5 Ways to Win at Mobile Programmatic

Programmatic trading offers increased efficiency and ROI for the client, however existing technology platforms often fail to deliver the full suite of winning requirements to really nail mobile campaigns. Desktop programmatic tactics do not work well on mobile. As mobile specialists, we’ve put together a few easy to implement recommendations so we can all win at mobile.

Go native, and creative while you’re at it

A natively integrated but high impact format that makes innovative use of the many features of the mobile device will help your brand cut through the noise and grab user attention. Assets originally developed for desktop are often repurposed for mobile programmatic, meaning none of the unique features of the device are utilised as part of the user experience with the ad (e.g. ‘swipe’ or ‘shake’ banners). As a substitute, mobile ads such as the Interstitial or ‘fishstick’ banner have been introduced but suffer from issues concerning forced viewability and limited impact respectively.

Premium needs to scale

Ensuring ads are fast-loading and consistent across all your premium placements is paramount. Getting the format right in a test environment is one thing, but traders need their campaigns to run smoothly across all markets. You can have the best of both worlds, combining premium with scalability.

Keep your brand out of harm’s way

Work with quality, safe, known, supply partners and vendors in order to keep your brand integrity intact. Low quality inventory results in ads that are situated out of view or in poor quality environments. Recent attention has also focused on ad impressions that are delivered to, and billed against, non-human bots. All of which represents unacceptable risk to the client when looking to deliver positive campaign ROI and brand equity. Supply partners therefore need to utilise techniques to control these factors, while at the same time being open to 3rd party verification where possible.

A diet entirely of cookies is never healthy

Go beyond cookie tracking in mobile to guarantee maximum amplification and reach of your campaign. In desktop environments cookies work consistently to identify, track and target users across programmatic strategies. But the same cannot be said for the highly fragmented mobile ecosystem. Certain browser settings do not allow for 3rd party cookies (e.g. Safari by default) while app Device IDs are not compatible with mobile web cookies to identify individual users between these two distinct environments, even on the same device. Just two limitations in this area, however there are many others. Reach within mobile programmatic strategies is therefore limited when overlaying audience targeting and optimisation requests, unless probabilistic techniques are employed to utilise the following data points above and beyond the cookie: ad engagement behaviour, browsing history, location services, device & wifi identifiers, and brand survey data.

Don’t forget, mobile is a strong branding platform

When it comes to measurement it is important not to solely focus on hard KPIs such as CTR / VTR as this ignores the potential brand affect mobile can have on the user being targeted. It can also result in forced optimisation towards an audience more likely to click or engage, and may mean your intended target group is left behind. By allowing room for brand measurement – against metrics throughout the funnel such as awareness, consideration and purchase intent – in collaboration with in-ad performance metrics, a more balanced and relevant campaign strategy can be achieved.

by Chris Mason, International Sales Lead, Widespace UK