5 questions you should ask before adding a mobile DSP

By Filippo Gramigna, VP Partnerships & Platform Sales, Widespace

Brands need to unlock the marketing potential of mobile inventory quickly, but delivering the best ROI can be tricky with huge amounts of real-time data to collect and analyse. When deciding on a mobile DSP therefor, advertisers must choose wisely and ask the right questions. For example, is it effective across different operating systems, browsers and devices, does it make the best use of data and technology and will it keep your brand safe? 

So here’s the five questions we think brands should be asking:

1- Does it truly make the most of mobile, or simply offer mobile inventory?

What’s great about mobile is that user profiling and identification software ensures that brands can reach individuals. It’s one-to-one rather than one-to-many, meaning marketers can target users across the whole mobile ecosystem, while making the most of personalisation – but as things get more personal it becomes increasingly important to keep campaigns lean and efficient. This means it’s important to find out whether the DSP knows how people are using mobile websites and apps on one device to avoid sending the same ad too many times. It’s also crucial that brands ask vendors how they calculate campaign reach and how these figures are audited using third party products. Additionally, ensure you ask about geo targeting and engaging formats which built for mobile and not simply adapted from desktop. These are two features that truly make use of mobiles built in capabilities. Hyper local targeting based on location data, as well as storytelling through ad formats, which are built for the mobile screen and include a multitude of ways to interact.

2- Does it make the most effective use of machine learning?

Machine learning predicts the most relevant ads for each unique user and feeds back details on how someone interacts with them. A brand with high quality and reliable data can improve matching and then use machine learning to reach existing and potential customers in a more effective way. Marketers should receive valuable insight into the nuances within a target audience so that ad content and any offers match people’s interests and mobile behaviour.

3- How is data used?

Mobile devices grant access to an unparalleled range of data points and features but it must be high quality and reliable to inform and select audiences. Marketers need to know which third party data integrations are available and can they also generate audience segments? Data savvy brands will also track the traffic on the brand’s web sites and use retargeting to reach those individuals with follow up campaigns. Our advice: find out if there is an audience selection algorithm that uses data to create a pull rather than a push approach to traditional targeting. This will seek out the viewers that are most likely to show an interest in the ad. If a mobile DSP does not ensure data is used correctly to reach the right people at the right time a brand could be wasting money and risking brand aversion because its ads are irrelevant or intrusive.

4- Is there a commitment to tackling fraud and ensuring brand safety?

Marketers need to know that the mobile ads they pay for are actually being viewed by humans and that their brands are not appearing alongside inappropriate content or on undesirable sites. What verification processes are used and are there fraud-free guarantees certified by standards bodies such as JICWEBS to ensure transparency? Are there direct integrations with Tier 1 publishers to boost quality control? It is possible to guarantee 100% human traffic in advertising campaigns, but those who fail to do this are costing brands billions in spend every year.

5- Measure mobile engagement

An advertiser needs effective measurement in place and to know that people are viewing its ads and are engaged in the content. Marketers should question if the number of exposures a unique user gets towards a brand is being controlled because this will improve the ROI. Which metrics are optimised? Is it the time spent with the brand, interactions and engagements? What about brand metrics such as relevance? Also, ask if the ads are seamlessly integrated with mobile content to boost engagement and view times. What’s key is both the experience of the end user and the net impact on a brand’s business, so working with a DSP that allows you to optimise towards and measure against more than one KPI is key.