Mobile Marketing Programmatic Summit – what you missed

The latest event in our Mobile Marketing Summits series took place in London yesterday. Almost 50 delegates were in attendance at the Mobile Marketing Programmatic Summit from brands and publishers including AutoTrader, British Gas, BuzzFeed, Condé Nast, Jaguar Land Rover, Lidl, Mumsnet, and more.

The event followed the usual format of presentations from programmatic experts followed by interactive roundtable sessions hosted by the experts themselves, ending on a keynote from GiveMeSport’s Ryan Skeggs.

Mobile Marketing Programmatic Summit

Ben McDermott, senior analyst and lead consultant at Teavaro, kicked off the event with insights into how those in attendance could take control of programmatic in their business. He highlighted how programmatic has become a microcosm for digital marketing, as a whole, in the way that it is affected by issues surrounding transparency, accountability, and control.

He discussed how the introduction of GDPR has placed “put the focus on the consumer and relocated the power of the data back to the data owners”, where in the past this first-party relationship has been ignored. Within this, the use of first-party identity and data in programmatic delivers efficiency gains, control, and dynamic user experience personalisation.

“While the entire dynamic of the relationship has changed between advertisers and publishers, it’s changed for the better,” said McDermott. “There’s now transparency, communication, and understanding.”

Fyber’s UK & France MD Jonnie Byrne stepped up to the rostrum next to look at the state of mobile in-app. He outlined the company’s research of 50 agencies and 52 brands and advertisers, where it was found that in-app spend is happening in far more places than just gaming, while data collected by SDKs is powering better targeted campaigns and driving greater ROI.

It was found that though mobile is the biggest segment of investment in digital – versus desktop and OTT – this year, much of the that spend is occurring within mobile web, despite more than 80 per cent of user mobile time being spent in-app. The trend is changing, however, with 80 per cent of brands now asking their agencies to buy in-app and in gaming.

“According to brands and advertisers, in-app ads improve ROI by an average of 36 per cent,” said Byrne. “Better user engagement and targeting capabilities are also the top benefits seen from investing in in-app advertising. And improvements in creatives executions and formats are also making an impact by providing users with a much better ad experience – and that’s really important for publishers who want to monetise their inventory but also want to retain users.”

Kerry McGowan, head of agency at Sublime (formerly Sublime Skinz), continued proceedings with a look at creativity within mobile and the pitfalls that advertisers need to avoid with that.

McGowan advised that advertisers make sure their content is suited to the device it’s going to be viewed on – and not just take their desktop creative and drop it on to mobile. She continued highlighting the importance of vertical video with 70 per cent of millennials now accustomed to vertical formats and how the format should be embraced, alongside other newer formats like those utilising HTML5, because “static ads and pre-rolls don’t cut it on mobile anymore”.

She continued with the recommendation that video ads need to be short and straight to the point with the brand logo displayed at the beginning of the video. And how programmatic creative can be used to personalise ad content, while user data serves a key role in delivering more relevant ads.

“As mobile media consumption increases, it’s really important for publishers to explore these ad formats and the ones that best engage viewers before they turn to alternative measures, such as ad blockers. Instead of seeking of seeking a standard format that fits all audiences, it’s time that publishers and their partners work toward monetising mobile traffic through building high-impact, device-specific, programmatic creatives. Creatives that manage the messaging by offering readers a truly tailored viewing experience across mobile and beyond. And it’s this formula that we think truly inspires brands today.”

Sharethrough’s strategic account director Jonathan Mackie kept the theme of content going, taking the room through a presentation about the distribution of content. Specifically, the distribution of content in a user-friendly way.

He highlighted the need for more empathetic ad experiences due to the deep connection people have to their mobile devices, in turn, meaning that it’s no longer okay to use ads to steal people’s attention on their phones. This brought Mackie on to the importance of native advertising, especially native video. With native video, the headline accompanying it was found to be massively important, alongside the first three seconds of the video, in deciding if the user would watch the content.

“We feel that framing advertising as an audition for attention shows a much more empathetic approach to personal price,” said Mackie. “It moves from trading on interruption to trading on choice… This also brings a new value exchange. We shouldn’t think of ads as a penalty to get free content, but the ads should offer you as much entertainment as the editorial they’re amongst.”

Last, but by no means least, the final speaker prior to the roundtable sessions was Sarah Lewis, demand facilitation manager at SpotX. She took the audience through the global trends that we are seeing in mobile video – where 72 per cent of online video viewing will take place this year and 80 per cent of programmatic video ad spend will take place in 2019. Based on this, Lewis expressed the need for video publishers to embrace a mobile-first strategy with programmatic in mind.

She outlined how the sight, sound, and motion, the power of location targeting, the strong attention rates, and the reach all make mobile the place to implement a strategy. And why mobile and video are a “killer combination”.

“As we see more mobile-only digital consumption, including video content consumption, as a publisher, you have to invest in those platforms to capture that ad spend. And, as an advertiser, you need to be advertising on that platform to engage those users,” said Lewis

Ryan Skeggs, general manager at GiveMeSport, closed proceedings with a look at how sports publisher GiveMeSport took back control of programmatic video during the lead-up to this summer’s World Cup.

He discussed how changes made by the company’s third-party technology vendor to its video player caused issues for the success of GiveMeSport’s video offering. To tackle this, it decided to put together a team and build its own video player, achieving positive results after three months of hard work.

“For anyone looking to build their own technology, we didn’t build this for shits and giggles,” said Skeggs. “The reason why we did it is because we saw a massive drop in certain metrics and revenue. To get the resources together internally, you have to remember that you’re still paying these guys a wage, they’re still on the payroll and it is costing you money one way or another. So, you just have to make sure that it’s actually aligning itself with the business objectives… Give yourselves some real business results to work to. I keep hearing about in-housing – I have my own opinions on that – but give yourselves some real tangible results to work to. If you’re not hitting those results, you should probably roll it back and start again or give it up completely and work with a tech vendor.”

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