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The State of Mobile: Programmatic Buying & Retargeting

Written by: Nanigans Marketing

2013 was undoubtedly the year of mobile. The global mobile advertising market more than doubled to $18 billion, and mobile ad spend shows no sign of trickling — it’s on pace to grow another 75% in 2014. Along with social media, mobile has become the most exciting advertising channel for in-house digital marketers and agencies alike.

Pure play mobile companies were the early mobile advertising proponents, and now industry heavyweights Facebook and Google have catapulted mobile advertising into the mainstream. Facebook is perhaps the bigger success story, tripling its mobile market share from 2012 to 2013 and reshaping the industry with centrally located, high-performing native mobile ad units that behave like content.

What once began with banner ads has evolved into the highly engaging native and rich media ad formats we see today — a crucial part of the marketing mix for app developers and brands of all categories and sizes. Some examples of trends influencing mobile marketers today include:

  • Programmatic buying
  • Innovative new mobile ad formats
  • Optimization based on customer downstream actions

Programmatic buying is revolutionizing mobile display advertising

Mobile Real Time Bidding (RTB) went mainstream in 2013 as shown by Twitter’s $350 million acquisition of MoPub, an early leader in the space. While mobile now accounts for 19% of all programmatic ad spend in the US, IDC expects the number to reach $3 billion by 2017 as mobile marketers adopt RTB as an effective way to bring scale to the ad buying process.

Mobile RTB offers superior targeting, allowing buyers to realize a higher return on investment (ROI) based on a set of rich profile data that is ever-expanding.  Media buyers are taking advantage of 1st and 3rd party contextual, behavioral and location data that truly enhances consumer micro-targeting across channels, while advertisers are leveraging RTB for user acquisition and for retargeting consumers based on in-app events such as add-to-cart or reaching a level in a game.

There is obviously a lot of room for growth when it comes to eCommerce:

Visitors that leave a website without converting

Shoppers who abandon a cart without purchasing

Consumers who typically visit 2-4 sites before making a purchase

Therefore, you can see why retargeting is a growing focus this year, and a huge potential growth area for mobile programmatic buying. When you give people a second chance to visit your mobile app or website, you are increasing the likelihood that they will engage and convert. Currently, 10-15% of retargeting conversions are coming from mobile, but this percentage will continue to grow as tablets, laptops and smartphones reach an even wider audience.


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