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IAB Australia – Mobile ad Guidelines and Trends Report

The IAB Australia has endorsed two mobile advertising guidelines documents which were prepared by The IAB and The Mobile Marketing Association in the US.  The documents outline best practice around mobile rich media ads and provide specific creative unit guidelines and specifications for agencies, publishers and advertisers.

The Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions document is designed for a technical audience, and outlines best practices for developing ad units for delivery on mobile devices. The Mobile Phone Creative Guidelines describes the creative unit specifications such as dimensions, video and animation length, use of navigation controls etc.   By endorsing these documents for Australia, the IAB hopes to bring the Australian mobile ad ecosystem in line with the global evolution of the mobile ad market.

In parallel,  IAB Australia has released a Mobile Trends Report, authored by members of its Australian Mobile Advertising Council.  The 3 papers in the trend report focus on the future of our mobile media industry, why location based targeting is being held back from reaching its potential in Australia and the new multi-screen environment that means we have to stop thinking about mobile as a channel.

We’ve summarised the trends discussed by Dr John Hawkins, David Thanisch and Suzie O’Carroll, but if you’d like to read their full essays, you can find them in the IAB Mobile Trend Report for September 2013.

 The Big Data Future of Mobile Media

Dr John Hawkins, Head of Data Science for Big Mobile Group discusses the conflict between volume and margin in media buying and explains why data is the key to maximising returns.

Key points made by Dr Hawkins include:

  • Growth in mobile content will continue due to mobile taking attention from traditional media, but inventory growth rates cannot continue indefinitely
  • Advertisers may continue to select formats with reduced access (eg. TV) due to differences (real or perceived) in engagement levels.
  • The challenge for mobile is sustained and high levels of engagement.
  • Publishers with high quality content, desirable audience profiles, great data (with permissions) and creative engagement solutions will command a premium.
  • How publishers work with trading platforms is critical to success.  They need to protect premium inventory and balance this with maximising yields on trading networks.
  • Innovation should be focused on creating medium yield inventory by using data.
  • Big data can be used to maximize yields but will involve navigating the complex battle between technologically possible & socially acceptable.
  • Clear policies on privacy and data usage are important
  • Focus should be on marketing to consumers in ways that are relevant and useful.

Location Based Targeting Will Be The New Context 

David Thanisch, Digital Director Ikon Communications in Sydney explains how location is going to change digital advertising forever, and how it is being held back by mobile operators and the lack of WiFi networks in Australia.

Key Points made by David Thanisch include:

  • Checking in to places and tagging locations is a key trend.
  • The importance we place on  location is growing and advertising will follow.
  • Mobile will evolve to be more tactical – like outdoor advertising.
  • Branded content and advertising messages will be tailored for location
  • Engagement and response levels will increase.
  • Although a customer’s device can be located through a mobile app, location based targeting often relies on attracting customers who are not using your app.
  • Stores who provide WiFi connections to customers can target customers who access their WiFi.  Outside Australia this is common as WiFi networks are well established.
  • In Australia there are fewer WiFi networks – customers mostly access data through mobile operators.
  • In Australia mobile operators don’t share location, so publishers can’t access it
  • Until WiFi networks are more established, location targeting will be held back.
  • Early adopter advertisers will be able to get in first and reap early rewards.
  • Mobile, location & advertising will combine to make mobile the most effective media channel of the future.

Think Moments not Mobile

Suzie O’Carroll, Head of New Products & Solutions for Google Australia & NZ discusses the enormous global shift that is taking place as the world moves to a multiscreen existence.  She explains that we should forget about devices and understand that our customers are people that move seamlessly between multiple devices, and expect marketers to go with them.

Key points made by Suze O’Carroll:

  • What started out as a mobile revolution has become a complete rebuild of the Internet.
  • It’s tempting to add complexity such as tailoring campaigns to operating systems or screen sizes.
  • In the long term that approach won’t work as business can not keep up with the devices.
  • Advertisers have to stop thinking mobiles, and start thinking moments. Stop marketing to devices, and start marketing to the people who are using them.
  • No matter what the device, two things are certain 1. They will be web enabled with data in the cloud. 2. People will own and move seamlessly between multiple devices.
  • Don’t go mobile – go multiscreen.
  • Think about context, where are they, what do they want to do and how can they interact with your message?
  • A person with a smartphone, TV and a tablet is one person, not three.
  • People are connecting every part of their lives to every other part of their lives.
  • Australians love seamless online experiences and marketers should follow their lead.
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