The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has long been the place to learn about the future of mobile technology. But this was the year the advertising and media industries really made their mark. Everywhere you went, people were talking about mobile advertising and marketing, and how they related to the technology at hand. It was thrilling to see our industry finally claim a foothold at this fabulous conference I’ve been attending for so long, and IAB was excited to be a part of it.

For the first time at the MWC, IAB, along with partners Facebook and Nasdaq, held an all-day summit on mobile advertising. The conference brought together some incredible thought leaders to debate the future of mobile advertising and the issues driving (or preventing) its growth, from measurement to wearables, from “walled gardens” to better creative. Today, mobile devices help connect us to everything we do—I refer to them as the remote controls to our lives—so the time was right to bring these discussions to the MWC.

Among the biggest topics we wrestled with was finding a workable definition of mobile. When we talk about reaching people on mobile, what are we really talking about? Is mobile just the technology, or does the word represent more than that? 

Keynote speaker David Sable, Global CEO of Y&R, challenged marketers to think about mobile as a mindset, not just a series of devices. “The mistake is to think that you’re making stuff for the screen,” he said, “when what matters is what’s happening in the life of the person using that screen.” When Y&R asked consumers in a survey what mobile meant to them, the answer was “freedom,” he said. People want to be able to access their content anywhere across any number of screens. 

“If you think first about people, if you think first about humanity, it changes the way you look at technology,” Sable said

Whether it’s mobile or interactive or print, the fundamentals of advertising remain the same, other speakers noted. You need to evoke emotions, you need to find the right time to reach the right people, you need to be mindful of the user’s privacy and interests. Bridging top-notch advertising with technology and media isn’t easy, but Gerry D’Angelo, European Media Director of Mondelez International, was just one of our speakers who gave great examples of mobile creative that is truly moving hearts and minds.  

Of course, technological factors still need to be reckoned with. Measurement continues to be a problem in the mobile space. We don’t have traditional measurement tools like they do in TV or interactive. But as several of our speakers pointed out, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways of measuring mobile. There are good solutions today, you just have to be a little more open-minded about what you measure. And the lack of traditional measurement options is certainly not an excuse to overlook mobile all together. 

We had a great conversation about the challenges presented by so-called “walled gardens.” The problem is real, but surmountable if approached creatively, our panelists agreed. Despite the way mobile operating systems are thought of, your approach doesn’t have to be black or white, app or Web, Android or iOS. All these things are ultimately interconnected, and working across them requires some brave holistic thinking. 

Adam Kostyál, SVP and head of European Listing Services at Nasdaq, and Nicola Mendelsohn, VP of EMEA at Facebook, opened the day with a discussion on cutting through the noise and understanding the true state of mobile right now. Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc., talked about the power of mobile and radio. Lindsay Pattison, Global CEO of Maxus, had a conversation with Sarah Personette, head of global business marketing at Facebook, about how to put people first. And those are just a few examples of the fabulous talks we had all day. 

As the prime driver of mobile initiatives within IAB, the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence is dedicated to making IAB the world’s smartest, most authoritative voice on mobile advertising. This program illustrates how the marketing and media ecosystem has fully embraced the power of mobile technology to reach and engage consumers, and that IAB and its members are committed to creating platforms for education in the U.S. and abroad to help them achieve that goal. 
Up next is our Mobile Marketplace, a top-level gathering of buyers and sellers from across the industry where we will debate and deconstruct the state of mobile marketing. Taking place on Monday, March 30th in NYC, the annual event will once again offer insightful discussions, unparalleled networking, deep-dive workshops and interactive town-hall discussions. Whether or not you were able to join us in Barcelona, this next event will provide a great opportunity to further your understanding and involvement with the future of mobile. I look forward to seeing and connecting with you there. 

About the Author


Anna Bager

Anna Bager is Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Mobile and Video Centers at IAB, and was named one of the Top 20 Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising by Business Insider. You can tweet her at @AnnaBager


Adopting Encryption: The Need for HTTPS

| | Comments
It’s time to talk about security. 

In fact, last year was the time to talk about security. From The New York Times to Google, the call went out for websites to encrypt communications with their users, protecting the integrity and privacy of information exchanged in both directions. Even the U.S. government heard this call, and is working to require HTTPS delivery of all publicly accessible Federal websites and web services.

This year, the advertising industry needs to finish catching up. Many ad systems are already supporting HTTPS - a survey of our membership late last year showed nearly 80% of member ad delivery systems supported HTTPS. That’s a good start, but doesn’t reflect the interconnectedness of the industry. A publisher moving to HTTPS delivery needs every tag on page, whether included directly or indirectly, to support HTTPS. That means that in addition to their ad server, the agency ad server, beacons from any data partners, scripts from verification and brand safety tools, and any other system required by the supply chain also needs to support HTTPS.

Let’s break that down a bit more - once a website decides to support HTTPS, they need to make sure that their primary ad server supports encryption. That ad server will sometimes need to include tags from brand safety, audience and viewability measurement, and other tools - all of which also need to support encryption. The publisher’s ad server will often direct to one of several agency ad servers, each of which will also need to serve over HTTPS. Each agency ad server also may include a variety of beacons or tags, depending on how the deal was set up, all of which similarly need to have encrypted versions available. That’s a lot of dependencies - and when one fails to support HTTPS, the website visitor’s experience is impacted, initiating a costly search for the failure point by the publisher.

While the need to support HTTPS delivery will only continue to grow, getting there isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. As those who have already adopted know, there’s management overhead with acquiring certificates and making sure these don’t expire, increased resource requirements on servers to handle the encryption, and other costs. Carnegie Mellon has a great paper on some of the more esoteric impacts of adopting HTTPS. It’s therefore important that you communicate your experiences developing support for encrypted delivery with those who haven’t.

A core function of HTTPS is to prove the origin of a resource delivered from a server to the web browser. Each server delivering encrypted content has to acquire a certificate that’s signed by a trusted authority and issued to their specific domain. This results in a larger set of consistent identifiers for servers, which has beneficial implications in the fight against malware - it’s more expensive for malware peddlers to set up shop on an HTTPS server, and easier to identify the same peddler across occurrences.

Adopting encryption on public-facing servers is an important step in protecting the privacy and security of the public. It also sets the stage for broader support of server-to-server encryption, securing our business communications from eavesdropping when they’re routed over the public internet. Here at the IAB, we feel that broad support for HTTPS on public servers is a best practice for the industry, and that encrypted communications and strong origin identifiers are of growing importance as we tackle issues of fraud, malware, and piracy as a part of the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG).  

About the Author


Brendan Riordan-Butterworth

Brendan Riordan-Butterworth is the Director of Technical Standards at IAB.


IAB Releases Mobile Programmatic Playbook

| | Comments
We’re at an inflection point where programmatic advertising is becoming more sophisticated with the buy and sell side applying their power to a broader, more diverse set of opportunities. The benefits of programmatic across the digital spectrum are clear. With mobile an increasingly important part of the consumer’s daily life, reaching on the go consumers via this 24/7 channel is a top priority for marketers, just as learning how to fully monetize their mobile applications and mobile websites is a key goal for publishers. 

Given the growth of mobile advertising over the past year it’s clear that programmatic can be a major contributor to almost all aspects of mobile campaign success due to the combination of decision making intelligence and speed across the programmatic value chain. Brand marketers are leveraging programmatic channels to achieve the massive scale they need for their awareness campaigns, and advertisers now have access to numerous rich media, video and native mobile ad formats which excel at capturing the consumer’s attention.

There are many positive trends emerging among buyers and sellers. Both parties value native, rich media and video ad formats all of which provide better experiences to the consumer. However, in the mobile ecosystem where cookies are less prevalent, a key point to note is that programmatic buying requires greater transparency in terms of mobile data signals to enable publishers to more effectively optimize their yield and brands to achieve greater ROI. 

As the co-chair of the IAB’s Mobile Programmatic Buying Working group I am incredibly excited for us to officially release the IAB Mobile Programmatic Playbook today. This playbook is the first IAB programmatic document that covers all aspects that are unique to the mobile programmatic environment so that publishers, third parties, advertisers, agencies and marketers have a guide to learning more about the current state and evolution of the mobile programmatic market when planning their strategies. 

In addition, as further evidence that mobile programmatic is making waves, it will be one of the main subjects discussed at the IAB Mobile Marketplace conference on March 30th in New York.

About the Author

Rob Kramer

Rob Kramer is General Manager of Mobile at OpenX


How Marketers Can Make Data and Technology Work Better Together

| | Comments
After more than a decade of heavy investing in new technologies, marketers now find themselves at an interesting tipping point. Over time, in trying to keep up with the industry’s frenetic pace of digital innovation and achieve competitive advantage, they’ve piled on a dizzying array of tools and platforms. They’re literally swimming in technologies - a complicated ecosystem of toolsets, vendors and channels.
The complexity involved in managing this multi-channel, multi-device matrix has been ratcheted up to an untenable, nearly dysfunctional level. A new study by Winterberry Group and the IAB, Marketing Data Technology: Cutting Through the Complexity, confirms what I hear from marketers almost every day. Enterprise marketers are grappling with as many as 30 or more distinct toolsets for analytics, ad-serving, attribution, retargeting, search, mobile and email marketing, CRM, social media, content management and more. But these data-thirsty technologies don’t talk to each other. They lack interoperability, saddling marketers with the difficult and thorny challenge of how to connect them - and how to fuel them with a high-volume, high-velocity stream of up-to-the-minute, cross-channel data, which is necessary for optimizing their tech investments.   
No wonder so many companies are not yet ready to provide the relevant, seamless experiences that smartphone-toting consumers desire.
Brands have been addressing the technology stack dilemma via a single-sourcing strategy or by shopping for independent, best-in-breed toolsets. The Winterberry survey (which Signal sponsored) set out to poll marketers about their preferences in the long-running debate of suite vs. independent and, not surprisingly, found an industry split straight down the middle. 
Respondents, however, were decidedly undivided on the question of interoperability. More than 60 percent of marketers said better integration of existing tools would help them derive greater value from data.
“There’s a massive gap for integration,” a brand marketer told Winterberry researchers. “Frankly we’re just trying to wrangle all our digital data into one place. The amount of data we have is massive, it’s ridiculous,” said another. “It’s a hot mess,” lamented a media agency executive, describing the tangle of tools, silos and processes the agency’s clients are dealing with.
Integration matters deeply to marketers who want to make better use of their data and technology. Cross-channel initiatives such as measurement, engagement and targeting are top-of-mind for marketers, the survey found, yet fewer than half of marketers are currently able to leverage their data technology for these key efforts. The holy grail of understanding the customer journey across devices and channels remains stubbornly out of reach.
Building Your Cross-Channel House Requires a Strong Foundation
The stark truth is: No matter what road you go down in terms of your marketing stack, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. Even a fully-integrated suite may not remain that way for long, with such a fast pace of supplier consolidation and the constant emergence of new tools. 
Which direction you decide to go - that is, whether you choose a platform suite or multiple “point” solutions - is not really the core issue. Your success will rest on the quality of the cross-channel foundation you lay to support your journey, in the form of good data. That means creating a common conduit of customer data, of the highest quality, in one place, so that your technology investments - of all types - can work together with the speed, flexibility and scale you need to make the marketing decisions that affect your bottom line.
Marketers report that their current mandate is making their data actionable. That clearly highlights a significant, glaring gap: there can be no meaningful cross-channel action without connected data. The way to bridge that chasm? A data strategy and a long-term roadmap.
Walking the Cross-Channel Walk
Winterberry found that within the typical marketing organization, five internal departments or functions - including digital, analytics, media buying, loyalty, and direct marketing - utilize separate tools, all of which are data-dependent. However, the barriers to making first-party data actionable are not created solely by the technology challenges inherent to a complex and evolving marketing stack. Issues that go beyond technology, including organizational silos, skillset issues, outdated policies, and governance also have to be dealt with.
There are three significant areas where you should put your focus in order to find your cross-channel footing:
  1. Create a data strategy. You need a holistic, data-oriented strategy, with a top-down approach, in order to get past the cross-channel starting line. Catalog the most relevant types of data you have, relative to your marketing goals. Also, map out how your existing technological investments can be leveraged across desktop, mobile, CRM, email and other offline channels. Finally, let the bigger picture of how customers interact with your brand across touchpoints help establish your strategy.
  2. Prioritize integration. When you make your technology investments, always keep integration top-of-mind - rather than just features and functionality. All of your teams should be trained to make integration a priority. And when buying new solutions, you should select vendors that understand your company’s data strategy and provide a clear path to making their technologies connect to the rest of your ecosystem, including legacy systems.
  3. Banish silos. Align your strategy and marketing operations around the customer journey, with departments working in lockstep to deliver a consistent experience. With your eye on the cross-channel prize, all of your team members should have the right skill sets to launch and manage cross-channel initiatives. The necessary expertise can be gathered in-house or through agency, vendor, or other third-party partnerships.
Create Your Own Cross-Channel Roadmap
Marketers know the future is cross-channel and their journey is just beginning.  Their visions of engaging customers on a one-to-one basis are tempered by the reality of the legitimate obstacles in their way: fragmented data, lack of integration, the difficulties of identifying consumers across channels, and people and process silos. There’s a clear gap between where marketers are today and where they know they need to be in order to deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time and in the right context. Marketers didn’t create the issues contributing to this cross-channel maturity gap. But they must lay the foundation for solving them without skipping any steps along the data-driven path. 
The opportunities that today’s technologies have created are unmatched in the history of marketing. Each brand has to follow its own path in order to best take advantage of those opportunities. A single view of the customer across channels and touchpoints - which is only possible by centralizing and integrating data - is now table stakes for cross-channel marketing. What remains to be seen is how marketers will address the range of challenges they face in order to find their footing on the cross-channel journey.

About the Author


Mike Sands

Mike Sands is the CEO of Signal


Unleashing Mobile Native's Potential in 2015

| | Comments
Gartner’s recent predictions for the growth of mobile commerce over the next 24 months should come as no surprise - mobile commerce revenue is expected to more than double over the next two years ultimately accounting for 1 out of every 2 dollars spent in digital commerce.  

As consumer spending habits shift sharply to mobile, so too are advertising budgets with the rapid growth in mobile advertising today reminiscent of the same trajectory we witnessed in display advertising after the RTB protocol was introduced seven years ago. Put simply: mobile (and mobile native) advertising represents an opportunity that is about to fast eclipse that of display.

The challenge for those seeking to capitalize on the perfect storm of powerful data-based insights for targeting mobile consumers and rapidly accelerating spend on mobile will be to develop marketing strategies that unlock the full potential of mobile consumer engagement. This opportunity has highlighted the clear and immediate need for uniform industry standards to help unlock the full potential of mobile and mobile native advertising—for both the advertiser as well as for the publishers and application developers.  

The lack of standardization is probably the number one reason that buyers and sellers are unable to connect effectively when it comes to mobile native advertising and this creates a huge amount of friction. 

The second reason is the inefficiency with direct ad buying in mobile. Advertisers can go directly to an app developer and buy inventory on a single app or across a family of apps, but this is time intensive. In order to reach the scale advertisers now demand for their campaign objectives, they would need to make dozens, if not hundreds of deals with separate publishers and app developers located around the world. This is simply not a viable option for large scale consumer campaigns. And to makes matter worse for direct advertisers, many large and successful app developers don’t operate large sales teams (or sales teams at all!) making it nearly impossible for advertisers to secure inventory directly on many successful apps. 

Thirdly, relying on mobile ad networks - while streamlining the process for the advertiser - has led to crippling and unintended consequences for publishers and app developers. With each ad network integration the app developer is required to insert a unique ad network code - a Software Development Kit (SDK). As more and more SDKs are inserted, rendering quality of the app is negatively impacted.  In speaking with many app developers I have heard time and again that the integration of these SDKs has been identified as the #1 cause for application crashes, consequentially proving a poor user experience which drives down usage, stickiness, and ultimately depresses potential monetization.  

The good news for both buyers and sellers is that the industry has been focused on addressing these issues and just completed an 8-month review process to develop a  common, programmatic language to drive efficiency in mobile native advertising. This extension to the OpenRTB offers advertisers a better way to access millions of applications and will help establish integration processes that will complement the user experience. 

The IAB’s publication of this standards-track specification signals a game-changing advancement for the advertising industry with benefits seen across the entire ecosystem, including:

  1. A new and better revenue stream for app developers. Currently, app developers make the majority of their revenue through paid downloads. By standardizing the mobile native transaction process, a previously unavailable revenue stream will be delivered to the market fueled by allowing developers to make money from engaging and lucrative native ads appearing within their apps.  
  2. Increased supply of premium mobile native inventory. With the new potential for revenue, more app developers will enter the market and existing app developers will now make their inventory available more easily to advertisers. The core “network” effects of advertising technology - more sellers attracting more buyers - will be further unleashed. 
  3. Acceleration of scale within mobile native. By standardizing mobile native advertising, brand advertisers and agencies will now have access to larger amount of inventory making it easier for them to achieve their campaign objectives. 
  4. Improved user experience. By standardizing the process and removing the need for multiple SDK integrations, mobile apps will render more quickly and will be less likely to crash, thus delivering an optimal user experience.

The adoption of a standard means of buying and selling mobile native ad placements is a win for publishers and developers seeking greater avenues for monetization, and will create better, more varied ad experiences for mobile users. Enabling brands with deeper opportunities to reach and engage key audiences will be crucial in mobile advertising’s continued growth. 

About the Authors


Neal Richter

Neal Richter is the Chief Scientist of Rubicon Project and co-chair of OpenRTB


Brendan Riordan-Butterworth

Brendan Riordan-Butterworth is the Director of Technical Standards at IAB.

The International Breakfast Session, which was started a few years ago, has now become a key discussion during the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting. Taking place on the closing day of the conference in Phoenix, Arizona, the session gathered over 50 digital advertising leaders from 11 countries to discuss the pressing issues facing the industry and how we can work better together to advance our common interests. 

Two very lively conversations were the focus of the morning, in addition to the newly released research in partnership with BabyCenter and the IAB multinational research: The first was an open International Town Hall on mobile integration, and the second was a chat on Viewability

“Everything is mobile,” explains Guy Phillipson, CEO, IAB UK, “and we are clearly in a period of global mobile exponential growth.” Although the UK now sees mobile dominates digital time, many other countries are not far behind, from a shift in consumer behavior to one in digital ad spending. As such, it is not surprising that global media owners are considering cross screen strategies to be vital even though monetization remains a key challenge. 

The challenges publishers are faced with are not necessarily country specific. Issues such as access to subscription data, tracking consumers on mobile devices, targeting and frequency capping are real problems in many markets. Certainly, regions like Southeast Asia face additional hurdles compared to Europe as the diversity from country to country is remarkable and although mobile is at the heart of what IAB Singapore has to offer, lobbying for standards and setting policy is primordial.

It also came to light in this discussion that as IABs around the world address mobile integration, it does not always make sense to have mobile broached separately from the rest of the digital landscape. The same is true with digital video, which is becoming increasingly important, as is the need for content and advertising to be constructed in a different ways (ie shorter). It was also interesting to hear how even the definition of mobile isn’t always as clear-cut as one would expect. IAB Canada, Vice President, Operations, Julie Ford, suggested separating smartphones from everything else maybe a better approach.
As Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB, points out, maybe we are seeing a return of interruptive advertising because of mobile. Where it used to be one of the worse kinds of advertising, cluttering the screen, the remarkable success of mobile is that it puts ads in the middle of the content. Native or in-stream advertising in mobile can in essence be compared to television ads or even magazine ads.  

There was a solid agreement from everyone present on the need to better understand the multi-screen evolution, what meets consumers’ needs and what works for advertisers. And clearly the need for research in terms of screen sizes and their impact as that is an important part of creating effective advertising. From IAB Canada’s html5 webinar series to the work IAB is doing this year on establishing new responsive standards, it is evident that the key is to get agencies and advertisers on board by understanding the impact of mobile advertising and not just looking at mobile from a technology standpoint.

The chat on Viewability was equally vibrant. 

Lou Paskalis, SVP, Enterprise Media Executive, Bank of America, and Julian Zilberbrand, EVP, Activation Standards, Insights & Technology, ZenithOptimedia, were joined by Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB, and actively engaged everyone in the breakfast on what planning and trading on a viewable metrics means and how we as a global industry are not ready for this yet, until the issue measurement has been tackled. 

Again, not limited to the U.S. market, there are fraudulent actors in the digital advertising ecosphere and it is completely understandabl
e that advertisers do not want to be paying to send a message out to consumers that is never seen. As Julian pointed out, that would just be a waste. What it comes down to is the opportunity to have consumers receive the message and for it to be viewed. Sherrill underlined that Viewability is important for everyone’s KPIs, and it is more than planning and buying media, it is knowing the value so that you can build models based on more than air.

From all corners of the world, there is a lot of noise out there about Viewability but until there is clarity and agreement on measurement, we are functionally in a period where the focus needs to be on tracking. Conducting business on viewable impressions does not make sense today. Most publishers don’t have systems in place to manage Viewablity and as Julian pointed out so well, this is the year they need to push technology partners for a solution. And tying in to our earlier conversation about mobile, Lou pointed out that not only does the counting process need to be addressed overall but given that mobile is at the center of what so many are doing now, mobile Viewability aught to be fast-tracked. 

If you would like to get engaged with the IAB Global Network, be sure to save the date for the next significant event, IAB Global Summit, to be held in New York on September 30 and October 1, 2015. In the meantime, you can learn more at www.iab.net/global and browse the full IAB Global Network Facebook photo album here.

About the Author


Alexandra Salomon

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


Closing the Loop with Location Data

| | Comments
In this age of digital media, technology and data are changing rapidly as data signal continues to explode. Each new data brings the possibility of new measurement solutions and new methodological approaches that allow us to better understand the consumer path to purchase and overall campaign effectiveness. 

If you think about it, measuring clicks and click-through rates (CTR) in digital channels has long been an industry standard of evaluating campaign effectiveness and used in modeling campaign attribution. However, research shows that clicks on online display ads are often not correlated with brand awareness or purchase intent, and using clicks in mobile as brand interest can be even more of an issue. Since clicks are not good indicators of consumer brand awareness or purchase intent, we can look to the growth in marketing data to help us find alternatives.

Mobility data (data from tablets, smartphones, IoT, wearables) is a perfect example of new data that improves our ability to measure advertising. As the consumption of digital media continues to move to devices which can provide mobility data, the arsenal of physical signal of user behaviors explodes. One of the pieces of mobility data which has proven to be most valuable to marketers is location data. Cross-channel location data is essential for enhancing our ability to measure the effectiveness of advertising by actually allowing us to measure the effect of online to offline on a broad scale and not just for those users who we have been able to track through qualitative surveys and diaries.

Passive location data, specifically lat/long, is a by-product of opt-in user brand app usage, check-ins, photo tagging, social posts and more. Location data can be used to move beyond geo-fencing and targeting users based on geography to providing a signal for mobile based audience models and in-store measurement. The key to location-based metrics is to tie location to other attributes: brick and mortar brands, events, behavioral propensities or any other audience signal that can be associated to a geographical area.  

The magic of location data is the power of its signal when it is accurate and associated with other relevant metadata. Once location is in context, we can connect digital campaign information to the corresponding audience interaction in the physical world to achieve that dream of measuring the effect of online brand interactions to offline sales as we know online channels have increasing influence on offline sales (see the chart below).  
Location data also enables us to better understand attribution and campaign performance across channels (desktop, tablet, smartphone, TV, OOH, etc.).  

By identifying location data and subsequently analyzing the physical patterns of the audiences targeted on various channels, you can go beyond click-through to measure what matters - the impact your cross-channel campaign has on in-store traffic and purchases. And now for the best part, I’m extremely excited for the release of an important project many companies, colleagues, and myself have been working on in collaboration with the IAB. Today we are releasing a primer on how location data is used to better understand ROI and attribution. This piece highlights current and emerging practices for using mobile location data in numerous ways to better understand campaign and marketing performance. You can download the primer, “Marketing ROI and Location Data” here

About the Author


Lauren Moores

Lauren Moores is the VP of Analytics at Dstillery

A whopping 70 percent of marketers say they are planning to increase their social media advertising budget in 2015, according to the recent Salesforce 2015 State of Marketing Survey of 5,000+ global marketers. Yet, as social media platforms incorporate new paid advertising options to replace older ones, it is increasingly difficult for agencies and marketers to navigate the available ad products in the paid social media world.  

To help make sense of this rapidly evolving space, the IAB Social Media Committee worked with the top seven social media platforms to develop a “one stop shopping” guide that provides the industry with an up-to-date framework for buying advertising on Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter. 


 “In a world that moves fast, relying on resources such as the IAB Social Media Guide provides tremendous value to marketers, giving them true insight into the social media landscape. But the real value comes from marketing partners for each social platform who can us this guide as a reference to better evaluate all the amazing options at their disposal to reach the right audience, the right way, at the right time in the purchase funnel. This guide is an evolving working document, as evolving as our industry is,” said IAB Social Media Committee Co-chair Carine Roman, Head of Global Advertising Operations at LinkedIn. Readers can use the interactive guide to focus on the platforms they are most interested in. 

Fellow Co-chair Christine Cuoco, Director of Global Business Marketing at Twitter added, “Our hope is that this collaboration inspires creativity, innovation and high quality work.”

What do the social media platform contributors have to say about the guide?

The Social Media Buyer’s Guide is a great resource that helps marketers and agencies understand how they can drive real, business results across some of the largest and most engaging publishers in the world. It’s great to see that all partners came together to create one valuable resource. For more information about advertising on Facebook and Instagram, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/business/resources and http://business.instagram.com/

 - Judy Lee, Head of Industry Marketing at Facebook


This comprehensive guide provides a helpful top-line view of paid social media vehicles, as well as the current capabilities and ideal uses for each platform. Our belief is that as advertisers harness the intrinsic value in social and location-based platforms, the IAB Social Media Guide will prove to be a useful tool for laying groundwork for client use cases and campaign expectations.

- Swen Graham, Director, Creative and Brand Strategy at Foursquare

blog 5.png

This one-stop resource guide is a solid framework for getting started with marketing your brand across leading social media platforms. An amazing collaborative approach to social media creating an aggregated guide needed to up level your social marketing efforts. For more information and to get started with LinkedIn products, please visit https://business.linkedin.com/ or contact your LinkedIn Account Executive.

- Todd Graham, Campaign Manager, Ad Operations, Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn and     Scott Lowry, Manager of Ad Operations at LinkedIn


While these platforms are often lumped together as “social” there are important distinctions that make them unique. For example, Pinterest does connect people, but at its core, it’s a visual bookmarking tool that’s most often used to help people plan their lives. This guide is a helpful reference to help you plan your approach to make the most of each platform. For more information about Pinterest Tools, please visit https://business.pinterest.com.
- Yolanda Lam, Agency Partnerships at Pinterest

This collective guide is a tremendous and reliable resource for marketers looking to elevate their brand presence and captivate new audiences across the ever-evolving social landscape. For more information on getting started with Tumblr, please visit Tumblr.com/business or contact [email protected].

- Tyler Penell -  Sales Development & Strategy; Karen Shosfy- Industry Communications Manager at Tumblr

This guide is a powerful resource for any marketer who wants to stay up to date on best practices across multiple ad platforms. Access additional resources and marketer success stories at https://biz.twitter.com/success-stories, and reach out to your account lead with any questions.

- Julie Martin- Sales Manager, Media & Entertainment and  Adam Schatz, Account Manager, Media & Entertainment at Twitter

What’s Next? 
It is intended that the Social Media Buyer’s Guide will be updated as major ad product changes are announced by any of the seven platforms, so please check back frequently to get the most up-to-date ad product information.  

About the Author


Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B, Games, Content Marketing and Native Advertising. 
She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst

For a simple question, “what is mobile?” can be surprisingly difficult. Most of the time when we’re asked, my IAB Mobile Center colleagues and I tend to talk about mobile as a social shift, a major change in the way people live their lives, keep up with friends, and stay informed and entertained. All of that is true, and should define media company and marketer strategies. But social shifts don’t necessarily make for straightforward revenue accounting practices, and so the IAB CFO Council and the Mobile Center collaborated on a brief survey of ad seller IAB members, asking them what they counted as “mobile” from a revenue perspective.

We’ve just released the results, in our 2014 IAB Mobile Revenue Recognition Survey. In terms of answering the question at hand, smartphone ad revenue is almost always mobile (93% of respondents), and tablet ad revenue is are generally considered mobile too (by 78% of respondents). Only 16% think of laptop ads as generating mobile revenue. Revenue from apps is almost universally considered mobile, while revenue from websites viewed on phones or tablets is much less so.

What is Mobile_image.png
IAB believes that surveys like this one provide useful guidance to the industry, indicating emerging best practices and de facto standards that all ad sellers should consider when revamping their accounting systems to reflect the modern, cross-screen world.

About the Author


Joe Laszlo

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



3 Reasons Advertisers Need Advanced Television Now

| | Comments
Advanced Television truly has… advanced. An estimated 75-100MM Americans watch TV content over IP across a host of devices. TV Everywhere video starts grew by over 100% last year. Addressable TV already reaches tens of millions of households across DISH, DIRECTV, Cablevision and Comcast, and soon could jump by about another 50% with the addition of multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD’s)/multi-system operators (MSOs) such as Charter, Cox, and Verizon. 

With staggering numbers like these, what we’ve been calling “Advanced TV” rightfully should be called, simply: “TV.”

The underlying technologies of Advanced TV have enabled innovation in content delivery and interaction, which has led to radical consumer behavior shifts. The way people watch TV—how, where, and on what devices—has changed. And in this shift, the IAB sees tremendous opportunity for advertisers’ strategies around media, creative, and measurement to evolve as well, generating greater value for advertisers, for publishers and distributors, and yes, for viewers.

To step back and define Advanced TV: it is the evolution of television, far beyond the linear television viewing experience and :30 commercials of the past 50 years. Non-traditional television consumption methods - such as time-shifting on DVRs, VOD and interactive television (iTV) — and enhanced cross-device viewing experiences — such as TV everywhere and Over-the-Top (OTT) viewing — have enabled unprecedented consumer control and choice. New content delivery platforms and functionality enable marketing nirvana: better targeting and addressability, more efficient and automated buying and selling methodologies, more holistic measurement and robust insights, and all of this enabling more impactful and influential campaigns. Advanced TV brings the best capabilities of digital advertising to TV advertising. 

To help accelerate innovation and adoption in this space, the Advanced TV Advisory Board of the IAB has begun work on an industry primer, to be published in Q2 2015. The primer will serve as a resource and buyers’ guide, pointing the way to help brands and agencies access the 3 core advantages of Advanced TV advertising:

First, the highly effective targeting technologies available through Advanced TV platforms help advertisers find their audiences — and re-aggregate them at scale — cross-device and at any time and place. And the addressable technology of Advanced TV makes that reach and scale more relevant to that audience when and where they are found.

Second, the richly interactive technology of Advanced TV enables greater engagement. Audience choice — viewers choosing their content and influencing or potentially even choosing which ads they see — ensures deeper engagement with that content and the advertising that goes with it. Richer data return on what audiences are choosing helps further refine the addressability of the platform, since based on the viewers’ choices of both content and advertising, the ads being served can be optimized.

And third, that same data return offers advertisers more effective and meaningful measurement of campaigns. Brands can be more certain that they actually reached their audience effectively, and gain insight into viewers’ usage and engagement. These insights feed back into the top of the cycle, helping advertisers target, reach, and engage their audience more and more effectively.

In short, with Advanced TV, advertisers have the opportunity to deliver more targeted messages and interactive content, with accountability far beyond simple media exposure. Stay tuned (so to speak) for the publication of this industry resource to help smart advertisers achieve exactly that. Until then, here are two more ways to derive more value from this space:
If you are an advertiser interested in exploring Advanced TV advertising, be sure to bring it up with your agency and ask for recommendations. 

About the Authors


Elaine Boxer

Elaine Boxer is the Director of Industry Initiatives at IAB.


Chris Falkner

Chris Falkner is the Senior Vice President of Advanced TV, NBC Broadcasting at NBCUniversal.


Adam Lowy

Adam Lowy is the General Manager of Interactive & Advanced TV at DISH


Archives »