ISSUE 24 • SEPTEMBER 2016
ISSUE 24 • SEPTEMBER 2016
TabMo founders explain why the two go hand-in-hand
GO POKÉMON All you need to know about the monster mobile hit
STRIP SHOW Comics go digital
Digital music services compared
BACK TO THE FUTURE How museums got connected
PLUS: The US Presidential race goes mobile • What Brexit means for data privacy 1 cover_v4_KS.indd 1
IN THIS ISSUE : 5
VIEWPOINT DMA MD Rachel Aldighieri looks at the implications of Brexit for data privacy in the UK
Hello and welcome to our latest print edition. We hope you had a great summer and managed to get at least a few days’ digital detox. My two-week break this year was at Disneyland in Florida, doing the rounds of the theme parks – a roller-coaster ride in every respect. At my family’s behest, I managed to stay away from email for the duration, but I couldn’t really escape the tech. We were staying in a Disney hotel so when we arrived, we were all handed a ‘Magic Band’. This clever piece of wearable tech doubles/triples/ quadruples up as a mobile wallet, room key, personal identifier and location tracker, which I personally have no problem with, but it did freak out one of my family when we got to the end of one of the rides and a message flashed up on screen thanking her for trying it out. In fact, Walt was a big fan of technology, and always envisaged his theme parks as being something of a sandbox for trying new stuff out. I’m sure some of you reading this will have been to one of the Disney parks, EPCOT. But did you realise that the seemingly meaningless name is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow? What I really liked about the Magic Band was how much sense it made in the context of the holiday. You’re on roller coasters or in the Lazy River in one of the Water Parks – the last thing you want to worry about is money. The tech meant that me and my family could leave the hotel with nothing more than some sun cream and the Magic Band and we were set for the day. It reminded me of the fact that tech is at its best when it’s designed with the needs of the customer in mind, though we all know that’s not always the case. Whatever you did this summer, I hope you had a good one, and as ever, hope you enjoy the issue.
6 THE DIGITAL
Mobile’s role in the US presidential race
30 COMICAL ATTRACTION
OF THE ART 12 STATE How museums are getting connected
ON THE LEVEL
The comic strip goes mobile
TabMo co-founder Renaud Biet talks programmatic and creativity
Adsquare CEO Tom Laband explains how to get the most out of data
POKÉMON GO 101
All you need to know about the monster mobile hit
Has mobile fulfilled its potential as the ultimate 1-2-1 marketing channel?
MOBILE WORKING How SAP Mobile Services are improving engagement in the digital enterprise
Why video and in-app advertising are made for each other
38 PAYDAY How mobile payments are making their way into the mainstream
How BidSwitch’s tech joins the programmatic dots
How publishers can get some of the ad dollars back from Google and Facebook
22 MUSIC ON TAP Mobile music streaming services compared
Voluum global MD Gavin Stirrat explains what optimisation really means
PROSPECTS What the next incarnation of programmatic might look like
YouAppi CEO Moshe Vaknin explains how to beat the bad bots
David Murphy, editorial director
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WherE You go defines who you are You are capable of more than you realise. The same is true for your advertising. Push your limits with Blis.
LOCATION DATA MAKES ADVERTISING WORK
Protected Market New EU data protection laws will come into force in 2018. With Britain due to exit the EU, will it still be bound by them? Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the Direct Marketing Association, sheds some light he EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) passed into law earlier this year and will come into force in May 2018. The new rules offer consumers greater protection by changing how businesses hold, process and deal with all customer data. For brands, the legislation will also help them protect their own reputations by building long-term relationships with customers, based on transparency and trust. In a survey of marketers the DMA conducted earlier this year, when asked about the GDPR, 30 per cent of respondents believed their company to be ‘unprepared’ for the new rules, while 42 per cent believed their marketing efforts would be ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ affected by new rules, showing the need for companies to act now.
organisations will need to appoint or hire a data protection officer (DPO) responsible for ensuring compliance with these new rules. One of the biggest challenges for many of these newly appointed DPOs will be how the new regulations will affect the process of profiling individuals using customer data, as individuals will have the right to opt out from an organisation making a decision based on automated processing. Although there is still a grey area around exactly what constitutes automated decision-making, it’s clear that this will change how many marketers are able to segment and potentially automate their marketing decisions.
What about Brexit? The referendum result in June means that the UK has made the collective decision to leave the EU, which has led some marketers to believe that the GDPR will no longer impact their business. However, the transition away from Europe will take time. Eaxctly how long will depend on our nation’s politicians. In the meantime, marketers that want to take advantage of the huge opportunity the EU market offers will need to continue preparing for the new data protection rules. Even once the UK has exited the EU, any company doing business in Europe with any European citizen will need to be compliant with the GDPR, even if UK national laws change following Brexit. Additionally, EU data legislation might continue to apply in the UK as part of any negotiation to access
Who is responsible for GDPR?
the single market or, at a minimum, new national data protection legislation will need to be broadly equivalent to the GDPR, if not identical. But what does GDPR actually mean for marketers? The new GDPR rules include concepts like the ‘right to be forgotten’, data portability, data breach notification and accountability that will protect consumer data. Businesses falling foul of the new laws could also face massive fines of €20m (£17m), or up to four per cent of global revenues, applicable for everyone from the smallest start-up right up to digital giants. Put simply, companies will be required to be more transparent about how they handle personal data in the future, while individuals will have more control of their information. The legislation also means many
According to our research, 21 per cent of marketers admitted that they do not know specifically where responsibility for GDPR should lie. A further 22 per cent agreed that ‘senior management’ must take the lead in ensuring their organisation is fit and ready. Data is increasingly at the heart of everything marketers do to engage customers, which means that those not preparing for the new legislation – in whatever exact form it takes – are risking the very lifeblood of their business. With this in mind, any business’s approach to data protection should clearly be a board-level issue, with customer trust prioritised as a key component of long-term brand and shareholder value. The businesses that act now will be the ones best placed to benefit from the economic opportunities that digital transformation and big data will offer, both within Europe and beyond. MM
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The Digital Election As the battle for the White House heats up, Tim Maytom takes a look at how both Republicans and Democrats are embracing data-driven campaigning, and beginning to take the leap onto mobile ike the FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics, the US presidential election is one of those events that rolls around every four years to showcase just how far marketing tools have come since the last one. Before we dive into the specifics of what each party and candidate is doing in the 2016 election, let’s take a look at the overall state of US political campaigning, and how a process that’s been going on for almost 250 years has been adapting to the age of digital marketing and harnessing the potential of the mobile phone. The machinery at work in a US presidential campaign is huge and complex. Not only does each candidate have their own considerable operation
working to put out their message to the public, there are also the parties themselves – usually working in concert with the campaign, but notionally separate. In addition, following the 2010 Supreme Court decision on Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, there are also super PACs (Political Action Committees), independent organisations that funnel huge amounts of cash into support for a particular candidate or issue. Super PACs can be sponsored by union organisations or corporations, as well as channelling donations from the general public, but are legally prohibited from coordinating with candidates and their campaigns. What this all means is that there’s a lot of money flowing around, all of it dedicated
to supporting a campaign or furthering an issue, and there are a huge number of vested interests involved: governmental, corporate and public. The government can be accused of lagging behind consumer behaviour, but with so much at stake, any marketers involved in this year’s presidential campaign will surely be aware of the importance of mobile for connecting with the modern consumer, whether for building a brand or delivering a candidate’s message. To get some idea of how mobile could transform this year’s presidential campaigns, we need only look back to the changes that occurred in 2012, when US political campaigning finally woke up and embraced the power of digital marketing and data-driven targeting.
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Yes we can (go digital) The 2012 election saw incumbent President Barack Obama face off against Republican challenger Senator Mitt Romney. While Romney adopted more-or-less conventional wisdom when it came to his campaign’s digital strategy, Obama built on the support he’d seen through social media in the 2008 election, to create a campaign unlike any seen before in US politics, and one that has gone on to profoundly shape this year’s race. At the beginning of 2011, as planning began for the upcoming presidential campaign, Obama’s odds of re-election were anything but certain. While his digital strategy in 2008 had helped him move from long-shot candidate to President, 2012 posed a number of different challenges. The Tea Party movement meant that there was a groundswell of support for Republican candidates, while the Citizens United decision opened the door to more active opposition and millions of dollars in financing for groups who opposed Obama. The Obama for America campaign worked with a number of digital agencies to build on the work it had done in 2008, creating a suite of tools that could serve as the backbone of the digital campaign and handle fundraising, community-building, communication, voter mobilisation and message optimisation. Rather than hire political experts or traditional campaign staff, Obama
“WE NEED TO STRIVE FOR AN ENVIRONMENT OF INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY, DATA, RESEARCH AND TESTING TO ENSURE OUR PROGRAMS ARE WORKING” REPUBLICAN REPORT ON THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2012 ELECTION
appointed digital and technology teams with technical experience and marketing savvy. The campaign’s chief technology officer was Harper Reed, previously CTO at online retailer Threadless; senior data analyst Michelangelo D’Agostino was a
particle physicist, and chief scientist Rayid Ghani came from Accenture. The Obama for America campaign made sure that every level of the organisation understood what tech startups and marketers had been saying for years: data doesn’t lie. Analytics were hard-baked into every aspect of the campaign, from the digital team’s targeting, to determining how many field organisers should be deployed in a given city. Overall, the analytics team for the campaign was five times bigger than it was in 2008. The campaign wasn’t just some swollen behemoth, however; it understood where to adopt a leaner, more agile approach. Obama’s social team, managing his 34m Facebook fans and 24m Twitter followers, was made up of just four people. This small team was crucial for mobilising the 18–29 demographic, who were overwhelmingly likely to support Obama. Traditional campaigns typically aimed to encourage voters through phone calls, but the growth of mobile meant that half the campaign’s young target voters were unreachable by landline. Instead, the social team built a Facebook-based app that connected with supporters and asked for their permission to look at their friends list. Over 1m supporters signed up, and thanks to their data, the campaign was able to identify 85 per cent of those without listed numbers.
Barack Obama’s sophisticated digital strategy in the 2012 presidential campaign was unlike any seen before in US politics, and has had a profound effect on this year’s race
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The social team used the app as a targeting platform, asking supporters to share content and reach out to target voters. Over 600,000 supporters followed through, reaching 5m voters with requests to register to vote, donate or watch campaign videos aimed at securing their vote. In the end, Obama for America became the first presidential campaign to break the billion dollar mark, with online donations accounting for around $690m (£531m) of that, well ahead of Mitt Romney’s campaign. Most of that came from small donations from the public who had been contacted via email, Facebook, Twitter and other social channels.
Lessons learned Around six months after Obama’s victory, the Republican party released an ‘autopsy report’ on what had gone wrong in its campaign, and digital was one of the key takeaways. The party admitted that it had been left standing in the dust by Obama for America’s sophisticated combination of data-driven targeting and agile, connected workers. “Despite reaching more voters than ever before through traditional forms of voter contact, we lost,” said the report, pointing to the “digital divide” between the two parties.
Trump is no stranger to Twitter controversy
“From social network processing of traditional broadcast media messaging to more effective targeting for voter contact, the Obama campaign benefited greatly from a relatively seamless integration of digital, tech, and data in their campaign efforts. “Our challenge is less of a technology problem and more of a culture
Trump’s social media savvy has earned him over 10m Twitter followers and a similar number of Facebook fans
problem. We need to strive for an environment of intellectual curiosity, data, research and testing to ensure our programs are working.” Washington appears to have taken these lessons seriously. The number of political consultants forming digital-first agencies has exploded, especially in the past five years. These firms seek to take the power of big data and targeting and apply it to political campaigns, understanding that the same tactics that are enabling brands to focus their advertising budget where it will have the most impact equally apply to political candidates. Some of these firms focus on one side of the aisle or the other, while others remain politically neutral, focused instead on delivering results to whoever hires them. Many of those who worked on the Obama for America campaign have gone on to start agencies, while others have gone on to work for Hilary Clinton’s campaign or related organisations. But while the Democrats have a wealth of experienced talent to draw on, where does the ‘Grand Old Party’ stand?
Building a digital-first GOP While bringing data to Republican campaigns can be a struggle, especially when it comes to high-level party officials who are conservative not just politically but technologically, a number of agencies
have focused their efforts on the party. These firms include Engage, founded by Patrick Ruffini, eCampaign director at the Republican National Committee from 2005 to 2007; Targeted Victory, which ran Mitt Romney’s 2012 digital operation; Crowdverb; Optimus; and Ozean Media. Nevertheless, when it comes to digital marketing, the Republicans are facing a similar problem to many major corporations: a distinct lack of personnel with experience in the subject. A 2015 study by assistant professor of political communications Daniel Kreiss and graduate student Christopher Jasinski, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found a marked divide between the two parties. Of the 626 political operatives with experience in digital, data and analytics on every presidential campaign since 2004, only 123 were hired by Republican campaigns. “Staffers who come to politics with significant work experience in other sectors or learn their trade outside of the established Beltway consulting culture are likely the sources of innovation in electoral politics,” claimed the study. “In rapidly changing technological environments and media systems characterised by high degrees of hybridity, parties, campaigns, representatives and consultancies are likely increasingly seeking staffers with up-todate skill sets, as defined by the current
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This huge investment is a sign of the Republicans’ commitment to digital. However, it may also be an admission that the party may need to be the one focusing on such efforts, as there’s one person they can’t rely on to do the same: their candidate.
The Trump effect
The Republicans are demonstrating a new commitment to digital, but their candidate has notably eschewed a data-driven approach, calling data campaign operations “overrated”
practices in the technology and commercial sectors, to gain competitive advantage.” Despite the number of firms now offering digital insights and big datapowered marketing for campaigns, many
this election cycle will help usher in a true cultural change for the party, placing more emphasis on digital tools, and helping to recruit and nurture tech talent for future campaigns.
Donald Trump is notably not engaged with technology. He has told depositions in the past that he doesn’t use email, has been photographed reading printed-out versions of websites, and has called campaign data operations “overrated”, claiming that he doesn’t plan to spend much money on them during the general election. Instead, Trump will rely on the RNC’s existing data operations team of around 60 staffers, and plans to make use of the party’s infrastructure to power any analytics his campaign might need. But the RNC cannot be purely at the beck and call of one candidate. The 2016 election cycle also includes races for 34 US Senate seats, 12 state governors, every single Congressional district and countless local ballot issues across the 50 states. Pulled in so many
“OF THE 626 POLITICAL OPERATIVES WITH EXPERIENCE IN DIGITAL, DATA AND ANALYTICS ON EVERY PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SINCE 2004, ONLY 123 WERE HIRED BY REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGNS” are relatively inexperienced when it comes to dealing with a campaign the size and scope of a presidential bid. What’s more, due to the highly contentious primary season that saw various Republicans battling it out to be the party’s nominee, some firms have thrown their support behind contenders who have now fallen by the wayside, leaving them in an awkward position when it comes to pitching for Trump’s campaign. “There is going to be a real challenge in terms of finding people who were at the level the Obama campaign people were four years ago,” said Engage’s Patrick Ruffini in an interview with the New York Times. Despite these difficulties, many Republicans say they are optimistic that
The Republican National Committee appears unified in its awareness of the need for a more mobile campaign. It has made its largest ever digital ad deal, reserving $150m (£114m) worth of video ad inventory ahead of the general election, with a focus on mobile video, premium digital and highimpact placements. By comparison, the RNC spent around $390m in total across all channels during the 2012 election. It has worked with Google to target Hispanic voters, women, millennials and independents in swing states that could prove crucial, and is using media partners to ensure its ad spending remains agile in the lead up to crucial moments like the presidential debates and the last few weeks ahead of the election.
directions, the RNC’s data team will likely struggle to cope. Outsourcing his data operation, along with a number of other responsibilities, to the party rather than the campaign itself is a highly unusual move on Trump’s part, but then his entire campaign has been made up of unusual moves. During the primary season, he didn’t employ a polling expert,
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and spent almost nothing on television ads compared to his opponents. While Trump may not believe in the power of data, he certainly understands the power of social media. His controversial statements on Twitter have generated huge media coverage, and he has referred to his social accounts as being worth “$2bn in free advertising” for his campaign. He boasts over 10m followers on Twitter and around the same on Facebook – although reportedly less than half of those are within the United States. This huge following helped power Trump to his victory in the Republican primaries, enabling him to control the media conversation and portray himself as a renegade outsider who would say what other politicians wouldn’t. But while this tactic worked wonders in the primaries, leaving other Republican candidates unsure how to respond to his idiosyncratic approach to politics, could the same methods work in a general election? Trump’s social media platforms are a megaphone, broadcasting his views to everyone, and these are echoed back and forth by the free traditional media coverage they generate. But electoral politics relies on targeting swing voters in key states and districts. Trump’s tweets are seen by everyone, from die-hard supporters to vocal critics, but they are as likely to be retweeted by those mocking him as those praising his leadership. Social media may be free, but can it compare with the power of a data-driven campaign that targets the voters who could truly swing the election one way or the other? There have been signs that as Trump adapts to being the Republican Party’s nominee and the different nature of the presidential campaign, compared to the primary, he is revising some of his views on digital. According to Politico, he has recently hired digital firm The Prosper Group, who worked with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio during the primaries, to aid online fundraising, and officials from his campaign recently met with an analytics firm, along with RNC representatives, to discuss targeted messaging. While Republican political consultants and campaign workers struggle to bridge the gap between the party’s nascent digital ambitions and Trump’s reliance on his outlandish social media persona,
Can Hillary Clinton successfully build on the lessons learned from Obama’s 2012 campaign and harness social media to overcome her perceived ‘authenticity problem’?
Democrats are facing a different challenge. Following Obama’s success in 2012, the campaign for Hillary Clinton is asking how it can build on and evolve the most sophisticated digital election in history.
Rise of the machine When describing political campaigns, it’s common to trot out a number of mechanical clichés – running like a welloiled machine, politicians who grease the wheels, etc – but if the traditional campaign is a machine, it’s a locomotive, often running on tracks that have been laid by decades of conventional wisdom. The vast and complex nature of a political campaign makes it hard for those involved to pivot quickly based on new information in the same way an agile
startup can. But that is exactly the kind of tactic that the Democratic National Committee has been trying to instil in its workers over the past four years, at every level from the presidential contest down to local races. The DNC hoped to take the lessons learned from Obama’s 2012 campaign and expand on them, integrating digital and data-driven campaigning throughout its political operations. The party ran political ‘war games’, pitting operatives and politicians against each other in the race for fictional congressional seats to demonstrate how data science could help power donations, extend the reach of advertising and even build the party’s volunteer base. These projects are part of the party’s efforts to maintain a digital edge in a world where every advantage counts. To stay ahead of the competition, Democrats have to push even harder to embrace new technology and new methods of campaigning. Hillary Clinton’s campaign team has had a considerable overhaul since her first attempt at the Democratic nomination in 2008, when she was on the receiving end of Obama’s technical proficiency. She has since brought in a younger, more technically proficient team headed by Katie Dowd, who previously served as a senior adviser to the White House’s chief technology officer, and worked on tech projects at the State Department.
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“We have to think about where the audiences are,” said Dowd in an interview with Fortune magazine. She expects technologies like mobile live-streaming app Periscope to fundamentally change how campaigns operate, and the focus will be on “letting people feel like they are part of the real-time movement of the campaign”. The Clinton campaign has moved beyond email and is using everything from Twitter to Snapchat, Pinterest and a dedicated app (see boxout) to reach out to voters, and in turn gather as much information as possible on what messages draw the most engagement, and from whom. However, in spite of the expertise Clinton and her team have shown in embracing the power of data and digital marketing methods, there has been a barrier to her success that no amount of analytics training can help with: the authenticity problem.
Inside game Despite being a billionaire who has benefited from inherited wealth, Donald Trump has managed to run a hugely successful campaign positioning him as an outsider in the political sphere. Trump presents himself as a figure who can disrupt business-as-usual in Washington and stand up for people who feel they have been left behind by traditional politicians. Many elements of Trump’s campaign have been tailored to support this message, such as his refusal to accept corporate donations for his primary campaign, instead largely self-funding his journey to becoming the Republican nominee. However, one of the most important
mobile-first digital campaign strategy doesn’t just mean a big Twitter presence and geo-fenced email campaigns; it also means providing your supporters with mobile tools to encourage their volunteering efforts, and enabling them to connect with more potential voters. That’s exactly what Clinton’s campaign did in the lead-up to the Democratic National Convention, with the creation of an iOS app for supporters that would serve as a ‘Digital HQ’. The app was primarily designed to connect supporters to events at the convention in Philadelphia, with an event calendar, live-streamed speeches and quizzes on Clinton’s policy positions. But the app also aims to gamify the volunteering process, with virtual badges and reallife prizes available for activities like sharing videos through Facebook or getting friends to register to vote. Users even get a digital campaign office, complete with plants that need watering, to keep them engaged and ready to receive the latest news.
factors has been the tone of his social media presence. Trump has maintained a consistent voice on Twitter throughout the campaign, while attacking “Crooked Hillary” as the latest in a series of political dynasties and removed from the needs of everyday Americans. Clinton’s social media messaging has struggled to react to these attacks, and is still fighting back against the perception that her campaign and candidacy is a slick operation lacking heart. Trump’s social media presence may be controversial and polarising, but there can be no doubt that he is the one steering the ship – if for no other reason than his rather unique approach to grammar. Meanwhile, Clinton’s online presence has been criticised as feeling too managed and staged, which has only fed into negative public perceptions. There are signs that Clinton’s social team are beginning to turn this around, however, using pop culture and modern idioms to respond to Trump’s attacks. When Donald Trump attacked President Obama for his endorsement of Clinton, she fired back within five minutes with “Delete your account”, a response that went on to become her most popular tweet ever, with over 600,000 likes and close to half a million retweets.
The shift from the relatively composed tone of the Democratic primary battle to the more confrontational presidential campaign against Trump has enabled Clinton’s team to be more direct and combative on social media, attacking his outlandish claims and lack of coherent policies. A recent campaign by Priorities USA, a Super PAC supporting Clinton, ran ads on Facebook, Instagram and Pandora, targeting voters in nine key swing states with video ads that showed some of Trump’s controversial comments on women, immigration and the environment, followed with a cartoonish “WTF?”. Messaging from a presidential campaign that deploys teenage slang may not feel like high-minded debate. But the rise of an outsider like Donald Trump marks the 2016 election as one that doesn’t play by many of the conventional rules of politics-as-usual. That may make the preparations that the DNC made, as it tried to embrace Silicon Valley-style digital agility, all the more important in the months ahead, as both sides attempt to outmanoeuvre and undermine the other. Indeed, the opponents will be leveraging every possible advantage, in what is sure to be a bloody and cut-throat fight for the presidency. MM
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State of the Art With mobile making its way into even the most traditional museums and galleries, Alex Spencer finds out how these institutions are using technology to get feet through the door and eyes on the exhibits
alk into any museum in the world today and, no matter what’s on display, you’ll probably be greeted with the same sight: a sea of phones, the odd iPad and maybe even a selfie stick or two, all pointed at the exhibits. Looked at in one way, this behaviour seems slightly incongruous, given the setting. But, in another, it presents a great opportunity for reaching people on their most personal device. So how are museums and heritage sites – which are generally associated with tradition and the past – making the most of this thoroughly modern behaviour? “One of the discussions that does go on all the time at the upper levels in any institution is the degree to which a museum should use or depend on technology,” says Georgia Krantz, art history professor at NYU, who has also worked on education at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum. “There is this idea – which is partly old-fashioned but partly important and correct – that these are incredible
works of art, and if people aren’t looking at them, then what is a museum for? If people are taking selfies in front of Van Gogh, is it taking away from the attention to the actual work of art?” It’s understandable that museums would be concerned about competing for visitors’ attention in their own spaces. In a field where, as Krantz admits, “a lot of the upperlevel people are a little bit older” – and the traditional visitor demographic skews in a similar direction – this can lead to some resistance to adopting mobile technology. “There’s often a mentality of ‘let the objects speak for themselves’,” says Elizabeth Ward, operations manager at London’s Benjamin Franklin House. “There’s been a real turning point, though, and it’s easy to see why, when you’re competing with all of the different forms of entertainment available to people today. As a result, museums all over the world are embracing technology and exploring new ways to deliver an interactive experience and access to digital content through apps, social media and digital learning.”
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Ultimately, like any brand, every museum today understands that adopting mobile isn’t only important but necessary to attract customers. “There was not a single person at the Guggenheim, no matter how old they were, that felt like we should not be engaged with technology,” says Krantz. “It’s just a part of how museums are developing, because if they don’t, they’re going to lose a lot of business.” SAMA founder Anna Stolyarova (right), in front of one of the museum’s graffiti exhibits, by artist Uriginal
Breaking down barriers “Museums that do not adopt technology and become more agile, will not only miss out on a whole new audience, but on making content more accessible, entertaining and desirable,” agrees Anna Stolyarova, founder of SAMA (Street Art Museum Amsterdam). Not only does mobile offer a way for museums to extend their audience, it has the potential to help them move beyond that older visitor demographic, and break down some of the barriers that make them seem inaccessible to other audiences. “One of the major issues that museums and heritage sites have faced over the years is a lack of visitor diversity,” says Ward. “Museums exist in order to safeguard history for the entire community, which
Accessible to All Georgia Krantz was closely involved in the development of the accessibility features for the Guggenheim’s app. “I got involved at a time when a lot of museums were – and still are – working on making sure that their digital stuff is accessible,” she says. The focus is currently on visitors who are blind or deaf, though Krantz says museums are likely to build on their current on-site programming with technological solutions in order to address other disabilities and conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder. Even with these more wellestablished accessibility features, though, it’s still important for
museums to make sure they are approaching them correctly. While many apps might rely on iOS’s builtin text-to-voice functionality to make them accessible to blind users, Krantz says customising the entire app for voice-over – though costly – leads to much better results. And it’s not just the technology that needs to be addressed: “Staff training is vital,” says Krantz. “We made sure that our staff on the floor were able to explain to visitors that these features were there, and talk them through a few steps in order to turn it on. You can have all the technology you want, but if you don’t have the staff talking about it properly then it’s pretty useless.”
is why there has been a big push for institutions to connect with diverse audiences and inspire all communities to get engaged.” “The whole concept of the museum for many people can be stuffy or boring, or just something for other people but not for them,” says Martijn Pronk, head of publications at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. “In theory, the museum has always been for everybody, but now in the digital age we can realise that ambition. We really are there for everybody. Everybody in the whole world can visit the museum online, can connect with the collection, can find out what it is that they are particularly interested in.” Mobile can also help museums address issues of accessibility, in the sense of making their spaces more user-friendly for visitors with disabilities, specifically
digitally in high-definition, and is planning to make its full 1.2m-strong collection available by 2018. The images have been placed in the public domain, meaning they can be used for personal or commercial use, and Rijksmuseum works with retail site Etsy to let people create their own souvenirs from the artworks. The museum has also launched Rijksstudio, where users can curate their own private collection. It’s intended to give the public a chance to create “a personal view of the museum”, according to Pronk.
“FOR US, THE IDEA IS TO WHET A POTENTIAL VISITOR’S APPETITE, RATHER THAN REPLACE THE NEED TO VISIT IN PERSON” ELIZABETH WARD, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HOUSE
those who are blind or deaf. When the Guggenheim launched its multimedia app in 2013, it put accessibility front and centre – literally, including it as an option on the main menu. The app included a verbal description tour – “describing works of art in a way that allows blind people to ‘see’ the work in their mind’s eye,” as Krantz explains – and American Sign Language videos that communicate the history of works with deaf visitors “to speak to people who are deaf about the works in their own language”.
Of these collections, 600,000 have been created by users, and the museum runs an annual design contest to encourage creative use of the platform. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of ambitious digital museum
projects out there, rivalling any brand vertical you care to name for innovation and willingness to experiment. Street Art Museum Amsterdam (SAMA), an outdoor gallery of graffiti artworks, founded in 2010, has teamed up with the city’s Reinwardt Academie in Amsterdam for a VR (virtual reality) experience launching at the start of next year. “VR gives us an opportunity to enhance static content and create a true 3D experience. Not only does VR allow us to ‘enter the artwork’, but it allows the user to see what may not necessarily exist in the physical space any more,” says SAMA’s Stolyarova. “Graffiti and street art are temporary, so we need to look outside of tradition and into the new realm of visualisation and conservation offered by contemporary technology to preserve the art.” It’s not just new museums experimenting with mobile technology, either. In July this year, the Museum of London promoted its Great Fire 1666 exhibition with a recreation of the capital before, during and after the fire, in the popular mobile game Minecraft. On a similarly gaming-focused note, the National Museum of the Royal Navy made an unlikely alliance with Wargaming, the developer of World of Tanks and World of Warships. The two created an augmented reality (AR) model of the HMS Caroline – permanently anchored in Belfast – which could be viewed by visitors to the Portsmouth museum.
From apps to AR Apps are the most obvious, and probably the most common, way of incorporating mobile into the museum experience. These vary from basic interactive maps to replacements for the traditional audiovisual tour, and single apps for specific exhibitions and galleries. Digitising collections, to make them available through apps or online, is a current priority for many museums. Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, for example, currently has 250,000 items available
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Making the most of it
Apps are one of the most common ways of reaching museum visitors – but they’re far from the only option
However, these kinds of big ideas come with equally big challenges for museums. A technology like virtual reality presents a major expense for museums, leads to queues, and can create an experience that isolates visitors from the group they’re with, and the location they’re visiting. Other on-site projects can struggle with the nature of the locations themselves. Consistent wi-fi and GPS connectivity can be a challenge in a castle, or within a ship constructed out of metal, and drilling through walls to install wires is not an option in a protected site. The single biggest issue that museums face with large-scale projects, though, is simply money. These institutions rely on government funding and public donations, which means they aren’t able to compete with major brands or tech giants in terms of the amount they have to spend. This can mean that smaller, cheaper – or even free – methods can be the most appealing for museums and heritage sites. However, funding for mobile projects is growing. “The pot is expanding every year and digital access is even a precondition for some funding applications,” says Ward. “Recently, there have been huge incentives
BLAZING BLOCKS “We had used Minecraft in a few of our learning sessions before we started the Great Fire 1666 project, and witnessed first-hand the platform’s ability to inspire creativity, engagement and learning through play,” says Museum of London digital learning coordinator Josh Blair. “As the Great Fire of London is one of the most popular topics within our learning programme, when the museum started planning for the 350th anniversary of the event, we naturally looked into the possibility of creating a Minecraft game that would help us tell the story in a new way. “Given Minecraft’s worldwide popularity with people of all ages, we knew it would have incredible potential for sharing our knowledge
and collections with a bigger audience than we had previously been able to reach. While we are physically restricted by how many people we can welcome into the museum each year, the capacity of our digital learning resources is essentially limitless.” While the UK’s most popular messenger app WhatsApp remains a straightforward messaging service, apps like WeChat in China and Line in Japan have begun their transformation into social platforms. If the introduction of peer-to-peer payments in Messenger is anything to go by, we’ll soon see the consequences of these innovations in the Western market. Clearly, if you want to get an idea of what the future of social looks like, the smart money says look to Asia.
for digitising collections and providing additional content, in an effort to reach and engage with new audiences.” Most simply, though, there is one channel all museums have equal access to: social media. “Social media helps museums to expand their outreach and break down some of the barriers which may make an institution feel inaccessible,” says Ward. The benefits of social media are huge and, as a free resource, even small museums get the chance to engage with new and more diverse audiences.” Museums can also partner with pre-existing initiatives, like Google’s
making everything available to visitors at home, they risk making their own spaces redundant. For the Rijksmuseum, which has made all of its artworks available on a creative commons license, this isn’t too much of a concern. “It’s very important that we reach people everywhere, including millions of people who are not able to visit the museum, so we offer our treasures for them online,” says Pronk. “There is no hesitation at all. Visitor numbers have been increasing all the time, so I think it’s very clear that there is no substitute for the real thing.
“IN THE MUSEUM WE WANT PEOPLE TO ENJOY THE ART, SO WE DON’T WANT TO HAVE TOO MANY SCREENS BETWEEN IT AND THE EYES OF THE VISITOR.” MARTIJN PRONK, RIJKSMUSEUM
Art Project. The Project offers digitised collections and virtual tours, via Street View, for several international museums, including the Rijksmuseum. “It would be useless to do something like that ourselves,” Pronk says. “We could never compete with Google.” Even these partnerships aren’t without drawbacks, however. There’s the issue of having to hand over the rights to artworks or exhibits, and, at the most fundamental level, the question of whether a museum can make so much of its content available digitally, that people no longer feel the need to visit.
No substitute “For us, the idea is to whet a potential visitor’s appetite, rather than replace the need to visit in person,” says Ward. This is a tricky balancing act. On one hand, it’s important for museums to be as inclusive as possible. On the other, by
“There is a Walter Benjamin essay from the 1930s that’s often quoted, which said that when we start to reproduce paintings photographically, it would diminish the aura of the artwork. Of course, this turned out to be untrue, and it’s still untrue in the digital age. You might have been working with Rembrandt’s Night Watch in Rijksstudio, or printed the image onto a mug, but it’s not like standing in front of the real work. Those are two totally different things.” Pronk does acknowledge, however, one lingering concern about mobile’s role in museums: “In the museum we want people to enjoy the art, so we don’t want to have too many screens between it and the eyes of the visitor.” This is the downside of all those people holding up their smartphones and tablets to the exhibits, an issue that’s acknowledged by everyone, old and young, in the fields of ancient
history and modern art, alike. An app like Pokémon Go might bring more young visitors through the door – many museums feature a cluster of the game’s Pokéstop and Gym locations – but if they’re ignoring the statues and dinosaur bones in order to hunt a Charmander, does it really count? “I see a lot of people who are stuck on their technology,” says Krantz. “They’re not really looking at the work, and that’s a problem. “It’s a problem that can be fixed, though, if you just think about how to use the technology correctly. You have to gear it, and the programming and the marketing around it, to say to the general public: we’re going to teach you how to look for longer, how to pay attention to details in the artworks. It’s a case of using technology not to take their attention away from the works, but to actually help people pay closer attention.” MM
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ALL SCREENS ALL STREAMS POINT TO
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On the level Owen Hanks, general manager international at Kargo, asks who’s looking out for the content creators and publishers? f the current data around mobile media advertising is to be believed, 85 cents of every ad dollar spent goes to Google or Facebook (source: New York Times), leaving only 15 cents to be shared across the rest of the entire mobile advertising ecosystem. But is that enough? How are the editorial teams of the world’s largest ‘traditional’ media companies even surviving? In the US and UK, the largest media companies have struggled to prove that they independently have the same scale as Facebook and Google. As a result, they’ve seen advertising dollars flow away from their owned and operated channels to the thirdparty distribution platforms. But in reality, many traditional publisher sites have larger audiences now than they ever did in the heyday of print. Take, for example, a glossy automotive magazine that at its print-era peak might have had 200,000 paying consumers in the UK and potentially two or three times that number reading each issue. This was a unique audience of 600,000 per month. Today, this magazine’s site likely has a unique audience of 1m per month, with 80 per cent consuming the content purely via mobile. So how is this perceived as decline?
Let’s take a closer look at the second point, as I believe that’s where the opportunity to redress the imbalance resides. Facebook and Google have their individual strengths, but for both, the advantage is ultimately about scale and ease. What they don’t do is create content. They’re effectively newsstands. For the most part, when I’m reading or watching online, either via a social or video platform, I’m consuming editorial created by one of the traditional media companies that I was following in print 20 years ago. So, how do we shift the balance so that equal shares of ad dollars go to the professional content creators?
Advertising dollars I believe the answer is simple and has two parts. First, as Mary Meeker and many others have noted, mobile is still not seeing the volume of advertising dollars to match the audience eyeballs. This is changing, but not fast enough. Second, Google and Facebook are turnkey. In the words of Just Eat’s global performance marketing director Rachael Pollard, speaking at a recent mobile conference in London: “Spending money with Google and Facebook is a no-brainer because it’s easy and it works.”
The Guardian is one of many publishers distributing content via Facebook Instant Articles, but should it earn more money from the content it shares in this way?
One solution: feed vs. read In my news feed, I scroll through images of my kids, posts from friends and family, and news stories from favourites like the BBC and Sky. When I’m in the feed, the ad revenue goes to Facebook, but when I select a specific story and read it in full, the ad revenue is shared – though not equally – by the content owner and Facebook. Interestingly, a recent study by the US Online Publishers Association found that brand advertising worked two to three times better in that editorial ‘read’ environment than it did in the ‘feed’ one. There were a number of reasons put forward as to why this might be the case. For example, in the feed you are scrolling four to five times faster than when you are reading an article in full. There are also generally three to four times more ads cropping up during your time on the feed. That’s a powerful story for content creators to pitch to brand advertisers. All it’s missing is scale. So, what if a company created a way for publishers to band together to achieve the scale of Google and Facebook and merge it with the engagement power of their quality ‘read’ environments, along with the ability to design premium brand creative that enhances brands as well as your edit pages? It would be that third option for advertisers which would allow them to buy premium mobile editorial environments in conjunction with Facebook and Google buys for reach and performance. And it would be the one option that would return more dollars to the publishers versus the big platforms. It’s a business model we’re pursuing, and which is starting to level the playing field in the US now. Europe is next. MM
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Automatic Creativity Renaud Biet, co-founder of TabMo, tells David Murphy that far from conflicting with each other, programmatic and creativity can, and should, go hand-in-hand
here’s an underlying current of friction between the concepts of programmatic and creativity. While most people accept that programmatic makes the process of buying and selling ad inventory much more efficient, by automating many parts of it, there are many who say that the focus on automation means there
It’s an issue that was front of Renaud Biet’s mind when he co-founded TabMo as a mobile-first DSP (Demand-side Platform) some three years ago. “Creative is our watchword,” he says. “We see absolutely no reason why programmatic and creativity cannot go hand-in-hand, and that’s the way our platform has been built, from the ground up.”
video and native video ads within apps and mobile sites. Biet says: “We’re the only programmatic platform in the world to combine nextgeneration mobile DSP with automated creative modules that any media trader can use. Available in self-service, this will help marketers in their goal to accelerate the switch from desktop to mobile advertising.”
“WE HAVE A NEXT-GENERATION PLATFORM AND A TALENTED ENGINEERING POOL OF 25 DEVELOPERS IN OUR R&D CENTRE” is less emphasis on creativity. Yes, you can target the right person in the right place at the right time and in the right context, but if what you target them with is unmemorable, and in fact barely noticeable, those carefully targeted ad dollars are simply wasted.
Automated modules There are two ways to bring this creativity to life on TabMo’s Hawk platform. The first is via a number of automated creative modules that sit within the platform, enabling brands and agencies to easily incorporate full-screen video interstitials, 360
For more complex treatments, TabMo has a strong team of eight designers within its creative studio that can create bespoke ad units on demand. Alternatively, if the advertiser has a creative partner they already work with, like Celtra for example, the TabMo team can simply insert the partner’s tags.
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“OUR GOAL IS TO BE A LEADER IN THE PROGRAMMATIC SPACE IN EUROPE, AND THEN LOOK BEYOND THAT TO AMERICA” TabMo’s Hawk platform incorporates strong analytics capabilities and an intuitive interface
“The automated modules and creative studio are what enables us to run sophisticated, great-looking brand campaigns, built 100 per cent for mobile with device ID caps to target specific audiences in-app,” says Biet.
Well connected Creativity is good, but of course in order to be effective, the ads need to be seen, at scale. TabMo ticks this box with connections to all major SSPs (Supply-side Platforms). Rubicon Project, MoPub, AppNexus, Smart AdServer, Adyoulike, StickyADStv, Inneractive and Smaato, are among TabMo’s SSP partners. There are more partnerships in place with companies in the brand safety arena (Integral Ad Science, Meetrics and Adloox); data providers (Adsquare, Statiq and Factual); and mobile trackers such as Tune and AppsFlyer. “We see ourselves as being at the centre of the mobile programmatic ecosystem,” says Biet. “We have made it our business to connect with the key players from every corner of the programmatic universe so that our advertisers and agencies can make one connection to the Hawk platform
to access an entire marketplace.” TabMo’s Hawk platform has evolved in tandem with programmatic itself. Its Deal ID system supports Private Marketplaces (PMPs), for those marketers who want to combine the efficiencies of programmatic buying with the certainty of knowing which premium environments their ad will appear in. It’s also geared-up for precise proximity marketing, with GPS targeting down to any coordinate.
Analytics Any marketer worth his or her salt wants to know that their ad dollars are being spent efficiently, so the Hawk platform has strong analytics capabilities, with the ability to report on every field that makes up the bid request. Advertisers and media traders can see what traffic is available by a variety of different filters, including country, exchange, device type, connection type, and many more. To make this information as easily accessible as possible, there’s also a Hawk app for Android, with an iOS version following in the near future, that enables platform users to access campaign
analytics and demo their creatives. Despite the sophistication of the platform, however, a lot of emphasis has been placed on the user experience and the user interface. “The platform has been built more for marketers than for traders,” Biet explains. “It’s very simple and intuitive to use, despite all the capabilities it puts at the marketer’s disposal.” Features include a real-time dashboard and intuitive order and line creation modes, and hourly planning capabilities. Looking ahead, Biet is optimistic about the future, both for programmatic and for TabMo’s part in its development. “Our goal is to be a leader in the programmatic space in Europe, and then look beyond that to America,” he says. “We are seeing 100 per cent year-on-year growth and have established a solid base, with a next-generation platform and a talented engineering pool of 25 developers in our R&D centre who are constantly looking to refine and improve it. Programmatic is definitely here to stay, but that should have no negative implications for creativity. On the contrary, as far as we’re concerned, the two were made for each other.” MM
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he first-generation iPod appeared 15 years ago, ushering in the age of MP3s and downloading, and fundamentally altering the music industry in ways that are still being felt today (not to mention energising Apple and preparing the world for the rise of the smartphone). While digital music players had existed since the late ’90s, the iPod’s success popularised the technology and led to a seismic shift in how music is accessed. Today, we are in the midst of another change in how we consume music. More and more people are abandoning owning files, just as they left behind physical media, and subscribing to music streaming services that let them access millions of songs without having to actually buy a single one. As these services battle it out for our attention, our data and our cash, we take a look at what the biggest players are offering, and how they sit in the existing app ecosystem.
Apple Music Apple’s iTunes service was key to the rise of digital music, and its expansion over the years helped introduce concepts like the App Store to consumers, as smartphones began to overtake dedicated digital music players. However, as customers moved over to streaming services, Apple understood the need for a new offering that stood apart from its existing music download channel, so Apple Music was born. The service had its genesis in Beats Music, the music streaming platform created by Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr Dre as part of their
Beats Electronics company. When Apple acquired Beats in 2014, Ian Rogers, Music CEO for Beats, was placed in charge of iTunes Radio, Apple’s existing (and underdeveloped) streaming platform. After months of rumours and
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As subscription-based streaming services take over the world, Tim Maytom asks how the biggest apps in the mobile music space are differentiating themselves from the competition
anticipation, Apple Music was launched on 30 June 2015. The service offers over 35m songs and thousands of playlists, with personalised recommendations for users, plus the Beats 1 radio station, a 24-hour broadcast led by DJ Zane Lowe. Among the exclusive releases the service has seen are Views From the 6 by Drake, which released on Apple Music a week ahead of other platforms, and 1989 by Taylor Swift, who has had a contentious relationship with streaming services in the past. Swift criticised Apple Music for not offering artists royalties during its three-month free trial but has since – after Apple changed its policy – endorsed and even starred in adverts for the service. Apple Music has quickly amassed users, especially thanks to its three-month trial period which saw many consumers sign up and, in many cases, simply forget to switch off. The service charges $9.99 a month for membership, or households can purchase
a family plan for multiple devices and users for $14.99 (£11.35) a month. The last confirmed figures from Apple give the service over 15m subscribers in over 100 countries. While this is hardly the largest service we’re looking at, the speed at which Apple Music has hit this figure is truly impressive, with early numbers suggesting the service is adding subscribers at a rate of around 2m a month, even a year after launching. Clearly, Apple Music aims to take up the throne that iTunes has so recently vacated, as the premier platform of the new age of music consumption.
Relaunching as Deezer in 2007, it still focused on streaming but also enabled users to buy tracks via iTunes. Deezer grew rapidly over the next few years, establishing deals
Deezer Paris-based streaming service Deezer was originally developed by Daniel Marhely in 2006, and was called Blogmusik in its initial incarnation. The service was intended to give users unlimited access to music via streaming technology, but soon ran into issues over copyright infringement.
with major record labels and reaching 7m users after just over two years of operations. In addition to investment, Deezer supported itself by running ads, managed through its own ad agency, Deezer Media, as well as introducing an ad-free subscription model. However, the subscription model
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struggled to take off, attracting less than 15,000 of Deezer’s 12m users by 2010. An overhaul saw the company partner with Orange to package subscriptions with phone contracts in France, a move that saw sign-up rates grow almost 20-fold. The service has continued this successful tactic through partnerships with Samsung, Toshiba and Sonos to bundle subscriptions with smartphones, connected TVs and hi-fi systems. The service currently works on a three-tier model. Discovery, its free mode, is supported by ads, with limited track skipping and no offline playback. Premium+ removes ads and skip limits for a €9.99 a month fee, while Elite subscriptions, costing €14.99, provide access to higher quality
than both Apple Music and Spotify, with around 40m songs in its service. However, with little in the way of exclusive content, and many US consumers already locked in to at least one other streaming service, it may be facing an uphill struggle.
Pandora First conceived in 2000, Pandora is something of an odd-one-out among streaming services, more closely resembling a radio station than a digital music player. The platform creates a playlist based on a genre or particular artist’s style, with users’ control limited to a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ button for individual songs. Tracks can be skipped, but only 12 times in a 24-hour period.
per cent of all internet radio and eight per cent of total radio listening in the US. The service has over 250m users, around 75m of whom are monthly active listeners. In Q2 2016, users listened to over 5.5bn hours of music via the service. Despite these huge numbers, Pandora hasn’t attracted a large subscriber base. It offers ad-free listening for $4.99 a month or $54.89 annually, but less than five per cent of active listeners have signed up for subscriptions. That may soon change, with the company reportedly exploring a more traditional streaming model to accompany its free, radio-style system, but there’s been no official confirmation of this yet. The ad-supported model makes Pandora one of the most viable marketing
Pandora is reportedly looking to offer a new on-demand service to boost subscriber numbers Deezer has encouraged subscriptions by packaging its services in partnership with Orange, Samsung, Toshiba and Sonos
audio files, but can only be played offline through Sonos systems. Deezer boasts around 6m subscribers, but only around half of those are considered active (having played at least 30 seconds of music in the last month). Most of the rest gained access to service through mobile contracts but have never bothered to actually use it. One of Deezer’s biggest challenges, and also one of its most substantial opportunities, is in the US. While the platform launched there in 2013, it was only available on a limited number of devices until earlier this year. Another deal with a mobile operator or smartphone maker in the US market could see it dramatically increase its subscriber numbers, and hopefully transform them into regular users. Deezer does boast more available tracks
The platform is largely used as a free service, and is financially supported mainly through advertising, as well as by providing businesses with licensed radio stations they can play in public locations. Listening via the service’s mobile app was originally limited to 40 hours per month, but Pandora removed that limitation in September 2013 in light of mobile’s increasing popularity. An estimated 91 per cent of all listening on the platform now comes from mobile devices. Due to the nature of its licensing deal with the major record companies, Pandora only operates in the US, Australia and New Zealand, making it something of an unknown brand to consumers outside those countries. Within these markets, however, it is a huge player. According to figures from the end of 2013, Pandora accounted for 70
platforms of the music streaming age. Its huge audience generates 1bn data points a day, and can be targeted programmatically using over 700 data segments. Plus, for those listening via mobile, audio spots can be supported with display, rich media and video ads onscreen. Pandora may be the odd-one-out, but it’s a model that businesses love.
Spotify In many ways, Spotify is the brand to beat when it comes to music streaming services. The Swedish firm has become almost synonymous with digital streaming platforms and, justifiably or not, has served as a lightning rod for some of the controversial issues surrounding the evolving way we consume music in the 21st
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century. The degree to which artists are compensated for their music being played on streaming services has dominated debate surrounding these platforms, and has led to high-profile clashes between artists like Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke, and companies like Spotify. Whether Spotify represents a fair deal for artists is up for debate, but the service’s popularity is undeniable. As of June 2016, the platform boasts half a billion registered users, 100m monthly active users and over 30m paying subscribers. Spotify is available in over 50 languages, and operates in Western Europe, North and South America, and Australia. In the US, 15 per cent of smartphone users have the dedicated Spotify app on their mobile
Spotify users can receive personalised recommendations through the service’s Discover Weekly playlist
and, with 39m monthly active users, the Facebook version of its app – which was heavily marketed in the US – is one of the most popular applications hosted within the social network. Spotify’s subscription packages set the rhythm for industry standards, with Premium costing £9.99 a month for unlimited, ad-free HD-quality audio, which can be listened to offline. A Family package is also available for £14.99 a month. Unlike Apple Music, Spotify also offers a free, ad-supported version. On mobile, the free version includes unlimited plays, but only in ‘shuffle’ mode. One of Spotify’s big selling points is its music curation functionality, with an active community of users, built up over almost 10 years of operation, who
put together their own playlists, on top of the company’s own. While the service has roughly the same number of songs in total as Apple Music, Spotify seems to have cracked music recommendation in a way that Apple has yet to match. Its Discover Weekly playlist – a personalised, algorithmically generated list of 30 songs that it updates every Monday – boasts 40m subscribers, a huge portion of its user base, with more than half of those listening to at least 10 tracks a week and saving at least one song to their own playlists.
Tidal While Apple Music may have been highly anticipated by everyone in the tech
songwriters within the music streaming market, and maintains close relationships with many performers. Those close relationships underpin Tidal’s unique selling point in the music streaming market – its large number of exclusive releases. Most of the artists who have a stake in the ownership have either released tracks early on Tidal or have songs that are only available on the platform. Among the high-profile releases to debut on the service are Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo and Rihanna’s Anti. In addition, the platform is the only streaming service to offer Prince’s entire back catalogue of albums, most of which have been pulled from other streaming services.
Tidal maintains close relationships with many artists, meaning that it is able to secure a large number of exclusive releases
industry, the highest-profile launch almost certainly belongs to Tidal. The service was unveiled in a press conference involving Jay Z, Beyoncé, Prince, Madonna, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Jack White, Calvin Harris and Coldplay’s Chris Martin among others. Tidal was created by a team of Norwegian and Swedish developers called Aspiro, but rose to prominence when it was acquired by Jay-Z and relaunched in March 2015. The service focuses on a high-fidelity audio offering that promises over 25m tracks of lossless audio and more than 85,000 high-definition music videos, with curated channels and playlists. Thanks largely to its status as a musician-owned platform, Tidal reportedly pays the highest percentage of royalties to artists and
Tidal’s high-fidelity audio and exclusive tracks come at a cost, however. Tidal Premium costs £9.99 a month, while Tidal HiFi, which grants access to the lossless audio version of songs, sets users back £19.99 a month. Both levels of subscription are entirely ad-free and offer unlimited plays. The higher price level for accessing the lossless audio, combined with a launch that, despite being high-profile, left many consumers confused over what differentiated Tidal from other services, have meant the platform has struggled to attract subscribers in its first year, with only 3m signed up so far. Whether Tidal has the legs to survive will depend largely on the power of its exclusive releases to draw in new users who are willing to pay. MM
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Pokémon Go 101 This summer, 20 years after the first wave of Pokémania, the world was once more overtaken by Pikachu and pals with the release of Pokémon Go. But where did the game come from, what are the marketing opportunities, and what can developers learn from its enormous success? Alex Spencer explains all
hat is Pokémon Go?
Just in case you’ve been trapped inside a Pokéball or otherwise somehow missed out on the recent wave of Pokémania, let’s start with the basics. Pokémon Go is a mobile game which started out life as an April Fool’s joke in 2014. The ‘Pokémon Challenge’ video, which showed people out in the wild catching pocket monsters on their smartphones, was intended as a light-hearted way to promote Google Maps, but fan response was so enthusiastic that it sparked conversations within Google about whether the project could become a reality. Fast forward two years, and we’ve now got Pokémon Go, a location-based game that requires outdoors exploration to pick up items, battle for control of local ‘gyms’ and, of course, collect the game’s 151 Pokémon. The app is a uniquely mobile experience, combining gamification, touchscreen controls, GPS tracking and even augmented reality in one neat package.
Just how successful has it been? Despite a lack of official figures, there has been no shortage of jaw-dropping Pokémon Go statistics since its launch. Within days, the game had amassed 20m active daily users in the US alone, more than any mobile game before it – and even overtaking the likes of Twitter. In its first month alone, the game was downloaded more than 100m times and pulled in over $200m (£154m) from in-app purchases. These users are staying engaged, too. According to App Annie, a quarter of all people who downloaded Pokémon Go in
Japan play it on a daily basis. And according to figures from Sensor Tower, the average player opens the app six times and plays for over 26 minutes each day.
Who’s behind the game? Despite the common misunderstanding that Nintendo makes Pokémon Go – which saw the company’s shares soaring after the game’s launch, and then levelling out as investors discovered their mistake – the game’s developer is actually Niantic, a relatively small studio with just one other game under its belt. However, it’s not quite as straightforward as that. Niantic started out as a part of Google, where it developed its previous game, Ingress, but spun out as its own company in August 2015, after Google restructured its business and formed parent company Alphabet. Later that year, Google joined Nintendo and the Pokémon Company – the Nintendo-owned business that, unsurprisingly, is responsible for the Pokémon franchise – in a $30m investment round in Niantic. It’s unknown exactly what stake each company holds, so while all have benefited from Pokémon Go’s success, to what extent is not clear.
So what’s the secret of its success? There’s no smart marketing campaign or user acquisition strategy behind Pokémon Go’s popularity. Honestly, the game actually had one of the messiest roll-outs we’ve ever seen. After months of anticipation, and speculation about when exactly it would be
released, Pokémon Go began a limited beta test in Australia and New Zealand at the start of July. Worldwide hunger for the release led to APK files and App Store workarounds being shared online within hours, putting incredible strain on the game’s servers as user numbers exploded worldwide. The global roll-out that followed seemed reluctant, with the game popping up in new territories without much warning or fanfare from the developer. The game didn’t arrive in Pokémon’s home territory of Japan until two weeks later, after an unexpected delay caused by a leaked email. The app was released as something of a minimum viable product, with server problems that are still being ironed out. Niantic has continued to anger dedicated players with progress-deleting bugs and updates that actually remove features. So, despite its enormous success, we wouldn’t advise any app developer looks to Pokémon Go as any sort of case study in best practice. The secret to its success, if there is one, is something much harder to replicate. Pokémon Go has managed to bring to life the childhood fantasy of an entire generation who grew up in the ’90s, and made it easy for them to access right in their pocket.
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launch, before an official sponsorship option was even on the table, bars and restaurants tapped into the game’s ‘Lure Module’ feature, which attracts more Pokémon to a given spot, to boost footfall – a sort of DIY version of the official sponsored location offering.
What’s next for Pokémon Go?
According to Sensor Tower, the average player opens the app six times and plays for over 26 minutes every day
How does the app make money? Primarily, Pokémon Go is monetised like almost any mobile game in 2016 – through in-app purchases. The app includes a store, where players can trade real money for ‘Pokécoins’, a virtual currency that can be spent on in-game items like Pokéballs, Lure Modules that attract more Pokémon to a specific spot, and extra storage for creatures and items.
Niantic is also making money through sponsored locations. Companies can pay to have their bricks-and-mortar venues turned into in-game gyms, where players can battle to take control of the site and mark it with their team colours – until a rival takes it back. While it’s possible to stroll past one of the game’s Pokéstops, these gyms encourage players to stick around, making them the perfect fit for a restaurant hoping to draw in customers.
First of all, Niantic needs to make sure it can get the app working properly. As already mentioned, Go still has some way to go before it’s anywhere near stable, and that has provoked something of a backlash from players, leading to the game receiving an average rating of just 2.8 on the App Store. From there, the app can start to fill out more of its features. Speaking at San Diego Comic-Con, Niantic CEO John Hanke admitted the release contains “probably a tenth of the ideas we had when we kicked this project off two years ago”. Forthcoming updates look set to increase the functionality of the Pokéstop locations, and eventually expand the range of creatures players can catch – the current 151 are just a fraction of
So how do I get sponsored? Right now, you can’t, unless you happen to be McDonald’s. A sponsorship deal saw 3,000 of the fast-food restaurants in Japan turned into gyms when the game launched there. Niantic says it is currently in talks with several companies over similar partnerships, but they’re likely to be at the same scale as the McDonald’s tie-up. For smaller brands, sponsored locations may simply never become an option. Comment
Many small businesses have capitalised on the marketing opportunities presented by Pokémon Go
Any other chances to get rich quick off the back of Go? People have certainly tried. A number of mapping services – many of them adsupported – sprung up around the app, pulling data from its API to display where particular Pokémon could be found in realtime. These were quickly closed down by Niantic, though, citing the strain they placed on the game’s already-overwhelmed servers. On the marketing side, however, there have been plenty of success stories from quick-thinking smaller businesses. At
the 800-plus Pokémon available in the most recent Nintendo games. Finally, there’s the Pokémon Go Plus – a wearable accessory for the game, which connects to the app via Bluetooth, alerting players when something is nearby and letting them catch Pokémon and hoover up items without having to fish a phone out of their pocket. Pushed back from an initial June launch, the Plus should be available by the time you’re reading this, at a price of £35 or $35. Happy hunting! MM
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With Comic-Con attracting more than 170,000 fans to San Diego this July, Alex Spencer looks at how mobile has helped revitalise the comic book industry ou might not have heard of Comixology, the comics industry’s answer to iTunes, but it’s a mobile success story. Selling comics issues to be read in-app, Comixology was the top grossing non-gaming app on iPad for three years running between 2011 and 2013. To date, it has been installed somewhere north of 1m times on Android alone, and according to a 2013 survey, its users spend an average of $100 (£75) each year, and 25 per cent spend over $400 (£310). So it’s perhaps unsurprising that in 2014 the company was snapped up by retail giant Amazon. It wasn’t the first digital comics platform, and it’s not the only one operating today, but it’s certainly been the most successful. Much of that comes down to one simple fact: Comixology is a mobile-first business.
Secret origins Digital is helping to diversify both the content and audience for comics
According to its survey, 80 per cent of Comixology users read their comics on
a tablet, and 36 per cent also read on a smartphone. The reason for tablets’ dominance, out of line with overall adoption, is the nature of comics themselves. An iPad is more or less exactly the same dimensions and, unlike a PC monitor, the same orientation as a single comics page. It’s not too difficult, then, to convert a comic into something that’s readable on a tablet. Trying to squeeze a full-size comic created for print onto a smartphone, though, leads to a poor experience for readers who don’t fancy giving their pinch-and-zoom muscles a work-out or straining their eyes squinting at tiny text. Comixology made its name by finding a way to make comics work on smaller screens too, with Guided View, its so-called ‘panel-to-panel reading system’. This breaks the comic’s page up into smaller chunks, presenting a single image at a time – in comics terminology, a single panel – which users can easily swipe between. “Just reading a comic on an iPhone was
By breaking the page down into individual panels, Guided View aims to make full-sized comics easier to read on the small screen
very hard work before we came along,” says Comixology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. “We developed Guided View to make a print comic book readable in digital form on a small device, while keeping the storytelling and timing of a comic book.” This one simple innovation helped make Comixology the single biggest player in digital comics, beating desktop-focused offerings, even from major publishers like Marvel. Today, as well as its own site and app, Comixology powers apps for the three biggest comics publishers in the US: Marvel, DC and Image.
Outside the box However, Comixology is far from the only game in town. There are smaller dedicated platforms like Stela and Electricomics, which enable creators to make comics specifically for mobile; and offshoots from major app and eBook stores, like Google Play and Kindle (though, as Amazon owns Comixology, the latter is part of the same family).
Some publishers have separate offerings: Marvel runs a second service with an all-you-can-eat model, Marvel Unlimited, while Image has an online storefront selling its comics as PDFs. And a few prominent creators have set up their own digital offerings – like Panel Syndicate, set up by writer and artist team Brian K Vaughan and Marcos Martín, and Thrillbent, set up by comics writer Mark Waid with TV producer John Rogers. For now, all of these other platforms make up just a small fraction of the digital comics market – though this might be starting to shift. “Comixology is still by far the most overwhelming part of digital sales, but it’s no longer quite as overwhelming as it was,” says comics writer Kieron Gillen, who has written titles like Darth Vader and X-Men
for Marvel, and is currently focused on his own creations, most notably indie hit The Wicked + The Divine. “Every other single digital comics venue, if you go back a couple of years, the money on our books was almost negligible – I would probably give you that money in the pub as a joke – but now there is actually reasonable revenue from other places,” he says. “But it’s still, compared to Comixology, a tiny part of the total.” In fact, digital comics themselves are a relatively small chunk of the total comics market. In 2015 digital sales stood at $90m, according to ICv2 figures. That’s compared to $388m for print issues, the majority sold through specialist comics retailers, plus $89m for collected editions, which are also available in traditional book stores. These numbers are in line with Gillen’s own experiences as a creator. “Based on word of mouth, most people say digital on most books is about 10 per cent,” he says. “In our case, last time I looked, it’s about 25 per cent. So we do very well on digital.” The Wicked + The Divine is notable for its racially and sexually diverse cast, something it has in common with the books by other creators that Gillen says sell disproportionately well on digital platforms. With the ICv2 figures showing that digital isn’t cannibalising print sales – which were up 7.5 per cent year-on-year in 2015 – digital may well be drawing a new audience into comics – one that stretches beyond the
Mobile-first comics platforms like Electricomics (above) and Stela (right) have risen up to challenge Comixology’s position at the top
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stereotypical white adult male buyer that most of the market has targeted for the past few decades.
Turning the page “There is significant growth in digital comics readers who have never read a comic before in their lives,” says Leah Moore, comics writer and co-founder of Electricomics. “They are predominantly 17–25 and
primarily to digital. This goes hand in hand with the recent push towards more “It’s like progressive content that your comic now has a represents a wider range of hundred pages instead of 20, human experience. The poster girl for this because each panel transition is movement is Ms Marvel, effectively a new page.” starring a teenaged Muslim – Kieron Gillen, writer girl named Kamala Khan. When the first issue launched in 2014, it sold more digital copies than print, and publisher Marvel has since announced that Ms Marvel is its number-one title on digital comics platforms. By comparison, in terms female, and this demographic of print sales, it was only Marvel’s 109th is one I believe publishers and best-seller in 2015. creators should take notice of. Issues to opportunities Imagine every girl in her teens or Sales are just one half of the digital story twenties buying a digital graphic for comics. The new format brings its own novel every month on her way to challenges: for example, double-page college or work. Comics would kill spreads with a single detailed image don’t for that traction.” fare too well when shrunk down to fit a Understandably, this intent is shared by small screen. But there are also a host of just about every digital comics platform. unique opportunities that creators are just Steve Suna, PR manager for the mobile-first beginning to explore. Stela Comics, says it “hopes to reach a new “In a printed comic book, turning kind of reader, one that grew up with social the page is what we call the reveal,” says media and smartphones”. Comixology’s Steinberger says simply, “Our mission statement is to make everybody on the planet a comics reader.” The “accepted wisdom”, as Gillen puts it, is that new comics readers are drawn
AD-FREE INFINITUM Like magazines, most print comics have their content broken up every few pages by advertising. In a world where ad-supported apps are the norm, though, digital comics have actually gone the opposite way, by removing them. According to Comixology’s Steinberger, this was originally a side effect of the app’s initial focus on old back issues with outdated ads which “it didn’t make sense to include”. “Introducing it at this later date just doesn’t really feel right,” he says. “I think customers expect digital to be less expensive, because there’s no distribution or printing costs. If we were able to lower the price and include ads, maybe we could consider that, but it’s not something we’re really focused on.”
GOING NATIVE While digital comics don’t feature ads, the technology has made it much easier to create and distribute free branded comics – the medium’s answer to native advertising. In 2014, Bacardi hired two of comics’ biggest names,
Comixology’s Steinberger. “Generally speaking, at the end of every second page, a great comic is setting up some sort of tension, so that when you turn the page you get a reward. We have a lot of folks say that with Guided View every single panel feels exciting, like they don’t know what’s coming up next.” “With Guided View, page turns no longer matter,” Gillen agrees. “It’s more like your comic now has a hundred pages instead of 20, because each panel transition is effectively a new page.” There are comics being created specifically for digital that take advantage of this. Comixology has a range of ‘Guided View native’ titles that can uncover or overlay elements of the page as the user swipes, or use repeated frames with subtly different artwork to create an animation-like effect. For now, though, these comics are the exception rather than the rule on digital, and the reasons are entirely pragmatic. “If you do a digital-only comic which really uses the medium, that you can’t resell in print without serious reworking, you cut away every other source of money,” says Gillen. “And that’s the big problem. Digital
has to grow to a point where something which is entirely native can be worth the investment and time.” It’s exactly this challenge that the newer players in digital comics are trying to turn into an opportunity. Stela offers “100 per cent original content designed from the ground up to be read on a smartphone,” Suna says, rather than “the glorified PDFs and JPEGs” available on other digital comics services. According to Moore, Electricomic’s opensource platform lets creators make “paneldelivery comics, scrolling comics, infinite canvas comics, hypercomics, game comics, multicursal comics, guided-view comics, motion comics, and comics like Sway, where you tip the iPad to let the character fall out of one timeline and into another.” In short, mobile provides an opportunity to expand comics, in almost every conceivable way: by bringing down the barriers for new readers, by changing how stories are told, and by broadening the kinds of people who those stories reach, and are written for. For a medium best known for its brilliantly coloured heroes, the future of digital comics is appropriately bright. MM
Warren Ellis and Mike Allred, to tell the story of the company’s founding family. While a few physical copies were created – and printed with a rum-infused ink, just to top everything off – the resulting comic was mainly distributed online, through a Bacardi microsite. More recently, KFC teamed up with DC to create a series of one-off issues starring Colonel Sanders. These brought the fast-food mascot into DC’s superhero universe, alongside the likes of Batman and Superman, in adventures that pay homage to some of the publisher’s classic stories.
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Interconnected, Intelligent, International Alex Spencer speaks to Rohit Tripathi (right) and Mirko Benetti (below) from SAP Mobile Services, to find out how the company is helping to improve engagement in the digital enterprise orking in this business, you’re no doubt familiar with SAP, the multinational enterprise software giant – but have you heard of SAP Mobile Services? A subdivision established after the company acquired Sybase for $5.8bn (£4.4bn) in 2010, Mobile Services is now operated as a fully integrated business within SAP. SAP Mobile Services is built on the messaging business previously known as Sybase 365, which offered SMS marketing tools to brands across the world. However, in the six years since the acquisition – practically a lifetime in mobile – the business has evolved to encompass email and push notifications, connections to social networks, and value-added solutions like Authentication 365, Engagement 365 and Consumer Insight 365, in order to offer its customers an endto-end solution for mobile engagement and customer reach. “What we hear our customers are saying is, don’t just give me a platform which does some of the job, leaving me to assemble the different pieces of the puzzle and figure it out myself,” says Rohit Tripathi, GM and head of industry and line of business products for SAP Mobile Services. “They want to be given the full
solution in one place. “Together with Hybris, SAP’s realtime contextual marketing platform, we can take you through the entire journey: segmenting your customers; creating, executing and delivering campaigns; and measuring their effectiveness. That’s the end-to-end vision that the market is demanding.”
Going global The customers in question are an impressive roster of brands, who use SAP Mobile Service’s tools for an even wider selection of use cases. “Three major social companies use our services for customer engagement,” says Tripathi. “The top package and shipment delivery provider worldwide uses us for engaging with its end customers. The key retail banks use us, not just for providing one-time PINs and security services to customers, but also for their marketing campaigns.” These customers and campaigns are spread across the globe. SAP Mobile Services has a presence in over 200 countries, spanning the Americas, EMEA and Asia. That comes with a number of benefits for the company and its clients – from the ability to connect with a number
of different operators internationally, to a global customer service team that is able to respond 24/7. “For the end customer, saying that they cannot be reached because they live in California but are travelling in Singapore, is now just unacceptable,” says Tripathi. “A customer might need a one-time PIN from their bank while on holiday, or need to reset the password on their social media
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account – which can at times be just as important as a bank account. “We can take away the headache of trying to figure out all those individual end points and connections. We take care of that for our customers.” However, working globally isn’t without its challenges. Each market has subtle differences – and some not so subtle – that aren’t always obvious to a marketer who isn’t on the ground. As one example, Tripathi points to India, where regulations were introduced earlier this year which ban marketing messages from being sent before 9am or after 9pm, but these sorts of intricacies are present across the world. “Just looking at Europe, which could be seen as a homogeneous region, we see that there are different requirements from country to country,” says Mirko Benetti, SAP Mobile Services’ VP of sales, Europe and CIS. “For example, in France, you need to use specific numbers to do specific things – you need to have one number for advertising, and another for two-way engagement. Meanwhile, in Italy there is a specific regulation regarding the sender of the messages, and many
other countries have more particular long- or shortcodes with different implications for two-way services. “This is particularly important when we work with global brands, because they may have people in the UK taking care of a campaign that will run all over the world. These people can work with us to plan their interaction in a consistent way that still complies with all of the different local rules, making it much easier to manage a global rollout.”
On top of all this, according to Benetti, it is important to consider what stage each individual company – and its customer base – is currently at in its digital transformation. In some cases, pure SMS may be the most effective channel, whereas in others it may be best supported with push notifications from an app. “With a different mix of our services, we are able to address a variety of different needs,” he says.
Mixing the channels In the era of Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp and a myriad of other social channels, it is important not to dismiss the value of the humble SMS, Tripathi and Benetti agree. The original mobile messaging channel is still very reliable, ubiquitous, and works across the globe, but it has lost its sheen somewhat in recent years. “The market for person-to-person SMS has faced a flattening or even a slight decline over the past five years” admits Tripathi. “However, the interesting part is business-toperson SMS – enterprises reaching out and connecting with their end customers via SMS – that has actually increased.”
This is backed up by a 2015 SAP whitepaper based on research by Ovum. This showed that 62 per cent of consumers used mobile messaging at least once a day. 71 per cent said that, in the following year, they expected to use SMS as much or more than they already did. The breadth of options within mobile messaging is only getting wider. “The emerging channel of chatbots provide an additional means of engaging with customers,” says Tripathi. “We are already
working on a few proof-of-concepts for these new offerings.” The key to SAP Mobile Services’ success has been bringing the various messaging channels together in one platform – but it’s a tricky balancing act. “Not every message is super critical, and the end customer is asking for a balance in what gets pushed forward in one channel versus the other,” says Tripathi. “If I have installed a brand’s app, maybe reach me using a push notification, but in other situations maybe SMS or email is better. We offer intelligent notifications, which allows the business to consider what type of messages or events are sent only via email or as a push notification, or maybe both. This kind of intelligence underpins all of SAP Mobile Services’ offerings, thanks to its Consumer Insight 365 platform, which collects so-called ‘ambient data’ from its mobile operator partners, in order to help clients understand more about consumer behaviour and fully inform their campaigns. However, SAP Mobile Services works to make everything as simple as possible for its customers. “There needs to be an ease of doing business,” as Tripathi puts it. In the ever-changing world of mobile, which can be difficult to keep up with, SAP Mobile Services tries to remove as much complexity as possible, by making the connections between disparate networks and solution providers for them, by handling the intricacies of global mobile marketing, by offering its services in easy-to-integrate APIs – and, most of all, by bringing all of this together in one end-to-end platform. MM
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Since 2012, Masterclassing has been running its unique events in major cities around the world, enabling brands to meet the digital marketing experts who can help them to take their business to the next level. Delegates come to Masterclass events to learn from our Digital Marketing Experts and from their peers. Our experts partner with the events for an unequalled opportunity to meet brands who need their help to take the next steps in digital. To view upcoming events and register for free as a brand delegate, head for Masterclassing.com. To find out more about becoming a Masterclassing partner and meeting the biggest brands in multiple sectors in cities all around the world, contact John Owen: email@example.com
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Perfect Partners Erwin Plomp, vice president, Fyber RTB, explains how premium publishers can maximise the opportunity presented by in-app video advertising
ideo and mobile apps are the two most important areas of growth in digital publishing today. To sustain a business that engages users, whether they’re on desktop or mobile, in lean-back mode or actively searching for information, it’s imperative that publishers develop, execute and optimise a monetisation strategy that capitalises on the growth of these two channels.
(CTRs) are more than 45 times the average on desktop and mobile web. Programmatic is spurring growth in both video and in-app formats by delivering the scale and efficiency that encourages ad spending worth billions. This is why in-app programmatic spending is forecast to grow by 37 per cent from 2016 to 2017, and nearly three
Consumption is changing One key consumer trend that supports this perspective is the huge growth in video consumption across devices. Figures from Q4 2015 showed that nearly half (46 per cent) of all video plays in the world were on mobile devices. Meanwhile, digital video services like YouTube Red and Twitch (which averages 34m+ monthly uniques) continue to steal market share from ‘traditional’ TV. And much of this video consumption is happening in-app. As Flurry has noted, the average mobile user spends more than three hours engaging with content in apps every day, compared to just under three hours watching TV.
Spurring growth But the consumption stats only tell one side of the story. There are also buy-side factors at play. Video and in-app ads appeal to advertisers because they can drive stellar engagement and conversion rates. For example, research has found that video ads have incredibly high completion rates (upwards of 70 per cent), regardless of whether they are embedded in short-, medium- or long-form content. Meanwhile, in-app click-through rates
out of four US media buyers say they expect to spend more on programmatic TV and video next year. Given this wealth of evidence, one might assume that the majority of premium publishers already have mobile video and in-app monetisation strategies in place. But we’ve found that many publishers have no solution in place for either video or in-app, while others are ready to monetise one but not the other. So what’s holding them back?
Overcoming technical barriers A combination of technical challenges is preventing publishers from taking full advantage of the opportunities for video and in-app revenue. And this is where one-stop monetisation platforms like Fyber’s RTB come in.
For video, many of the hurdles stem from gaps in technologies, reporting and analytics. For example, Flash was once the leading software platform for players and creatives, but it isn’t always supported any longer. Yet advertisers and DSPs are often still working with Flash-based applications, causing a disconnect. In addition, some vendors offer conflicting stats for viewability, completion rates and audience demographics. And since advertisers’ top three concerns about video are fraud, audience verification and difficulties with targeting, premium publishers need solutions that offer robust, real-time reporting for video, along with support for preferred buy-side vendors for metrics like viewability. Meanwhile, technical challenges with in-app monetisation are largely mitigated by mobile ad platforms, but most don’t effectively monetise desktop traffic, leaving publishers to struggle with managing separate providers for each channel. To overcome this, premium publishers are increasingly partnering with crossplatform solutions like Fyber, which support the widest variety of ad formats across desktop, mobile web and inapp, as well as delivering support for programmatic and direct deals. Being at the intersection of the programmatic evolution, it has been fascinating to see more premium publishers arming themselves with better technologies. With more than seven years of solid buildup as a mobile-first in-app monetisation SSP, and our rapidly growing RTB business, we will continue to rise to the challenge of helping publishers generate sustainable revenue streams across mobile, display and mobile web. MM
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Frictionless Payments As the world becomes more connected, mobile technology is becoming increasingly central to the retail experience, but payments can still be something of a stumbling block, says David Barclay, vice president, mobile marketing development, Barclays he way that people shop is changing. In the UK, 66 per cent of adults now own a smartphone, according to the latest Ofcom figures, and these devices are playing an increasingly vital role in many different areas of life – not least the retail experience. This shift is not just about people placing an order using their mobile device, although this is certainly a key part of it. Mobile technology is employed at different points throughout the purchasing process, from choosing an item to making the payment, with some customers changing device midway through the shopping process. Research by Nielsen in 2016 concluded that 72 per cent of people research an item on their mobile devices before making a purchase, while 70 per cent use their mobile devices to check prices. This behaviour has also introduced new types of client categories, including: • ROPO (Research Online Purchase Offline) • BORIS (Buy Online, Return In Store) • BIMBO (Browse In Store, on Mobile, Buy Online)
Mobile-first, and beyond In order to take advantage of this shift, businesses are increasingly adopting a mobile-first strategy. In the past, websites were designed primarily for desktop, with a simplified version for mobile devices built afterwards. This often meant that the mobile site was a lesser version of the ‘main’ website, with reduced functionality. Increasingly, however, businesses
are taking the opposite approach: they are designing websites specifically for mobile before creating a version for non-portable devices. As well as being optimised for the smaller screen of a mobile device, these websites may take advantage of uniquely mobile features, such as location services and biometrics. So as people’s lives, homes and vehicles become more connected through technology, how can retailers provide a seamless transaction experience and what can they do to ensure payments facilitate that experience, rather than impede it?
In the smart car: In-car apps allow people to order pizza while driving, using voice command technology, or to activate pumps at the petrol forecourt and make a payment after filling up. There are even in-car delivery services, which give couriers a temporary digital key that can be used to open the boot of your car and deposit your shopping, before sending a notification to the customer’s mobile device that the delivery has arrived. In the store: Click-and-collect services allow people to place orders from their mobile devices before collecting them in person. Beacon technology can be used to navigate people around stores while
“SIMPLY PUT, FRICTIONLESS PAYMENTS DO NOT GET IN THE WAY OF THE PURCHASE EXPERIENCE” As the world becomes more connected, retailers aim to tap into consumers’ lives in a number of different ways: In the smart home: Through everything from smart TV apps to connected appliances, The Internet of Things makes homes more interactive from a retailer’s point of view. We’ve already seen fridges that tell you when they need to be restocked, and physical buttons that can be pressed to order specific items. In the future, digital assistants could help people organise their shopping lists.
capturing information about who customers are and what their buying habits are. If a particular item or size isn’t in stock, it can be delivered to people’s houses within 24 hours, turning an in-person transaction into an eCommerce one.
Smoothing out the bumps Retailers are taking advantage of these new and emerging technologies, in an effort to provide consumers with a smooth and seamless retail experience. All too often, however, the process of making a payment can interrupt this.
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Arguably, a great payment experience is the element that makes the least impression on the user, but it’s no less important. When consumers are using mobile devices, their attention is often split between a number of different activities. A payment process which is overly complicated or inconvenient
Mobile payments should be easy, but often aren’t
may prevent the transaction from being completed, even when items have been placed in the consumer’s virtual basket – a phenomenon measured by retailers through the basket conversion rate metric. A smoother payment experience is likely to result in a higher basket conversion rate. The fewer steps a particular transaction requires, the fewer the opportunities for the consumer to abandon the transaction. Conversely, a payment experience that involves multiple actions, and the need to remember and input passwords and card details, quickly starts to feel like hard work. Simply put, frictionless payments do not get in the way of the purchase experience. Mobile payments seamlessly integrate into the purchase journey, masking the underlying card or account number tokenised for safe storage and security. Successful examples include PayPal, Apple Pay and Android Pay, as well as Pingit. Another interesting development is the Zapp Pay by Bank app scheme, which is being launched by Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group. When the customer opens their banking app, he or she will be able to view their bank balances before making a payment. The system is being hailed as an alternative to debit card payments.
“A PAYMENT EXPERIENCE THAT INVOLVES MULTIPLE ACTIONS, AND THE NEED TO REMEMBER AND INPUT PASSWORDS AND CARD DETAILS, QUICKLY STARTS TO FEEL LIKE HARD WORK” It’s also worth noting that some people do not like giving out their personal details during a transaction and do not want to initiate a full relationship with a particular retailer. Many customers prefer an anonymous payment experience, and businesses may increase basket conversion rates significantly by making guest checkout options available. Finally, with so many different payment types available, a key challenge for retailers is knowing which ones they should use. No one can offer all of the payment methods currently available – but nor can businesses afford to offer just one or two. The perfect solution will be different for every business, but will likely be a question of picking a suitable selection of payment methods based on the company’s specific needs. Visit www.barclayscorporate.com/ pingit to find out more about frictionless payments and how Barclays can help you MM choose the best strategy for your business. MM
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The Optimisation Continuum It’s a frequently over-used term, but what does ‘optimisation’ actually mean? Gavin Stirrat, global MD at Voluum, explains why you need to rethink your understanding of one of marketing’s most vital concepts
ave you ever scrolled through the newsfeed on your favourite social media site, and felt as though you are missing out? Not just on the polished, fabulous lives of your friends and family, but on the actual content that others seem to be seeing? That’s an optimisation algorithm in action, a process that dictates not only which status updates, photos, news stories and ads should be displayed to you, but precisely how many of each of them there should be, in order to maximise your engagement and continued potential for clicking. Optimisation – the branch of mathematics concerned with finding the inputs to a function that produce its highest output – plays a prominent role in nearly every field of science, technology and business. It has been employed in digital media and advertising almost since its inception. The principle is that you take competing variables and attempt to reach a Pareto efficient state, or the point at which no variable could be improved without weakening another: an optimal outcome.
The rise of optimisation The term started to gain prominence in
the mid 1990s, as search engines such as AltaVista, Infoseek and Yahoo grew in popularity. In 2001 a little-known startup called Google launched its search Toolbar, and SEO (search engine optimisation) took off. For the past 15 years, optimisation in digital display has largely followed these same dark arts. Plug your variables into a
best performing clickthrough rate (CTR), the system could happily start spending budget on placements that are causing accidental fat-finger clicks or, worse, deliberately fraudulent sites. A badly designed algorithm would not take these additional nuances into consideration. Things have remained this way because tech vendors have done a good
“THE OPTIMISATION ALGORITHM IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE RULES IT IS GIVEN – PROVIDED BY US MERE MORTALS” black box and out come the best results, based on a predefined set of rules, which more often than not are completely unknown to the advertiser paying the bill.
Limitations The challenge with this approach is that even the simplest functions can give rise to surprisingly complex solutions. And the optimisation algorithm is only as good as the rules it is given – which are provided by us mere mortals. For example, if you tell the algorithm to optimise towards the
job of marketing the ‘secret sauce’ that delivers the magic on their platform and buyers have believed in the power of the algorithm to achieve the right result, as it often will. However, by taking this approach alone, you only see the outcome of the optimisation, and never the triggers that caused these positive changes. In addition, many buy-side platforms have their reporting and trafficking as separate systems. This means that if you see something interesting in reporting, you have to go back into the trafficking
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system to update the variables and set that variation of the campaign live. This is inefficient and its subsequently less likely that you’ll take that step. The tools have to be brought together. At Voluum, by taking this integrated approach to our user interface, our clients are able to set up the equivalent of thousands of line items in a fraction of the time. This allows them to rethink their approach to optimisation.
Voluum takes an integrated approach to its user interface
With UK digital ad spend now at £8.6bn – 43 per cent of all advertising spend – and £2.6bn of that going on mobile, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC, we know that display advertising is a mature market. As a result, analysts at both agencies and brands are more sophisticated and want a far more transparent view into the optimisation that is taking place across their campaigns. We are now seeing buy-side digital advertising platforms offer this choice. The market has recently embraced the notion of programmable over programmatic trading – the idea that campaign optimisation and management is machine-assisted, rather than machine-delivered. This is an approach that Voluum endorses. It enables the buy side to learn far more about the actual changes in the metrics that have had a positive impact on a campaign. We are also aware, however, that this hands-on approach is not for everyone. As such, we believe the industry norm will, once again, become about choice. If you wish to get under the hood of your campaign, learning and understanding newfound insights, you can. Equally, you might want a position that sits in the middle, between this tightly controlled approach and the black box of an anonymous optimisation algorithm.
A deeper insight At Voluum, we believe this middle position is to provide a brand or performance marketer with the insights
“WE BELIEVE THE IDEA OF OPTIMISATION WILL EVOLVE AND, IN TURN, ADVERTISERS WILL GAIN A GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF HOW AND WHY THEIR CAMPAIGNS ARE PERFORMING THE WAY THEY ARE” and understanding over how multiple variables impact campaign performance. In particular, areas where the campaign is performing particularly well, or areas where it is performing particularly badly. This is a quick way for the marketer to learn a lot about the campaign set-up and metrics, which then enables more sophisticated manual optimisation further along in the process. In addition, a brand may want the tools to perform some level of buyerdefined, auto-optimisation. This is where you provide the platform with a clear set of rules: e.g., I want to bid no more than $X for a conversion rate (CVR) between A% and B%, and $Y for a CVR between C% and D%. The system would go through the buying process and, when it comes across target placements hitting these metrics, react and optimise accordingly. It is clear that in the mobile and digital advertising industry, the word optimisation is overused and often misunderstood or mis-sold. It is unlikely it will ever go away. However, we believe the idea of optimisation will evolve and, in turn, advertisers will gain a greater understanding of how and why their campaigns are performing the way they are. At Voluum, with our completely open and fully transparent platform, we remain committed to driving this change and choice for advertisers forward. MM
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The Programmatic Future As more and more marketers buy mobile advertising programmatically, Jen Brown, director of marketing at Tealium, explores the opportunities and challenges ahead he IAB has stated that 50 per cent of marketers have bought mobile advertising inventory programmatically, and it is easy to understand why: mobile devices now account for more than half of all time spent on the internet. This, combined with the ability to produce advertising that is both targeted and automated, means that programmatic advertising on mobile is very appealing indeed.
A new channel, a new challenge The ability to target an audience in such a direct way, straight to the device the majority of us are glued to for many hours each day, makes total sense. Why would we not want to drive our brand messaging and product offers to potential customers during their morning or evening commute, or link it to our TV campaigns when many people are dual screening – watching (or semi-watching) TV while browsing on their smartphone or tablet? While it might seem both obvious and desirable that we should target people in a timely fashion on their most-used device, the growing expectation on marketers – to personalise, measure and analyse the entire customer engagement, across channels and devices – does present a significant challenge. And this challenge is magnified considerably by the emergence of mobile programmatic. Mobile programmatic brings yet another channel for marketers to consider, either
in isolation or as an extension of existing display campaigns. The challenge for marketers trying to engage customers consistently over time is magnified, because mobile programmatic is the combination of two engagements that are not typically lasttouch converters: display and mobile. The pressure to personalise the entire customer journey is intensified because without tying the mobile experience into all the other digital and bricks-and-mortar touch points, it will be harder for marketers to justify the spend on mobile programmatic. Unless the only objective is reach, marketers are going to face tough questions regarding return on investment.
“IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE, CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS AND COMPLIANCE WILL MEAN THAT ALL-ENCOMPASSING PERSONALISATION WILL NO LONGER BE A ‘NICE TO HAVE’ ” Unifying data The answer is to ensure that the interactions, both views and clicks, are stitched into the wider conversation between brands and customers. This needs to encompass owned (website), earned (social) and paid (display, PPC) media across all devices – particularly important when customers engage via mobile, but convert on desktop. Capturing and storing
anonymous data is hugely important for all programmatic (and traditional) display activity, regardless of the device; the trick with mobile is to overcome the additional tracking complexities that exist. Enter Tealium. With vast experience in web analytics and tag management, our customer data platform enables organisations to capture and unify all first-party data, regardless of the channel or device that it originated from. Tealium
Brands need to tie the mobile experience into bricks-and-mortar touch points
is not a data management platform (DMP) although the platform can enrich a DMP; nor is it a marketing execution platform. Instead, it is the glue between all your chosen MarTech platforms and tools. Tealium is the opposite of a single-tech stack, enabling organisations to achieve a single customer view in an agnostic way. We integrate and deliver data to well over 1,000 MarTech vendors in real-time.
response to a complaint tweet, the customer would be likely to tell their friends and family about the positive experience. Now the reverse is true. A customer will tell their friends and family when a company does not respond. They are likely to post on Facebook or even tweet again to bemoan the fact that their original complaint has not been responded to – double the trouble.
Capturing all conversions From ‘nice to have’ to necessity And time is of the essence. At present, the ability to engage with a customer consistently is relatively rare. The result is that, for now, the bar is set quite low; simple personalisation and connection of two or three channels can delight customers. However, as more and more organisations leverage their own data to deliver consistent messaging across channels and devices, that bar will continue to rise. Retail expert Mary Portas has predicted that by 2020, customer experience will overtake product as the primary competitive differentiator. In the foreseeable future, customer expectations and compliance will mean that all-encompassing personalisation will no longer be a ‘nice to have’ or a way to gain competitive advantage, it will be a necessity, a way to stay in business. As an example, as recently as one year ago, if a company replied with a personal
Social (earned) media measurement is going to be an important factor in proving the value of not just mobile programmatic, but all paid media. People tend to share more on mobile and convert on desktop or in-store,
The modern shopping experience is a multichannel one
so tying the channels and devices together, visualised in attribution models, will be imperative to marketers retaining both their credibility with executives and, quite frankly, their sanity. A single customer view should be the ultimate objective for marketers because it is not only the ability to engage relevantly and timely to drive revenue, but the opportunity to lower cost per acquisition. Margin improvement is achieved via paid media suppression, removing recent converters or serial non-converters from further engagement. Let’s face face it, there is nothing worse than paying to annoy our customers before they have had chance to consume the product or service purchased. It is now common practice for a potential customer to research products and pricing while in store, for example. An important feature of mobile programmatic will be the ability to capture all conversions, regardless of where the conversion takes place – online, on the telephone or in-store. MM In the coming weeks and months, Tealium is participating in Dmexco, the Mobile Programmatic Summit and the Festival of Marketing. If you are dealing with unconnected data silos or struggling to justify your paid media investments, please come and talk to Tealium at one of these events, or contact us via our website or social media.
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Fighting Fraud Moshe Vaknin, co-founder and CEO of growth marketing platform YouAppi, looks at the growing problem of mobile ad fraud, and what measures can be taken to prevent it he last few years have seen a revolution in the business of app marketing. With over a billion apps in each of the two major app stores, app developers have had to get smarter in how they market themselves. And it’s not just about driving downloads; it’s about driving downloads from the types of people who are likely to stay loyal to the app and generate revenue for the developer. We’ve built our business on this revolution. Our OneRun platform, which has been four years in the making, combines the power of machine learning with our proprietary predictive algorithms and cohort technology to analyse the mobile content
consumption patterns of over 2bn users, converting data into profitable customers. And it’s gained us real traction in the market. Collectively, our 450 advertiser clients have run more than 15,000 mobile user acquisition campaigns on our platform, and they come back to us because it works.
A dark cloud But there is a dark cloud on the horizon that impacts everyone in the digital advertising business, and the name of that cloud is fraud. According to figures from the World Federation of Advertisers, the cost of ad fraud will rise from current levels of $7.2bn (£5.5bn) to at least $50bn by 2025. That’s a
lot of money going into the pockets of bad actors. And while that figure includes both desktop and mobile ad fraud, the rapid growth – and relative immaturity – of mobile advertising, make it a soft and particularly appealing target for the fraudsters. It gets even worse when you consider the knock-on effects of this activity, primarily the rise of ad blocking. There’s a direct correlation between the rise of ad fraud and malware, and the rise in ad blocking, as consumers, understandably, seek to protect themselves. A January 2016 study by PageFair found that 419m people worldwide use mobile ad blockers. That’s a fifth of the world’s smartphone users (and represents
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an increase of 95 per cent from the previous year). If ad blocking, driven by fraud, continues to rise, the fundamental economic model of the web will be undermined, and the day ad blocking comes in earnest to apps … well, the implications are obvious.
Fighting back It’s because of this that 12 months ago we took the decision to do something to fight mobile ad fraud on our OneRun growth marketing platform. Fraud is a many-
IP address and multiple clicks on ads or elsewhere within a short period of time, to detect signs of malicious downloads. More than 40 per cent of the click traffic of some fraudulent publishers is actually multiple clicks from a single user to multiple campaigns within a few seconds. Our tech can analyse and identify this behaviour to avoid wasted ad spend. In a ‘clean’ campaign, over 90 per cent of installs occur within a click-to-install delay of four hours or less. Fraudulent campaigns look very different, with a
Though we’re encouraged by the testing we’ve done, we at YouAppi understand that the fraud-prevention solution we’re rolling out now only addresses the relevant issues in mobile fraud today. In six months, we’ll be adding new fraud-fighting functionality to address changing dynamics and new technologies. Fraud is criminal activity and the criminals are already searching for the next way to ‘game the system’. As solutions to current fraudulent activities are implemented, scammers search for new ways to deceive. It’s a cat and mouse
much more consistent pattern of installs and just small spikes of click-to-installs within the first two hours. YouAppi’s data scientists use click-to-install delay analysis to identify when fraudulent mobile downloads are taking place, and put a stop to it.
game, but by being diligent, I believe we can greatly reduce fraud.
“IN A ‘CLEAN’ CAMPAIGN, OVER 90 PER CENT OF INSTALLS OCCUR WITHIN A CLICK-TO-INSTALL DELAY OF FOUR HOURS OR LESS” headed monster, and while there’s no silver bullet, our data scientists are hard at work identifying the many different ways in which mobile ad fraud is perpetrated. They then come up with a solution to defeat the fraudsters. We’re pleased to say that we have put in place a solution that will enable fraud prevention and protection for all our clients. Our fraud offering currently consists of six different diagnostics tests, including two that our data scientists think are especially important: multiple-user click analysis and click-to-install delay analysis. These two are critical to our fraud prevention offering because they monitor user behaviours to identify fraudulent activities. Multiple-user click analysis is a diagnostic test that involves our data scientists monitoring user click patterns. They look for multiple users on the same
Cat and mouse With these measures in place, we feel our clients are as protected from fraud as they can possibly be. When fraudulent activity is detected in real-time, we blacklist the publisher immediately, but then work with them to identify and eliminate the source of the fraud so that they can start earning again. We appreciate that they don’t deliberately invite fraud, but as they look for new sources of traffic, it inevitably happens. What’s important is to eradicate it as quickly as possible and get them back on track.
A collaborative effort Beyond our efforts to fight mobile fraud, the only way to truly solve this industry-wide problem is for the entire mobile marketing ecosystem to work together. Many players in the industry benefit from fraudulent clicks – not just the fraudsters. Therefore, to truly combat the issue, we need to work together as an industry in order to collectively monitor and rein in fraudulent traffic and other forms of mobile fraud. We recognise that the fight against ad fraud is a journey, not a destination. Whatever measures we put in place, the fraudsters will try to find a way around them. But we won’t be complacent in the fight against fraud and we won’t stand still. The very future of our business, and indeed our industry, simply won’t allow us to. MM
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Switched On David Murphy talks connectivity with BidSwitch’s Julian Savitch-Lee he last couple of years have seen a revolution in the way mobile advertising inventory is traded, as programmatic has evolved from its desktop roots to become a key method for buying and selling mobile ad space. Within the programmatic arena, there are a variety of companies working to deliver effective campaigns and positive ROI for advertisers. Broadly speaking, they fall into three camps: Demand Side Platforms (DSPs), working on the advertiser’s behalf; Supply Side Platforms, representing the publishers’ interests; and Data Management Platforms (DMPs), which handle the data crunching needed to target mobile users at a granular level. For programmatic to work efficiently, all players in the ecosystem need to connect and talk to each other seamlessly, so that the right user can be targeted with the right ad at the right time, and in the right context, with the decision on how much to bid for an impression, and which ad to serve to who, all made in milliseconds. This inevitably places a massive burden on ad tech firms’ engineering teams, as Julian Savitch-Lee, director of client services at BidSwitch, explains. “The ecosystem in real-time trading grows at a very fast pace,” he says. “For example, the first Open RTB protocol
initiative supported by the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) was just for desktop, then video; mobile applications and native followed with audio and connected TV efforts starting in 2016. Even though the IAB only comes out with a new specification every six to nine months, if you are a DSP who is integrated with 20 partners and they require you to upgrade, then you have to do 20 separate pieces of development work and possibly create new products in order to keep up. You are constantly rushing to stand still.” In addition, says Savitch-Lee, the DSPs have to pass on the cost of doing these integrations to their clients in order to survive, so it’s not only a time-consuming process, but a costly one too.
BidSwitch It’s a problem that IPONWEB seeks to solve with its BidSwitch solution. BidSwitch came out of IPONWEB’s core business, which is building and engineering ad tech platforms, including DSPs, SSPs, DMPs and exchanges. It’s been doing this since 2001, with a team of 300 people, including two major engineering centres in Moscow and Berlin. Once a client takes delivery of an ad tech stack, they typically want to use it to trade, which means connecting to other companies. BidSwitch initially emerged as in internal solution to connect different
players in the ecosystem together via a middleware layer, hosted in the cloud. Once you’re connected to this middleware layer, you’re automatically connected to everyone else who is connected to it and can trade with them in most instances with a oneclick request from a demand side client in BidSwitch’s user interface. It’s a much more efficient way of doing things, which offers access to a myriad of programmatic platforms and inventory options through a single integration. “BidSwitch translates each partner’s unique platform ‘tech language’ into a universal one,” says Savitch-Lee. “We proactively maintain the complex, technical translations involved in direct Supply/ Demand integrations so our partners can ‘speak’ and work seamlessly. Like a network switch, a single integration with BidSwitch opens the door to a multitude of pathways that would take years to build and would be expensive to maintain independently.” There are currently around 110 SSP and 160 DSP partners plugged into BidSwitch, including many of the major players. But Savitch-Lee says he’s happy for BidSwitch to remain in the background, quietly connecting the different players in order that all can work to maximum effect. “We do our work in the background, and with the Demand Side clients we would
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prefer they put the names of the SSPs they use BidSwitch to connect to in their user interface and reporting for agencies and marketers to see instead of our name, because we don’t sell inventory. We are not a media organisation; we are a company that intentionally exists behind the scenes so that advertisers and publishers can trade at scale, efficiently and sustainably with 100 per cent uptime. We’re the plumbing if you like, not dissimilar to the under-sea cables that keep the internet running.” While the analogy works on one level, on another, arguably, it does not. For where those cables perform one simple, rudimentary function of transferring bits and bytes across the globe, BidSwitch works with different partners in a variety of ways. “Open RTB does not work as people would hope it does,” says SavitchLee. “People think the IAB document standardises all the different ways that companies submit a bid request, but in reality, the IAB document is just a guidance note, so we work with individual partners who give us their protocol document and then we develop that into one that can be traded at scale. BidSwitch was created a few quarters after the onset of Open RTB protocol and what we do for our DSP clients is massively varied and tailored to their needs, whilst remaining a standardised product that DSPs can pick and choose what they need. “Examples include a retargeting company that has built its business on requesting to join real-time auctions when their user is recognised by a pixel that does not exist on mobile, with the exception of the mobile web on Android, so they might use us to access mobile app traffic and iOS devices in order to find more mobile users, without changing their multiple desktop legacy integrations with Supply platforms. Another example are multiple US companies wanting to move
into Europe. If they have 10 partners, they would have to set themselves up with each of those, and that could take three months. With BidSwitch, you can plug in one endpoint and turn on all 10 partners simultaneously.” With programmatic adoption growing, BidSwitch’s ecosystem position offers some interesting insights. Adoption of Deal ID has grown to 40+ suppliers and accounts for more than 11 per cent of total spend globally, proving that while efficiency can be gained, the desire for deals and transparency is very strong from publishers and agencies. Mobile-specific application traffic now makes up more than 30 per cent of available inventory from BidSwitch suppliers, with in-app video the fast growing segment. It accounted for 9 per cent of available application traffic in November 2015 yet surpassed 20 per cent of the same by July 2016. With users adopting mobile devices quickly and incoming bid requests from mobile devices overtaking PCs in
November 2015, the industry has been expected to consolidate. However, this has not been the case, despite 74 per cent of all respondents in an Exchange Wire research report saying that there are too many programmatic advertising technology companies and 88 per cent of respondents preferring to work with less technology partners if it did not impact performance or revenues. Native, audio, TV and DOOH, not to mention developments in emerging regions of the world, ensure a constant procession of new entrants to BidSwitch’s development queue. New Supply and Demand platforms keep emerging for mobile users. “To some degree I am surprised at the volume of new companies and new ideas in real-time ad tech. It is not cheap to be an excellent DSP or SSP, but if we can save our clients some time and cost, I am sure the consumer, publisher and advertiser will be content to provide and use free, ad-funded services, without even knowing we exist.” MM
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The new breed of data exchange Adsquare CEO Tom Laband explains how moment marketing and holistic consumer understanding drive the demand for new data platforms ata is truly changing modern marketing, and our industry is sitting right in the front row. Today’s advertisers don’t just want to reach the right audience, they want a holistic understanding of their behaviour and to be able to pinpoint them in the crucial ‘mobile moment’ in order to drive advertising relevance. Doing this effectively requires access to a vast array of multidimensional data and the ability to activate this data in real-time – and this is precisely the requirement that traditional data exchanges simply do not fulfil. To begin with, a new breed of data exchange must be built mobile-first, and it must support mobile advertising IDs. Given that apps account for 90 per cent of our mobile usage, cookies simply don’t do the job any longer. But mobile-first does not only mean a different identifier, it requires a whole new approach to advertising. Just think about location data and the ability to connect real-world behaviour and mobile advertising. Understanding the local context and physical behaviour of consumers enables advertisers to derive rich audience profiles. For this reason, a data exchange has to ‘speak’ location fluently, and needs on-boarding functionalities for additional contextual data such as events, weather, household or purchase information.
The right mobile moment The average smartphone user engages in over 150 sessions with their device per day, each with its own intent, context and immediacy. Marketers have begun to understand that advertising relevance is all
about delivering the right message in the right mobile moment. The foundation for this is the availability of rich data, both audience information and context data, in real-time, and this is why data exchanges have to go beyond traditional data selling, to make data accessible in real-time. This requires deep integrations with programmatic buying platforms – so called ‘pre-bid’ integrations – which enrich the bid stream on the fly.
These mobile moments create thousands of data points every day. Making these available to advertisers helps them build a holistic picture of, and to get closer to, their target audience. Take app data, which has the potential to add a whole new level of granularity to audience targeting. Because app developers can draw from their direct relationship to their customers, they have deep insights into their interests, preferences and patterns. This is why a new
breed of data exchange has to go beyond location to cover all kinds of mobile data, including in-app usage.
Dealing with data To make all these data assets available, this new breed of data exchange must offer data providers a secure environment that protects their data from misuse. This is where the ability to enable private deals can give providers full control and transparency over who uses their data and for what purpose. These private marketplace features, which we already know from premium inventory in media buying, are the foundation for data owners – including app developers – to activate first-party data for programmatic advertising. Today, both data providers and advertisers demand sophisticated self-service tools that give them full transparency and let them take control. To meet this growing demand, the industry needs a platform that is seamlessly accessible, and which offers tools for data onboarding as well as data buying, complex audience modelling and detailed reporting. Keep in mind that today’s agencies and trading desks are programmatic pros and know the pitfalls of buying black box audiences in a managed service. In the age of moment marketing and holistic consumer understanding, static and unsophisticated data exchanges inherited from the online advertising world no longer fit the demand. A next generation of platforms opens the door to a new realm of opportunities and – ultimately – equips marketers to deliver engaging and effective advertising that goes far beyond location. MM
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PERSONAL SERVICES Mobile Marketing editor David Murphy looks back at the progress mobile has made as a marketing tool in the 11 years since we launched hen we launched Mobile Marketing magazine in 2005, it was off the back of a conviction that, if harnessed correctly, mobile could be one of the most powerful marketing channels ever placed at brands’ disposal. Where TV offered broad reach – at a price – at a time when people still routinely watched TV programmes in their millions around the same TV set, mobile looked like a much more personal channel, potentially delivering on the promise of true oneto-one marketing that a lot of marketing people will tell you they strive for. So 11 years on, has mobile delivered on its promise? My answer would be: not yet, and where it has, not in the ways we might have expected.
was one of the first brands to appreciate and leverage the power of a branded app with its iPint app. One-dimensional yes, but worth millions to the brand in terms of coverage and consumer engagement. Today, with around 2m apps apiece in the Apple App Store and Google Play, the humble app faces much more competition to be noticed, downloaded, and then retained by users who have dozens of apps on their handset, most of which are routinely ignored. But done well, I would argue, an app gets as close as anything on mobile to delivering on this promise of oneto-one engagement.
Progress In some respects, there has been a great deal of progress. Look at the handsets doing the rounds in the mid-noughties – the ‘Mars Bars’ from Nokia and Sony Ericsson, the Moto RAZR, the Blackberrys. I would love to have been a fly on the wall in any of those companies’ board rooms the day the iPhone made its bow in 2007. I wasn’t, of course, but I’d be willing to hazard a guess that phrases like: “Why the &*%$ didn’t we do this?!” were doing the rounds, as the established handset makers welcomed into their ranks, with some trepidation, a company best known at that time for producing portable music players. Since then, of course, Apple has gone from strength to strength, while Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and BlackBerry have fallen by the wayside in handset terms. Samsung has risen to prominence, and the OS fragmentation of a decade ago (remember Bada and Symbian, among numerous others?) has settled down into a straight two-horse race between iOS and Android. In 2007, as now, much of the excitement in the mobile world was around advertising.
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Value exchange I remember seeing Russell Buckley, who was so enthused by the idea of mobile advertising that he took a job with AdMob, giving a live demo of its self-serve platform in Paris in early 2006. Unusually for a live demo, it worked fantastically well, which was one of the reasons why AdMob made such great strides, to the point where Google paid $750m (£573m) to acquire the platform in 2009. It was advertising on mobile that looked best positioned to deliver on this promise of one-to-one communication. But while the automated, personalised delivery of ads to mobile phones may have advanced with the rise of programmatic, the creative side of things, with some notable exceptions, has stagnated. The banner still rules the roost, as it did back in 2006. As ad tech firm Sizmek likes to ask at conferences: “We can all remember great TV ads, but who can name me a great mobile ad?” What arrived to fulfil that role of personal communications, of course, was the app, one year after the launch of the iPhone, in 2008. There had been Java mobile apps before the iPhone – car-maker Peugeot was an early fan of these – but the App Store just made it easy, and Carling
Some other random observations: paying people to watch ads on mobile has never worked, but still companies try it; Tesco Mobile being the latest with its Xtras launch in June. The value exchange is just never there. The number of ads you have to put up with for the rewards you get – around 900 per month for £3 off your bill in Tesco’s case – just doesn’t stack up. The way Facebook has come to dominate the mobile advertising space was hard to foresee. For years, up to and beyond its IPO in 2012, the consensus was that people went on social networks to relax and hang out with friends, not to be sold to. But $6.2bn (£4.7bn) – the ad revenue figures Facebook posted in Q2 2016, 84 per cent of that from mobile, driven, by a relatively new thing called native – is hard to argue with. And as we look ahead to the next 10 years, what do we see? AR, VR, wearables, connected cars, connected homes, connected contact lenses and pills. It’s all incredibly exciting, if not a little confusing while the startups jockey for position and the money-men decide who to back. And yet, when I pick up my phone and fire up an app or a web page, what do I see? A banner ad. Plus ça change … MM
arketers worldwide know that the biggest challenge facing them today is staying ahead of the game in what is the most competitive and complex marketing environment that has ever existed. Mobile is a critical part of the story â€“ and mobile tech, and how brands can leverage it, is arguably evolving faster than any other sector. This is where the Mobile Marketing Summits come in. At each event, you will hear from brands who are pushing the mobile marketing envelope and from agencies and tech providers who can help you harness the power of mobile to reach out to customers and prospects in
ways that will engage and delight them. The Mobile Marketing Summits are open exclusively to senior marketers from consumer brands, each summit focused on a specific industry or topic. Already this year, we have staged the Retail, Finance and Travel
Summits, with the Brand and Programmatic Summits still to come. For an experience that will inspire you, provide you with great networking opportunities, and help you optimise your brandâ€™s approach to mobile, join us at one of our Mobile Marketing Summits this year.
For more information, call James McGowan on +44 (0) 207 183 2920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To register, head for www.mobilemarketingsummits.com
Customers see one brand. Do you see one customer? Build a single customer view with your data from every engagement. C
Talk to Tealium Hall 6 F041/G042 www.tealium.com @tealium