Patrick Darcy
Jan 8, 2016

Mobile programmatic: Brand builder or brand buster?

Patrick Darcy of RadiumOne shares three things advertisers should know before jumping into mobile programmatic.

Patrick Darcy
Patrick Darcy

In Southeast Asia's emerging mobile-first markets, the mobile programmatic space has the power to be the most efficient brand builder—or the most effective brand buster.

The challenge for brands in 2016 is being on the right side of that divide.

When we talk about ‘mobile-first’ we’re talking about the fact that consumers are spending less time watching television and more time looking at their mobile phone screens than ever before.

According to Nielsen, 41 percent of consumers in APAC (twice as many as those in the US) watch video every day on their mobile devices.

And when we talk about mobile in an advertising sense, we’re talking about marketers rapidly shifting investment. Zenith Optimedia recently released a study that estimated that global mobile advertising spend will overtake newspapers in 2016. eMarketer predicts that advertising investment on mobile is expected to grow to 35 percent of all digital ad spend in APAC by 2018. For some individual countries within the region, that’s even higher. Indonesia boasts the highest mobile advertising growth in the world. In Australia mobile is tipped to reach 64 percent of all digital spend, and in South Korea, mobile will play an even larger role in the advertising landscape, accounting for 66 percent of all digital ad spend by 2018.

Whichever way you look at it, marketers are placing their bets on mobile. It’s a quickly evolving and often misunderstood area of marketing. Here are three concepts advertisers should understand before jumping into mobile programmatic.

1. Mobile data goes from valuable to useless in minutes

Timing is everything, and speed is critical in mobile. We need to be talking to consumers in the “right now” based on data that is giving us accurate intent signals, in real time. Send a discount for a pizza within minutes to a hungry user, and you're a welcome brand that adds value to their experience. Send the same ad even 20 minutes later—when the purchase has been made elsewhere and your products or services are no longer needed—and you're an uninvited intruder.

Through geolocation, beacons, recent payments, search and live-sharing data, mobile is the most effective channel to act accurately and quickly to capitalise on the first few minutes after a consumer signals intent, when it's most valuable.

2. Relevance and timing are replacing reach and frequency

In a recent study from Millward Brown, consumers reported that they received video ads delivered on their smartphone more negatively than on tablets, computers, on-demand TV or live TV. Essentially, before the ad is even served up, it's perceived negatively.

As a result, perhaps the recent market focus on ad blocking may actually be a good thing for all parties; it forces brands to develop the sort of creative content that users will not want to block. When it comes to mobile, marketers should be coming at this challenge from the opposite direction; tapping into live intent signals and emotional states of consumers as the catalyst for marketing activity, rather than the goal.

3. Weave in "dark social"

Our most recent study found that the vast majority—90 percent—of social sharing in Southeast Asia is via email and instant messaging (dark social) and that 70 percent of click-backs on shared content happens via mobile devices.

“Dark social” is where consumers copy and paste links or page content in emails or instant messages, and selectively share with their ‘intimate social networks’—friends, family and colleagues—rather than posting onto public social networks.  

For each dark social share, the content and the people it’s being shared with are selected for a very specific reason. This data is incredibly powerful, especially when merged with mobile targeting capabilities and real-time media buying.

Integrating these insights into your broader mobile campaign will make your efforts exponentially more targeted and impactful, helping build your brand through positive connection with consumers.

The power around a brand’s image or product is now (literally) ‘in the hands’ of mobile consumers. Bringing these elements into your mobile strategy will go a long way toward ensuring a valuable return on the investment made in this exciting mobile space.

Patrick Darcy is commercial director with RadiumOne APAC


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