March 2013 Archives
The introduction of the new IAB Rising Stars (RS) - Billboard, Filmstrip, Portrait, Pushdown, Sidekick and Slider - in 2011 ushered in a new era in standard, brand-building display units. The larger, interactive palettes are an ideal vehicle for digital brand advertising at scale.
On the occasion of their two-year anniversary, Undertone surveyed its clients - brands and agencies - as well as publisher partners on key questions reltaed to awareness, sentiment, challenges and metrics. Our goal was to both gain a better understanding as well as create some actionable next steps for the industry to drive adoption of RS.
RS have high awareness with agencies: Over two thirds (69%) of agency respondents were aware of RS compared with 31% on the brand side.
Agency optimism is high: And of those agencies that were familiar with RS, 73% stated that they were either somewhat or very likely to use them again in 2013.
RS drive results: only 2% of agency respondents who ran RS campaigns in 2012 plan to decrease spend on the units in 2013. And performance was the highest ranked evaluation criteria for both brands and agencies.
There are common barriers to entry: for agencies with larger budgets ($10 million and above), concerns over distribution were the key barrier to entry. For agencies with smaller budgets, cost was a factor. For publishers, site design issues and concerns over demand were key issues.
Pushdown and Billboard are the stars amongst Stars: Pushdown was far and away the most adopted format by agencies, brands and publishers in 2012. Billboard was second.
What does this mean?
While RS are off to a great start, there are two clear takeaways for all of us in the industry who believe in their ability to drive value for brands:
Focus on education: publishers, vendors and agencies should spend time educating brands on RS and their value. In addition, more work should be done to understand which units are appropriate for different campaign goals.
Eliminate the gaps: there is a catch-22 situation happening with RS on the buy- and sell-side. Larger agencies are concerned about their ability to gain distribution, while publishers are concerned about lack of demand (and thus hesitant to do the needed website development to accept RS). More prevalence in agency RFPs could give the sell-side the confidence they need.
At the 2013 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, Randall Rothenberg asked all in attendance to commit to supporting digital brand advertising. IAB Rising Stars are a fantastic place to start. For the full IAB Rising Stars Study, please go to http://www.undertone.com/risingstars/.
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.
- Diana Valencia, SVP of Multicultural Communications, Porter Novelli
- Manny Miravete, U.S. Hispanic Industry Manager, Google
- Lateef Sarnor, Head of Multicultural Marketing and Strategy, AOL
- Marcus Ellington, Director of Ad Sales, Interactive One
- Adrian Carrasquillo, Producer and Social Media Manager, NBC News Latino
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
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.
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.