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Powering ad campaigns across devices

October 8, 2013

Kamal Kaur is vice president of mobile at RadiumOne

Kamal Kaur is vice president of mobile at RadiumOne

By Kamal Kaur

The advertising industry has been closely watching the growth of mobile as a platform and eyeing innovations that will solidify its position as the ad delivery platform of choice.

People understand that mobile is the future of advertising, but few have found a way to make it work due to screen size limitations, low mobile CPMs and the lack of behavioral targeting capabilities on handheld devices.

On the dot
This year, digital advertising is expected to grow 25 percent, with mobile advertising on target to treble current ad spend.

EMarketer estimates that mobile ad spending will spike from $8.4 billion in 2012 to $37 billion in 2016.

But for the marketing community – which is presently flooded with optimistic predictions – to continue investing in mobile, the return on this investment needs to focus on bridging the gap between mobile and desktop advertising.

Connecting the dots between mobile and desktop can be challenging, but not impossible, for a savvy media platform.

What is needed is a way to clearly identify a particular consumer as she moves from device to device – from desktop to mobile to tablet – through deterministic matching, with 100 percent accuracy.

This targeting information then can be relayed back into audience targeting technologies, enabling brands to deliver highly relevant advertisements across display, mobile, video and Facebook, tailored to drive conversions.

There are two methods through which a consumer can be targeted across devices: deterministic and probabilistic methods.

The deterministic approach uses specific business rules and algorithms to determine a 100 percent match among the variables.

In this method, a set business rule determines the match.

Consider, for example, a user that logs-in on a desktop computer and a mobile device using the same username and password. The system here is matching two events with the same user name, even though the events are triggered on two different platforms, desktop and mobile.

Through this approach, there is no guessing game. Either there is a match, set by the business rule, or there is not.

Crossing d’s
Advertisers that buy media across multiple channels should use cross-device targeting. Without such technologies, they potentially miss valuable opportunities to engage with their potential customers.

Consumers, too, benefit from omnichannel targeting since ads are customized to their Web surfing behavior regardless of the device they are on.

For example, serving a movie trailer to a sci-fi fan on a desktop is a great way to bring awareness for a new movie release.

However, instead of powering a run-of-network ad-buy – without targeting – on mobile, follow it with a sequential ad, especially when that user is within a Fandango application or searching for movie schedules outside the theater.

This approach will build deeper connection between the sci-fi fan and the upcoming movie release, but also enable the trailer to be information that the consumer would want to engage in, rather than a random ad.

THE MOBILE LIFESTYLE is here to stay and is poised to become the primary platform for ad delivery.

It is crucial that brands take a hard look at the advantages and data that mobile can provide, effectively harvest this information, and then consider partnering with the right data partner and ad network to bridge the divide between desktop and mobile.

This alone will help brands stay ahead of the curve in the mobile revolution.

Kamal Kaur is vice president of mobile at RadiumOne, San Francisco. Reach her at

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