The Age of the Mobile Programmatic Private Marketplaces

Jun 01, 2016


Article ImageWhen it comes to programmatic advertising, the rules of the game have changed. Late night wine and dine sessions, bargaining over CPMs, crying over insertion orders, and struggling for transparency of advertising performance seem relics of a bygone era as more and more advertisers make the shift to programmatic--well, all except the late night wining and dining. Where digital advertising was once associated with blind networks and distrust, programmatic advertising is becoming a favorite by offering advertisers transparency, efficiency, and control.

It wasn't long ago when publishers, in a bid to sell their remnant inventory, flocked to programmatic as a means of getting rid of their unsold impressions in blocks. In the span of a couple of years, as advertising technology advanced, programmatic has quickly transformed into a premium marketplace. This change is more evident for in-app mobile programmatic buying, which has already leapfrogged the initial challenges that desktop faced.

To put simply, this means mobile programmatic is now audience built, and driven by high impact creative. It is delivering a user-first approach to advertising, and is engaging more users and building brand loyalty.

User at the Core

How is this happening? The user is at the center of our universe--as they should be. However, now programmatic is powered by hundreds of terabytes of mobile user data (for serious players, privacy compliant data) that drive better targeting and better creative experiences. Now, this isn't rocket science...but maybe it is. Teams of mobile data science experts with PhDs are building hundreds of mobile data signals on a daily basis to better understand location patterns, app preferences and intention, demographics, and technographics. According to comScore, digital media time in the U.S. has exploded recently and users spend around 88% of their time on mobile in apps.

Location plays an important role here, too. We get closer to who's behind phone screens and provide relevant, contextual ads that are of value to users. In addition, advertisers can now bring this data back to their 360-degree media plan and influence offline purchases as well. Tracking and in-store attribution are being born again with this new data-driven perspective.

Understanding the meaning of user centricity on mobile, for building true user engagement, is a notable change in advertising. Vertical experiences, native advertising, opt-in video, and full-screen rich media ads are now being seen as the norm. These formats have helped increase user engagement significantly. There is also the effect of offering premium inventory.

In the mobile world, premium is where users spend most of their time, be it on a social or messenger app, news app, or playing their favorite game. The combination of improved ad formats and premium inventory available in PMPs are helping to drive meaningful user engagement for brands.

The Importance of the PMP

Private marketplace (PMP) buying on programmatic is making it possible to target and engage users at scale. With the ease of automated buying and high viewability of in-app advertising, it's no surprise that the industry is seeing 33% of in-app mobile programmatic buying from private deals, while on desktop, this number doesn't even pass the 10% mark.

With multiple big events and key marketing opportunities coming up in 2016, brands have an opportunity to reach mobile-first generations in places such as Brazil for the Olympic Games, or target voters in the U.S. for the 2016 Presidential election. With this in mind, it's imperative for advertisers to learn more about programmatic and best practices to incorporate PMPs into their media plan. Brands understand the value of knowing their customers well, what they like and want, when they want it, and how they can create loyal customers. So, the age of the mobile PMP is here to stay. It's the future of brand advertising and it will continue to rise in 2016.

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)


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A large chunk of ad spending is already being done programmatically. eMarketer predicts programmatic will make up 67% of total digital display ad spending, or $21.55 billion, in 2016. That's up from 2015, when it accounted for 59% of spending, or $15.43 billion, according to the researchers. The figures include programmatic buying for banners, rich media, video, sponsorship, and additional ad units showing on desktops, tablets, mobile, and other internet-connected devices. Programmatic advertising is creeping into more forms of media too, including television and radio.
In January, the global ad automation firm Kiosked released early insights from research that suggests that brands are pulling their programmatic and creative agency expertise inside. This is with an aim toward assuming more control of what's happening with this increasingly important element of their branding and marketing efforts.
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