Mobile Trends

Mobile Programmatic Gives Forward-Thinking Brands A Boost

Mobile programmatic research from both eMarketer and InMobi appeals to the mobile marketing sector with constructive figures and insights. Regardless of its current popularity, programmatic ad spend isn’t going anywhere, and in fact, it’s set to outpace TV ad spending this year. The collective findings prove worldwide, paid media ad outlays will increase by 7.3% to $772.57 billion (AUD) this year. With a rise in global mobile programmatic spending (8 in 10 mobile digital display ads are currently bought programmatically in the US), APAC brands who haven’t already should turn their attention to native mobile ad formats that are programmatically driven.

Roughly 80% of digital display ads are already transacted in an automated fashion. Although safety concerns lead many brands to adopt the ‘wait-and-see’ approach, programmatic has continued to move front and center throughout the coming months. For display, it translates to $32.56 billion, with the majority of adspend following where most digital impressions occur: on mobile devices.

eMarketer predicts that private marketplaces and programmatic direct buys will take over and account for the lion’s share at over 75% this year, and continue the trend through 2019. In fact, just this year, programmatic direct will represent 54% of programmatic display spending, while real-time bidding will still account for 44%. We’ve extracted eMarketer’s Australia-related findings from the Worldwide Ad Spending Forecast for 2017 below:


  • eMarketer mobile programmaticAsia-Pacific matched Latin America as the fastest growing worldwide interms of increased media ad spend.
  • Worldwide digital ad spend will reach $296.03 (AUD) this year, representing 38.3% of total paid media outlays, and is expected to see double-digit growth through the next three years.
  • Mobile will account for 63.3% of digital ad spending and 24.3% of overall media ad spending.
  • eMarketer projects mobile to account for 77.1% of digital ad spend by 2021, and 37.1% of total media ad investments.
  • Programmatic display spending will reach $33 billion this year.
  • 4 of every 5 ad dollars are already spent programmatically.


Buyers and sellers want to leverage the data they already have now more than ever, and to inform digital advertising on their own, but the common ground lies in audience activation. Acquisition and retargeting goals must stay in focus for brands who choose to experiment with this constantly-evolving environment. eMarketer also predicted Australia’s digital ad spend will grow by 15% this year, representing over half (54%) of all media budgets in Australia. This far outpaces TV spend, which will only account for one-fifth of media budgets this year, according to Shelleen Shum, senior forecasting analyst.

A separate survey from InMobi suggests mobile programmatic buying is the new frontier. With 75% of respondents saying they currently using mobile programmatic, and with high spending optimism in this area, it’s safe to say marketers passionately embracing it.

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Advertisers’ top reasons for buying via a private marketplace:

  • 51% say it allows them to get a first look and acquire premium inventory, which they might not have access to in an open exchange.
  • 47% say it provides access to exclusive audiences which aren’t available via open exchange.
  • 40% say it provides more data insights and access to first-party data.


Obstacles that prevented respondents from using mobile programmatic:

  • Ecosystem complexity was their largest barrier (58%)
  • Skill shortage (42%)
  • Lack of education (33%)

In order to truly tap the benefits of this buying technique, brands must strengthen their knowledge of how the data ecosystem works and be clear about ‘why’ before nailing down ‘how much’. Connecting brands with consumers more effectively and in-the-moment should be an integral pillar of each brand’s marketing strategy. Other marketers are using programmatic to retarget users (74%), strengthen branding (61%), performance marketing (61%), and retention (37%). Mobile programmatic can also increase engagement, help optimise and target the right audience in real-time, build effective cross-device campaigns, and unlock access to premium inventory and audiences. In addition, it opens up opportunities to leverage first and third party data so that brands can understand their users better, in addition to lowering the cost of media and increasing ROI. Based on these responses, it forges a clear place in the industry, and holds even more opportunities for targeting and measurement solutions soon.

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