It’s time for Australia to finally join the mobile programmatic party

It’s high time Australia put the cookies down and switched to a diet of mobile programmatic and device IDs, writes InMobi’s Jayesh Easwaramony

The term ‘programmatic’ must be troubling for a lot of marketers. The automation of mobile campaigns is often viewed as a denial of one of the core elements driving communication effectiveness – creativity.

At last Thursday’s Programmatic Summit in Sydney, we discussed why the efficiency proposition of mobile programmatic should be embraced far more widely – and not just from a media and targeting perspective.

It’s time to acknowledge and explore the creative opportunity of mobile-first planning too.

We all know mobile has become the undisputed screen preference for audiences who spend three hours a day playing games, being social, and watching content.

Despite incredible recent growth, Australia still lags behind other markets in allocating appropriate budgets to mobile, especially via programmatic, and brands bark the same old story: too often, mobile is in the too hard basket.

Like it or not, mobile has been embedded in the consumer’s path to purchase and created a virtuous circle for marketers since the data relayed from these ‘mobile moments’ generates the constant insights that successful campaigns rely upon to capture sentiment and engage eyeballs.

When the data helps identify an important ‘mobile moment’ in the life of a consumer, the creative challenge is born: how to optimise the experience to productively engage with and inform the user.

However, I don’t think marketers fully appreciate the creative canvas that mobile programmatic has to offer, as yet. One of the biggest reasons for this is that the industry as a whole, is still following traditional marketing practices rather than embracing the fully personalised and real-time campaign opportunity that mobile programmatic offers.

There is also a lack of awareness and understanding of how to leverage mobile data insights and the native features of the mobile device to build personalised creative.

In order to get valuable user insight to drive reach and retargeting, marketers have been relying on browser-based cookie technology. Cookies have completely dominated the Australian advertising ecosystem.

These days however, in a world of increasingly browserless environments (smartphones, tablets, smart watches, smart homes) it’s time to look beyond the humble cookie and future-proof marketing by embracing a far more robust and unique identifier – the device ID.

Device IDs now provide a single source of truth, informing us of every user’s exact mobile journey and identifying the key touchpoints that influence their path to purchase.

This level of granularity in user data creates endless opportunities for brands to build personalised campaigns that drive discovery, engagement and improved ROI. This is particularly powerful when targeting niche audiences programmatically. Marketers have the opportunity to pre-create a plethora of creatives that target different messages to the right audiences at highly relevant mobile moments, programmatically.

The personal nature of our mobile devices also ensures virtually limitless potential for marketers to get truly creative – especially when supported by the meaningful user understanding that programmatic delivers.

Mobile-first planning can create compelling brand stories by leveraging device features such as front-facing cameras and gyroscopes; features that may be specifically relevant to niche segments at a key point in time or geography, making the brand experience particularly powerful.

Focusing on mobile-friendly creative formats and technologies for both display and video makes this brand experience even more engaging. A great example of a mobile-first format is vertical video – a blockbuster mobile format that doesn’t force the user to tilt their phone.

And what makes this format even more seamless is the technology that can be used to deliver it – IAB’s newly released VAST 4.0 signals an era of zero load times, measurability, brand safety and interactivity, augmenting user experience and delivered programmatically.

Based on the opportunity provided by highly accurate user data, mobile-first planning and highly engaging ad formats, programmatic buying should be embraced for its creative potential by marketers keen to optimise their funnel.

Jayesh Easwaramony is SVP and MD of InMobi Asia Pacific.


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