In Mobile, The Blame Game Continues

catherinemarketersnoteMarketer’s Note” is a regular column informing marketers about the rapidly evolving, digital marketing technology ecosystem.

This week it is written by Catherine Oddenino, Analyst, AdExchanger Research.

One of the common themes I hear in my current mobile products research: It’s someone else’s fault.

The players and issues change in each conversation, but it feels like many spend more time blaming other parties and waiting for things to change rather than working to find solutions.

Everyone is struggling to make the transition from desktop to mobile but very few feel satisfied with their options. Technology vendors feel that marketers and publishers are equally to blame. Publishers blame marketers, and marketers blame a lack of data and publishers.

We saw a similar blame game while conducting our December survey of mobile advertising professionals. Marketers blamed agencies, while agencies blamed clients. When asked what has most disappointed them in mobile advertising, a third of marketers selected, “Agencies don’t have enough experience to craft a good mobile campaign.” When responding to the same question, 43% of agencies and tech providers chose, “Our clients still see mobile advertising as experimental so their budgets are too small to accomplish anything really interesting.”

A recent example involves viewability standards in mobile. Users are moving over to mobile in droves but the advertising dollars haven’t followed at the same pace. Multiple publishers and vendors I have spoken to voice frustration over the lack of an MRC viewability standard for mobile. They see it as holding back large marketing dollar spend. One publisher told me that five very large advertising clients have budget set aside for mobile but won’t release it until the MRC standard is established.

I understand that viewability is a major issue both for desktop and mobile, but to hold back large budgets while waiting for MRC’s standard to be established seems overly cautious and potentially detrimental to long-term marketing goals. Marketers need to start investing in mobile, even if the budgets start small, to learn which creative and ad types work and how to use cross-device targeting. Waiting on the sidelines will only let competitors gain ground.

Marketers should take a look at some of the innovative formats from firms YieldMo and Kargo. Hyperscrolling and adhesion units feel less intrusive and more engaging than pop-ups and web banners transferred over to mobile from desktop. These companies are developing better mobile products, leading to higher CPMs for publishers selling these products.

There are exciting new formats and opportunities to reach a mobile audience, but marketers, agencies, publishers and technology vendors need to work together rather than continue to blame everyone else for the lack of progress in mobile.

Follow Catherine Oddenino (@yumcat) and AdExchanger Research (@AdExchangerRsch) on Twitter.

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