LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO: There are three main obstacles to the wider adoption of programmatic mobile, but according to an industry figure these can be overcome with a proper focus on cross-device measurement and data targeting.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, Krish Sailam, senior product manager of mobile at Cadreon, IPG Mediabrand's ad tech unit, notes that brands and agencies in the US have been slower than expected to take full advantage of the new platform opportunity.

One of the reasons for this, he posits, is a sense of disillusionment engendered by a poor performance in early testing. And even though these tests might be a year or two old, the results "still colour the prevailing internal perception of mobile opportunity".

But all too often, he argues, the initial tests were not set up appropriately and frequently relied on simply porting desktop strategies directly to mobile, which inevitably "results in a half-baked mobile strategy".

The answer is to develop a holistic mobile strategy – one that is built into overall marketing goals and that is both sustainable and measurable.

When it comes to measurement, there is an urgent need to move away from the prevailing silos. "Siloed measurement doesn't allow you to see if a person was served an impression on one device and completed an action on another device," Sailam points out.

He reports that Cadreon trials with cross-device measurement have "frequently yielded double-digit gains for overall actions and cost savings" across a range of core verticals.

Allied to measurement is the issue of targeting and this has been made more difficult for digital marketers reliant on cookies which are fine for desktop but don't work in mobile.

But many third-party data providers who traditionally focused on cookies are now augmenting their data sets with mobile-friendly device IDs.

"This makes it easy to transition an audience, which has traditionally performed very well for your brand, into the mobile realm," says Sailam.

The immediate future, he suggests, lies in the use of cross-device pixels which allow a desktop campaign to be synced in real-time with a device graph in order to find the same user in the mobile universe.

"Leveraging a cross-device pixel maximises the return on your desktop investment and should be seen as a 'no-risk' strategy for 2016," Sailam advises.

Data sourced from Admap