A newly released Gartner forecast predicts a 400 percent growth in worldwide mobile advertising revenue from 2011 to 2016, with a revenue jump from $9.6 billion in 2012 to $11.4 billion in 2013. That means tons of campaign and other mobile ad data -- and lots of analytics.
As Andrew Frank, a Gartner research vice president, said in the release:
Smartphones and media tablets extend the addressable market for mobile advertising in more and more geographies as an increasing population of users spends an increasing share of its time with these devices. This market will therefore become easier to segment and target, driving the growth of mobile advertising spend for brands and advertisers. Mobile advertising should be integrated into advertisers' overall marketing campaigns in order to connect with their audience in very specific, actionable ways through their smartphones and/or tablets.
The Internet Advertising Board (IAB), in an October 2012 study, painted a rosy picture, too. The study, conducted on IAB's behalf by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), showed mobile advertising increased 95 percent the first half of 2012. It reported mobile advertising in the US at $1.2 billion during the period, up from $636 million in the first half of 2011. In the report, David Silverman, a partner at PwC, said:
The tremendous growth of mobile advertising revenue over the past year is an indication of the importance of location to advertisers and mobility to consumers. Bringing the power of the internet to mobile devices has opened up a world of possibilities to both consumers and marketers.You can best believe that with increased mobile ad spending, companies want to be sure their messages are being heard, and acted upon, by consumers. Advertisers are definitely getting more demanding about metrics and insight, Brian Gilbert, director of monetization at Pinger, told me in an interview last week.
Pinger should know; it's been serving up mobile ads to consumers on its global text-and-talk network for the last four years. The Pinger network is device-independent and carrier-independent. "Tap a picture and you'll see all of your communications -- texts, pics, calls, voicemails -- all in one place" and for free, Pinger says on its website. The only catch is, if you consider it a catch, is that Pinger serves up ads along with the connectivity. Users engage with the ad content to earn minutes and allowing calling to occur, for example, Gilbert explained.
In its early days as a mobile ad platform, Pinger used what he called a fire hose mentality. "When we served an ad, it went to everybody in the audience. It wasn't targeted. We couldn't get the ad to the right person on the right platform at the right time," he said.
Pinger had neither the data nor the algorithms to do that kind of targeted campaign, Gilbert said. "It wasn't the best way to go about it, but we didn't have the background or the understanding internally to meet the advertisers' goals."
Today that wouldn't fly. "Advertisers want measurable ROI and statistics around who is engaging with their brands. What are the engagement metrics for watching a movie trailer? Are consumers then buying tickets on Fandango? We need to be able to provide them those insights," Gilbert said.
To do that, Pinger uses an ad-serving optimization platform from SAS (this site's sponsor) that lets it provide advertisers the insight they want, in real time if needed. It uses the platform for demographics, frequency capping, and device detection for market segmentation and campaign targeting, for example, Gilbert said.
The platform provided a big benefit to Pinger, which Gilbert described as still being a classic startup facing the build-versus-buy decision. "There's no way we would have had the resources internally to build the capabilities we have available in this platform in a core product. That would take years, literally, with a sizable engineering staff, to replicate."
While a couple of years ago such tools weren't available, they are now -- "and it's incumbent on anybody selling to these clients to be able to provide them." The stakes are as high as they are mobile, after all.