67 Per Cent Make Hotel Bookings on Smartphone, says Millennial

How ad spend compares from each type of travel company83 per cent of mobile travellers use their smartphones to research hotels – and 67 per cent make a booking.

That’s according to a report from Millennial Media, which found that while hotel-related activity is most common on mobile, hotel brands are actually only fifth in terms of investment in the channel, making up 11 per cent of spend on Millennial’s mobile ad platform.

Booking sites and apps make up a more sizeable chunk (22 per cent) but they’re still some way behind the single biggest spender, airlines (30 per cent).

For travel advertisers, the most commonly used post-click action was to search a site (included in 41 per cent of campaigns), download an app (38 per cent), and mCommerce activity (33 per cent) – all of which are a logical fit with their business.

72 per cent of travel campaigns were served to iOS – nearly twice the average proportion on Millennial’s platform – compared to 26 per cent on Android, and just one per cent each for BlackBerry and Windows Phone. Tablets were also twice as popular than average for travel advertisers, accounting for 34 per cent of impressions – presumably due to being more suited to making purchases.

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Liquid Secures $1m to Develop Real-time App Personalisation Tech

LiquidLiquid, an app analytics startup, has secured $1m (£590,000) to grow its staff and add more product features ahead of its July launch date.

The company’s software, delivered in just a few lines of code, enables app developers to segment users by demographic, location, social and usage data, which they can then use to personalise apps in real time.

Things that can be changed on the fly include the priority of different features, the design or the content on offer. Pop-ups can also be delivered to different people based on usage stats. Liquid believes that this kind of customisation will be a winner for engaging and monetising fickle app users.

Liquid is still in public beta but is hoping to go to market in July. The funding has been secured from Faber Ventures and Portugal Ventures. Faber was an early support of the team, which includes former Oracle consultant, now Liquid CEO Alexandre Vaz.

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Interstitials Account for 70 Per cent of Global Ad Spend, says AppFlood

Mobile ad formats be revenue App floodInterstitials make up 70 per cent of ad spend on AppFlood’s network worldwide, according to the company’s quarterly analysis for Q1 2014, with banners representing just 1 per cent of spend.

Spend on interstitials has actually declined beach month during the quarter and is being replaced by rich media ad units, which now make up 11 per cent of spend. Ad revenue for each of these formats reflects this shifting importance. eCPM meanwhile rose to $0.97 during the quarter, while CPI prices declined to $0.30 after the big holiday season.

The company’s analysis of big ad spending nations finds that 68 per cent of China’s advertising budget is spent outside of the country – the largest share going on inventory in the Middle East, which is touted as the region to watch. The US, by comparison, spends 62 per cent of its ad budget, within its own borders.

Europe accounted for 26 per cent of global ad spend, 20 per cent of mobile traffic and 30 per cent of app installs.

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Infographic: The Great Wearables Race

Although wearables haven’t quite got a foothold in the mass market yet, everybody from Google to Samsung, Facebook and no doubt Apple has their eye on the smart accessories prize.

Fjord has done an analysis of 27 wearable devices already on the market, somehow missing the Fit Bark dog health monitor, and found that the majority, 70 per cent, are intended to monitor your body, with 59 per cent focused on health. 48 per cent are designed to enhance your fitness, all of which some believe will be the key to addressing our big obesity problem.

You’ll find all that and more in the infographic below – or download it as a PDF here.

Wearables Info


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Criteo Introduces Cookie Solution for Mobile Ads on Safari

CriteoCriteo has announced the launch of a mobile ad solution that it says will solve the first-party cookie crisis on Apple’s Safari mobile web browser.

Where third-party cookies are blocked, a banner will now be served on Criteo’s clients’ sites informing the user of this, with a link to enable cookies. Criteo is hoping that the offer of relevant, personalised ads on mobile web that are based on previous browsing history will be enough of a draw for people to opt in. The company is also favouring this transparent approach to getting advertising permissions.

Criteo launched in-app retargeting back in January, which is now live in the US, UK, France, Germany and Brazil, and says this solution is now generating more than $1bn (£594m) in post-click sales on mobile. With services already available online, plus in-app and on the mobile web for Android and iOS users, the company now offers a ‘complete end-to-end solution’ for companies like Marks and Spencer.

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Microsoft Ventures Accelerator London Opens for Entries from Startups


Microsoft Level39Microsoft has opened its second Microsoft Ventures Accelerator London programme, starting in September. Microsoft is looking for startups in the areas of big data, mobile, social, eCommerce, retail and games.

Online fashion retailer ASOS has joined the application evaluation panel, with the aim of identifying high-potential retail startups, and will be acting as a mentor to successful applicants.

The programme will be in residence at Canary Wharf incubator space Level39 – which has also become a BizSpark Plus Network Partner, giving it the ability to offer its hosted startups access to £60,000 worth of credits on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

The government-backed GrowthAccelerator programme, meanwhile, will be offering graduating startups a free one-hour session with a Growth Manager to help fast-track them onto the service.

“Since launching Microsoft Ventures in the UK less than nine months ago, the interest and engagement in our programme has exceeded our expectations, receiving rave reviews from the startups participating, and interest from Tech City based organisations and corporates looking to collaborate with us,” said Anand Krishnan, general manager of Microsoft UK’s developer and platform group. “Today’s announcement demonstrates our continued dedication to the London startup community at large, and also reflects the wider trend where we now have a UK startup ecosystem with the potential to deliver blockbuster tech companies on a global stage.”

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RAC Saves Half a Million on Yearly Fuel Cost Using M2M

RACRAC has installed EE SIM cards in its fleet of 1,700 recovery vehicles so it can understand its drivers’ behaviour and cut fuel costs.

The SIMs are contained inside a black box plugged into the vehicles’ diagnostic port that sens  data back to the company’s offices for monitoring.

Drivers can also see their own performance data – which includes information on braking cornering and speeding – on an RAC app. This is something that the company can then incentivise to improve driving efficiency. RAC is also outsourcing this as a service for its members, helping them to reduce the likelihood of a breakdown, improve their driving standards and enable patrol cars to find them if they do need to have their car towed.

The company has been able to cut its fuel cost by 17 per cent – or £500,000 per year.

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Facebook Launches Audience Network

fbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbFacebook has officially launched its Audience Network at its f8 developer conference in San Francisco. The announcement, made by project management director Deborah Liu, was one of several mobile-focused launches at the event.

Kicking off her presentation, she told delegates how they were in the same position Facebook itself was not long ago, saying that Facebook had to reinvent how its social network looked on mobile, complete with ads, when it realised it could not just stick with the “right-hand side ads” used on desktop. After launching newsfeed advertising, she told delegates, the company realised that “ads that are integrated are not disruptive”.

Liu stressed that Facebook would do all the work on the developers’ behalf to enable them to benefit from the targeting and analytics opportunities that come from the data the social network holds on its users, and to target those users outside of Facebook.

She cited examples of companies already using the network – including how Coca-Cola, looking for people who looked like their existing customers “found their audience” on second-hand clothing app Vinted; and how Audible, looking for fans of Game of Thrones, found them in the Cut the Rope app. “We have the best targeting system in the world and we’re opening up to you,” she told the developer audience.

One thing that’s not clear is how many and which apps are included in the Audience Network. We are seeking clarification on this point from Facebook. Update: Facebook’s press office tells us there is no information on the number of apps involved in the network.

Among the other announcements tonight were an Anonymous Login that enables users to log in to apps via Facebook without giving away personal data; and a new personalised Facebook Login that lets users choose what data they share with an app. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the moves were examples of Facebook “putting people first” and “giving people power and control.”

The company also announced AppLinks, which is a way of deeplinking seamlessly between apps; Parse Data Store, which it says makes it easier to build apps that work better offline; and a move into push notifications with the launch of Parse Push.

It also unveiled a Mobile Like button which enables users to share a specific page from within an app with their friends on Facebook; Message Dialogue, which enables the same thing via private messages; and Send To Mobile, which sends a link to download the corresponding app to a user’s phone when they visit a desktop website and log in via Facebook.

Finally, Facebook announced FbStart, offering up to $30,000 worth of free tools and services to help app developers “get their app up and running”. There are two tracks, the BootStrap track for startups, with funding up to $5,000, and the Accelerate track for those looking to scale their app. There are a number of partners for FbStart, including MailChimp, SalesForce, SurveyMonkey

Closing the keynotes, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told developers this was “the time we are going to help you monetise in a serious way on mobile … Today is all about listening to you, hearing what you want from the platform and deepening that relationship.”

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Mobile Travel & Tourism Summit: Edwardian Group

Speaking at the Mobile Travel & Tourism Summit, Amy Clarke discusses making the move to responsive design, and how Edwardian is working to bring a integrated mobile experience into its hotels.

The next event in our vertical-focused Summit series is the Mobile Retail Summit, taking place on 5 June at 1 America Square.

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Connected Devices

MotilityAds Eddie DeGuiaEddie DeGuia, general manager and VP, digital marketing at Motilty Ads, looks at how mobile and TV make perfect bedfellows.

They may be called the second screen by some, but for most of the billion-plus people that use smartphones or tablets every day, they are screen number one. News, sports, weather, entertainment, communication – all of it streams straight into palms, pockets and purses around the world, around the clock.

When it comes to marketing though, these screens still play second fiddle to television – the screen that dominates in bars and bedrooms, living rooms and lounges – packaging our collective attention for a handsome fee.

For most consumers, television and the smartphone are the two screens that matter most. But marketers haven’t yet cracked the code on how to connect them in the most meaningful and effective way.

Think, think, think – there’s got to be a way for mobile marketers to use television to generate actionable demand. Think, think, think – there’s got to be a way for television to get in on the growing mobile marketing budgets that are only going to go up over time.

Symbiotic relationship
Most of the time, mobile devices are used to enhance the television experience through program-specific apps, conversations happening in social media or the ability to watch shows on the go. With a symbiotic relationship developing between television and mobile, does the marketing relationship have to be so one-directional? Right or wrong, most mobile publishers and app developers haven’t factored television into their marketing plans.

They often feel that the cost of television is prohibitive or that the benefits are difficult to measure. When you are used to performance-driven online campaigns that let you see which ad led to a specific download – and often, the cost of that click – television can seem like an alien environment, with its emphasis on that intangible haze called branding.

Yet the fact is that television has a lot to offer mobile marketers. Television remains unrivalled when it comes to reach and impact, and those are things every marketer would love to take advantage of. There are also new tricks that the old dog of television can be taught – especially in the era of instant gratification now made possible by mobile technologies.

Let’s parse out what TV can deliver, look how it can be enhanced and consider what these things mean for mobile marketers.

Huge audiences
Nothing beats television for reaching huge audiences with powerful images and messages. Even with the fragmentation of audiences since the rise of cable, you can still find and influence a lot of people with TV. Advertisers know this and continue to create commercials that make people laugh and cry, get jingles stuck in their heads and are argued about and discussed with friends.

Say what you will, but TV works. That’s why it continues to command such a big slice of the ad revenue pie. In 2012, US ad spending for TV was $63.8bn (£37.9bn), mostly in the form of brand advertising, versus $36.6bn for online.

Television’s emphasis on brand and the difficulty of connecting a commercial to a specific action doesn’t mean, however, that television can’t support specific calls to action. Think of the millions of votes cast by phone, text or app for talent shows.
So TV offers reach and impact, and can deliver a call to action. All, however, isn’t rosy in TV land.

Instant gratification
As mentioned earlier, instant gratification is one of the ways that the digital experience has changed consumer expectations. You want to hear a song? Find and stream it from Spotify. Can’t remember the punch line to a joke? Google it. Have something on your mind? Tweet it. A friend just showed you a cool app? Download it. Mobile devices mean pretty much anything and everything is now available, any time or any place.

With the exceptions of video on demand and time-shifting, television hasn’t been great at instant gratification. Sure, you might see commercials featuring a URL here or there, but the payoff is indirect, usually just leading to a website with more information about a program or product – kind of a boring prize at the bottom of the CrackerJack box.

So we know people want instant gratification and we know that mobile delivers it way more effectively than TV.

What we have here is kind of a peanut butter and chocolate moment. What if you could combine the reach and impact of television, with the immediacy and measurability of mobile?

Call to action
There is a place where a call to action delivered by television can have an instant payoff on the so-called second screen. Mobile game and app developers can use television to reach massive audiences with a simple and effective call to action that can lead viewers right to an app or game that will work right away on the device they’re holding right in their hand.

Let’s net this out Golden Book style:

See Dick sitting on the couch watching TV. Dick is texting with Jane as he watches. Look Dick, an ad for a new game. My, doesn’t that look fun! “Hmmm,” thinks Dick, “that new game sure seems fun.” A shortcode and number appear on the screen. Dick sends the code to the number and seconds later he is playing the new game. Play, Dick, play!
See how simple it can be? Television can be used for measurable and attributable performance advertising. Television can enhance the so-called second screen experience by providing instant access to new apps or games.

Television is a fact of marketing life and isn’t going anywhere. This makes it critical for mobile marketers to figure out how to take advantage of the awesomeness that is television to reach new customers in meaningful and measurable ways. And with billions of dollars in mobile marketing budgets looking for a home, television should be excited to find a way to play.

Eddie DeGuia is general manager and VP, digital marketing at Motilty Ads

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