The key to mobile is better creative, not better technology

Michael Correa, PocketMath
By Michael Correa, PocketMath | 23 March 2015

For all intents and purposes, the 'pipes' for programmatic buying of mobile media are already laid and have been in use at the agency and enterprise level for at least 18 months. It kind of happened when we were all still trying to work out what SSP stood for while everyone else was focused on Facebook’s share price.

The technology to deliver mobile ads is improving all the time. Publishers in the mobile space (app developers mainly), themselves not having to be retro fitted to comply with the digital world, and consumers, spending an increasing (and in some cases exponentially) amount of time using their devices, helped its quick development and application. These facts, combined with a few other salient points, made investment into the infrastructure easy to justify.

The result? Efficient and effective trading of advertising inventory on smartphones and tablets that suits budgets of any size, any level of sophistication and both subjective and objective goals.

But, as the technology improves, the cost of that technology also tends towards zero, meaning barriers to entry into the space are much lower. Such ease of accessibility to our attention, through mobile devices, has led to too many low quality, interruptive and poorly executed campaigns.

You, valued reader, perhaps consuming this right now on your beloved small screen, have most certainly witnessed the increased frequency of ads during your gaming, searching and swiping.

You are probably not overwhelmed with positive sentiment towards them. The key to changing this and the fortunes of the mobile industry is improved creative. By this I don’t just mean getting a better graphic designer for your banner ad. We need an understanding that mobile is not just ‘a smaller version of the desktop’. That good campaigns are consumer focused, not technology application focused. And that the technology is subservient to the creative vision, not the other way around.

We all use mobiles and we find the majority of the current ads disappointing, even thought there is no lack of buying potential (numerous exchanges, networks, social media, DMPs, PMPs, DSPs). What we are serving our consumers is not nearly as well developed or considered.

Previously we could have been very effective professionals and rarely consumed the type of media we purchased: in my past life as a marketer, I bought numerous campaigns in publications I didn't read myself. As media now mingles with our every waking behaviour, this distinction will be harder to clarify. Meaning, if we don’t improve the quality of campaigns soon, we will be the recipients of our own complacency.

By Michael Correa

Sales director at PocketMath

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