ISSUE 22 • FEBRUARY 2016
ISSUE 22 • FEBRUARY 2016
ADPOCALYPSE NOW The ad-blocking crisis threatening the future of digital advertising
WALLET WARS Mobile payment platforms under the spotlight
ADVANTAGE JAGUAR Car maker’s award-winning, tennis-themed campaign profiled
OpenX’s Justin Re explains how its inclusive approach to mobile advertising benefits publishers and advertisers
REALITY CHECK Why everyone is clamouring to get on board the Virtual Reality bandwagon
PLUS: Camelot talks mobile • Award winners revealed • Connected Cars 101
IN THIS ISSUE : 5
brand STRATEGY UK Lottery operator Camelot talks mobile
6 Hello and welcome to our latest print edition, which I’m sure many of you will be reading in the halls of Mobile World Congress. We asked some of the industry’s leading lights to tell us what they were expecting to see from this year’s show. You can read their thoughts on p40. Or for a more light-hearted guide to surviving MWC, check out show veteran Tim Green’s piece on p50. Virtual Reality will no doubt be one of the key themes of the show, so we asked Alex Spencer to turn his focus on the VR industry to see what all the fuss is about. Read his piece on p20. Tim Maytom, meanwhile, has been looking at another sector likely to feature heavily at this year’s event. You can read his Connected Car piece on p12. In our cover interview on p18, we talk to OpenX to find out how it is trying to balance the needs of publishers and advertisers, for the benfit of both. And we stay with advertising for an in-depth look at the trend that is starting to cause real concern among digital ad executives from all side of the industry – ad blocking. Is it a storm in a teacup, or a potential threat to the very future of the industry? Find out on p8. We also have the low-down on the winners of the sixth annual Effective Mobile Marketing Awards, on p26, with a closer look at the Grand Prix-winning campaign on p28. And if all that’s not enough, on p5, UK lottery operator Camelot walks us through its mobile strategy. Enjoy! David Murphy, editorial director
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8 12 CONNECTED
The future of in-car interactivity explained
block party The ad blocking crisis threatening the digital advertising business
18 OpenX on its inclusive approach to mobile advertising
What to expect from this year’s MWC show
Targeting the wellheeled traveller
17 DATA BACK-UP
Why good data is key to successful locationaware advertising
26 MOBILE CHAMPIONS Our 2015 Awards winners revealed
28 GAME, SET & MATCH
Jaguar’s Grand Prix-winning, tennis-focused campaign uncovered
virtual world With VR on the rise, how are brands using it to engage with consumers?
We talk to Mobify chief product officer, Peter McLachlan
And why SMS will be at the heart of it
30 WALLET WARS
36 MEASURING UP
49 OFF THE RAILS
50 MWC –
We look at the runners and riders in the race to win the mobile payments battle
SaleCycle’s unique SMS retargeting solution
Mobile ad effectiveness under the spotlight
What next for mobile advertising?
What Facebook’s LiveRail move means for video publishers
How to survive this year’s show
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brand STRATEGY BY CLAIRE BARRY, HEAD OF DIGITAL STRATEGY & PLANNING AT UK LOTTERY OPERATOR, CAMELOT few years ago, the general jubilant shout for many businesses was: “the year of mobile has finally landed”. However, for us at Camelot it wasn’t until 2015 that we were able to echo that cry. Last year, we witnessed for the first time the tipping point from desktop to mobile traffic; partnered with Barclays to enable its Barclays Pingit customers a ‘quick pay and play’ experience; and relaunched our National Lottery apps to enable direct play – instead of them just being a tool to check draw results. The instantaneous nature of mobile enables quick ticket purchasing, in many ways replicating the spontaneous behaviour of our in-store players. The story really began in September 2014 when we launched a new digital platform, which offered our players a fully responsive mobile service – something we’d never had before. Operating one of the top ten eCommerce sites within the UK is not without its challenges, and means that we have to not only consider volume but also the diversity of our player base. We need to provide a great user experience for everyone, ranging from 16-yearold smartphone natives all the
way up to an 80-year-old technophobe. Accessibility is an absolute necessity rather than a nice-to-have, and goes beyond just providing an intuitive user experience on mobile devices. One of the core features of the new platform is the ability to play Instant Win Games across all mobile and tablet devices, and the overnight uptake far surpassed our expectations. The National Lottery’s online ‘Instant Win’ games and in-store scratchcards have recently been brought together under the umbrella brand ‘GameStore’ across both digital and retail channels. GameStore aims to make it easier for players to identify and play their favourite instant games wherever they are, and we have very recently witnessed the shift of majority play from desktop to smartphone. This has, in turn, influenced our decision to stop coding games in Flash – we are now only coding in HTML5. This presents a huge opportunity and means that our online Instant Win Games can move far beyond being animated versions of Scratchcards, to become engaging, innovative games in their own right.
Mobile-first Does this mean that we are now on our way to becoming a truly mobile-first business? I’d like to think so. Driving that concept into a reality, however, is more challenging than just creating a fantastic mobile experience for our player base. Since the vast majority of our customers still play in traditional retail outlets, we are investigating ways in which we can use mobile to bridge the gap between our digital and retail player base. Our first foray into this area was a couple of years ago when we partnered
with image-recognition and Augmented Reality firm Blippar to bring one of our Christmas-themed Scratchcards to life. This saw over 120,000 unique users ‘Blipp’ the Scratchcard to unlock special features.
Cross-channel convergence More recently, we have been trialling a digital interaction on our popular Monopoly Scratchcard, which enables players to enter a unique code on a microsite for another chance to win. The scale of the uptake told us that the appetite for cross-channel convergence is ready and waiting. Our challenge now is to trial even more of these activities. For example, players have told us that they would like to be able to scan the pink retail ticket for instant results via our apps. We hope to launch this capability later in the year. We will continue on our mobile journey with an exciting, ambitious roadmap for 2016 and more direct marketing spend – as we can now actively measure our performance and success. Our 2015/16 half-year sales results saw mobile sales surge by 72 per cent on the same period the year before, and sales through smartphones and tablets now account for over 35 per cent of all sales across our direct channels. February kicks off our biggest digital campaign to date, and there is genuine interest to see how well we can use the mobile channel in order to influence our brand appeal and game propositions to millennials of all ages. Have we got everything right? Not yet, but we know that strategically this is where we need to continue to invest our time and resources if we are to make the most of this fantastic opportunity. MM
REVIEW Alex Spencer casts an eye over some of the biggest stories in the mobile space since our last issue
Consumer Electronics Show
Apple moves away from advertising s ever, January kicked off the year with CES in Las Vegas. The event was a little light on mobile news, but packed with announcements and demos of wearable tech, Internet of Things, VR and just about every other bit of adjacent technology you care to name. The VR headlines were dominated by Oculus, which finally named the date for its consumer launch. The first Rift model is due to arrive in March at the price of $599 (£409) - or free to backers of the firm’s original 2012 Kickstarter campaign, who Oculus surprised with the news that they would receive a consumer model at launch. Meanwhile, in the world of connected cars, Volkswagen unveiled a touchscreen infotainment system compatible with MirrorLink, Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, and Ford similarly added support for CarPlay and Android Auto
in all of its Sync-equipped cars from 2017. BMW led the pack, though, with a concept i8 Spyder which introduced its new gesture control system. Named AirTouch, it promises to replace all buttons on the dashboard, meaning drivers can control almost any function in the car with a wave of their hand. Finally, there were a host of new wearable devices announced at the show, including the Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit’s latest foray into the smartwatch market; the Specter smart headphones and Ray fitness and sleep tracker from Misfit, the wearables company acquired last year by Fossil; and the UA Healthbox, a joint venture from HTC and Under Armour which collects an activity tracker wristband, heartrate-monitoring chest strap and connected weighing scale together into one neat package.
Apple continued to distance itself from advertising with the closure of its iAd sales team. While the iAd platform itself won’t be disappearing, it is becoming an automated self-serve offering for publishers to create and sell the ads themselves. Good news for publishers, who will get to keep 100 per cent of the ad revenues, but bad news for intermediaries who sold iAd inventory on to advertisers. This news was quickly followed by the announcement that Apple’s music streaming service iTunes Radio is being rolled into Apple Music, moving from an ad-supported to subscription-based offering. There was also word later in the month that Apple News would begin supporting publisher paywalls as an alternative to ad-supported articles. Off the back of last year’s ad blockenabling update to Safari, and CEO Tim Cook’s admission that ads are just one very small part of Apple’s business, it’s fairly clear which way the company is headed.
WHATSAPP HITS 1BN, PREPARES FOR MONETISATION Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp revealed it had broken the 1bn monthly active user barrier, seven years after its launch. The news came the same day as Google’s announcement that Gmail had reached the same milestone, after 11 years. This makes WhatsApp Facebook’s second largest app after its core social network, ahead of both Messenger (800m monthly users) and Instagram (400m). What’s particularly interesting about the figure, though, is that on its Q3 2015 earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg identified 1bn as the point at which the company’s non-core apps “will start to become meaningful businesses in their own right”. With Facebook no doubt eager to recoup the $22bn it spent acquiring WhatsApp in 2014, it seems likely that we could see the messaging app’s first ads before too long. The first hint of what’s next came a couple of weeks earlier, as WhatsApp eliminated its annual $0.99 subscription fee – to date, the business’ only revenue source – and CEO Jan Koum discussed the app’s future. “Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organisations that you want to hear from,” said Koum. “We want to build things that are utilitarian, that allow a company like American Airlines or Bank of America to communicate efficiently through a messaging app like WhatsApp.”
AD BLOCKING: BRAVE OR “IMMORAL”? GlobalWebIndex reported a huge increase in the use of blocking tools following iOS 9’s Safari update. The number of consumers using ad blockers on their primary computer jumped from 27 per cent in Q3 2015 to 38 per cent in Q4. With Samsung following in Apple’s footsteps by enabling ad blocking plugins in its Android web browser app, this is a trend that’s only going to increase. Meanwhile, Internet Advertising Bureau president and CEO Randall Rothenburg (pictured) struck back at the ad blockers, using his opening address at the 2016 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting to refer to them as “unethical” and “immoral”. Randall singled out AdBlock Plus for special attention, calling them an “old-fashioned extortion racket … stealing from publishers, subverting freedom of
Brave will block all advertising by default, but reintroduce new ads in their place, be targeted using “browser-side intent signals” without use of persistent user IDs or cookies. 55 per cent of proceeds will go to publishers, but in an unusual move, 1015 per cent will actually be offered back to the users themselves, meaning they will effectively be paid for seeing ads. (For more on ad blocking, see David Murphy’s piece overleaf.)
ANDROID EARNINGS REVEALED Following a copyright lawsuit claiming that Google used Oracle’s Java software in the development of Android without paying for it, some previously confidential Google figures were disclosed by a lawyer working for Oracle – and they make for interesting reading. The first was Google’s total earnings from Android, which total $31bn in revenues and $22bn in profits since the OS launched in 2008. Those figures combine Google-
supplied ads on Android devices and its cut of app purchases on the Play Store. The other revelation was an alleged deal with Apple, which saw Google paying its biggest rival a $1bn sum to keep its search bar in a prominent place on the iPhone. Unsurprisingly, Google wasn’t too happy about these details being shared, and requested that the case transcript be redacted. It disappeared from the court records shortly afterwards.
Block Party If you’re in the digital ad or publishing business, it’s probably what’s keeping you awake at night. So just how big an issue is ad blocking? David Murphy investigates
hen Interactive Advertising Bureau President and CEO Randall Rothenburg used his opening address at the IAB Summit in January to accuse ad blocking firm Adblock Plus of being an “unethical, immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabes” and an “oldfashioned extortion racket” it was a sign, if one were needed, that the gloves were well
Now you see it...the same page on the Telegraph viewed on an iPhone with an ad blocker turned on (left) and turned off (right)
and truly off in the ad blocking wars. Rothenburg’s comments were perhaps fuelled, to some extent, by the seemingly incessant tide of studies being released showing that consumers are deploying ad blockers in rapidly-increasing numbers. According to a January 2016 report from Global Web Index, for example, 37 per cent of mobile users are already using some form of ad blocking software, with a further 42 per cent considering using them. The same study also revealed that 37 per cent of mobile users claimed to have blocked ads on their device within the last month. Despite figures like these, some in the mobile space have taken something of a head-in-the-sand approach to ad blocking. It’s less of a problem on mobile, the argument goes, since ad blocking is a webonly phenomenon and most of consumers’ time on mobile – 90 per cent according to the latest Flurry stats – is spent in-app, along with most of the ad dollars. In fact, however, those in the mobile advertising or publishing business should be very concerned about the rise of ad blocking. For one thing, more advertisers and their ads are inevitably going to be hit by the problem as more and more desktop browsing moves to mobile. And, as Jason Cooper, general manager, mobile at Integral Ad Science points out, ad blocking could soon be every bit as big a problem in-app as it currently is on the web. Cooper says he’s recently
discovered a couple of apps in the Apple App Store (Weblock and AdBlock, both from Futureminds) that can block ads in-app. They probably get round Apple’s security concerns, he believes, by taking an approach in which they don’t proxy or channel any data through a VPN (Virtual Private Network). “I think the view is that now Apple is going to ditch iAd altogether, it’s probably a little more liberal on the ad blockers, so long as they don’t contravene security policies,” says Cooper. “I think this is going to have massive implications for the likes of Google AdMob and MoPub. Ultimately, it will drive the market towards native, which is a more difficult format to block.” Nathan Warner, co-founder of Mapp Media, agrees: “It is going to become a problem if app owners don’t look at how they integrate ads in their platforms.,” he says. “We look at apps in two ways. First, there’s the in-the-moment app like a game where people don’t care so much about the advertising. Then there are the apps that are more a part of people’s everyday lives, around things like fitness, music and travel, and here, the ads have to be very carefully integrated in the user experience. If not, it’s only a matter of time before ad blocking is enabled within apps, driven by consumer demand.”
mistakes have been made in the past,” he says. “Perhaps it started with the first banner ad and then the pop-up. Publishers started offering previously paid-for content for free and did not think about how they would monetise that, so in an attempt to get it to work, they pumped websites with more and more ads, leading to slower page load times and a frustrating experience for the user. Which inevitably leads to the user deploying an ad blocker.”
The web is not the first place where people have been annoyed by ads, of course. But the problem has been compounded in the digital world because, unlike TV, publishers have been free to bombard users with as many ads as they see fit, with no quotas setting upper limits. Moreover, the means by which a user can put an end to the misery – as some see it – of ads is only a couple of clicks away. In the process of researching this piece, I downloaded an ad blocker for my phone. The whole process, from searching for the blocker in the App Store to using it to browse ad-free mobile sites took less than a minute. The other thing I noticed was that the sites I visited didn’t seem overly concerned about the fact I’d chosen not to see their ads. None of them hit me with a request to turn off the ad blocker if I wanted to consume the content for free.
There seems to be widespread consensus about how the ad industry got into this mess. Or perhaps that should read ‘got itself into this mess’. “The rise of ad blocking is indicative of consumers signalling pretty loudly that the industry is not being innovative enough in terms of ad formats and delivering value back to the consumer base,” says Graham Moysey, head of international at AOL, adding, in a glass half-full sort of way, that the current situation offers “an excellent opportunity to ramp up on innovation and ensure the value exchange is closed.” Ben Williams, head of operations at Adblock Plus, agrees that the ad industry has brought the current situation upon itself. “When the top brass of the IAB America says ‘we messed up’ when introducing its LEAN (Light, Encrypted, Ad Choice-supported and Non-Invasive) initiative, it’s safe to say
Many feel this situation is unlikely to persist, however. Like Sir Martin Sorrell for one. As chief executive of WPP, the world’s largest spender of ad dollars on its clients’ behalf, he has a vested interest in ensuring that those ads are seen. He says: “There are technological ways to deal with ad blocking, but consumers have to understand if they block ads that the ads do serve a purpose, and that is to reduce the cost of content for consumers.” AOL’s Moysey agrees. He says: “My position is that things will shift because the economics of content will not allow for ad blocking. Or if ad blocking persists, the free content will shift to a subscription model.”
LEFT UNCHECKED, THERE’S NO REASON WHY IT COULD NOT WIPE OUT INTERNET ADVERTISING” SEAN BLANCHFIELD, PAGEFAIR
The ad blocking companies have themselves come in for a good deal of criticism. They maintain, however, that they are merely providing a service that consumers increasingly want. “Ad tech abuses consumers in various ways, from privacy to tracking to user experience,” says Roi Carthy, CMO at Israeli tech firm Shine, which caused a stir last year when it announced plans to help mobile operators enable ad blocking at the network level. This means that any ad – on the mobile web or in-app – could be blocked, as long as the user was on cellular data, as opposed to wi-fi. “Analyses performed at various carriers show that anywhere between 5 and 50 per cent of a data plan is used by ad tech,” Carthy continues. “These things cannot go on. As we look towards a more connected future, a new engagement paradigm has to be formed.” Since its initial announcement, Shine has been quiet on operator deployments, but in October last year, Jamiaican telco Digicel outed itself as Shine’s first customer, saying that it would deploy Shine’s solution across its mobile operator brands in the Caribbean and S. Pacific. The company also announced that it would be seeking revenue-sharing agreements with the likes of Google and Facebook. In doing so, it touched on one of the most contentious issues surround ad blockers: the process of whitelisting. Adblock Plus, for example, runs a program called Acceptable Ads, which enables
publishers to pay to bypass the ad blocking software. There are currently over 400 publishers and advertisers on the program, and while the exact figure is unclear, estimates suggest that in 2014 alone, Google paid $25m (£17.2m) to have its search ads whitelisted. So isn’t it a bit disingenuous of the ad blockers to offer a solution to consumers that blocks ads on the one hand, then take money for advertisers to bypass the solution on the other? “It sounds like a ransom to me” says Integral Ad Science’s Cooper. “They are addressing a need but the question is always, how do you monetise that? I think they are struggling, so one obvious way is to charge to whitelist advertisers, but then the irony is that the original intention was to stop people clogging my page with their tags and now they say they will allow it if you pay the ransom; it doesn’t feel right to me.” Adblock Plus’s Williams, however, is unrepentant. He says: “Everyone knows full well that Acceptable Ads is not about payment, but about a criteria. We set up the criteria for better ads with our users and we are handing control of it to an independent committee. These criteria have to be followed to be on the Acceptable Ads
list and everyone knows that, but everyone seems to want to misrepresent it.” Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of whitelisting, the industry clearly has a
seen digital advertising as a direct response medium with clicks, conversions and installs being the key metrics for success. As a result, the quality of the creative message has been Consumers have had the ability to skip ads since the birth of the PVR (Personal Video Recorder). But it’s never been as easy to block ads as it is on the web
problem on its hands with ad blocking. As PageFair’s Blanchfield puts it: “This has unbounded consequences. Left unchecked, there’s no reason why it could not wipe out internet advertising.”
Low priority So how to fix the problem? For some, like Jonathan Milne, chief revenue officer at ad creative tech firm Celtra, part of the solution lies in the ads themselves. He says: “To date, advertisers and their agencies have mostly
a low priority because advertisers have been paying for results and not reach, nor valuing brand sentiment. “To resolve the reasons for ad blocking, both advertisers and publishers need to focus on delivering ads in formats that complement the user experience on multiple screens, as well as ensuring they carefully manage the volume and frequency of these ads for an appropriate consumer experience.” Richard Reeves, managing director
Blocking the blockers
here some see problems, others will always see opportunities. So as more and more people deploy ad blockers, solutions have emerged to enable advertisers to get their ads seen and publishers to maintain their ad revenues. At a basic level, there’s the Adblock Plus approach, which says that you can get round its ad blocker if you meet its Acceptable Ads criteria, which in future will be set by an independent committee, and– in the case of larger companies – pay for the privilege. Earlier this year, startup Oriel launched what it describes as its “content protection” solution, which it says renders desktop, mobile and even ISP ad-blocking ineffective. Oriel’s tech provides publishers with tools to analyse who is ad blocking on their site, and to communicate with the ad blockers and
control access to content. On detecting an ad blocker, the publisher can choose to simply ask them to turn the ad blocker off. This, says Oriel co-founder and CEO, Aiden Joyce, results in around 3 per cent of ad block users doing so. Stage two, if the publisher chooses to deploy it, is to message the user saying they must turn the blocker off in order to access the content. This will succeed in persuading 40 per cent to turn off the ad blocker. In stage three, the publisher can use the tech to simply override the ad blocker and serve the ads anyway, if they choose to do so. PageFair’s approach is to enable publishers to serve up simpler, lighter ads –no rich media or video content – which load more quickly, when an ad blocker user is detected. This might sound counter-intuitive to some. As Jay Fowdar,
CPO at Demand-side Platform Byyd puts it: “The anti-ad blocking companies I feel are really waving a red rag to the ad blockers. I’ve heard of companies trying to re-inject ads after they’ve been blocked. How is that good for a consumer experience? If the consumer has installed an ad blocker, they’ve explicitly said they don’t want to see ads. So any brand exposed to that user will likely be unwanted, and therefore have a negative impact for the brand.” In fact, says PageFair CEO Sean Blanchfield, ad block users don’t get annoyed when served a Pagefair ad because this is not the sort of ad they want to block, and they engage with it. “When we replace a rich media ad with our more basic ad unit, the clickthrough rates are the same,” he says. “Where it’s a like-for-like ad, we see clickthrough rates between 50 and 100 per cent higher.”
“CONSUMERS HAVE TO UNDERSTAND IF THEY BLOCK ADS THAT THE ADS DO SERVE A PURPOSE, AND THAT IS TO REDUCE THE COST OF CONTENT” SIR MARTIN SORRELL, WPP of the Association of Online Publishers, toes a similar line, saying: “In traditional print, there was a fair value exchange between publishers and consumers, with a focus on quality ad creative as a part of the agreement. The experience that is delivered with a full-page, print advert should be able to be replicated online. Consumers positively engage with glossy adverts, so why should the online interaction be any different?” But how realistic is it to think that all those people who have switched on ad blockers will switch them off again if the ads become more engaging and entertaining? How will they know, in fact, since they won’t be seeing them? PageFair’s Blanchfield feels that this argument is missing the point. “When we asked 400 consumers in the US what would cause them to start using ad blocking software if they weren’t already, the relevance of the ad figured much lower in responses than privacy issues,” he says. “In fact, just 10 per cent of respondents said they would start using an ad blocker ‘if marketers don’t improve their ability to target ads’ while 50 per cent said they would do so ‘if I feel my personal data is being misused to personalise the ads.’
“Everyone seems to be striving to deliver more personalised ads, but these assume something that people would not want in real life; the idea that a stranger knows all about them,” he continues. “Personalised ads and retargeting without permission is, by definition, creepy – this idea that some third party knows what web sites you’ve been on in the last week. Brand advertising was healthy for a long time before the advent of third-party cookies. Just because it’s possible, doesn’t mean you should do it.” The more likely solution, many believe, is likely to come in the form of publishers taking an increasingly hard line, as Forbes has already done, telling consumers using ad blockers in no uncertain terms that if they want the content for free, they need to turn off the ad blocker. “People block ads for different reasons. Over half say they don’t like the ad experience, for others it’s more about privacy,” says Steve Chester, director of data and industry programmes at the IAB in the UK. “If publishers can address each of those issues and get this message across that the ads pay for free access to the content, I think that will bring some of the ad blockers back. But there will inevitably be others who won’t want to see ads but also won’t pay for content, so each publisher will have to decide what they want to do.”
Data protection But while the industry tries to work out how best to tackle the ad blocking problem, there’s another, equally troubling one on the horizon, concerning the consumer data that fuels much of today’s online and mobile advertising business. The European Commission is currently working on new data privacy rules called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – though before US ad tech firms breathe a sigh of relief, they should note that the regulations apply to any company doing business with a European citizen, and that there are rumours of California enforcing similar regulations. The EU Council is aiming for formal adoption of the regulation this year, and it will take effect after a two-year transition period. While it will not require any enabling legislation to be passed by governments, as a Directive would,
Fatemeh Khatibloo, principal analyst at Forrester, believes the regulation could have huge implications for the digital advertising business. She says: “The GDPR says a lot about data protection, collection and permissions, but if you look at the way the ad ecosystem works today, that data gets passed around and no one has considered PII (Personally Identifiable Information). They don’t see the need to apply the same rules as if it was the user’s name and address they were collecting. But the GDPR says they don’t have the right to collect this data and pass it on to umpteen other ad tech providers without their permission. “If you look at the way the regulation is written, it’s going to bring the whole ad blocking craze to a head. Ad tech companies are not in compliance with the regulation. We’re going to see a lot of them go under.” Just how big a problem GDPR becomes for the ad tech industry depends, says Khatibloo, on the level of enforcement. “It’s really hard to figure out where this data is going because it’s not like your name and address and picking up the phone and asking where they got it,” she says. “It’s going to be really hard to identify what these downstream ad tech companies are doing and who they are getting their data from, so the question becomes whether the EU is serious about putting some technologists on this discovery if they want to enforce it, or whether they will rely on consumer complaints. If the former, it’s a perfect storm, but if it’s the latter, it’s hard to imagine very many ad tech companies are going to be discovered purely via consumer complaints.” The $64m question then: which way does Khatibloo believe the EU will fall? Her answer should suffice to strike fear into the hearts of any ad tech exec who thinks the current ad blocking fuss will all blow over. “If they decide to follow the Federal Trade Commission’s example, they will hire technologists,” she says. “The FTC has brought on a chief technologist and ‘white hat’ researchers and they have been breaking open a lot of the under-the-hood advertising stuff and bringing actions. So if the European Commission wants this to work, it will hire techies – and I really hope they do, because that will send out a real signal that they are serious about it.” MM
Connected Car 101 Jeff Williams, senior VP of operations at Apple called the car “the ultimate mobile device”, and it looks as though both tech firms and automotive manufacturers have paid attention, as the number of connected car platforms and solutions has rapidly multiplied over the past few years. What’s currently on offer, and where is it all heading? Tim Maytom reports
ver since their inception, mobile phones have been entwined with the world of cars. Back in the 1980s, as the first modern cell phones began to emerge, the battery size of most devices meant that they were restricted to being carried in cars (with at least one notable retailer’s name still harking back to this era). Then in the 1990s, the feature phone boom saw mobiles become much more common, and fears about calling or texting while driving resulted in the mobile transforming into something carried with you and used at other times. The birth of the smartphone changed all that, however. Now your mobile could be your stereo system, your atlas, your phone and much more besides, all in one device. As other automotive technology like GPS trackers began to be integrated into the average smartphone, it became clear that car manufacturers would have to work with smartphone makers and app developers or be left behind. Today, just about every automotive manufacturer is exploring how to better integrate mobile technology into its vehicles, from in-car user interface systems
that co-operate with mobile operating systems to autonomous driving systems developed in partnership with large tech firms. In fact, embracing the idea of the connected car will be central to maintaining revenue growth for automotive companies in the future. “Both premium and volume auto makers clearly see connected car technologies as essential to their futures,”
automotive trade association, the UK motoring sector has seen production increase by 50 per cent since 2010, and is forecast to grow by a third by 2018, with connected and autonomous vehicles set to create an additional 320,000 jobs by 2030.
Big data For tech firms, the car represents not just another revenue source, but also
“GET LOCKED OUT? COLD OUTSIDE? FORGET WHERE YOU PARKED? NO PROBLEM, JUST USE YOUR SMARTPHONE” says Dr Richard Viereckl, senior vice president and leader of IP engineered products & services at Strategy&. “They also realise that overall vehicle prices aren’t rising as rapidly as the prices charged for digital capabilities. This means returns on investments in traditional car components are shrinking.” According to a recent report put together for the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, the UK’s
another environment that it can draw user information from. In the era of big data, programmatic targeting and location-based ad campaigns, being able to connect to motorists and passengers in real-time and harvest information like what music they’re listening to and how often they’re checking maps can provide marketers with additional tools to make advertising much more accurate, relevant and effective. “Today’s vehicles have transformed
from a mode of transportation into a mobile data centre with onboard sensors and computers that capture volumes of information about the vehicle and its surroundings,” says Alexander Scheidt, global automotive industry leader at IBM Global Business Services. “Successful automakers will recognise the opportunity to accommodate for this disruption by offering the digital experiences and services that consumers desire.” Even the government is supporting the push for connected cars, with the UK investing £75m in the development of smart automotive technologies
which faced poor reviews and continued criticism from users and industry experts. That changed in December 2014, when Ford revealed it was abandoning Microsoft for its new Sync 3 system, developed in-company and supporting both Apple’s CarPlay system and the Android Auto platform. Since then, the firm has surged ahead, with innovative features like builtin cellular-connected telematics which enable owners to locate, unlock and even start their car using their smartphone. “The technology helps you seamlessly integrate your vehicle into your lifestyle,” says Don Butler, executive director of
design and infotronics at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “Wearable technology integrated with the vehicle allows for more accurate biometric data to stream continuously and alert active driver-assist systems to become more sensitive if the driver shows signs of compromised health or awareness.” For Ford, the trajectory is clear: the company is aiming to put its connected vehicles at the centre of consumers’ lifestyles, making the car a hub through which they can access their phone, and by extension their work, their home and their life.
VW: Charging Forward
VW’s Budd-e concept car, unveiled this year at CES
that will increase fuel efficiencies and reduce pollution, as well as a £1.5m fund specifically for developing a driverless car to be tested in a UK city centre. With so much impetus and investment in the connected car, it’s no surprise that this year’s CES in Las Vegas was dominated by announcements of new technologies, partnerships and innovations in the automotive market. But what are the firms involved actually offering, and how much variety is there between the different solutions?
Ford: In Sync With Mobile As the company that pioneered the assembly line and brought the first affordable automobile to the middle-class consumer, it makes sense that Ford would be at the forefront of the connected car movement. However, the firm initially relied on ‘bought-in’ systems for its Sync in-car mobility platform, working extensively with Microsoft since 2007 and adopting the tech giant’s Embedded Automotive solution,
connected vehicles and services at Ford. “Get locked out? Cold outside? Forget where you parked? No problem, just use your smartphone.” At this year’s CES, Ford announced a series of new features, including voice commands for both Apple and Android apps, as well as revealing partnerships with Amazon, to explore connecting the Sync system to the retailer’s Echo smart home controller, and AT&T, to expand high-speed connectivity to 10m additional customers by 2020. The company also announced it was looking to develop technology that would integrate wearable devices into in-car mobility, taking advantage of the biometric data that these devices offer to improve driver safety. “As more consumers embrace smart watches, glasses and fitness bands, we hope to develop future applications that work with those devices to enhance in-car functionality and driver awareness,” says Gary Strumolo, global manager for vehicle
German automaker Volkswagen is another brand that has been attacking the connected car market from a variety of angles, innovating in a number of areas and seeking out ways to stand out from the crowd. Like Ford, the company has focused on in-house solutions in recent years, bringing in talent from tech firms to create new solutions for its vehicles. Also like Ford, this year’s CES proved a banner year for VW, with the company’s ‘V-Charge’ research project winning the Auto Bild/Computer Bild 2015 Connected Car Award. The V-Charge project aims to combine electric vehicle charging with autonomous driving, picking up on the idea of valet parking to develop a solution which automatically searches for an appropriate charging bay. The solution enable drivers to exit their car and have it drive itself to a charging bay, with sensors ensuring that pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles are avoided. Not only that, but it will also vacate the charging bay once it’s fully recharged, enabling new vehicles to take its place. All of these processes can be controlled by the driver on their smartphone, which can also be used to summon their car back once they’re ready to depart. Automated driving seems to be the lynchpin of VW’s efforts in the connected car space, with Dr Herbert Diess, chairman of the board for VW, saying that automated driving will become central to our everyday lives and “change mobility completely” in his keynote speech at CES. It was at the show that the firm chose to reveal its new Budd-e concept vehicle, a
Ford’s latest version of Sync integrates both Android Auto and Apple Car Play
four-wheel drive electric MPV that was marketed as “a gateway to the future”. As well as its cutting-edge electric motor, the Budd-e boasts a high-definition dashboard with internet-enabled infotainment functions, a gesture-based control system and a lounge-style rear passenger section that includes an internet-enabled television mounted on the side of the interior. Much like the Mercedes-Benz F015 which debuted at last year’s CES, the Budd-e isn’t likely to be found at a dealership near you any time soon, but the features seen in the car will surely trickle down to the next generation of connected car.
itself, the main rumour surrounding the consortium’s purchase was that it would be used to power self-driving cars. BMW has stayed quiet on this front since the acquisition, instead focusing on its ConnectedDrive services which it has integrated into multiple models, and which recently opened up to IFTTT (If This Then That) customisation, enabling the connected car to do things like open smart garage doors on approach, or even tell the lights to switch off when you leave home. The use of IFTTT not only allows the car to serve as a smart object within a larger ecosystem, all controlled from a smartphone, but also puts the reins in the hands of consumers, allowing BMW to
BMW: From Here to Mobility BMW is another German manufacturer that’s been embracing the power of connected cars, but it hasn’t been doing it alone. Along with Mercedes-Benz owners Daimler and Audi, the firm purchased Nokia’s Here mapping software when the unit was sold off by the smartphone maker in August 2015, the consortium spending a combined € 2.5bn (£1.9bn) to secure the technology. While owning an intelligent mapping and location system which already operates in almost 200 countries and in over 50 languages is a useful asset in
BMW’s new technology includes heads-up displays and digital mirrors
observe how people choose to make use of the technology, and base future decisions on innovations and trends the public dictate. This doesn’t mean BMW has been slouching when it comes to innovating itself. At CES, the firm introduced its AirTouch gesture control system, which enables drivers to make detailed and subtle control motions which are picked up by sensors within the car, giving greater control while still enabling drivers to focus on the road. There were also features like gesture-controlled automatic parking, heads-up displays for motorcycle helmets, and a cloud-based mobility platform that enables owners to interact with their car
“THE CONNECTED CAR IS A DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY THAT WILL UPEND TRADITIONAL AUTO INDUSTRY STRUCTURES, USHER IN NEW BUSINESS MODELS, AND CHANGE THE NATURE OF THE BUSINESS”
Ford is testing linking wearable tech to connected cars for driver-assist features
RICHARD VIERECKL, STRATEGY&
and wider ecosystem of smart objects from wherever they are. Still, like Ford and VW, the trajectory of BMW’s innovation is clear – preparing the way for autonomous driving, and transforming the car into a digital hub that enables people to communicate with their home, their family and the rest of their life while on the go.
Fast lane to the future “The connected car is more than a new package of automotive technology features,” says Dr Viereckl. “It’s a disruptive technology that will upend traditional auto industry structures, usher in new business models, and change the nature of the business. The automobile is rapidly becoming a ‘thing’ in the Internet of Things. “Sceptics who doubt the impact of
autonomous driving may be convinced by the impact it has on the traveling experience. Freed of the need to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road at all times, people can turn their attention to other activities as they travel along the highway. They can watch movies, shop, engage in social communication, or conduct virtual conferences.” The dawn of the autonomous car, whether in the form of completely selfdriving models like those being developed by Google and (reportedly) Apple or more passive capabilities that expand on automatic parking and safety features already available, will radically transform the automotive industry. The car will no longer just be a vehicle, but also a bundle of services and apps, much like phones have transformed from a communication device to the central tool through which we interact with the world. Much like smartphones, it will also mean the tech companies providing these services will have a huge impact on the way we live and the way we communicate, opening new avenues for data collection, targeting and marketing that we can’t even imagine yet. It could also mean dramatic changes in consumer behaviour, with shared-car services like Uber and Lyft transforming into specialised vehicles that combine private and public transport using complex networking and algorithms to manage
hundreds of thousands of people travelling at a single time. With huge tech firms like Google, Apple and IBM all actively invested in the future of the car, the next 15 years promise to see the most dramatic, disruptive and exciting changes in automotive technology since the Model T first rolled off the assembly line in Detroit. MM With BMW’s innovations, your smart home and connected car will communicate with each other
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Data Back-up BlisMedia CEO Greg Isbister argues that for marketers to be able to deliver relevant, location-targeted campaigns at scale, they will need the data to support them martphones are everywhere and consumers are using them at every step of their daily lives. Just go out in the street or look around your office – we are all staring through the Looking Glass. And just like Alice, we’re discovering an amazing world of new possibilities for marketing – one where mobile location is connecting the physical and the digital environments. Mobile location is fundamentally changing the nature of marketing communications, and how we interpret and analyse the relationship between brands and consumers. Consumers are walking around with GPS-enabled supercomputers in their pockets and new data sets are being created at every stage of a consumer’s journey.
Relevance and timeliness Brands should be letting go of old habits from the desktop-centric world and investing in experiences that are meaningful to mobile users. It’s a new model of relevance and timeliness, one that requires a greater understanding of the user than ever before – an understanding available in real-time, but also based on historical behaviour. We think that where you go says a lot about who you are and the mobile device is about as personal and ubiquitous as it gets. But media brands need to understand more about how mobile location-based targeting works. It’s moved on a lot from basic proximity targeting. It’s now about using historical and real-time location data to predict future behaviour and receptiveness to brand messaging across multiple devices.
Mobile moments The insights it can uncover on consumer behaviour allow brands to create campaigns that have real impact because
they can be structured to meet the ‘moment-to-moment’ needs of smartphone users. Every time someone picks up their connected device to view content or engage with an app, they are creating a ‘mobile moment’. Brands are becoming interested in these ‘moments’ and regard them as opportunities to share relevant ads. These ads should be serendipitous, like a friend who appears at just the right time with a relevant offer or message of help, rather than a cold-calling salesman. Successful brands will fit into the user’s day and ads will appear at the right moment in just this way. For some that change will be painful - we are unlearning habits that from a marketing perspective, we’ve become accustomed to over decades, never mind years. But the future is mobile moments - being there when the customer is ready, rather than the other way around. This may mean targeting smaller, more relevant audiences, but with an increase in responsiveness and brand interactions based on ‘moments’ that reflect what the individual user is doing or has just done at that moment in time. The agencies and advertisers that pivot to buying audiences using data and technology as enablers will win. The first building block to realising this vision is
trust, and that means working with reliable tech partners. Starcom and Airbnb have done just that, working with Blis using Play, our locationpowered video display product, to increase brand awareness among home-owners in three key European cities. The campaign utilised Path retargeting to reach and identify the selected audience segments located in London, Dublin and Amsterdam. Blis looked at specific locations (real-life behaviours), including airport lounges, international train stations, business hotels and districts, art galleries, exhibitions, fashion quarters, sports clubs, theatres, concert halls, and museums. We then combined these with demographic and contextual/behavioural targeting (online behaviours) according to each audience segment. A video display ad was served across mobile, tablet and laptop devices, depending on the connection context of the intended ad recipient. The 30-second, skippable video performed incredibly well, with a 79 per cent completion rate and 90 per cent viewability – tracked by Innovid. Over 1.1m completed views were recorded. We know from years of data analysis that mobility correlates to location relevance. For marketers to be able to deliver relevant, location-targeted campaigns at scale, they will need the data to back it up. That means accurate, first-party geo-data will only continue to grow in importance – and companies will be seeking the best possible providers to work with. Mobile has been playing a complementary role to PC-based ads for the better part of a decade. But as consumers’ time spent with their portable devices has exploded, and marketers’ general attraction to capturing consumers’ smartphone screens increases, ad spend is finally starting to follow. MM
Open-minded OpenX’s Justin Re explains how the company’s approach to mobile advertising guarantees the best prices for publishers and access to the best inventory for advertisers
t’s not always easy to reconcile the interests of publishers and advertisers, but at OpenX, they’ll tell you it’s not impossible. Publishers seek to increase revenue, while advertisers want access to the highest-quality inventory. OpenX enables that to happen by using the power of its exchange, in conjunction with network demand, for the benefit of publishers and advertisers alike. Typically in an ad server, the winning bid for any given impression will naturally come from the exchange, which always gets “first look”. However, these traditional setups don’t allow network demand to compete with exchange demand, meaning that often, the value of the impression is not maximised. The OpenX Exchange maximises competition for every impression by allowing both direct demand partners as well as ad network partners to compete simultaneously, increasing the price paid to the publisher. “Merging network demand with the strength of our exchange is a very powerful way to boost competition and ensure the highest yield for our publisher partners,” says OpenX director of product management, Justin Re. “We accept that we are not always able to offer the best price for a given impression, but by introducing the impression to additional demand sources, we can guarantee a publisher the
highest price. That increased demand adds to the monetisation capabilities of our market-leading platform.”
Bidder solution To help publishers maximise revenue, OpenX is extending its leading Bidder solution – which delivers, on average, sustained revenue lifts of between 30 and 50 per cent – to include mobile app inventory. When using Bidder for mobile apps, developers can easily integrate an adapter that returns a price guarantee from the OpenX Exchange. The price is then submitted directly into their primary SDK, forcing it to compete more aggressively to top the OpenX price. Regardless of which exchange or demand source returns the highest price for a given impression,
OpenX’s Bidder for Apps maximizes the value of each impression for the app developer
“MERGING NETWORK DEMAND WITH THE STRENGTH OF OUR EXCHANGE IS A VERY POWERFUL WAY TO ENSURE THE HIGHEST YIELD FOR OUR PUBLISHER PARTNERS”
Advertiser spend within apps, has grown ten-fold within the OpenX exchange over the last year
the increased competition inevitably benefits the publisher. “It’s less about your integrated monetisation partner and more about increasing competition. Our solution enables publishers to send the impression to OpenX first, allowing us to send back a price via a key value pair, while also setting an optimal floor to beat,” explains Re. “By leveraging Bidder, app publishers are guaranteed to achieve the best price for their inventory.” An added benefit of extending Bidder to app inventory is that it gives OpenX’s demand-side partners access to premium ad inventory they would otherwise miss out on. Advertisers are exposed to a larger pool of premium app inventory where they have first look and can bid appropriately. “The whole concept of Bidder is premised on the fact that OpenX gets the first look at these premium impressions and can offer them to our buyers, rather than waiting to see what’s left after others have cherry-picked the best ones,” says Re.
Compelling offer Combining “first look” at premium inventory with the industry’s top-ranked marketplace for quality makes for a compelling offering for buyers. Equally, ensuring publishers access to the world’s top brands, and their advertising budgets, reinforces OpenX’s reputation as the best exchange for maximising publisher revenue. With additional teams and tools in place to ensure only safe and non-intrusive ads are available within the exchange, it’s understandable that OpenX’s offering is gaining traction in the industry.
It’s not just OpenX’s quality ratings that are convincing. Over the past 12 months, the company saw significant growth in its numbers across the board. OpenX now represents over 50,000 apps and 900 premium mobile publishers, including more than half of comScore’s Top 100 Multi Screen publishers. 46 per cent of its total ad requests are mobile (25 per cent of these in-app), equating to 80bn mobile ad requests each month – a 137 per cent year-on-year increase. And the demand is global, with 43 per cent of ad requests coming from outside the US. Mobile ad spend on the OpenX Exchange, meanwhile, grew by 121 per cent year-on-year, while app sellthrough increased by 20 per cent in the second half of 2015. “We’ve entered 2016 with real momentum,” says Re. “Consumers have made the shift to mobile big time, and with the investments we’ve made, we’re well positioned to help advertisers reach audiences where they spend most of their time – on their smartphones – by giving them access to premium mobile inventory from the world’s top mobile publishers.” MM
Reality After years of hype, it looks like it’s finally happening. Alex Spencer looks at the rise and rise of Virtual Reality and how it is being used by marketers decade ago, Virtual Reality (VR) looked like a technology that had already enjoyed its moment in the sun. After Nintendo’s Virtual Boy and the movie Lawnmower Man brought the concept into the mainstream in the early ‘90s, VR quickly fizzled out. The Virtual Boy was a commercial failure, discontinued after less than a year, and the technology which had presented itself as a cutting edge vision of the future was consigned to the ash heap of techno-failues. Here in 2016, though, VR is undeniably back on the agenda. That turnaround began in August 2012 with the $2.4m (£1.7m) Kickstarter campaign for the Oculus Rift. Three and a half years later, Oculus’ first commercial model is nearly ready, due to launch this spring.
The Nissan ‘Built to Thrill’ wingsuit experience, one of Inition’s first ventures into VR, was developed back in 2012, around the time Oculus was founded
In that time, a number of tech’s biggest names have thrown their hats into the virtual ring. Google, Samsung, Microsoft, HTC and Sony have all revealed their own VR headsets – not to mention Facebook, which acquired Oculus in March 2014 for $2bn
“2016 is going to be a watershed year for VR,” says David Anderman, chief business officer at Jaunt, a VR content producer which has worked with everyone from Budweiser to Paul McCartney. With a raft of CES announcements adding to the already wide range of devices on the horizon, and ABI Research predicting VR headset shipments of 43m units by 2020, it’s hard to argue with his opinion. There are plenty of individual differences between the first wave of headsets (see VR Headsets panel for a full breakdown) but broadly, they can be divided into two categories. There are high-end dedicated headsets, like the Oculus Rift, and entrylevel mobile headsets, best exemplified by Google’s DIY viewer, Cardboard. The biggest difference between these two is simply the price. While the Oculus Rift is launching at $599, a Cardboard unit can cost as little as one or two dollars from some sources. This is a huge advantage for these mobile viewers, which ABI expects to outperform the more expensive headsets by a factor of five or even 10. The price of Cardboard and other mobile
viewers also benefits any brands wanting to try out VR for the first time. It lowers the barrier to entry, meaning brands which want to roll out Cardboard viewers in store don’t have to risk too much money on a new idea. “It’s really not a huge investment for companies to get these units out, so software development is the only cost you really need to worry about,” says ABI research analyst Eric Abbruzzese. “Getting access to those inexpensive Cardboard units and handing them out at the door of a museum to give visitors a VR guided tour is a really compelling example of what companies can do, and we’ll definitely see more of that, probably this year and definitely over the next five years.”
Samsung phone in there.” Using the Rift and Cardboard, though, there is a noticeable difference in graphical quality and the kind of experiences they can support, as ABI’s Abbruzzese points out: “Google Cardboard is very inexpensive but offers a very limited experience, which isn’t representative of the more high quality experiences out there. If Cardboard does dominate initial purchases, it could take a little time to convince the content producers to really dive in and start investing in VR.”
“2016 IS GOING TO BE A WATERSHED YEAR FOR VR” DAVID ANDERMAN, JAUNT
Improved performance As with any technology, though, what adopters of the more high-end devices are paying for is improved fidelity and performance, as well as a wider range of functions. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, when asked recently on Twitter about how his product could compete with Google’s competitor selling for a tiny fraction of the price, said: “the Rift is actually good. Kind of like how fancy wine competes with muddy water.” Of course, Luckey has a vested interest in pitching the Rift as the superior product, and according to Jaunt’s Anderman, the technological differences might not actually be all that great. “At the end of the day, even the Oculus Rift is based on smartphone technology,” he says. “If you take that plastic cover off the Rift, you literally have a
A number of brands have eagerly adopted the technology, though, from Qantas Airlines and Budweiser to the New York Times. Right now, that generally means 360° video, which both YouTube and Facebook added to their mobile ad offering in 2015, and which retailers are able to offer in store through Cardboard or similar low-cost headsets.
The Oculus Rift offers users a full VR experience, from videos to gaming
Google Cardboard - Launch: June 2014 Price: $20 (or free, if the user is willing to do some assembly) When it was first announced, the Cardboard almost sounded like a joke at the expense of Oculus and co. A VR headset literally made out of cardboard, selling for less than a single per cent of the price? But Cardboard has already succeeded in putting the technology in the hands – or on the heads – of many who wouldn’t otherwise have tried VR, one of the main reasons it was awarded Most Innovative Use of Mobile at our 2015 Effective Mobile Marketing Awards.
Inition created this abstract experience for a gin brand, representing all the senses involved in enjoying a cocktail
For home users, 360° ads work like any video ad, but with the added ability to pick which direction they want to look in as the video plays. It was used to great effect in promoting Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Facebook debuted its 360° ad offering with an experience which put users in the midst of Jakku, one of the film’s settings.
Abbruzzese. “Interactivity will probably be the key to differentiating full VR experiences. In 360° video you could argue that the interactive element is panning your head around, but that’s more of a passive than an active experience.” Some marketers are exploring fullfat VR experiences, though. Inition is a
These videos are cheaper to produce than full interactive experiences, and can be watched even if the user doesn’t have a VR viewer, navigating by dragging on the screen rather than moving their head. Jaunt’s Anderman says 360° video is “a fantastic on-ramp to VR” – the implication being that they’re not a true example of the technology’s full potential. “360° video is definitely made better by VR, especially with head tracking, but it’s not an integral part of what VR is,” says ABI’s
production company which has crafted bespoke VR experiences for the likes of Topshop, Selfridges and Nissan. After walking me through a selection of Inition’s work – dropping me in the middle of an orchestra’s practice session; out of a plane, with the help of a huge motion platform and computer-controlled fans; into a “totally trippy experience” created for a gin brand, meant to capture the sensations of mixing a cocktail – creative director Alex Lambert tells me about the power of ‘telepresence’, “being
Samsung Gear VR - Launch: November 2015 Price: $99 Building on Cardboard’s foundations for cheap mobile-compatible VR, the Gear offers a more robust plastic casing, with a built-in touch panel for controlling apps, and a smoother overall experience. Though it only works with Samsung’s top-tier handsets, the success of the Galaxy and Note ranges mean the potential install base isn’t limited too much by that. The Gear VR also represents a first foray into mobile for Oculus, which provided the technology behind the device.
able to put people in places they’d otherwise never be able to go”.
Holy crap moment Jaunt’s Anderman has a rather more earthy term for this. “We call it the ‘holy crap’ moment,” he says. “You put on the headset and suddenly you’re stood four feet from Paul McCartney on stage, you’re base jumping or climbing the moutanins of Nepal. The feeling of presence and the emotional impact that it has is tremendous.” They’re not the only ones to see this opportunity. In one of Facebook’ Q&A sessions last September, CEO Mark Zuckerberg described Oculus as a way for wearers to “literally teleport to a scene and look around, and it feels like you’re actually there”. It sounds like a perfect fit for travel and tourism brands, something which Virgin
Holidays showed nicely last year in its ‘Virtual Holidays’ campaign with Manning Gottlieb OMD. Customers in its physical stores could virtually travel to locations using a Google Cardboard headset, pushing up sales of trips to those places and landing it a raft of gongs at the 2015 Effective Mobile Marketing Awards. “We think travel is probably the number one vertical for VR,” says Jaunt’s Anderman. “You can do everything from visiting a city that you’ve never been to or going to the top of the Himalayas, to seeing what it’s like inside the hotel room or sitting by the pool. That kind of content actually stimulates travel far more than videos or guidebooks.”
“THERE’S A LANDGRAB GOING ON RIGHT NOW. COMPANIES ARE RUSHING TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE’S FIRST EXPOSURE TO VR IS THROUGH THEIR BRAND” ALEX LAMBERT, INITION
New horizons It’s not only travel brands which can benefit from transporting users to Paul McCartney’s concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, where the Beatles played their last-ever gig, was the first piece of VR content Jaunt released to the public
Sony PlayStation VR - Q1 2016 Price: $400 (reported) Previously known as ‘Project Morpheus’, this headset’s biggest advantage is most likely its association with the PlayStation brand. While the Vive and Rift require users to have a high-end gaming PC, Sony’s offering is compatible with the PlayStation 4, which has shipped 35.9m units since launch. Partnerships with the big-name developers who make games for the PS4 also mean it’s more likely to score VR gaming’s first killer app.
Content, Content, Content “I think the hardware is pretty much sorted for now, so watch for content as the next big focus in VR,” ABI's Abbruzzese says. “Jaunt has got in early, but I think we'll see a lot more companies dedicated to making VR experiences starting to pop up.” Jaunt's stated goal is becoming “the Netflix or HBO of VR”. The company is currently offering its content for free, often with sponsors attached, but it intends to start charging for VR experiences this year. That might be on an individual basis or, ideally, through a subscription model, though Jaunt's Anderman concedes, “it will take building up both the content library and the userbase to get to that point.” “Big name content producers will soon start
getting involved as well,” says Abbruzzese. “We'll see a few big sports leagues, whether it's the Premier League or the NFL, getting involved in VR in some way. The NBA is one of the first – it's already put out a couple of tech demos and is looking to integrate VR more into the 2016 season – but even if they're not discussing it publicly, I'm sure that all major sports associations and networks are looking into the technology.” Outside of sport, the biggest opportunity for VR in traditional media right now is news. The New York Times recently distributed 1m flatpack Cardboard units with its weekend edition so readers could access its NYR VR project, starting with a film on the refugee crisis. “A lot of the news media look to the NYT for an idea of what they should be doing next, so that was a big deal,” says Mark Challinor, CEO of Media Futures and president of the International News Media Association. ABC News has worked with Jaunt to launch its own VR content, with stories from Syria and
HTC Vive - Launch: April 2016 Price: Currently unknown If there remains any doubt about Oculus’ intentions, then the Vive – the result of a partnership between phone manufacturer HTC and Valve, the PC gaming giant behind the Steam distribution platform – is definitely shooting directly for the core gaming audience. Its big USP is the ability to track users’ movements through the accompanying Lighthouse devices, enabling them to explore virtual environments by stomping around their real-life living room.
N. Korea. “It revolutionises the way in which you can tell stories,” says Anderman. “We've found that in news pieces and documentaries like the ones we've done with ABC News, the feeling of empathy people get when they put on the headset and feel like they're stood right next to these people in these
Jaunt chief business officer, David Anderman
situations is truly profound.” “The interesting thing about it for me is that the NYT piece was sponsored by GE and Mini,” says Challinor. “If this actually catches on, news media could have a powerful new revenue stream on its hands.”
“THE FEELING PEOPLE GET WHEN THEY PUT ON THE HEADSET AND FEEL LIKE THEY’RE STOOD RIGHT NEXT TO THESE PEOPLE IS TRULY PROFOUND”
The Deep, one of the first games for PlayStation VR, started life as a VR tech demo
ERIC ABBRUZZESE, ABI RESEARCH
other places, though. The possibilities stretch far beyond holiday destinations – whether taking them to fictional worlds or shrinking them down to see the world from a whole new perspective.
Big adopters “One of the most effective ways we’ve used VR is making the user tiny and putting them inside an engine as it pumps around them,” says Inition’s Lambert. It’s an experience that has been adapted for both energy and automotive companies. These verticals aren’t the most obvious fit for VR, perhaps, but they’ve been some of the biggest adopters so far, according to Lambert. “At the end of the day, every brand wants to be seen as technologically innovative,” he says. “The technology might not have any tangible link to your product, but it’s more about the impression you create with the public.” This is the other big sell for brands getting
on board with VR – the opportunity to show that they’re on the cutting edge. As Jaunt’s Anderman puts it: “If you’re the first to give someone a VR experience, the consumer is going to remember that.” However, there’s a thin line between ‘innovative’ and ‘gimmicky’, and brands need to be sure they’re not just doing VR for the sake of it.
Land grab “There’s a land grab going on right now,” Lambert says. “Companies are rushing to make sure that people’s first exposure to VR is through their brand. That can create some poor quality content, and it risks people having a negative experience of VR that turns them off it completely.” “Right now, the technology is novel enough that you’re going to get away with a lot,” says ABI’s Abbruzzese. “But very
shortly, people are going to become more exposed to it, which means there’s less and less opportunity to create shoddy content.” Of course, this is equally true of marketing delivered via any kind of technology, whether it’s an ad on the mobile web or a branded app. Hopefully with VR, the industry can learn from the mistakes that were made in the early days of mobile and the web. “Once you’ve got the concept correct, the technology disappears, and it’s just about the experience,” says Inition’s Lambert – an idea that should sound familiar to anyone who’s spent the past few years working in mobile. “VR is just another tool, and it can be tailored to how you want to represent your brand and distribute your message. That’s what brands – and agencies – have to remember.” MM
Oculus Rift - Launch: March 2016 Price: $599 The VR company that started it all, Oculus has the advantage of brand name recognition, at least in enthusiast circles. Facebook’s acquisition of the company raised concerns among fans that the Rift would no longer be a gaming device. But with two games bundled in with the first model, an Oculus Touch gaming controller following later this year, and some hefty system requirements for compatible PCs, the company’s focus seems to be unwavering – for now.
Mobile Champions The sixth annual Effective Mobile Marketing Awards winners were announced late last year. Here’s a rundown of the victors
ate last year, we announced the winners of the sixth annual Effective Mobile Marketing Awards, which celebrate excellence in mobile marketing around the world in no less than 34 categories. The Awards, sponsored by Trinity Mirror Pinpoint, Theorem and Masterclassing, include 30 Awards chosen by a panel of judges, and four People’s Choice Awards, which are voted for by the industry from a shortlist drawn up by the Mobile Marketing team. The 2015 Award-winners included household-name brands and respected agencies from across the globe,
including Audi, Jaguar, Walkers, Lufthansa, Lloyds Bank, Mindshare, Sapient Nitro and Manning Gottlieb OMD. Congratulations to all our winners, and to the Highly Commended nominees, who gave the winners a very good run for their money in several categories. We’ll be launching the Call for Entries for this year’s Awards towards the end of April. Check out mobilemarketingmagazine.com/awards for full details.
In the meantime, read on for the complete list of last year’s winners.
People’s Choice Awards Most Innovative Use of Mobile Winner: Google Cardboard
Start-up of the Year Winner: UsherU
Most Effective Brand Winner: Audi
Mobile Marketing Campaign of the Year
Winner: The ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge
Effective Mobile Marketing Awards 2015 Roll of Honour Most Effective Mobile-first Service
Most Effective App Install Campaign
Most Effective Integrated Campaign
Most Effective Smartphone App
Highly Commended: John Lewis and Manning Gottlieb OMD – Monty: Christmas 2014 App Star
Most Effective In-store Initiative
Winner: Premier Inn and Monitise Create – Hub by Premier Inn Winner: Domino’s Pizza and Future Platforms – Domino’s UK & ROI Mobile Apps Highly Commended: Shopcade Highly Commended: Patient – Patient Access Mobile App
Most Effective Tablet App
Winner: John Lewis – #BreakingPad Project
Most Effective b2b App
Winner: Nimbletank – Soundjack Tablet App for Venue Hosts Highly Commended: Carlson Wagonlit Travel – CWT To Go
Most Effective Smartwatch App
Winner: Lufthansa and SapientNitro – Lufthansa Travel Companion Highly Commended: Addison Lee – Apple Watch App
Most Effective Mobile Payment Solution
Winner: Bravofly and Lastminute. com Group with Jumio
Most Effective Charity Campaign
Winner: Fiksu – Scotts My Lawn App
Most Effective Programmatic Campaign
Winner: Sure Max Pro (Unilever) and Mindshare – Sure Max Pro: Feeling the Heat? Highly Commended: Criteo Mobile Performance Marketing for House of Fraser
Winner: Yodel Mobile and AdGibbon – The Economist: The World in 2015 Highly Commended: Mindshare and LoopMe – Unilever TRESemmé Edge
Most Effective Use of Video
Winner: Jaguar and Mindshare – Feel Wimbledon
Most Effective Social Campaign
Most Effective Search Campaign
Highly Commended: Benefit Cosmetics and Liberty Marketing – Local SEO
Most Effective Loyalty Campaign
Winner: Carling and Hi Mum! Said Dad – Carling iPint: Cheers to Win
Most Effective Mobile Advertising Campaign
Winner: Jaguar and Mindshare – Feel Wimbledon
Most Effective Advertising Network Winner: Google
Winner: Jaguar and Mindshare – Feel Wimbledon
Highly Commended: BuzzCity
Most Effective Sales Promotion Campaign
Most Effective Advertising Technology Platform
Winner: Virgin Holidays and Manning Gottlieb OMD – Virtual Holidays
Most Effective Travel & Tourism Campaign
Highly Commended: Proelios and Deep Silver Fishlabs – VW Group China Sports Car Challenge Series
Most Effective Retail Campaign
Most Effective Tablet Advertising Campaign
Highly Commended: DFS and Mediacom – DFS Winter Sale
Winner: Millennial Media, AvatarLabs and MEC Los Angeles – Paramount Pictures, Transformers: Age of Extinction
Winner: Somo and Shop Direct – A Very Stylish Christmas
Most Effective Augmented/Virtual Reality Campaign
Most Effective Rich Media Campaign
Most Effective Financial Services Campaign
Winner: Hailo – Drive For Equality
Winner: Cineworld – Cineworld Unlimited Card
Winner: Samsung, Starcom Mediavest and Google – Samsung Search Goes Viral
Winner: The Guardian News and Media – General Election 2015 Campaign
Most Effective Brand Campaign
Winner: Cineworld – Cineworld Unlimited Card
Most Effective Location-based Campaign
Winner: Virgin Holidays and Manning Gottlieb OMD – Virtual Holidays
Winner: Specsavers and Manning Gottlieb OMD – SWOTY
Most Effective Entertainment Campaign
Winner: Virgin Holidays and Manning Gottlieb OMD – Virtual Holidays
Most Effective Native Advertising Campaign
Winner: Walkers and OMD UK – Tweet to Eat
Winner: Lloyds Banking Group – Lloyds Mobile Banking App
Winner: John Lewis and Manning Gottlieb OMD – John Lewis Wins Christmas 2014
Highly Commended: Criteo Mobile Performance Marketing for House of Fraser
Grand Prix Award
Winner: Jaguar and Mindshare – Feel Wimbledon
game, set & match David Murphy profiles the Grand Prix-winning entry in the 2015 Effective Mobile Marketing Awards
n any Awards programme, the judges are looking for something pretty special for the Grand Prix Award. In the 2015 Effective Mobile Marketing Awards, they found it in the shape of the Jaguar/Mindshare entry for their Feel Wimbledon campaign.
Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC), where the tournament is held, would never countenance anything as vulgar as billboard advertising within the grounds, so ‘Official Suppliers’ – Wimbledon doesn’t have sponsors - have to find more subtle ways to leverage their participation.
“JAGUAR WAS THE MOST TALKED-ABOUT BRAND ON SOCIAL MEDIA ACROSS THE CHAMPIONSHIPS FORTNIGHT”
2015 saw the start of a five-year partnership between Jaguar and Wimbledon, and to activate it, the luxury car-maker was keen to come up with an idea that would drive brand fame and social engagement across the Championships. There were some challenges to overcome, however. The first was the very nature of the Wimbledon Championships. Even if your only experience of the event is via TV coverage, you probably get a feel for the almost anti-commercial way in which it conducts itself. The All England
There was a second, more fundamental challenge facing Jaguar, however, as Mindshare’s joint head of strategy, Chris Cardew, explains: “When Wimbledon first approached Jaguar, they did so because they saw it as a premium British brand, targeting the gin-drinking, golf-playing CEO,
The campaign played out on giant screens across London
which was a great fit for the event in many ways,” he says. “The problem with this was that Jaguar was in the midst of a brand transformation. Heritage and performance were still important of course, but we were really trying to establish more modern, contemporary and exciting
credentials with a younger audience; to drive perception of Jaguar as a technology innovator, up there with the likes of Audi and BMW.” In essence, the message Mindshare wanted to put across was that the Jaguar brand is about performance that excites the senses; that driving a Jaguar is like
nothing else you’ll experience. “It was less about the Britishness and the heritage of the brand, more about the emotion,” Cardew explains.
Common ground This concept of emotion gave the Mindshare team an idea. They could see some common ground between how it feels to drive a Jaguar and how it feels to be at the Wimbledon tournament watching some of the incredible action. If they could somehow tap into this, they might be onto something.
But what would this data focus on? Mindshare’s idea was to try and measure the emotional response of the fans watching live to the action they were enjoying. To do so, they would issue bespoke wearable tech to spectators in the grounds that would measure their heart rate and movement to get a feel for their emotional response to the action. Meanwhile, beacons placed around the ground would capture the atmosphere and the energy of the tournament. The data collected would be analysed and interpreted and then used as the basis for a
“JAGUAR WAS IN THE MIDST OF A BRAND TRANSFORMATION… TRYING TO ESTABLISH MORE MODERN, CONTEMPORARY AND EXCITING CREDENTIALS WITH A YOUNGER AUDIENCE” CHRIS CARDEW, MINDSHARE
While Jaguar loved the idea in principle, the Wimbledon team were less excited about it. “They had some reservations,” says Cardew. “I think they were just surprised we weren’t playing on the heritage idea. “When we explained why, they were cool with that, but I think they just struggled to get their heads round it initially. But they liked the idea that we were celebrating the brilliance of the tournament as much as we were of the Jaguar brand.” With both Jaguar and Wimbledon on board, things were moving in the right direction. There still remained the small issue, however, of how to turn this insight and this idea into a campaign. “We knew that to deliver against the campaign objectives we really needed to try to capture what Wimbledon feels like,” says Cardew. “Then, through the intelligent use of data, we could share that with people who couldn’t watch the games live, but who might want to follow the action from their office or their commute home, and feel some of the same excitement.”
ton of content that would give tennis fans around the world a real-time sense of the Wimbledon feeling.
Digital credentials Again, the Mindshare team had set themselves a challenge with the idea. While the AELTC is keen to establish its own digital credentials, its hierarchy tend to believe that if you’re there to watch the tennis, you should watch the tennis, so they were more than a little wary of the wearable tech proving a distraction to those spectators wearing it, or those around them. To their credit though, having been convinced of the unobtrusive nature of the wristbands, they went for it. The results justified the amount of thought and planning that went into the campaign. On average, 24 pieces of live content were created and distributed each day. These were streamed to a mobile site, and also seeded via social channels and giant outdoor screens at Canary Wharf, Piccadilly Circus, Victoria Station and Westfield, as well as other sites across
London. These enabled tennis fans not able to attend the tournament to get a feel for the action, and the crowd’s emotional response to it. All with subtle Jaguar branding. On one level, this mirrored Jaguar’s brand purpose as a creator of sensory and emotive experiences. On another, it delivered fantastic fan engagement. Jaguar was the most talked-about brand on social media across the Championships fortnight, achieving a 27 per cent share of voice, with the #FeelWimbledon hashtag used almost 8,000 times, the most used hashtag of any partner brand. The client was more than happy. “With Feel Wimbledon we were able to demonstrate our expertise and passion for technology in our communications, and create a campaign that engaged tennis fans in a dynamic and innovative way,” says Mark Beesley, head of digital at Jaguar Land Rover. “With the pace at which mobile is developing, we are always looking to stay ahead of the curve and try new things with our mobile partners, and be the first to market with exciting communications solutions that present Jaguar as the modern and forward-thinking brand it is.” While proud of the work, Cardew says the Mindshare team are aware of some areas in which it could have been better activated, and says that Mindshare and Jaguar will be running with the same theme at this year’s tournament, but trying to move it on a little. “We feel we have established it now,” he says. “The idea last year was to bring tennis fans closer to the emotional feeling of watching the games. This year, we want to move from broadcasting the fans’ emotions to creating a slightly more immersive experience. So instead of telling you what someone watching on centre court is feeling, enable you to put yourself in their shoes and experience it for yourself.” Ah, a Virtual Reality twist then? VR, after all, also fared well in this year’s Awards, with Manning Gottlieb OMD’s VR-themed campaign for Virgin Holidays picking up almost as many Awards – three to Feel Wimbledon’s four. Given the current hype around VR, you wouldn’t bet against it. Cardew though, is non-committal. “You’ll just have to wait and see,” he says. “But rest assured, we’re not resting on our laurels. Doing great work that wins awards is a great feeling, so we hope to be back for more with this year’s campaign.” MM
Wallet Wars Alex Spencer looks at the key runners and riders in the race to take ownership of the mobile payments space
obile payments, in one form or another, have been in existence for just about as long as smartphones themselves. But, with Forrester predicting that mobile wallet usage will reach ‘critical mass’ over the next two years, the competition between NFC payment technologies has really started to heat up over the past 12 months. We’ve seen a flurry of launches, with plenty more yet to come. With most offerings very similar on the surface, we’ve collected together four of the biggest players in mobile payments today – and tomorrow – for a quick guide on what makes each one worth keeping tabs on, and where they might be headed next.
APPLE PAY Launched: October 2014
rowing out of Passbook – the wallet app for coupons and loyalty cards that Apple launched back in 2012 – Apple Pay was the mobile payments launch the industry had been waiting for. As well as in-app payments, Apple Pay enables in-store payments via NFC on compatible iPhone handsets and the Apple Watch. Before its US launch, with the formidable weight of Apple’s brand behind it, Pay seemed like the thing that would finally push mobile payments into the spotlight. Its launch didn’t exactly transform the landscape overnight, however, and we still haven’t seen any official adoption figures, but it certainly looks like a success. On Apple’s Q4 earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said the service is “seeing double digit growth in transactions month after month”. Figures from the analyst CIRP show that nearly a fifth of the entire US population were in possession of an iPhone 6 or higher by September 2015, meaning they’re able to make
Available in: US, UK, Canada, Australia
ANDROID PAY Launched: September 2015 Available in: US
oogle’s answer to Apple Pay had a similar genesis, growing out of Google Wallet, with one key difference. Instead of being a new addition to the mobile wallet, NFC payments actually launched with the original app way back in 2011, alongside digital loyalty cards and peer-to-peer payments. With the launch of Android Pay last year, Google was actually moving in the opposite direction to Apple, which seems eager to consolidate its wallet and payment services, by lifting the feature out of Google Wallet and spinning it out into a standalone app. By paring the platform down to just the payment functionality – removing
in-store payments through Apple Pay – but according to Pymnts. com, 83.4 per cent of potential users still haven’t tried it. Nevertheless, this means there are around 2.8m regular users of the service in the US, equivalent to 1.4 per cent of the adult population. Apple Pay’s real strength – and the area where Apple’s influence seems to have really come into play – lies with the sheer number of partners. The number of financial institutions supporting Pay broke the 900 mark at the start of this year. On the merchant side, meanwhile, Apple recently announced the number of retail locations suporting Pay has passed the 2m mark globally, with several big name brands, including Starbucks, Domino’s Pizza and KFC, signed up to start accepting NFC payments this year. So what’s next for Apple Pay? Well, given that it’s only available in four countries, a wider global rollout is Apple’s top priority. It’s set to launch next in Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as mainland China, through a partnership with China UnionPay, and we’re likely to see more launches as the year goes on. There have also been reports that Apple is working on a peer-to-peer payment service, enabling users to send money to their friends Pingit-style, as it draws everything together within the rebranded Passbook app, now called Apple Wallet.
the extraneous features, and the slightly strange option to transfer funds onto a physical card – Google was able to integrate Android Pay more closely into its OS. As with Apple Pay, NFC payments can be accessed without having to open an app, by simply touching the handset to a contactless terminal. However, nearly five years on from its first appearance, Android Pay still hasn’t launched outside of the US. That’s set to change this year, with an Australian launch promised in the first half of 2016, in partnership with six financial institutions. Google says it is planning a wider global rollout this year, but hasn’t yet named any specific countries.
SAMSUNG PAY Launched: August 2015 Available in: S. Korea, US
amsung Pay has one major difference to its competitors: as well as NFC, it supports EMV (the smart card standard established by Europay, MasterCard and Visa) and, more importantly, MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission), the standard used by most credit and debit card readers, meaning it can be used with almost any pre-existing till. With NFC terminals still few and far between in many markets, including the US, this gives it a huge potential advantage over other mobile payment solutions. The sticking point, though, is that Samsung Pay is only compatible with a small selection of Samsung’s top-tier devices. Users need to own one of the Galaxy S6 range of smartphones or the Galaxy Note 5 phablet – the Gear S2 smartwatch is also compatible but requires pairing with one of these handsets. This could prove a real difficulty given that sales of the
S6 have flagged in comparison to the device’s illustrious predecessors. In spite of that, Samsung is the only company to have released hard figures on the adoption of its mobile payment platform. In September, it announced that Samsung Pay was used for 1.5m transactions in the first month after it launched in S. Korea, totalling some 35.1bn S. Korean Won (£20bn) in revenues, with 10 per cent of those early adopters using Samsung Pay to make payments on a daily basis. However, S. Korea is home territory for the firm, and there’s been no such word from the service’s somewhat muted US launch, which followed the next month. Whether this will change as Samsung Pay spreads to new markets – European and Chinese launches have been promised this year – remains to be seen.
ON THE HORIZON CURRENTC CurrentC is the flagship product of MCX (Merchant Customer Exchange), a joint venture between some of the biggest names in US retail, including 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Target and Walmart, first founded back in 2012. The app combines loyalty and coupon functionality with instore payment via QR codes, and also uses Bluetooth beacons for positioning. The app will be accepted by all of the MCX members – not something to sniff at, given that they together account for over $1 trillion of sales in the US each year. That’s still some way in the future, however, as CurrentC is presently limited to a pilot in Columbus, Ohio, with just 12 of the brands accepting it in select stores. MCX was at the centre of a small controversy in early 2015, after some members withdrew NFC reader technology from their stores in order to undercut Apple Pay, resulting in a campaign of negative reviews on CurrentC’s app store listings. Whether this will impact on its success at launch – pencilled in for ‘early 2016’ – remains to be seen.
WALMART PAY Last December, Walmart became the first US retailer to offer its own mobile payment service, with the unveiling of Walmart Pay. Initially available in a small number of stores in Northwest Arkansas, with a nationwide rollout promised by the end of H1 2016, the potential audience for the service is huge. 140m Americans shop at Walmart each week, and its app – where the Pay feature will be nested – is used by no less than 22m customers each month. That’s a pretty healthy installed base to launch with. Walmart might have been the first supermarket operator to jump into this market, but it didn’t have to wait long for competition to emerge. Just days after the announcement, reports emerged that Target was working on its own mobile payment offering. Notably, both retailers are members of the MCX retailer joint venture. This is potentially bad news for CurrentC’s chances, and possibly even for the mobile payment market overall, as the landscape becomes increasingly fragmented and competitive.
ALIPAY Launched: January 2013 Available in: China
ith 400m registered users, and a 60 per cent share of the thirdparty payments market, Alipay dominates mobile payments in China. Not all of those are necessarily using Alipay for in-store payments – the service also covers online payments and peer-to-peer transfers – but it certainly has strong support from merchants. Alipay is accepted by around 40,000 Chinese supermarket and convenience store locations and 130,000 restaurants, including KFC and McDonald’s, plus smaller merchants like taxi drivers and market stall vendors. The level of support has helped drive consumer adoption. Both Apple and Samsung are launching their own services in the country this year to challenge this dominance, but Alipay might be too well-established for them to present genuine competition. If there’s any real threat to Alipay’s position, it may well come from within the
China, in the form of the WeChat Payment service from Tencent. The biggest difference between these Chinese services and those from other countries is that they don’t use NFC for in-store payments. Instead, both Alipay and WeChat rely on QR codes. At least in part, that’s a result of the app’s earlier launch date, but it isn’t to say that Alipay is lagging behind its competitors technologically. In December, it launched facial recognition for user authentication. Last July, the app rebranded from Alipay Wallet to Alipay 9.0. It now includes a miniaturised social network nested within it, where users can message friends and browse a timeline of posts. And if retailers are willing to invest in a sensor, there is an alternative to QR codes in the app’s sound wave functionality, which emits a specific frequency to confirm payment.
CHASEPAY It’s not just retailers who are jumping on the mobile payments bandwagon. JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the US, has its own service on the way in the form of Chase Pay. Details are still a little thin on the ground, but it appears that Chase Pay will use QR codes. JP Morgan has signed a deal with MCX – them again – which not only means its partners will accept Chase Pay, but also feature it as a payment option in the ConnectC app. This deal was struck after the bank agreed to take a smaller cut of purchases made via Chase Pay than traditional plastic cards. It’s these costs – still intact with the likes of Apple Pay – which are ultimately the motivation behind retailers launching their own payment services. Chase Pay is due to launch in the middle of 2016, initially for owners of Chase credit and debit cards, giving it a potential userbase of 94m customers in the US from the off. Like Walmart Pay then, it will launch with a very healthy installed base of potential users.
Mobile Remarketing We profile SaleCycle’s SMS Remarketing solution aleCycle’s Remarketing product was born out of a requirement to communicate with website visitors who left shopping carts or online bookings behind. Since its inception in 2010, SaleCycle has seen impressive results from its sizeable enterprise customer base. Historically this has been achieved through the use of email being triggered after a cart or booking abandonment. With
SaleCycle head of product, Michael Barber
over a billion abandonments managed, email has produced some impressive results: 45 per cent open rates, 4 per cent uplift in total online sales and, in the example of Virgin Atlantic, an additional $29 generated from every remarketing email sent.
However as the use of mobile has accelerated and become the main device people use to consume communication, SaleCycle needed to understand and leverage a technology that was more relevant to a mobile channel.
the quoting process. It was obvious that if SaleCycle could expand its solutions to include SMS as a method of remarketing, this immediacy could be realized. The need, from both a product and customer perspective, had been established.
Head of product at SaleCycle, Michael Barber, recalls how the product evolution started: “We’re always looking to deliver innovative and effective solutions for the enterprise clients we work with. The market and our customers had helped us identify how the growth in ‘mobile’ was impacting their business. “Mobile as a topic covers a wide spectrum of subjects and we’d begun looking at how our On-Site Remarketing solution could deliver a different experience to website visitors on smartphones and mobile devices,” he says. “Cross-device tracking and apps are also high on our customers’ agenda. So knowing all this, we looked for a ‘mobile’ topic we could deliver and we discussed it with one of our most innovative clients, Firefly.” Firefly, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, set SaleCycle the challenge of delivering a service that could drive more immediacy in conversions. How could they communicate quickly and efficiently with visitors who abandon a flight that was due to depart just days after the customer had initially visited their website? As an innovator, Firefly was already asking for a mobile number during
From previous roles as product lead for other marketing platforms, Michael had done significant due diligence in the SMS space. “We needed a partner that understood how to integrate with service providers, delivered highly consumable APIs, and had a team that focused on not just technically enabling SMS as a channel, but also enabling and training the other business functions to become SMS experts.”
For this reason he had previously chosen Dynmark, and it made sense to do the same again. He explains: “The whole project to integrate with Dynmark took just four weeks. The great part about working with Dynmark is that part of the scoping process uncovered the fact that we could leverage SMS for many uses that are valued by our customers, and now we
have a platform that can sit as a standalone SMS solution or part of our Multi-Channel Remarketing solution. Excitingly, I believe we have now delivered the world’s first SMS remarketing campaign!” So how did Firefly find using the new solution? Boon Chuan Teh, Airline Systems Manager says: “The ability to mix SMS remarketing into our existing campaigns has really increased our capacity for reconnecting with potential customers. We have already started to see recoveries and conversions from the SMS tool, and are excited to work on future developments with SaleCycle.” Immediately after go live, Firefly saw its first recovered sale from only the fourth SMS message sent; the recipient returning to the site and buying the flight they’d previously left behind. Dynmark CEO Paul Putman says: “We were really excited when Michael and SaleCycle presented us with this challenge. We are always heavily focused on helping partners achieve their product goal, but
helping SaleCycle deliver a world-first solution was a real achievement for us. I can’t believe how quickly, when working together as a team, we were able to help deliver their solution. “The results speak for themselves; a recovered sale after the fourth SMS is huge, I’d calculate a ROI but it would look too good to believe! It also validates the fact
that SMS still has a fundamental part to play if companies want to engage with immediacy in an increasingly mobileorientated landscape.” What does the future hold for mobile messaging that uses website data? Barber says: “As a market-leading provider, we’re acutely aware that globally, and specifically in the APAC region, mobile represents a significant opportunity for us. The growth in ecommerce is boosted by the proliferation of smartphones in emerging or developing markets.” With SMS Remarketing up and running for airlines, Michael can see it working for a number of growing sectors too. ‘It’s great to see our new solution work in one of our key industries and I’ve got no doubt SMS remarketing will be successful for travel brands,” he says. “I think SMS will really help SaleCycle demonstrate the value of remarketing to businesses such as mobile and broadband network providers, smartphone resellers and other big players in the telecoms sector. Remarketing via SMS to customers of these businesses is a natural fit and complements their existing communication strategies. Actually, SMS remarketing represents an opportunity for any brand to immediately engage with website visitors who abandon their website in the most personal way.” In terms of the new relationship between SaleCycle and Dynmark, it will continue to grow with exploration as to how the data captured by SaleCycle can be fed into Dynmark’s secure app messaging platform, Donky. This allows mobile app users to be remarketed to in the same way as email and SMS, but within the customer’s own application, driving deeper engagement and brand interaction. MM
MOBILE AD EFFECTIVENESS SET TO CHANGE THE WORLD (AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT) By Arno Hummerston, GfK
Behavioral KPIs are not enough now – robust branding metrics are essential.
he ability to evaluate mobile ad effectiveness has long (in relative, digital terms) been an issue for those spending the money on it. The view has always been that it is too difficult and too costly to do properly. Not anymore. There is a new show in town. Up to now marketers who have leveraged the mobile channel have done so relying on delivery and execution metrics such as CTR, CPC and conversions (however they are defined) to evaluate the impact of their dollar spend. But the challenge for them now is that the increased immersion of brands in a digital world means the understanding of the impact on awareness, image, reputation, emotional connection and resonance is needed more than ever. Behavioral KPIs are not enough now – robust branding metrics are essential. This has been a challenge in past. As I am sure you are told pretty regularly, we own more and more connected devices. In a recent Financial Times article they proclaimed mobile as the future. Safe to say it isn’t. It is the now and a reality many have not caught up to yet. This means there are more places to serve ads and more gadgets for advertisers to track delivery on. For proper evaluation we also need to take the delivery and impact of ads across all these devices – and to do this we need to measure whether exposure actually occurred or not. Unfortunately the usual way of doing this online, using cookies, does
New In-app ad seen
not recognize an individual across these devices. So one person, with three devices, can be represented as three people. That one person is then also only attributed one set of ad exposure on one device, instead of the total for all three. The more devices you add, the more the issue is amplified. In order for us to be able to attribute exposures correctly, therefore, we need to be able to reconcile different cookies across the devices an individual uses. Adding to the multi-device headache is the fact that mobile devices and tablets have given the world a (now not very) new phenomenon: the app. Ads on a single mobile or tablet are delivered in both browsers and in apps, which are completely different environments (almost like different devices). The core of the issue is that apps don’t allow cookies so they cannot be used to identify a single user across the two environments.
One handset can look like two people. It can deliver the same ad in two places (a mobile web page and an app, on the same device) and even the ad server will not know. For a research agency to be able to know is a step still further. At GfK we now have a solution that addresses these challenges utilizing a panel-based approach that allows the unification of web and in-app exposure and the appreciation of multi-device usage.
“NOW WE CAN EVALUATE ADVERTISING DELIVERED ON MOBILE DEVICES, CROSS DEVICE AND CROSS ENVIRONMENT (WEB AND APP)” On top of that GfK has also partnered with Facebook to be able to include their unique ad environment into the mix. Solving the challenges mentioned above and the implementation of mobile into the evaluation mix completes the cross media picture for marketers. OK, so it was difficult to do but why is it so important to marketers? Firstly, now we can evaluate advertising delivered on mobile devices, cross device
“EVEN IF YOUR ADS DON’T DELIVER CLICKS, LIKES, SIGNUPS AND SALES, YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THE ALL‑IMPORTANT BRANDING EFFECTS” and cross environment (web and app). So we can now provide KPIs and advice to optimize the $100bn (£69m) predicted to be spent on mobile ads in 2016. However, it gets better than that. The addition of mobile and the completed picture now also means we can provide much better evaluation and advice. Not just for mobile. Not just for digital. But for all media included in the evaluation. As the Infographic on the right shows, we end up with better quality data that improve the insights we can deliver – which is a truly GfK thing to shout about. Let’s be clear, there are still elements of the digital ad ecosystem that are a challenge, but what we do have now is going to make a huge difference to the understanding, optimization and ROI attribution of digital (and arguably, cross media) campaigns. Branding impact can now be used confidently alongside the conversion metrics. So even if your ads don’t deliver clicks, likes, sign-ups and sales, you can understand the all‑important branding effects. As it has been proved that even search results have a branding impact, you are truly missing out if you don’t appreciate the power of the paid ad. I am really excited about this new innovation! Finally, we have the solution to the challenge and I can change my conference presentations from saying “I’m sure we will get there” to “We got there and we survived the experience”. So far. MM
For more information please contact Arno Hummerston at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BEST WAY TO EVALUATE A CAMPAIGN, TO UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THOSE WHO HAVE SEEN AN AD AND THOSE THAT HAVEN‘T
THE BEST WAY...
...to evaluate a campaign is to understand the difference between those who have seen an ad and those that haven’t.
MEASURE AD’S IMPACT
HOW? We are evaluating the impact of the ad by comparing two groups of individuals:
Exposed to the ad (test group)
Non-exposed to the ad (control group)
Browser + App
We can now measure exposure for mobile ads both in-browser and in-app.
Overclaim Cleaner control group Only people who have been identified as non-exposed to mobile ads through measurement rather than recall will be in the control group.
People who have actually been exposed but have been mis-assigned as non-exposed are no longer contributing to the over-claim on key metrics by the control group.
Better quality lift measurement, evaluation and advice on optimization.
About GfK GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.
GfK. Growth from Knowledge
Programmatic Evolution Chris Childs, UK MD at TabMo, considers whether advertisers are ready for the next generation of mobile programmatic technology
here is no shortage of figures highlighting the strength of mobile in Europe. Ooyala reports that 53 per cent of all online video plays are now on mobile, while Ofcom research shows that the smartphone is the most important device in the UK for getting online. When it comes to advertising, Marin Software’s Q3 2015 Performance Marketer’s Benchmark report revealed that display ads on mobile outperformed their desktop equivalent for the first time. And programmatic is playing an increasingly important part in this: research carried out by the Internet Advertising Bureau at the end of last year revealed that almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of mobile display ads are traded using programmatic mediabuying technologies.
DSP defined For mobile advertisers, this signals a need to look at the specifics of programmatic mobile advertising and what it offers. The first question to consider is: what is a DSP (Demand Side Platform)? Quite simply, it’s a piece of technology that automates the ad-buying process for media planning teams and so facilitates programmatic advertising. It enables advertisers to buy ad impressions across a range of publisher sites in a process that takes just milliseconds. Targeting goes far beyond demographics by including information such as (anonymised) previous browsing behaviour, and the user’s location. Programmatic started out on desktop, but is now expanding rapidly into mobile as
more digital budgets go mobile, reflecting the fact that we all, as consumers, spend more of our time, consume more content, and, most importantly, buy more goods and services on our smartphones.
Mobile benefits Mobile is a key tool for the advertiser because it allows them to accurately and efficiently target their key audience while they are at their most receptive. The unique nature of mobile means that consumers can be targeted based on their location. For example, downloadable vouchers for a fast-food restaurant can be sent to someone who fits the target audience profile when they are near an outlet. Location can also be used as an indicator of a person’s habits and preferences to target them at a later date. If someone regularly visits golf courses, for example, it’s a sure sign of an interest in golf, and this can be used to target them at home in the evening, when they have more time to consider the ad and the offer, and potentially act on it. Similarly, a mobile user located in the business lounge of an airport during the week can be identified as someone likely to be a business user, and so served an ad for a high-end finance brand.
Getting mobile right Brands need to invest time and energy to benefit from the new generation of mobile advertising technology. Consumers do not like bad advertising (witness the rise in ad blocking and the column inches devoted to it) on their desktop computer. On their
“PROGRAMMATIC STARTED OUT ON DESKTOP, BUT IS NOW EXPANDING RAPIDLY INTO MOBILE AS MORE DIGITAL BUDGETS GO MOBILE” smartphone, widely regarded a much more personal device, it is viewed as even more intrusive. With that in mind, what are the key points for prospective mobile advertisers to consider?
Mobile-first Perhaps the key point around which everything else hinges is that not all mobile
TabMo’s platform was developed at its R&D centre in Montpellier, France
DSPs are created equal. To be precise, very few are built specifically for mobile. Instead they are developed as an ‘add-on’ to technology platforms initially build for desktop and digital TV advertising. Crosschannel platforms may not deliver the best possible mobile experience for the user – and therefore don’t drive results for the advertiser. TabMo’s founders recognised that mobile advertisers needed a programmatic platform that focused solely on meeting the specific demands of this channel. Our technology has been built from the ground up at our R&D development centre in Montpellier, which has become something of a hub for ad tech companies with the likes of Teads and StickyAds also developing their solutions there. And from day one, everything we have done has hinged around what works for mobile, from building mobile-specific technology, to ensuring that creative can match location and context, to understanding that someone using their mobile has different expectations to a person using their desktop computer or watching TV.
Creative counts It is increasingly recognised that not only can creativity co-exist with programmatic, but also, that it has a key role to play. This is all the more so with mobile because precise, location-based targeting is useless if the creative does not match the context. Revisiting the airport business lounge example mentioned earlier, with location determining both mindset and need, the
high-end finance provider can serve a suitable piece of ad creative. If the brand targets the same user during his or her leisure time, it is highly likely that a different creative treatment will be more effective. Programmatic mobile ad platforms must therefore have the capability to support the targeting decisions and auto-optimisations they make with the right creative. This includes handling the TV vs. mobile issue. Although there is an understandable need to get ROI from big-budget TV ads, the 30-second TV commercial is rarely appropriate if placed before a short piece
Demand-side transparency As an increasing amount of mobile inventory is made available, it is essential that marketers have visibility and control over where their ad will appear. A key requirement therefore is that the DSP is transparent about how it buys its inventory - direct from the publisher or via an ad network for example. The days of ‘blind’ networks are disappearing and serious trust issues are raised if mobile advertisers can’t see which sites they are buying on. Transparency is critical to ensure accurate targeting. It is also essential to
“NOT ALL MOBILE DSPs ARE CREATED EQUAL…VERY FEW ARE BUILT SPECIFICALLY FOR MOBILE” of mobile video content. Marketers must be vigilant about the format of their mobile ads. This includes careful selection of the programmatic platform, which should be able to adapt the creative for the mobile screen, including converting it from TV’s landscape format to portrait style in order to offer the best viewing experience on mobile. In addition, rapidly advancing smartphone technology enables advertisers to include fun, interactive elements in a campaign. TabMo recently ran a campaign for a high-street retailer, for example, that encouraged users to move through the content pages by shaking their phones, rather than swiping the screen.
ensure viewability and brand safety, issues that are as pertinent for mobile as for other digital advertising platforms. The mobile advertiser must be confident that the DSP has adequate measures in place to guard against unseen, unsafe or fraudulent inventory. Programmatic technology is revolutionising the mobile advertising landscape. Used with care and respect for the user’s wishes, it holds the potential to serve advertising that is more engaging, more contextually relevant and, most importantly of all from the advertiser’s perspective, more effective. What’s not to like? MM
BARCELONA Briefing As Mobile World Congress opens its doors once again, we asked a panel of industry experts what visitors to the show can expect to see
t’s that time of the year again, when the entire mobile industry descends on Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. The announcements and conversations had during this one week tend to set the pace for the next 12 months, so we asked some of the industry’s best and brightest to share their thoughts and predictions on this year’s show.
Theo Theodorou, head of EMEA, xAd
Thomas Husson, vice president & principal analyst, Forrester
Mark Slade, EMEA MD, Opera Mediaworks
“What I find most interesting about Mobile World Congress is how, like the mobile industry itself, the show has evolved over recent years. “While mobile carriers once dominated the event, the show now hosts a diverse range of sectors and plenty of exciting innovations revolving around mobile ad and location tech, which gives it a much broader appeal. “The conversations have changed too. While once you heard panels and speakers talk about the latest handsets and hardware, today they’re much more focused on the impact of mobile on everyday life, and on immersive experiences like virtual reality and allround changing consumer behaviour. This, of course, is a good thing for our industry, and I’m confident that we’ll see more of the same this year.”
“As usual, we’ll hear too much about technology, from 5G to beacons to Virtual Reality and the new spring/summer device collection. Let’s not forget that after all, MWC remains a B2B telecoms trade show. What is changing though is that executives in every industry now attend the show because they realise that mobile is disrupting all businesses. “For marketers specifically, MWC is not SXSW or Ad:tech, but there will be plenty of relevant announcements made in how mobile will be a key driver of cross-channel marketing, commerce and payment initiatives. Also this year, expect a greater emphasis on identity, privacy and security, as well as demonstrations of how mobile will enable brand innovation through the application of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and the Internet of Things.”
“We are likely to see a lot of discussion regarding the changing relationship between brand and performance advertising strategies. Thanks to improvements in measurement technologies, which can track results across multiple devices, these two forms of advertising are no longer separate. “Mobile, due to its unique properties, holds a wealth of opportunities for advertisers looking to track the performance of branding campaigns. “A hot topic of discussion will be the hybrid area of ‘brand performance’, as brands increasingly adopt performance advertising tactics. This will include tracking app installs and increasing spend per user. At the same time, however, they’ll target more brandfriendly mobile inventory in search of the desired results.”
Jon Hook, GM advertising, Phunware
Sienne Veit, director, online product, John Lewis
Mike Reynolds, mobile manager, IAB UK
“There’s no doubt that the theme of ‘connected’ will be on display in conversations between brands, advertisers, publishers and service providers. With the definition of mobile expanding to the likes of wearables, activity trackers, and the Internet of Things, the companies that can piece together all this data will be able to drive the most user engagement and results for clients.”
“We know our customers love the convenience of mobile, especially where it offers the ability to get time back, so we hope to see many of the wearables and Internet of Things experiences we saw last year move into the mainstream to enable our customers to do more across a range of devices and software. Saving time and adding value through more open connections and better contextual experiences through data.”
“For me, the promise of widespread wearables adoption is exciting, and with it comes the prospect of new and innovative ways of reaching the techsavvy UK consumer. While it’s difficult to picture what advertising on wearables will look – or maybe even feel – like, it’s the new layer of data they will provide to help power better and more relevant advertising which brands should be excited about.”
Matt Brocklehurst, product marketing manager, Google
David Skerrett, managing partner, Nimbletank
James Chandler, global mobile director, Mindshare
“From an advertising point of view, we expect to see progress in the consolidation of disparate tools into single product offerings and the continued emergence of mobile-specific advertising solutions. “App Planet will be popular - apps are hugely important for marketers - but be wary of ‘app-nesia’. Our research shows that one in five downloads of apps from brands are forgotten, so make sure you check out what advertising solutions are out there to help you promote downloads and targets returning users.”
“The‘W’ in MWC is starting to stand for ‘Wearables’. Given one of the key themes of CES this year was how wearables are starting to get more useful from a health perspective, I’m looking forward to what the show has to offer in this respect. “If Apple told me I could live an extra 20 years by wearing their next Watch, I’d be sure to keep it charged and do as I was told by the device more often. I expect to find obscure new wearables from brands I’ve not heard of that measure new things, to prolong your life or let you get in touch with your quantified self.”
“Expect wearables to move away from the wrist – headphones in particular will get smarter, incorporating biometric sensors, wireless charging and bands that sit away from the ear rather than inside it. “Post-CES, 2016 is being tipped as the Year of VR but beyond the hype, I still need to see everyday uses for VR beyond gaming and closed experiential demo use to believe that the technology is ready to take off. So expect lots of impressive VR demos in Barcelona, and enjoy them while they last, but consider how they’d work outside Exhibition Hall 6.”
LUXIA enables brands and agencies to engage with a global travelling audience via unique in-room technologies. Working with some of the largest hotel groups in the world, the LUXIA network offers local and international solutions for digital out-of-home campaigns.
// Exclusive traveller inventory // Leading hotels of the world // Brand safety // Unique in-room engagement // Large mobile audiences // Premium ad formats // Flexible buy models / filters
Photography from The Montcalm Marble Arch London www.themontcalm.com
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Travel Targeting LUXIA CEO Stuart Dawson looks at today’s traveler and the impact that mobile demands have had on connectivity, technology and media within the travel sector s a company that bridges hospitality tech and advertising, we’ve seen some major shifts in recent years. Like other sectors, the mobile shifts have been centred around improving the consumer experience and increasing expectations from mobile services. The biggest shift came when travellers forced an industry to provide wi-fi as a free utility, rather than charging for it. A survey by one of our partners, Amba Hotels, found that 67 per cent of the 1,000 users it polled thought free wi-fi was the most important factor when choosing a hotel. Free wi-fi has been a huge disrupter and an even greater enabler within travel technology. We have seen numerous casualties, such as in-room telephony and TV services, but also lots of successful innovators catering for the demands of this new world of the connected traveller.
Guest-facing technologies This shift in connectivity has driven a sea change in the hotel technology industry. One of the most effective solutions we’ve collaborated with is the iRiS Guest Valet range of products across a number of global hotel brands. This in-room solution enables guests to fully interact with the hotels’ business systems. From ordering room service to drawing curtains and changing TV channels, everything can be controlled via an iPad in-room or web interface on the guests’ device. Perhaps unsurprisingly, hotels are now seeing a significant uplift in Food & Beverage orders since deploying the solution, with the ability to dig deep into sales data and tweak price points or promotions in real time. Furthermore, this immersive solution enables brands to run highly targeted ad
campaigns to a captive travelling audience. With more targeting in a premium environment comes better engagement and higher clickthrough rates when compared to traditional display media. There are also new levels of first-party data that enable unchartered optimisation to take place for both the hotelier and partnering brands. In addition to the service providers developing unique technologies for the industry, a number of hotels push the boundaries themselves to stay ahead of the competition. Starwood, for example, has a strong track record of pioneering new technologies, and delivered again with early releases of both smartphone and smartwatch apps that enabled guests to check in and open doors. These new technologies are opening up the industry to a whole new level of connectivity, data and analytics for ongoing optimisation and service improvements.
What this means for brands and media LUXIA works with some of the world’s leading hotel groups, such as Accor, Moevenpick and Starwood, to enable brands to engage with their connected guests. One of our hotel partners The Montcalm Luxury Hotels, was among the first to activate both Guest Valet software and wi-fi solutions to enable luxury brands such as McLaren Cars to deliver unique content to high net worth guests in their rooms. Brand safety and ad blocking are also high on the media and programmatic agenda at present. LUXIA ensures peace of mind for advertisers with guaranteed locations, digital environments and premium audiences. The targeted nature and habits of hotel audiences,
“HOTEL GUESTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A VALUABLE SOURCE OF BUSINESS FOR HUBLOT. SINCE OPENING OUR MUNICH BOUTIQUE, LUXIA HAVE PLAYED AN INSTRUMENTAL ROLE IN DRIVING STORE FOOTFALL AND GROWING OUR CLIENT BASE OF DOMESTIC AND OVERSEAS CONSUMERS” KIRSTEN EICHHORN, MARKETING MANAGER, HUBLOT CENTRAL EUROPE combined with known proximities and new technologies, results in stronger performance for brands looking to engage with a historically difficult-to-reach, outof-home consumer. As the network continues to grow, so do the types of campaigns being run. As well as close proximity activity with retail brands such as Burberry, Vertu, Cartier and Hublot in the luxury sectors, we are also seeing city-wide activity from automotive brands and country-wide takeovers with global tech brands. These are exciting times for today’s traveller, and arguably even more so for the brands trying to reach them. MM
Consumer Engagement Mobify helps retailers engage connected consumers to increase revenue online and instore. Ahead of April’s Mobile Marketing Retail Summit, we speak to the company’s chief product officer, Peter McLachlan MM: Mobify is a leader in the Mobile Customer Commerce and Engagement Platform category. What do retailers need to know about this technology? PM: We know nearly 80 per cent of adults own smartphones, and 90 per cent use them to research items, find stores, compare prices and look for promotions – often while standing in or near the store. Marketers see how mobile influences $1 trillion (£689bn) in retail sales, which is why it’s being called the new “front door to the store.” But smartphone conversion rates are still a fraction of desktop. Mobile technology is becoming more complex, with a gap between in-store and online marketing. Meanwhile, shoppers are expecting an AirBnB- or Uberquality mobile experience. Email is 35 years old and can’t exploit interactive opportunities the same way as chat commerce, apps, messaging and social networking. Retailers have stopped saying ‘Smartphone business is not good for our business’ and started thinking ‘How can we get out in front of these technologies to improve the experiences of the mobile customer?’ Mobile customer commerce and engagement provides the infrastructure required to solve the engagement
challenge in a mobile-first way. It focuses on communications and engagement, rather than transactions, and replaces homegrown approaches to facilitate, in one place, all of retailer’s real-time interactions with mobile customers. MM: How is this changing shopping and the job ahead of mobile marketers? PM: Shoppers use desktop and mobile devices to locate stores, check prices, research before they buy, and read or post reviews. They expect seamless channel integration, and rarely make buying decisions without weighing ample content from their social contacts, retailers and other authoritative sources. Retailers who understand the value of conversational, or ‘chat’ commerce are going to win big. The marketer’s job is no longer about assembling technologies for spray-and-pray marketing. The mobile platform is handling the heavy lifting so marketers can focus on content that makes shopping more compelling across physical, online and mobile. MM: What technologies are you most enthusiastic about in mobile commerce and engagement? PM: Web push notifications offer brands a new communication channel that allows
marketers to send messages directly to customers via their browser on both smartphones and desktops, through push messages that go into the notification centre without needing a browser to be open. The beauty of web push is that customers don’t need to download an app or provide their email address to subscribe.
Mobile allows retailers to target consumers when they are close to their outlets
New location technologies go way beyond store locators, so marketers can quickly create local landing pages, change the content based on the shopper’s history or in-store behaviour, use beacons to direct to featured products and much more. Having location technology as part of the mobile commerce and engagement platform means you can use it in combination with web push messaging. So you can deliver content right to the browser, for example, a homepage promotion specifically for a nearby store, where a customer can try and buy.
Matalan delivers a truly modern mobile shopping experience
Superdry is another brand that makes it easy to browse and buy on mobile devices
Machine learning is creating more automation and intelligence at scale. This is exciting because we can track an increasingly intelligent stream of content involving user behaviour and location, together with retailer catalogues and inventory, and “universal” data like weather and time. So marketers can optimise not just for the device but the shopper, anywhere in the buying lifecycle. It’s incredibly exciting when I hear marketers ask, “I’ve got a mountain of data streams and touchpoints with my customers. How can I create a single campaign that uses all my data to influence and optimise the customer experience across all these channels?” MM: Can you give us an example of a retailer using web push notifications? PM: I think of use cases as promotional and non-promotional. Carnival Cruises uses web push notifications as part of a campaign for ‘Courtesy Holds’ where they allow customers to book a cruise without payment and hold their booking for 24 hours. A promotional use case is retailers that rely on flash sales, exclusive offers and time-sensitive marketing programs. Beyond the Rack is a leading online retailer running sales events for its 14m members worldwide. Typically, they send emails, but with sales events which might last just 48 hours, they can’t rely on members to check their inbox. With web push messaging, they reach customers with gentle, opt-in reminders at the front of a shopper’s mobile phone. They’re seeing a 20 per cent clickthrough rate and a 26 per cent average increase in spend by shoppers via web push. Any retailer interested in skipping overcrowded email inboxes with timely, targeted and relevant
messages for shoppers should think about using web push notifications. MM: What about location marketing? PM: A leading UK fashion and homeware retailer is using location marketing to help increase and convert foot traffic in stores by delivering contextualised, location-enriched marketing to shoppers across email, social, search, and landing pages. A third of UK retailers have an app, but only 19 per cent have a transactional app and few have an app that can join together at home and in-store purchases to deliver a more powerful pool of data around which to develop smart content tailored to the shopper, based on location. For instance, they can deliver more relevant offers based on shopper location through banners shown at home,or more targeted, store-specific offers when a customer is close to or inside the store, either on the web or in the app. They can use the local floor plan to enable shoppers to find items and activate vouchers. MM: Should we be worried that web push notifications and location-enabled messaging might annoy or frighten customers? PM: You need to start with a ‘double optin’ approach. So, for example, you might send a message saying, “We can send you notifications when our auction goes live.” That’s the first opt-in opportunity and customers can say yes or no. Shoppers tend to like it because they don’t have to download an app or give personal info. It’s crucial to over-communicate to consumers when you’re collecting data, what you’re collecting and how they’ll benefit, and give people a chance to say’no’ if that’s not what they want.
MM: What do retailers tell you they want from their mobile commerce and engagement partner? PM: Retailers want partners to manage complexity so they can leverage new channels to be a powerful leader in mobile retail. It’s been so exciting to see UK retailers like Matalan jump ahead with a truly modern mobile shopper experience. Like many retailers, they don’t want to own the burden of developing and maintaining mobile tech, apps, mobile sites, etc. across all devices. They need someone to integrate the pieces and own time-tomarket, cost and implementation. The future of mobile marketing lies with the new campaigns technology can enable. The goal should be to put the power in the hands of retail marketers, not technologists. MM
AN UNHEARD STORY
is a waste of everyone’s time, talent and money. Not to mention patience. Brands invest millions to tell their story — labouring over the most compelling creative and searching for the right audience. But there are obstacles that prevent those stories from being heard. We can help overcome them all.
Join the Conversation Juan Ageitos, senior marketing manager at mGage, says messaging is at the heart of conversational commerce and that SMS has a key role to play in it hen Samuel F.B. Morse sent the very first commercial telegraph message in 1844 saying “What hath God wrought,” he must have been hinting at his expectations of what was to come. Fast forward to the present day, one must presume that modern messaging with the internet and smartphones would have surpassed even such a pioneer’s wildest dreams. For consumers, messaging is the preferred channel of communication, 20bn SMS messages are sent daily; to put that in perspective, it is 40 times more messages than the 500m daily tweets. Messages are short, non-intrusive and even the least tech-savvy amongst us feel comfortable with them. Recently, the shift to personal messaging for enterprise has grown, and is predicted to boom this year. By 2017, people are going to be talking with brands through WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook Messenger and a plethora of other platforms. The transition will happen on platforms we are so used to that users won’t even notice! The new channels will become invisible to the user.
Transactional Messaging Transactional Messaging is a system that companies use to create conversations and gain data; they are built using set rules from CRM systems. The rules increase in complexity over time, leaving the host with the ability to segment an audience to an individual level. At companies using Transactional Messaging, sales teams wax lyrical about artificial intelligence and the dawn of a new day; in reality, most of these systems are built on these simple, effective CRM systems.
The rules can be based on information that users provide. If users check into a hotel, they might receive a text welcoming them back, asking if they would like to hear new additions since they last visited. Replying ‘yes’ then unlocks a new level of the CRM that tells them about the hotel’s new gym. These ‘event-based messages’ are now being adopted by marketers as ‘marketing automation’.
As the process becomes second nature to the consumer, companies will glean large amounts of data on their users to improve the processes moving forward, but will also use the technology for more than just surveys. Uber has already integrated into Facebook Messenger, allowing consumers planning to meet up to discuss where, and mid-conversation, order a car without leaving the message thread. It is important that corporations remember this policy. As the late IBM director of marketing Buck Rodgers once put it: “Every employee has been trained to think that the customer comes first.” The good news is that companies adopting this
future will cut costs and drastically speed up processes, all the while crafting a more personal connection with their consumers. Next up, conversational commerce. On Medium, Chris Messina discussed the importance of comfort - when you go on Facebook Messenger from anywhere, any device, it looks and feels the same, you pick up where you left off. Messina then discusses the language used in the same Medium article, which is friendly, rarely using the technical language traditionally employed within desktop apps. Again, allowing users to become part of a new world of eCommerce without knowing it. Neo got the choice of the red or blue pill; here the pill changed colour overnight and users forget that there was a previous system. Benedict Evans summed it up perfectly in a Tweet: “Old: all software expands until it includes messaging. New: all messaging expands until it includes software.” In a world where people are comfortable allowing machines do the mundane tasks, bots can organise customised notifications which are more user friendly and efficient. When was the last time you were happy to hit a switchboard to get through to the wrong person? For the company, the costs savings are huge. From BBM to WhatsApp, there is so much competition in, and so much conversation about, the messaging marketplace that people overlook a platform that we all have, are all used to and all use daily… SMS, the most personal of all platforms. SMS is not the new kid on the block, but is here to stay, and overnight, could grow your business, creating conversational commerce in a new age of happy, connected users. MM
Off The Rails Sorosh Tavakoli, SVP of Ooyala, looks at what Facebook’s recent decision to close its LiveRail ad server to new customers, means for video publishers n 7 January, Facebook announced the closure of LiveRail’s ad serving product. A couple of months earlier, when Facebook shut down roughly one third of its non-desired customer base of smaller publishers, I thought the focus would shift towards larger and more premium publishers. The signs now clearly show Facebook is leaving the business of providing software and tools for publishers altogether. LiveRail exiting the video ad serving business is bad news for video publishers. They didn’t have much choice when it comes to video-dedicated platforms on which to operate their business; now they have even less. Even though our focus is on broadcasters and owned & operated (O&O) publishers, we have to some extent been competing with LiveRail over the years, so this move is good news for us, and we are offering a free migration to our Pulse platform for any de(Live)railed customers. I was initially optimistic for LiveRail at Facebook, and also concerned as a competitor. After all, it has the fastest-growing ad business on the planet with plenty of resources, as well as its unique asset: individual-based, demographic data across devices with an unbelievable global reach. The question was always, what is it going to do with this acquisition? Facebook was not in the business of providing software to publishers. This deal was positioned as Facebook’s play on the sell side, similar to Google’s DFP play, hitting Google where it was weak: video, mobile and native. And this business would be the yang to their previously-acquired yin, Atlas, on the buy side. But as time passed, we sensed the market was not responding well to how the business was developing. Numerous
platform stability issues were reported, including service issues and lack of progress in the product. With Facebook as an owner, the market initially exhibited great patience, knowing the company had enough resources and expertise to eventually figure it out. Over time, though, the patience of its publisher base was increasingly challenged and with few signs of improvements, publishers started to look around for other options. That said, I didn’t expect Facebook to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Integrated sales LiveRail had, in my opinion, made an interesting play early on to combine programmatic trading capabilities into its ad server. It wasn’t perfect, but it was clearly built for a future where direct sales through insertion orders and programmatic become increasingly integrated; a future we at Ooyala are investing heavily in. As such, announcing it will sunset ad serving altogether really made no sense to me. This goes against Facebook’s master play and against where the market is heading. And how can you shut off parts of an integrated platform? My read is, the broader product is at risk here. Facebook has around 2.5m advertisers buying on its various properties, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. It services larger agencies and trading desks, and also has some ad tech partners who it helps retarget and buy advertising on its properties more efficiently. Facebook is not in the business of providing enterprise-grade software and support. That means it does not sell complex software; it doesn’t have an organization supporting a few hightouch users; and it’s not used to sharing roadmaps. This is what LiveRail’s business was all about, and it was the business
model for which it was organized prior to its acquisition. Shortly following the acquisition however, the team was dispersed within Facebook, with sales reporting into sales, product into product, engineering into engineering, etc. And with this, the LiveRail culture and enterprisegrade support was diluted. Putting all of these pieces together now, Facebook’s strategy and actions become clearer. With its unique identity data set and 2.5m advertisers, Facebook is expanding its footprint beyond its O&O properties. The cornerstone of that is the Atlas buying platform that will natively access Facebook data for buyers wherever they buy. The other side will be more about expanding the toolset for publishers, allowing them to best tap into the Facebook budgets. The play is not to offer them products and tools for managing complete monetization (ad server and SSP), but rather SDKs or specific PMP (Private Marketplace)-type capabilities that will unlock more Facebook budgets, with Facebook acting as a monetization partner or demand source. With this strategy, shutting down the ad server, and eventually its SSP as we know it today, makes sense – and the next announcement around the SSP will, at least to me, not come as a surprise. If you’re one of the hundreds of customers that Facebook has said this announcement impacts, the effect is pretty simple. You’ll need a new ad server and I’d think, over time, a new SSP partner. The choices are pretty simple. If you are an O&O-focused publisher you now have three real options in the market – Ooyala, FreeWheel and Google. If O&O is less of a focus, you syndicate your content heavily and/or sell for third party publishers, you might want to consider other options. MM
Off to Mobile World Congress? Show veteran Tim Green has some tips on what not to do. Like lunch and going to the toilet… ’ve just worked out I’ve been going to Mobile World Congress for 155 years this year. Yes, my first MWC was 1861 when it was located at the very epicentre of the 19th century tech scene: Dudley. As I recall, the focus of that year’s show was looms. Actually no. My mistake. This is my 13th MWC, which makes 2004 my debut. Back then the venue was Cannes, rather than Barcelona. On reflection, it wasn’t the best host city. The locals reserved their unique Gallic contempt (and prices) for the visitors. That was fine by me, an Englishman familiar with this ‘charming’ side to the French. But I did feel for those big-hearted Cisco execs.
Water under the bridge: The iconic fountain is no longer a feature of MWC in its new home
You know them. The ones called Hank with the firm handshakes. They just couldn’t understand why the baguettes were 20 Euros and served with a scowl. But enough of my casual racism. MWC has moved to Barcelona – a city with the scale, history and innovative street crime to meet the needs of one of the world’s great expos. Originally, the venue was the Fira de Montjuic. And what a bizarre spot that was. A trade show venue with a massive waterfall. And a palace. And Hall 4 – a space so confusing it defied all conventional notions of geometry. I believe mathematicians call it a tesseract. It’s rumoured there are delegates who arrived there in 2012 and still haven’t managed to find their way out. In 2013, of course, Congress moved
again. It needed to. MWC was growing and Montjuic couldn’t cope with 80,000 white men. So off we skipped to a new convention centre just outside the city. I say skipped. I actually mean processed inside trains. The new Fira Gran Via doesn’t have the grandeur of its predecessor. It lacks a royal palace, for example. But it is larger, and indisputably more rectangular. After three years and hundreds of miles, I think I have the measure of it. So here are eight things not to do at MWC…
Don’t need a poo Mobile World Congress is such a great place to be a guy. You could say it’s fun to stay at the MWC. You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal. You can do whatever you feel. That said, it’s not easy to go to the toilet. They’re always full. And they give off that rich aroma that you only get in warm Mediterranean countries. Women, on the other hand, you can poo to your heart’s content.
Don’t schedule a meeting in Hall 8.1 after a briefing in Hall 1 Yes, there are travelators. But here’s the brutal truth: Hall 8.1 is so far from Hall 1, it is actually in Portugal. Stay away from the traffickers who will offer to get you a ride on an MWC buggy.
Don’t go to a keynote Unless you want to see Mark Zuckerberg answer questions like: “Mark, we’re so grateful you’re here. Tell us honestly - why is Facebook so great?”
Don’t have lunch at lunchtime When MWC moved to the new bigger and blander Fira, we assumed there might be
more places to eat. Maybe. But in reality, it’s like traffic on the M25. Open a new lane, and it just fills up with more cars. Thus, the restaurants are always rammed. So my advice is have lunch at 4:45 pm. It shouldn’t be a stretch. Your bedtime will be 5:20 am, so your body will adjust.
Don’t assume the stand numbers make sense The halls might flow logically from 1 to 8, but once you’re inside them the numbering is anyone’s guess. Looking for stand 5B10? Why of course, it’s between 5Z35 and 5T27. Just turn left at π. You can’t miss it.
Don’t go to the Google party Every year, people get very excited about the Google party. In their minds they picture glamour, networking, good times. The reality is a long queue at a venue miles from your hotel, followed by three hours of ear-splitting R&B before the endless journey home. The only person who enjoys the Google party is Jason Derulo, paid $50,000 for a 20-minute set featuring classic poetry such as: “Been around the world, don’t speak the language. But your booty don’t need explaining. Talk dirty to me (oh yeah). Get jazzy on it.”
Don’t remove your badge when you leave the Fira It’s nice for Barcelona’s muggers to know you are Hank from Cisco before they shake you down.
Don’t look for the C-Boss stand The Fira Gran Via has yet to host a fashion parade by C-Boss’s ‘booth babes’. We can only hope that their joyless, dead-eyed contempt will return one day. In the meantime, enjoy the show. MM
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