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article imageMontreal entrepreneur Steve Danson on the growing integration of mobile advertising and platforms

As noted by Advertising Age in its December 2013 publication, based upon an earlier report from eMarketer, the mobile advertising spend was set to double in 2013 to $9.6 billion… and will leap another $5 billon in 2014.
This is no surprise to Steve Danson, president at Keyword Digital. He has been a leader in the search targeted, display and mobile advertising space since 1999.
“The interfaces people are using to access the Internet are increasingly being derived from mobile,” said Danson. “An area of difficulty advertisers have in the mobile space is that users are not as comfortable purchasing some products on a mobile device as compared to their home or office computers.”
Despite that challenge, the use of wireless devices via smartphones, notepads, and tablets is increasing many-fold. According to comScore, an Internet information tracking company, 159.8 million people in the U.S, as of January 2014, own smartphones. The future of “going mobile” is happening rapidly, despite any initial hesitations. According to some industry insiders like Nick Wiggin, a VP at Huawei, there have been some drawbacks, such as not being able to deliver services fast enough.
Today, as Danson explains, “Mobile apps are driving a significant percentage of mobile ad spending.” Facebook, he said, has had a great degree of success in this area by “offering mobile app advertisers the opportunity to purchase advertising space offered to their users in the form of a one-click to app-download page from their mobile device.”, a media news source noted in an article posted on July 2 that Facebook, in its first quarter earnings, reported mobile advertising had grown to 59 percent of its total ad revenue.
The strength of mobile and online advertising lies in its ability to reach a target audience directly. And in that direct outreach, an ad can have more appeal to a customer, because it has been fine-tuned to him or her. Rather than relying on the limited appeal of an ad placed in a traditional mass marketing approach such as on TV, radio, or print publication, mobile and online advertising is tailor-made. The ad in mobile and online form is typically based upon what the customer has already indicated as wanted, instead of the seller trying to predict what the customer wants.
Steve Danson, Montreal-based advertising entrepreneur, further explains how “the search and directory segments are also benefiting from the mobile serge via their service based advertisers because users are more comfortable purchasing services on their mobile phones as compared to tangible products.” Additionally, according to Danson, users are more likely to generate a phone call to a service-based advertiser by utilizing the click-to-call function that all mobile phones offer.
Danson believes that direct-to-the-customer, hyperlocation, and newly adapted data driven algorithm based aspects are the essence of what make mobile advertising so appealing to many advertisers. Moreover, according to eMarketer, with regard to mobile’s outpacing of laptops and PCs, adults are now spending almost 20 percent of their time using mobile devices.
“Ad-serving technology is not rocket science,” said Wiggin. But as he sees it, “A more central issue at present is the openness of operators to allow third-party access to data management.” As this new mobile technology grows, and mobile advertising with it, Wiggin worries that this will be a major concern.
As Wiggin noted when he wrote an article back in 2009 for Ericsson, ”Not surprisingly operators have been reluctant to allow small start-ups to integrate directly with their own systems. There has also been a significant amount of distrust and nervousness about allowing major Internet players access to subscriber profile information.”
“Advertisers want to know what ad space they are buying and who views it," Wiggin continued. "And they will pay a premium if the operator can provide them with generic information about the ad viewer, such as age, gender, or location.”
Almost all of the information gathered is based upon consumer behavior. As Jamie Grenney of CRM Magazine points out, “Behavioral signals about individual consumers are all around us. These can be found in various places on the Web, such as social media properties like Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.” So far, Pinterest users have pinned “a mind-boggling 30 billion items to date.”
Moreover, echoing Wiggin, Grenney asserts that data providers or brokers will be part of the new mobile ad system, using data to spot good leads even before they approach a website. Grenney adds that personalization is going to be about monitoring behavior and predicting the right message at the right time. While this approach is still in its nascent stages, companies have begun to serve up personalized content based upon IP addresses, cookies, and marketing automation data.
According to Grenney, for companies to succeed, they must be aggressive about acquiring data and partnering with experts that have the machine learning prowess needed to enable truly data-driven marketing decisions.
Steve Danson elaborates: “Today’s mobile advertising environment is heavily focused on programmatic and algorithm based ad targeting. Users are identified anonymously; however, their behavior is used to compile huge subsets of data that result in full customer profiles. These profiles are then targeted by advertisers, often programmatically and simultaneously across multiple mobile and web platforms. As data continues to accumulate, the degree of an advertiser’s ability to target efficiently is increasing at a somewhat exponential level. In order for companies to compete, they will need to significantly incorporate data driven targeting into their product offering.”
More about Advertising, Mobile, Steve Danson, Montreal, Entrepreneur
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