We'll explore why programmatic is the fastest way to win user's moments on mobile, and address the gap between where users spend their time and how advertisers allocate their budgets. Moreover, we'll cover why a unified approach to ad technology helps marketers optimise for mobile.

October 2015

A. Consumer behaviour is now predominantly mobile

Today, mobile devices are being sold nine times faster than desktop devices, and major internet properties see more than half of all sessions occurring on mobile:

  • Over 50% of YouTube streams take place on a mobile device.
  • Over half of all Google searches are on smartphones in many countries, including the US and Japan.
  • Facebook has revealed that the majority of its revenue comes from mobile.

In spite of this, only 11.8% of all UK digital marketing investment currently goes to mobile and there's still a huge question mark over whether mobile is a viable marketing channel.

Waiting for the marketing industry to catch up with consumer behaviour means massive opportunity loss for marketers. There needs to be a conscious effort to drive spend towards consumers and their increasingly mobile-centric behaviours.

Programmatic marketing is a great way to close this gap for two reasons:

1: The proliferation of digital space
When the internet arrived in 1992, there was just one website. Now there are now over 1 billion websites and apps and 2.7 billion internet users. Programmatic, through ad exchanges, goes beyond IOs, and allows for buying across multiple sites and apps in an automated basis and in real-time.

2: The number of connected devices
Globally, internet users are now spending over four hours a day online, and for many of us constant connectivity has become a reality.

Adopting programmatic is an efficient way to overcome the challenges with extending reach beyond desktops and laptops, as it allows for automated cross-channel buying. It also allows advertisers to be prepared for the explosion of connected devices, which will further increase cross-device buying complexity. Gartner estimates that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015 — up 30% from 2014 — and will reach 25 billion by 2020.

B. A unified approach will help marketers thrive in mobile

Programmatic is a more efficient way to buy than traditional practices. Not only it is the only way to harness the growing volume of connected devices and digital media properties, but it removes the traditional roadblocks seen in mobile reservation practices. If one looks at the average of 40 touchpoints in the traditional IO approach to buying, programmatic can eliminate and streamline many of these to make execution faster, easier and more effective.

But buying programmatically isn't enough by itself — success will come easier when a unified platform is used to buy across multiple exchanges. Here's why:

The mobile ad tech space suffers from fragmentation — more so than other areas of ad tech. Not only does mobile have the existing LUMAscape to contend with, but the addition of new areas such as location, apps, formats and tracking contributes further to the complexity. In trying to stitch together all of these disparate technologies, one starts to let all the inefficiencies we saw from the traditional IO basis creep back into buying.

Significant efficiency gains of programmatic come from the the use of a unified technology stack. In fact, research from The Boston Consulting Group illustrates that this approach leads to efficiency gains of up to 33%. This is thanks to a contribution of unified reporting, decreased creative workflow, tagging, optimising to true conversion data, zero discrepancies and billing, to name a few.

Last but not least, one of the greatest efficiency improvements is in the area of audience signals. A unified approach lends the ability to ingest insights from other platforms, centralise these insights, move insights between platforms seamlessly and finally to segment audiences and utilise insights to drive engagement.

C. Conclusion

More users. More connected devices. More digital touchpoints. To ensure speed of execution and continuity of discussion, a unified approach to programmatic will get the job done.

But that's not the only reason that a unified approach matters: in our next blog post in this series, we'll discuss why a unified approach to programmatic enables organisations to reach out to consumers more effectively in the moments that matter.