"Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Lauren Moores, vice president of analytics at Dstillery.
After spending three days wandering the halls of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, I left with a few major takeaways.
First, although Internet of Things still has the loudest bragging rights, it made more of splash at CES. Second, on the other side of the conference hall, ad tech has expanded to include more exhibits, formal space and attendees. And finally, who can forget the networking? It went on all day and all night.
Ad tech networking discussions focused on auction dynamics, global growth, location data and native. But perhaps the most chatter was around the growth of mobile video as an advertising vehicle.
"It is not about the mobile device, it is about the ecosystem," Allen Klosowski, SpotXchange’s vice president of mobile and connected devices, said succinctly during a conversation at MWC. The mobile ecosystem continues to change how and where we market.
But why now? Why do some expect ad spending on mobile video to surpass desktop in 2015?
Until recently, the biggest issue has been the lack of common mobile video ad unit currency between publishers and advertisers. Standards bring scale just as better mobile operating systems and bigger screens bring more branding to mobile.
It makes sense. Look around while you are commuting or in a public space. How many people are watching video on their phones or tablets? Whether we are accessing video through a social media or content platform, we are already spending more time on our devices than on TV in the US, and 76% of global video viewing is done on devices other than TV.
On the standards side, let’s not forget measurement. Integral Ad Science’s recent acquisition of Veenome adds video in-stream, in-game and in-banner metrics to its measurement suite. This follows Visible Measures’ announcement in February of its partnership with Moat to guarantee 100% viewability for video campaigns. Meaningful metrics for mobile video are key.
Another February announcement of note was related to branding. Inneractive launched Story, a native video ad unit offering a brand story in context to other app content. Although I usually hate when a video plays as soon as it’s in view, interrupting my mobile task at hand, the idea that the story continues as the user moves through mobile content is cool and can be used to an advertiser’s advantage if done correctly.
And more brands are doing video correctly. My nomination for recent video done well has to be the series of five-second Geico pre-roll ads, each of which I watched through to the end at least twice.
So, even though the sexy product unveils at MWC got all the love in the press, the real takeaway for marketers is that mobile video is rapidly maturing as a data-driven platform. Measurement, standardization and now even smart mobile advertising are quickly converging to make marketing via mobile video less of a trendy gamble and more of a serious platform for connecting cross-channel with consumers.