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Mobile programmatic good in theory

News, 31 March 2015

NEW YORK: Most brand marketers are sold on the idea of programmatic buying for mobile, but only a few are actually using the technique, new research has found.

A study commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence polled 200 top-level brand marketing executives on their attitudes to mobile marketing. It discovered that while 76% of respondents thought mobile programmatic is an important development, just 27% are currently buying this way.

"It is clear that programmatic advertising is strongly embedded in the minds of many mobile marketers," said Anna Bager, svp/Mobile and Video at the IAB. She added that there was "much work to be done before mobile programmatic can reach its full potential".

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As well as programmatic, marketers seemed enthused by the potential of advertising opportunities with new-generation connected devices.

As one might perhaps expect, connected TVs topped the list, for 73% of those marketers surveyed, but connected cars (69%) and wearables (66%) were close behind.

And the figures were even greater among experienced mobile marketers: 80% for connected TVs, 78% connected cars and 75% wearables.

The survey also established that mobile advertising budgets are continuing to rise, and, while much of this increase is new spending, around one third is being diverted from other media.

Print had suffered most in this respect, with six in ten (58%) reporting they had shifted funds from here into mobile. Desktop (31%) and TV (31%) were equally hit, while outdoor (20%) and radio (18%) were currently least affected by mobile ad substitution.

The fact that 95% were satisfied with the performance of their mobile ads may indicate that more cannibalisation can be expected in future.

Several areas emerged from the survey as posing challenges for the future of mobile advertising, including a lack of standardised metrics (cited as very important by 54% of those surveyed), a lack of agency expertise (52%), the fragmentation of operating systems (50%) and the wide variety of ways to buy mobile inventory (49%).

Privacy was also moving up marketers' agendas, with 37% identifying this issue as a major challenge compared to 22% in 2013.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff