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Mobile Resolutions

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“Now Serving Mobile” is a column focused on the audience-buying opportunity in mobile advertising.

Elizabeth Zalman is co-Founder at Media Armor, a mobile advertising technology company.

Given that it’s the New Year and I’m in jovial spirits, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my resolutions for 2012:

Resolution #1: Surpass $1B in display spend.  I feel like every year I read an article about me saying that ‘this is the year of mobile’, and every year, I can’t quite seem to get there.  Enough already!  2011 came to what, maybe $750M total?  And compare that to online’s $50B?  I know I can do better.  So I ask myself the question, how can I do better?  Which leads me to resolution #2…

Resolution #2: Move past click-through rate.  I know, I know, this is a biggie.  But we can do it.  You’re probably asking how on earth I can prove value without having conversations and writing articles focused on clicks.  Well, I’ve been industrious this year, surveying the marketers buying my ads.  They keep saying that they’d love to buy more, but find it challenging, in large part because they can’t approach mobile with the same sophistication as online.  CMO after CMO has said, ‘Mobile Display Woman, when I wake up in the morning, I don’t think about buying clicks.  Clicks don’t equate to success for me.  I instead challenge my team to find ways to acquire new customers and retain existing ones.  Most importantly, I ask them to prove that mobile display works.  Enable me to do that, and I’ll happily buy what you’re selling!’. Which leads me to resolution #3…

Resolution #3: Work to dispel those pesky mobile myths.  Oooh, this one’s a goodie, combining hype, misnomers, and general inaccuracies.  Topping my list of myths to debunk are:

  1. Cookies don’t work in mobile – not true!  At least for smartphones out in the past few years, cookies work across them all.  The key is ensure marketers don’t mistake ‘not working’ for ‘browsers aren’t set to accept 3rd-party ones out of the box {cough cough iOS}’.
  2. Fingerprinting is the wave of the future – I certainly hope so!  I love new technology, especially one that is so promising.  But we’re not quite there yet.  First, the methodology often relies on IP addresses.  In mobile, IPs change constantly, as devices are constantly connecting to new access points such as cell towers, and office and home routers.  As a result, they are not a reliable resource.  Second, it uses JavaScript.  This scripting language, so amazing online, only functions on smartphones in mobile, and often fails on the ones that do support it.  Furthermore, the amount of code necessary to transmit over to the device upon request is a lot, especially when considering internet access speeds over a cell network.  Let’s hope this one hits its stride in 2013.
  3. View-through doesn’t exist – It does!  Period.  If you can’t find it, you’re not looking hard enough.
  4. Quantitative test-and-control is a dream – Not a dream, a reality!!  CMOs, you absolutely can prove out display as you do online.  I promise!
  5. Real-time bidding is just as it is online – Someday soon, for sure!  But it’s not quite here today.  Everyone in the mobile space takes a different approach to identification, and so the ability to match consumers between systems is troublesome.  For right now, mobile RTB is simply server-to-server communication.  You can pre-buy 3rd-party selects, but, say, remarketing in mobile through RTB isn’t quite there.

And so, my dear readers, advocates, buyers, and sellers of mobile display, there you have it, my 2012 New Year’s resolutions.  Like most promises, I’m starting with a bang.  But I know, much like what happens when I open my fridge and see that delicious leftover apple pie, my resolve might start to quaver.  Will you help me persevere?

With tenacity,

Your Ever-Devoted Mobile Display Woman

Follow Media Armor (@mediaarmor) and AdExchanger.com (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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