a medium. Interested in joining the Tablet Committee? IAB members please contact Luke Luckett in the IAB Member Services group - we’d love to have you aboard.

About the Author

Joe Laszlo Joe Laszlo

Joe Laszlo is Deputy Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB.

 

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Privacy advocates and regulators have challenged the ad industry to provide meaningful choice when it comes to the collection and use of behavioral data. In response, industry leaders have come together in support of the enhanced ad notice icon, which leads the user to industry wide disclosure and choice options. Although some still question this approach, it is well positioned to have significant industry adoption as a framework for consumer choice on traditional websites.

PrivacyChoice_Policymaker.jpgThe industry is at an earlier stage when it comes to providing notice and choice on mobile devices. The infrastructure delivering mobile ads isn’t as well developed, and the ecosystem is more complex with carriers, devices and operating systems each playing a role. Nevertheless, given the rapid growth expected for mobile advertising, and the heightened privacy concerns associated with location-aware mobile devices, it is imperative that we also focus on how to deliver meaningful choice in this new environment.

The in-ad use of the enhanced ad notice icon faces some obstacles when applied to ads that appear within mobile apps, a growing segment of online ads. Not only does there tend to be less visible real estate in mobile ads, there’s no easy way (like cookies) to store the preference so that it is accessible across or between different apps and the mobile browser. Companies are working on ways to store tracking preferences at the device-level, but to work this will take a new level of cooperation between advertisers, operating system providers, and app makers—each with their own privacy agenda.

Despite these challenges, meaningful choice may actually become easier for ads in mobile apps because they can provide a different choice framework. Unlike typical websites, every app already has a moment of choice before any data collection begins: the moment of installation. Users typically install new apps through a marketplace (like Apple’s App Store) where they search, browse, and select new apps. Each app has a reference page, which can include links to terms of service and privacy information. Notice-and-choice for tracking, possibly even the icon itself, can be provided at this stage in the process of installing an application.

Is it asking too much of mobile app makers to create appropriately titled links and a privacy policy with the right disclosure? In fact, privacy policies are already required of websites under the laws of many states. Even though a minority of apps have a published privacy policy, that can change as privacy disclosure becomes easier and more automated. For example, we recently launched PrivacyChoice Policymaker, a 10-minute guided policy generator for mobile apps. It provides robust first-party privacy policy for the app’s own data collection, but also automatically adds the right disclosure for ad-company tracking. This disclosure includes company-specific opt-outs when available, and can link to any Do Not Track approach that may emerge.

Over time, privacy choices will be embedded more elegantly into mobile apps and operating systems. But as a starting point, every app should have a privacy policy and apps with ads should include robust notice-and-choice for third-party tracking. Ad delivery companies are in the best position to make this happen directly with their publisher clients. If app developers can be asked to take this relatively painless step, choice may even come sooner—and be more meaningful—in mobile apps than it has been so far on the Internet.

About the Author

sp_brock_jim.jpgJim Brock

Jim Brock is Founder and CEO of PrivacyChoice. You can follow him on Twitter @privacychoice.

Continue the discussion on this IAB Ad Ops blog series on Twitter by adding #MeaningfulChoice to your tweets.

 

davy.jpgLast 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

sp_laszlo_joe.jpgJoe Laszlo

Joe Laszlo is Deputy Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, at the IAB.

 
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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.

iStock_000007887592XSmall.jpgWe 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