Newsroom 01/20/2016 PST

Welcome to the Real World: 2016 Predictions for Mobile Advertising

After a great 2015, we feel emboldened to make a few predictions for the new year based on what we’re experiencing as we launch a fully operational system in Japan and engage with mobile operators and advertising agencies around the globe.

Location, Location, Location
What holds true in real estate should also be a mantra for anyone involved in mobile advertising. As consumers leave their desktops behind, the new mobile lifestyle allows advertisers to use location to target relevant ads to buyers on the go.

While somebody that navigates to a particular website may be showing a mild interest in a particular item or activity, actually visiting a location associated with that activity is a much stronger indicator of real life intent. For example, somebody who stops at a different coffee shop each morning is clearly ripe for coffee offers along his or her daily route. Or someone who frequents golf course and pro shops is the perfect target for offers of golf equipment – wherever they may be at the time.

For 2016, we believe that the use of location data to target mobile ads to an audience already primed to respond positively will rise significantly.

Quality Data
Big data has been all the rage for the last few years, but simply being “big” isn’t enough. When it comes to targeted advertising, the quality of the data is critical.

Collected in real time, mobile location data is ‘always on’ and is of higher quality and accuracy than data derived from IP lookup. It allows for a shift from the desktop-appropriate method of website visits to the more precise and mobile-appropriate method of physical world venue visits for the creation of consumer interest segments.

In 2016, the focus will shift from not how big your data is, but to how that data can work for you to best target consumers with the right message at the right time.

Real World Audience Marketing
As mobile internet use surpasses desktop, the use of real life data across mobile environments will usher in a new focus on audience marketing. Rather than tracking individual consumers, combining data across populations allows advertisers to build audience segments from their interests in the real world.

In 2016 we’ll see a major shift from the use of old school cookies to a new generation of real-life, intelligence-driven techniques for reaching target audiences with a message relevant to their activity and interests in the real world.

Privacy will continue to be a serious concern for consumers and those who seek to protect consumer interests. However, people are becoming more willing to barter with their personal data, giving up certain information in exchange for services, whether it be the opportunity to easily interact on social networks with friends, family and colleagues, or the chance to receive discounts, rewards or free content.

For 2016, tools and techniques that adhere to the principle of privacy-by-design will enable more and more data to be used as a form of currency, providing new monetization opportunities for those vendors that hold the data, and new, relevant services for consumers.

A Better Overall Ad Experience
While first touted as the harbinger of the death of advertising, in 2016, ad blocking will instead give rise to a new advertising experience. In order to dissuade the use of ad blockers, advertisers will need to provide a better user experience. This means relevant ads that are targeted to the individual user. When an ad is well timed and useful, it’s no longer an intrusion.

After years of being spammed by annoying ads all over your desktop browser, 2016 will be the year that digital advertising starts to get good.

Here Come the Telcos
We believe that Verizon’s acquisitions of AOL and Millennial Media were just the tip of the iceberg. As other mobile operators realize what Verizon is gaining by adding the advertising capabilities of these platforms to their ecosystem, other telcos will follow suit, either through acquisitions or by partnering with technology providers that can help them tap into their warehouses of data to deliver targeted advertising and other services.

With so much focus on mobile advertising, we know that 2016 will be the year that savvy mobile operators make serious moves to participate in the new mobile economy through integration with the mobile advertising ecosystem.

A Win for Consumers
Ultimately, 2016 will be the year of the consumer when it comes to mobile advertising. Powered by a new generation of adtech, the new year ushers in a new paradigm where real world data drives the delivery of relevant — and perhaps even welcome — advertising, that will benefit consumers and all participants in the advertising ecosystem who embrace the unique assets of the mobile life.

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