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ISSUE 27 SEP 2017



Fyber president Offer Yehudai explains how the newly unified company is making an impact with publishers in the $50bn China ad market




What you need to know about the incoming data protection regulations

Why Amazon is moving closer to physical retail with its Whole Foods acquisition

The new generation of influencers helping brands to put their message across

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TrustedHousesitters’ Jess Stephens on developing the online service’s first app

DIG CEO Rob Walk introduces Ultimate Football Fans

App Annie’s Paul Barnes weighs up the benefits of mobile’s two major platforms




Everything you need to know about the incoming EU data protection rules

Sizmek’s Mark Grether on making the most of the Facebook–Google duopoly

Infobip’s Kevin Britt on why we need to make the jump from multichannel to omnichannel


GDPR 101



Hello and welcome to our latest print edition. It feels as though the mobile marketing ecosystem has reached a time of relative peace. Issues like ad blocking, fraud and viewability certainly haven’t gone away, but they’re now just a part of the conversation. Of course, if you’ve worked in this industry for any period of time, you’ll know that kind of peace can’t last long. The next thing on the horizon is the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation – or, as it’s better known, GDPR. When it comes into effect next May, GDPR could have a major impact on marketers the world over, but it’s still not widely understood. With that in mind, I took a deep dive into what the new rules actually mean, and what you need to do to ensure compliance. Find my report on p6. Elsewhere, on p12, you’ll find Tim Maytom looking into Amazon’s steps away from pureplay online retail, with its first physical stores and acquisition of Whole Foods. And on p20, Tyrone Stewart takes a look at the current state of influencer marketing, and how it has grown far beyond the likes of Kim Kardashian and Zoella. We hope you enjoy it. Alex Spencer, Editor

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What Amazon’s Whole Foods buy means for physical retailers

Rubicon Project CEO Michael G. Barrett discusses the advantages of operating a global ad exchange




Offer Yehudai explains Fyber’s plans for reaching Chinese audiences

BidSwitch’s Scott Neville on the downsides of programmatic growth

Research Now VP Liam Corcoran on the company’s work with retailer N Brown




A look at the marketing power of social media stars

Digilant’s Mike Addonizio explains why cookies are past their expiration date

Tune’s Simon Baptist explains exactly what it means for a brand to be ‘mobile-best’



Dan Read shares TabMo’s top tips for location-based ads

Oisin Lunny on why SMS can still win out over apps









Editorial director: David Murphy – +44 (0)7976 927062 Managing director: John Owen – +44 (0)7769 674824 Commercial director: James McGowan – Business development manager: Richard Partridge – Managing editor: Alex Spencer – News and social editor: Tim Maytom – Reporter: Tyrone Stewart – Marketing Executive: Trish Pencarska – Design: Konstruct Studios Ltd – Contributors: Jess Stephens, Oisin Lunny Print: Henry Stone Printers – Mobile Marketing is published by Dot Media Ltd., 57–61 Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M 6HA



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BRAND STRATEGY by Jess Stephens, chief marketing officer at TrustedHousesitters.


n 2010 when Andy Peck, the founder and CEO of TrustedHousesitters, was inspired to launch the company, he focused on solving one problem: keeping pets happy at home when their owners go away.

Knowing that many people struggle to find adequate pet care, the first step was to create a platform where owners could find sitters who would care for their pets in exchange for a free retreat. Andy went backpacking around the world, recruiting on both sides as he went. Seven years later, and TrustedHousesitters is the world’s largest house- and pet-sitting site with a community of over 500,000 pet lovers from 150 countries. I say ‘site’ because, currently, that’s what we are. The most prominent TrustedHousesitters demographic is the over-55s, who have been very happy with a desktop and tablet experience, and as a result TrustedHousesitters has focused on improving those experiences, with a mobile app not being a priority. In the last year that has changed, and we are looking to improve the ways members – both sitters and owners – communicate with one another. The solution to this is mobile. TrustedHousesitters will launch its first app in 2017. As a business, when you haven’t approached things from a mobile-first perspective, you must rebuild the house by reverse engineering the foundations. Optimisation of the mobile experience, therefore, is now informing every part of our roadmap and product development. The first stage will be a member-focused app in which you can search, apply for and be accepted on sits. There is not an objective to acquire new users through the app at this stage. The three main objectives are to improve communication, relevance and the ability to post and share content.

COMMUNICATION The main service that TrustedHousesitters provides is the connection between owner and sitter. The community is built on trust. Since no money changes hands, the ability to interact is essential, as the owner is choosing someone based on personality, verifications, reviews and experience, not just a daily rate, like a paid-for service.

The initial application and response process is vastly improved through the app. Instead of waiting for the site to trigger an email, the mobile user will know straight away if they have an application or a response, through push notifications. There are typically a few interchanges before the owner selects their preferred sitter, and these will now be seamless. Keeping our demographic front of mind, the team has focused on flawless usability so that the least technically literate user will naturally understand how the process works. This starts with chat and will include video calls in the second iteration.

RELEVANCE With the app, we are introducing a sophisticated recommendation engine for both sides of the network. This will also power the web experience and influence our push and email notifications. Not only will sitters see relevant sits that fit their preferences of duration, location and pet type, but owners will see matches of sitters who are local to them and have the right experience. A ‘wild card’ feature of the engine means that the serendipity of the site and the option to choose a unique travel experience will not be lost.

CONTENT SHARING The app is designed to become a travel portal that covers the entire experience of the sit, not just the arrangements themselves. Sitters will be able to view content uploaded by the owner about the local area, including amazing dog walks, pet-friendly cafes, shops and attractions. To date, using the web interface, TrustedHousesitters members have contributed to 35,000 unique local recommendations that you wouldn’t find in a guide or if you stayed at a hotel. This will increase and improve through the use the app with the ease of tagging locations.

DESIGN To deliver these three objectives, the engineering team has concentrated on a best-in-class app for usability, building a design system based on the atomic design methodology, connecting modules across platforms to achieve consistency and scalability. Leveraging Facebook’s increasingly popular React and React Native frameworks, there is true parity between the mobile and web experience, from both a UX and technical perspective.




GDPR 101 Are the EU’s forthcoming data regulations the end of the marketing world as we know it? Alex Spencer explains everything you need to know about GDPR, from ‘legitimate interests’ to the ‘right to be forgotten’.


ou’ve likely heard the warnings: GDPR is coming. Depending on who you listen to, it could mark the end of digital marketing as we know it, or it could just be a lot of fuss over nothing. Until it comes into effect next year, we won’t know for certain – but you can at least make sure you know exactly what GDPR is, and how it could affect your business. “The new EU GDPR is the biggest overhaul in data protection laws in over 20 years,” says Sheila FitzPatrick, chief privacy officer at NetApp. “GDPR’s scope extends beyond existing data protection laws, and replaces them in the course of being implemented, making it arguably the biggest policy development digital advertising has ever faced,” agrees Yves


Schwarzbart, head of policy and regulatory affairs at IAB UK. The General Data Protection Regulation, to give it its full name, is an EU regulation first ratified in April 2016. It’s made up of a whole variety of rules intended to bolster data protection, which we’ll dive into later, but the main focus is on broadening the definition of ‘identifiable information’, from a name or email address, to include IP addresses, cookies and other identifiers. Technically speaking, GDPR is already law, but a two-year transitional period has been granted, with enforcement beginning on 25 May 2018. From that point on, any companies found in breach of GDPR could face what Nick Johnson, marketing law specialist and partner at legal practice Osborne Clarke, refers to as




“eye-watering financial penalties” – up to €20m (£18m), or four per cent of global revenues, whichever is higher. But with this date fast approaching, the marketing industry doesn’t seem to be prepared for GDPR at all. According to a March 2017 study by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, 50 per cent of marketers said they didn’t really understand what GDPR meant for their business, and only 11 per cent already had systems in place to ensure they are compliant. Perhaps most concerningly, 16 per cent said they didn’t believe GDPR was relevant to their business. With that in mind, let’s quickly outline exactly who GDPR applies to.

WHO DOES GDPR APPLY TO? If you’re reading this in the UK and thinking that Brexit means you needn’t worry about this

EU regulation, think again. In fact, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are. “GDPR is the first data protection law to be extraterritorial,” says FitzPatrick. GDPR applies to any organisation that operates, offers its products or monitors the behaviour of individuals within the EU. Basically, if there’s any chance that your data includes a single EU citizen, then you will have to reckon with GDPR, wherever you’re based. It’s also worth noting that GDPR expands who is responsible for data protection. As well as the ‘controllers’ of data, for the first time ‘processors’ have their own obligations. Requirement for controllers – those who determine how data is used – are mostly the same as under the current Data Protection

Act, with the addition of a responsibility to assess whether the processors they appoint are GDPR-compliant. Meanwhile, processors – those working with data on behalf of the controllers – will be required to maintain records of their data-processing activities; may not subcontract the work without direct consent from the controller; and have significantly more legal liability if they’re responsible for a data breach.

CONSENT AND LEGITIMATE INTERESTS So, what do companies actually have to do to make sure they’re compliant with GDPR? Well, that’s where it gets a little complex, because it’s a big chunk of legislation. One of the most important rulings is that organisations will have to prove they have




a lawful basis for handling the data – either because the individual has given direct consent, or because the data is necessary for ‘legitimate interests’. Consent needs to be demonstrable, and is defined by the regulation as “any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of his or her wishes by which the data subject, either by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to personal data relating to them being processed”. This means that there needs to be clear evidence that an individual has opted in for their data to be used – vitally, this rules out consent based on inaction or even preticked boxes – based on an understanding of how it will be used, by whom and for how long. Consent for pre-existing data won’t have to be refreshed, though, as long as all these requirements are met. ‘Legitimate interests’, meanwhile, can include the data being required to complete a contract, such as an address for delivery; for security or legal reasons; or “for direct marketing purposes”. This last one stands out – and it’s currently open to debate exactly what it means. This passage of the regulation has been read, variously, as a sign that marketers will be given carte blanche; that using data to send messages to customers will be treated differently to using it for profiling them; and as a restatement of the higher permission standards that digital marketing will face.



This is far from the only ambiguity present in GDPR. Along with the misconceptions that naturally spring from such a complex piece of legislature, this has led to many questions over its exact boundaries and definitions – and the situation is not being helped by some operators within the industry. “There is so much misleading information being spun in the market place by companies trying to position themselves as GDPR ‘experts’ by selling tools and technology to obtain compliance,” says FitzPatrick. The only option, it seems, is to wait. According to IAB’s Schwarzbart, these kinds of ambiguities are “expected to be clarified via guidance from European regulators by the end of the year”, but this, he believes, “would be unsatisfactorily late”.

THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN However, there are other changes introduced by GDPR which are less ambiguous – even if they’re not always widely understood. Chief among these is the right to erasure. It’s commonly known as the ‘right to be forgotten’, but that name is slightly misleading, as EU citizens can only request to have their data erased under certain conditions, which include the data no longer being necessary for its original purpose, and the individual objecting to the processing or withdrawing their consent.

There are also new rules on accountability for organisations, which will be required to show how they comply with the principles of GDPR, through documentation of processing activities, training, staff awareness and more. Companies will also have to carry out privacy impact assessments, considering the “risk to the rights and freedoms” before processing personal data, and build in protection safeguards and compliance ‘by design and default’. In certain cases, organisations may also be required to appoint a data protection offer (DPO). A drafted requirement that this would apply to anyone with over 250 employees was dropped in favour of the rather vague condition that any company whose core activities consist of “processing operations which require regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale” must have a DPO. The final major changes concern what happens after a data breach. Processors are only required to report breaches to the controller, who must then notify the appropriate authorities “without undue delay and, where feasible, not later than 72 hours after having become aware of it”. If a breach “is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals”, those affected should also be notified without delay. This should mean no more incidents like Yahoo’s reporting, last year, of two record-breaking data breaches that actually took place in 2013 and 2014.

THE BRIGHT SIDE So, yes, GDPR is coming. And the cost of implementing all the above regulations – which are just a quick summary of everything that GDPR actually requires for full compliance – isn’t going to be small, in terms of time, effort or money. However, GDPR shouldn’t be the scourge of data-led marketing that some have painted it as. It’s just a case of being more careful how you use data – and these changes might actually be improvements. “GDPR forces companies to thoroughly review the way they use data and, if they buy in data, who they buy it from,” says IAB’s Schwarzbart. “While this task can be daunting, it can ultimately be an opportunity for companies to get a full understanding of their own data processes.” Osborne Clarke’s Johnson agrees. As he points out: “Preparing for the GDPR’s tough compliance requirements can actually be a great tool for implementing change more generally in a business.” Data is enormously important to modern marketing, and ‘big data’ might actually be understating the amount that most marketers have access to. But it can be easy to get lost in that. So if GDPR represents a chance for more transparent, better-quality data, shouldn’t we embrace it, rather than fear it?





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With Amazon’s deal to acquire Whole Foods in the midst of being approved, Tim Maytom asks why the online retail giant is crossing over into the ‘real’ world, and what this means for other bricks-andmortar stores.


owever you measure it, there is no way of denying that traditional retail brands find themselves in crisis. From major cities to suburban shopping centres, branches are being emptied and shuttered, with several notable brands having declared bankruptcy, liquidation or major cutbacks in the past two years. Department stores like J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Sears have announced more than 100 closures within the past 12 months, while a number of clothing brands, including American Eagle, Lululemon and Urban Outfitters, have seen stocks tumble to multi-year lows this year. Some pessimistic analysts have said that 2017 could mark a tipping point, and are betting heavily on malls and large retailers closing down in record numbers. So why is Amazon choosing this moment to leave the pure-play digital realm and enter the world of physical stores? Before we try to pick apart the decision-making of Bezos and co, however, it’s important to gain an understanding of retail’s current woes. With the economy having finally shaken off the effects of the 2007 financial crash, these closures aren’t the result of economic forces. So what is causing them? The growth of eCommerce is a huge factor here, obviously. Despite the majority of purchases still taking place in physical stores, online retail growth outstrips physical retail by a huge margin. Between 2010 and 2016, Amazon’s sales in North America more than quintupled, growing from $16bn (£12bn) to $80bn. Perhaps more impressively, there are now over 80m Amazon Prime subscribers in the US, accounting for around a quarter of the total population, and each spending an average of around $1,300 on the eCommerce platform every year.




eCommerce isn’t just growing though – it’s also evolving. When the first online retailers were on the rise, it was media and entertainment that were the big sellers: DVDs, books, music and games. But over time, consumers have become more used to purchasing products over the internet. Along with improved delivery times and a focus on making online purchases as smooth and risk-free as possible, this has led to dramatic increases in apparel sales – traditionally the domain of high-street stores – which now make up the largest category of online purchases. Shoppers researching items online prior to purchase has driven down prices and eliminated impulse buys and incidental sales. The rise of the smartphone has not only enabled trends like ‘showrooming’ but also put every store in the pocket of the consumer, right next to their credit card – or in some cases, even integrated them together. Apps and mobile wallets have made the previously painful experience of shopping on mobile sites into a relatively simple transaction, and as a result, mCommerce has increased from two per cent of online spending in 2010 to 20 per cent this year.

BRICKING IT There are other cultural and economic factors at play too, especially in the US. The shopping mall, once the symbol of American retail power, is in sharp decline. A report into the state of retail by research analysts Cowen & Company found that while the effects of the recession may be coming to an end, they may have already done enough damage to kill off the mall. Stagnating wages and a focus on essentials saw consumer spending drop, especially for the premium brands and department stores that often formed the backbone for shopping malls. As those brands saw sales slow and shut down ‘anchor branches’, it resulted in a snowball effect that saw other smaller stores unable to capitalise on consumers drawn to locations by big names. Mall visits dropped by 50 per cent between 2010 and 2013, and have continued to fall every year since. Spending habits are also shifting. Since the financial crash, there has been a profound change in how consumers choose to spend their disposable income. Travel, dining out and entertainment have become the new hot sectors as consumers focus more on experiences than material goods. Spending



on clothes, traditionally a strong measure of economic health, has seen its share of total consumer spending decline by 20 per cent over the last 15 years, but hotel occupancy and airline tickets are soaring.

food on demand. To do so requires a large established delivery infrastructure that many smaller grocery brands are simply unwilling to invest in. Amazon, on the other hand, already has its built.

Sales in food and drink services have grown twice as fast as all other retail spending categories since 2005, and in 2016 Americans spent more money in restaurants and bars than they did at grocery stores. As millennials make up a growing portion of consumers, analysts have even pointed towards social media as a factor in this shift, with a visit to a restaurant or a trip abroad much more likely to result in likes on Instagram than a new pair of shoes.

That’s home delivery, though – it doesn’t answer the question of why Amazon feels the need to establish physical stores. The truth is that Amazon needs to establish a reputation as a grocery retailer before people are willing to trust online ordering, and that means bricksand-mortar stores.

“Retail square feet per capita in the US is more than six times that of Europe or Japan,” said Richard Hayne, CEO of Urban Outfitters during a conference call with industry analysts. “And this doesn’t count digital commerce. Our industry, not unlike the housing industry, saw too much square footage capacity added in the 1990s and early 2000s. Thousands of new doors opened and rents soared. This created a bubble, and, like housing, that bubble has now burst. We are seeing the results: doors shuttering and rents retreating. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future, and may even accelerate.” So with all this bad news for physical retail brands, why is Amazon still seeking to establish a foothold in the world of bricks-andmortar branches?

A FOOT IN THE REVOLVING DOOR A crucial factor in Amazon’s move into the world of storefronts and shop floors is where it is focusing its efforts. While the company has experimented with a few pop-up bookstores in a variety of locations and a single permanent branch in Columbus Circle in New York City (with the promise of around a dozen more to open soon), the brunt of its bricks-and-mortar efforts seem tightly aimed at the grocery market. This is a different vertical to the one Amazon has traditionally competed in, and one with plenty of space to grow – in the US, the grocery market is estimated to be worth $800bn. While supermarkets in the UK have embraced home delivery services, the US has lagged behind somewhat, held back partly by the sheer size of the country, as well as the complex logistics required to deliver fresh

Amazon has been attempting to break into the grocery market for almost a decade now, having started with small-scale experiments and built up to Amazon Fresh, the company’s current grocery delivery business. But even with its extensive logistics network, the firm has struggled to get people on board. In the UK, where the online grocery market is expected to double in value between 2015 and 2020 to £17.2bn, Amazon Fresh was only able to achieve a 0.7 per cent market share after six months of operation. In the US, where the service has been running for eight years, it still only accounts for less than one per cent of grocery spending, and only operates in six cities, well behind its original projection of 50. “Online grocery is failing,” says Dr Kurt Jetta, CEO and founder of TABS Analytics, a consumer products research firm. “There’s just not a lot of demand there. The whole premise is that you’re saving people a trip to the store, but people actually like going to the store to buy groceries.” John Gillan, managing director for UK and Northern Europe at Criteo, agrees: “Nearly 90 per cent of sales are still done in store. We are obviously seeing more and more sales where people are, for example, using ‘click and collect’ – that’s huge here in the UK, so people are doing more research online, then going to stores and picking up their items there.



“Amazon are obviously looking to move into physical retail. In the past we’ve seen other players like Warby Parker in the US, they’re an online player and launched stores, and were incredibly successful at it. I think you’re seeing more and more of these pure players recognising that they need to have a physical presence because people still like that social experience of going to stores.”




Amazon seems to have finally grasped that lesson, and is now taking a different approach. Take a look at most of the company’s innovations from the past few years, and all of them seem designed to acclimatise people to the idea of using Amazon for everyday grocery and FMCG purchases.

Highfields Capital Management, called the acquisition “true genius” and predicted that Amazon will “slash its profitability for the foreseeable future in order to grow market share”. This move could be disastrous for other grocery brands who cannot compete with Amazon’s scale and financial clout.


The acquisition also has the support of consumers. A study by market research firm GfK shows that a quarter of US shoppers approve of the merger, while only 10 per cent disapprove. The research also shows that among Whole Foods shoppers, 38 per cent believe the acquisition will have positive effects. In the case of consumers who have made purchases from both firms in the past month, 43 per cent are looking forward to the merger, predicting that it will drive down prices and include free delivery for Prime members, while also hoping that Whole Foods’ quality won’t be impacted.

The Dash buttons are an obvious case, but even the popular Amazon Echo is an avenue for this market. The idea of people using its voice command function for expensive purchases that require research feels unlikely. But a quick way of reordering toilet paper or tomorrow’s dinner? Given most consumers’ preference for ease and convenience, that could easily become a reality. The company’s acquisition of Whole Foods, then, is the next big step in this plan. The brand is popular with the kind of young middle-class professionals who are likely to be both Amazon Prime subscribers and early adopters of new technology. Plus, by acquiring an existing firm with a strong brand identity, Amazon can sidestep the risk of consumers being reluctant to buy their fresh fruit and steaks from a name they associate with cheap DVDs and books. The Whole Foods acquisition has been hailed as potentially revolutionary by industry analysts. Jonathon Jacobson, founder of


While 78.5 per cent of US consumers avoid Whole Foods because prices are too steep, Amazon has a great reputation among shoppers, and the decrease in prices predicted by Jacobson and others is expected to have a considerable impact if it materialises. “Amazon has a better price perception than Walmart these days, which is amazing,” says Wendy Wallner, executive vice president of

consulting for the retail industry at GfK and co-author of the study. “[Consumers] hope that that gets taken care of at Whole Foods.”

A RETAIL COLD WAR Amazon’s attempts to enter the real world of groceries aren’t going unchallenged, however. Traditional retailers who still dominate this space are fighting back, with a growing focus on online ordering, home delivery and clickand-collect, bringing the advantages that eCommerce offers to brands that consumers are more familiar with when it comes to the weekly shop. “Grocers that are customer-centric are going to win,” says Shannon Warner, vice president of North American retail for Capgemini Consulting. According to Warner, succeeding will require “leveraging all of the data they have about the customer to personalise experiences and make them more relevant”. For Walmart, that has meant a massive investment in infrastructure. The retail giant has seen a 63 per cent growth in US eCommerce sales in the first quarter of 2017, thanks to incentives like free two-day shipping with no membership fees, and discounts for customers who pick up in store. The company is opening new fulfillment centres across the US to keep up with demand, and has introduced a new feature for its mobile app that combines both instore and online purchases for easy reordering.


The fight to innovate hasn’t just resulted in improvement though – it’s also led to an increasingly fractious Cold War with Amazon. After news of the Whole Foods deal broke, the Wall Street Journal reported that Walmart was among a number of large retailers that were asking vendors to abandon Amazon Web Services (AWS) in favour of alternative providers such as Microsoft Azure, which Walmart uses. Walmart has denied this, but acknowledged that its growing rivalry with Amazon meant that it had concerns about where and how its partners were storing their data and managing their digital business needs. “Our vendors have the choice of using any cloud provider that meets their needs and their customers’ needs,” said a Walmart spokesperson in a statement. “It shouldn’t be a big surprise that there are cases in which we’d prefer our most sensitive data isn’t sitting on a competitor’s platform.” Amazon hit back at the news, with a spokesperson calling Walmart’s strategy “bad for business and customers” and saying that many suppliers were “standing up to Walmart” and using AWS despite the retailer’s scare tactics. “We’ve heard that Walmart continues to try to bully their suppliers into not using AWS

because they have an incorrect view that AWS is somehow supporting Amazon’s retail business,” said the Amazon spokesperson. But while the relationship between Amazon’s retail and web services divisions isn’t exactly clear, there’s no ignoring that AWS is a money-spinner, bringing in $4.1bn in the most recent quarter.

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE? The Whole Foods deal has also drawn criticism from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and called for a thorough investigation of the proposed acquisition, a call which has been supported by a dozen members of Congress. The UFCW raised concerns for staff members at Whole Foods, claiming they faced an “uncertain future” due to the merger. “Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is not about improving customer service, products or choice,” said Marc Perrone, president of UFCW International. “It is about destroying Whole Foods jobs through Amazon-style automation. We strongly urge the FTC to carefully review this merger. We believe a fair and impartial analysis will prove that Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is a competitive threat to our economy that will hurt workers and communities.”

The UFCW’s fears may be unfounded though. A study by the Progressive Policy Institute in March 2017 found that the automation and efficiencies driven by Amazon and other digital firms actually added jobs much faster than the general retail sector is losing them, and that digital sector jobs for production and nonsupervisory workers are actually higher paid, with wages growing faster than in traditional retail. Even fears of clustered job distribution weren’t realised, with jobs and rising wages distributed across the entire US. If Amazon’s move into the real world is good news for consumers, workers and the company’s future, the only ones left to lose out are traditional retailers who fail to keep up. Once the Whole Foods deal goes through, Amazon will still be an upstart player with a relatively small presence in the grocery market, but there’s a reason giants like Walmart and Target are worried. The grocery business has largely avoided the disruptive effects of the digital revolution so far. If Amazon has its way, that’s about to end. “Innovation at grocery stores is happening at a snail’s pace,” says Allen Adamson, founder of Brand Simple Consulting. “As more companies compete for customers in both the physical retail and eCommerce space, the winners will be those who can figure out how to live in both worlds.”







CHINA’S $50bn AD MARKET Fyber president Offer Yehudai explains how the company’s new Audience Vault segmentation tool will impact publishers in China.


n the ad tech world, data is king, but until now it has been almost exclusively in the hands of the buy side – the advertisers. Unfortunately for publishers, they have simply not had access to the kind of deep, rich and insightful data solutions that would allow them to start selling audiences in order to maximise the value of their inventory. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including large walled-garden publishers like Google and Facebook that dominate the ad market by leveraging their massive amount of user data. But according to Offer Yehudai, president at Fyber, change is afoot. “In the past, ad networks used to buy bulk audiences at a single price,” he says. “With the introduction of programmatic, many advertisers started to cherry-pick the audiences they want to buy at the price they want, using their own CRM data, purchase data, location data, and more. “The downside is that programmatic buyers have to sift through the high volume of traffic


in order to identify the impressions they want, resulting in additional server costs and numerous inefficiencies. Now, if publishers could provide that same type of segmentation data, and also add it to what they know about their users’ behaviours – which ones engage with ads, for example, or watch videos through to completion – they would increase the value of their inventory for buyers, and possibly also increase the relevance of their ads to their users. “This type of audience segmentation solution would enable publishers to package those audiences up and sell them at a premium, via private marketplace or direct deals, to advertisers who are looking to reach high-value target users that are actually engaging with ads. That is what Fyber is now offering the publisher community.”

DEMOCRATISING DATA Fyber’s segmentation solution for publishers, called the Audience Vault, launched worldwide this month. In growing markets such as

China, this solution can help publishers better compete with the walled gardens. China is a country with huge potential, with ad spend projected to hit $50bn (£39bn) in 2017. However, as Yehudai explains, there are challenges too. “The biggest challenge is regulation,” he says. “Some publishers have to manually verify and approve each piece of creative before an ad can be shown, which, as you can imagine, is a big issue in the programmatic environment. “The second challenge is the tech. Ad tech companies can’t just rely on their Amazon Web Services stack back in the US to scale a business in China; they need to invest locally. They also need to spend time building trust with publishers and advertisers. We have seen a few ad tech companies try to break into China, and then later pull out because they implemented the same models they use in the US or Europe, and it just doesn’t work. You have to respect the local culture, have


feet on the ground and be patient. Things are changing, but it all takes time.” If the challenges are so great, then the obvious question is, why bother? “The opportunity is just huge,” says Yehudai. “China is now the second-largest ad market in the world, up from the fourth-largest last year. Added to that, publishers are really open to the changes that are happening. We believe that with proper education and investment to build relationships and trust, this will be a huge market, and Fyber will be a major player in it.” Recently, Fyber has integrated technology from its acquired companies, including Inneractive (which Yehudai co-founded), Heyzap and Falk Realtime. This enables Fyber to offer a comprehensive platform for every type of publisher, and data is at the platform’s core with the Audience Vault. There are three types of data that are aggregated into the Audience Vault. There is first-party data, which publishers collect themselves (such as age, gender and GPS location). Fyber also provides data on ad engagement (video completion rates) and bid landscape (bid depth). Finally, there is third-party data, which leverages DMP data by aggregating various sources, both on- and offline (demographics data, income level, DMV data). These are the same DMPs that the buy side is connected to. As a result, publishers get segment insights that allow them to serve tailor-made ad experiences to users, and also open up additional demand sources, such as new brand advertisers.

LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD “We realise that people will say that audience data solutions have been around for a long time,” says Yehudai. “But genuinely, if you look at the ad tech ecosystem, all the data initiatives and investments in data and

audience have been on the buy side, from the likes of Amazon and Criteo, and the data vendors like Nielsen and ComScore. This is the first audience data solution for the publisher community. Other publisher-facing platforms talk about it, but no one else has the visibility into publishers’ platforms that we have, listening to 1.2bn unique users every month.” The Audience Vault has been running in closed beta for the past eight weeks, and Yehudai says the response from both publishers and advertisers has been very encouraging. “Publishers love the fact that they can finally turn their data into action, with a more holistic approach to monetisation,” he says. “Gaming publishers, for example, want to know which users react better to ads versus in-app purchases, which helps them optimise the user experience. Premium news and sport publishers want to know which of their users watch videos to completion, and then they can sell them as a specific premium audience.” Thanks to Fyber’s global footprint, the solution is also enabling Chinese publishers to develop relationships with advertisers elsewhere. “When a Chinese publisher tries to sell inventory in an app outside of China, such as in the US, the advertisers are not familiar with the app and are unlikely to be interested,” says Yehudai. “Selling an audience that advertisers



want to reach, who just happen to be found in that same app, is a different proposition entirely, and one that’s much more appealing to Western buyers.”

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS It’s not hard to see why publishers would be keen on the Audience Vault. But what about the advertiser community? Are they not nervous about this shift in the balance of power previously held by them towards the publisher community? “That would have been an understandable reaction,” Yehudai concedes. “The reality, however, is that advertisers welcome it, because – with the rise of header bidding and the increasing amount of traffic worldwide – it is getting more and more complicated and costly to find their target audiences. So, if the publisher can help in this process by connecting the advertiser to their desired audience through new inventory, it makes things more efficient. And when things are more efficient, ROI is greater for advertisers and agencies. So, what the Audience Vault is doing is creating a more efficient market that provides better results for both publishers and advertisers.” All of this is set against a backdrop of a country that has now taken to programmatic with great enthusiasm. “Programmatic is growing fast in China,” says Yehudai. “And with this, there has been a growing recognition of the importance and value of audiences. We are firmly committed to the region, with a rapidly expanding office in Beijing. Our engineers are busy visiting publishers’ tech hubs in China to explain what it means to work with an audience segmentation solution, and what they have to do to leverage cross-device data. Our Chinese business is growing in line with the programmatic ad market overall in the country, and we expect this to continue through 2018.”






UNDER THE INFLUENCE From Kim Kardashian to Zoella, influencers are big news on social media. Tyrone Stewart explores the opportunities and drawbacks of influencer marketing.


et’s start, for the benefit of anyone who hasn’t logged into Instagram this decade, with a quick outline of what influencer marketing is. It’s a way of leveraging the influence of celebrities – of the traditional variety, or just popular users of a social media service – in order to promote a brand or product. Influencer marketing is framed as a testimonial-like social post from that personality, in the hope of winning over their followers. “Influencer marketing is the digital, modernday word of mouth,” says Tania Bunic, influencer marketing consultant at affiliate network Awin. “It focuses on the authenticity of an influencer which leads to a trust relationship with their followers.” “It should feel like a natural fit with the influencer, their body of work and their audience” agrees Bob D’Mello, head of campaigns at Roast, a full service digital agency. “Achieve this and it’s possible to deliver a well-crafted message to a highly targeted audience that will generate a tangible return for the advertiser that goes beyond likes, shares and retweets.”

So, it’s just famous people and popular bloggers that get paid to promote something they have likely never actually used – right?

FROM MASS TO MICRO Not quite. There are a whole host of categories and subcategories when it comes to those defined as ‘influencers’. Mega (or mass) influencers are your big celebrities and social media personalities who have huge followings in excess of 1m people. These influencers reach the widest audience but, due to the sheer size of their following, any promotion from them is likely not to be relevant to a large portion of their fans. Macro influencers tend to hold mid-level popularity. They have fans in the region of 10,000–1m followers, and are usually general bloggers, company executives or journalists. The audiences following these influencers tend to share interests, and thus can be used to create a more targeted audience segment – for example, it’s a safe bet that most followers of a fashion blogger will be into fashion.







Finally, micro influencers are your average consumers who have dedicated followings of between 500 and 10,000 people. These influencers tend to connect with their followers at the most personal level because they are seen as an ordinary person, and, as a result, their opinions are more likely to be trusted. A lot of brands involved in influencer marketing are starting to lean more towards these influencers than those with large follower numbers. Within each of these larger influencer categories, there are several sub-groups of different types of influencers. I’ve already mentioned celebrities, social media stars and journalists, but there are also the YouTube stars, thought leaders, experts, insiders and

more. Taking all of the above into account, it’s clear that there is so much more to influencer marketing than paying someone popular to ‘try out’ the latest eye makeup or sports gear. Brands have a tough decision to make about whether they choose to use celebrities or those with fewer followers to push their products. The evidence suggests that working with micro influencers could prove more rewarding, but then a brand is working with several people instead of just the few they’d partner with in the case of celebrities, which could prove more difficult. The important thing is to enlist the help of the right influencers for the brand or product. “Influencers who have taken the time to develop their niche and following want to


partner with brands they genuinely like and that have relevance to their audience,” says Sharyn Smith, CEO and founder of Social Soup, an influencer network. “Influencers want to develop longer-term partnerships with brands rather than one-off, pay-per-post models. This allows them to really understand a brand and integrate it into their content. This works better as an influence channel, as their followers see consistency and genuine advocacy for the brand, creating more impact. “Key to the success of any influencer marketing programme is finding the right influencers who align with the brand and create the right content to fit the brand’s aesthetic and personality. Diversity is also key, as influencers can have a high degree of follower crossover –

so it’s better to pick influencers from a range of passion areas to increase the unique reach of campaigns.”

SUCCESS STORIES Many brands have yet to hop on the influencer marketing train, and may be reluctant to do so. But with the various issues currently surrounding brand safety and blocking of ads, is it a viable alternative for marketers? “It’s becoming a super important part of the marketing mix,” says Aaron Brooks, executive director and co-founder at influencer marketing firm Visual Amplifiers. “With the decline in traditional channels like television and the increase of ad-blocking software, influencer marketing ensures views and engagement

as well as amazing content that can be repurposed across multiple channels.” In addition, the power of social media and the impact that influencers carry cannot be ignored – what better way for someone to connect with a brand than knowing their favourite blogger or celebrity uses its products? People trust those that they aspire to be, but don’t always trust the word coming direct from a brand’s marketing team or an advertiser. “Brands who put influencer marketing at the heart of a company’s objectives succeed,” says Jolien Berkel, head of global partnerships at The Cirqle, which specialises in fashion and beauty influencers. “Daniel Wellington, Triangl and Victoria’s Secret are just a few examples of successful companies that have rooted influencers to the core of their messaging and marketing strategy, sometimes leading to literally hundreds of millions in revenue. “Some brands still pursue obtrusive ways of advertising, while influencer marketing, when done in an elegant way, actually complements consumers’ on- and offline journey.”






THE ANXIETY OF INFLUENCE “The whole area of social media and influencer marketing is relatively new, and in many ways businesses are finding their feet as they go,” says Amelia Neate, senior manager at agency Influencer Champions. “An issue that marketers need to be aware of when partnering with an influencer is that content must feel organic. “Ensuring an influencer maintains their unique voice and authenticity is essential in maintaining the trust and authority the


influencer has built with their audience. By over-promoting on the influencer’s channels, a brand could be at risk of losing the audience and diminishing the influencer’s credibility as an independent voice.” On the other side of the fence, of course, are the influencers themselves. They’re the people who actually spread a brand’s message, and the ones whose reputations are on the line if they misjudge their audience – so how does it feel from their perspective?

“The pressure is so much greater when money is involved, especially when they want to preview the work beforehand,” says lifestyle blogger Naomi Harris (aka The London Foxx). “However, I do feel that brands know what your aesthetic is, and as mine is very consistent, they don’t tend to come back with complaints, as I do try to stay true to The London Foxx’s style with every collaboration.” Then there’s the challenge of balancing an audience and paying brand.


“I’ve actually been driven to tears before when trying to photograph something that is basically unattractive,” says food blogger Helen BestShaw (Fuss Free Flavours). “Most of the time PRs, agencies and brands get it, but sometimes they do try and tell me what they think would work for my site and audience. A small number still try asking for follow links or no disclosure, but happily fewer and fewer do this now. “A clear brief, generous samples for testing and photography, and a realistic time scale are essential. Recipes do go wrong, need to be tested and tweaked, and it all takes more time than people think. It is not as simple as cooking something and snapping a photo.”

INDECENT DISCLOSURE One of the biggest issues facing influencer marketing is disclosure – or the lack thereof – that a product is being advertised. Many influencers, especially celebrities, have failed to make it clear that they have been paid to promote a product on social channels and blogs. And, though this is starting to improve, there is still a long way to go to get influencers and brands to conduct their business in the correct way. “There’s lots of umming and ahhing in the industry because some people don’t disclose,” says lifestyle blogger Scarlett Dixon (Scarlett London). “And we all know it’s an advert because we’ve been approached with the same collaboration, or otherwise can just tell if

something’s been sponsored. I think bloggers, in general, are quite good at it but there’s a lot of crossover in celebrities and social media influencers and things like people that come off Love Island – and they get approached with all these sponsored opportunities that they’re not disclosing. “It’s kind of getting out of hand a little bit now, because I feel like celebrities, especially, belong to another group that feel like they don’t have to disclose. I feel like there does have to be some sort of regulation. If it’s a legal requirement, then there should be some sort of legal repercussions for both the brand and the influencer.” The standards do exist, but there is a lack of exposure for the rules that have been created by the likes of the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) sister organisation, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), and the recently formed Influencer Marketing Council “The CAP code of conduct very much specifies that any paid relationship should be clearly signposted and that is one of the issues that the industry currently faces – it’s a mixed bag,” says Mats Stigzelius, CEO of Takumi, which works with Instagram influencers. “Some people, and some platforms, are very good at enforcing that. Others are more relaxed about it.” Most of the big brands and agencies are well aware of these standards. The problem

tends to lie with the smaller players, which – deliberately or not – can fail to enforce that influencers must make it clear that their posts are adverts. “For me, it’s a sign of a good influencer if they’re honest with their audience,” says Stigzelius. “And it doesn’t take away from the story that they’re telling. If they’re upfront about collaborating with a Coca-Cola or a Starbucks or a L’Oréal; it gives them credibility in the eyes of their followers of being able to work with such big brands. If you do it well, it can be a positive. And, certainly, you should not try and hide the fact that you’re being paid for something. Anyone who does risks reputational damage for the sector as a whole, as you’ve seen with all the articles in the US around the FTC and stuff like that. “The problem with the industry at the moment is that not enough people know. If I wasn’t proactively looking for the guidelines, I might not be aware of them. So, I think there’s still a subgroup of marketers and influencers who willingly, or unwillingly, don’t know about the guidelines. I think the guidelines are good enough as they are, but they need more publicity around them so that it makes everyone aware because, to me, I think it’s an awareness issue rather than not following those guidelines on purpose. At least that’s what I like to think – whether it’s true or not is another thing.”




contact SpotX at or call 020 8068 2951 to learn more visit




CHANGER Football is changing, as vloggers leverage mobile tech to reach a hungry fanbase. Digital Innovation Group CEO Rob Walk introduces Ultimate Football Fans, one of the challenger brands capitalising on this trend.


hen Arsenal Fan TV’s Robbie Lyle broadcasts on YouTube after a match, his presence attracts a surging crowd of football fans desperate to be part of the action. Such is their thirst to feature in his broadcasts that a security detail has become necessary at games. Lyle is just one of a growing number of vloggers generating football commentary for their global network of fans. These vloggers are seeing a stratospheric rise in popularity because they are creating authentic, honest and often startlingly frank and raw content. It is emotionally charged content from the fans,


for the fans, and it is changing how sports commentary is being accessed and consumed. Along with 13 other vloggers, Lyle has begun working with Ultimate Football Fans (UFF), a new football initiative that is providing them with the right equipment, opportunities and platforms to extend and commercialise their content. These influencers are already generating 55m monthly views between them, utilising a mix of digital-first channels, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and now the UFF app. This is in addition to direct deals being struck with operators and broadcasters outside of the UK, whose audiences also have a thirst for this content.

From April 2017 onwards, Robbie’s Arsenal Fan TV overtook Copa90 and Kick, achieving 10m more views. It seems that the old pundits are being squeezed out by younger football fans who are tech-savvy and can provide authentic football conversations that resonate with an ‘always connected’ audience. These viewers are ready to devour quality bespoke football content on mobile devices around the clock, without having to pay hefty cable TV prices. UFF has identified the shifting landscape of audiences moving away from traditional TV and over to digital-first platforms. It has set about putting ‘the beautiful game back into the hands of the fans’, by leveraging the


talents of the world’s most followed football influencers, led by Robbie Lyle. UFF has developed a delivery infrastructure that can roll out vlogger video content through its app, which is then fed to operators and broadcasters around the world. It’s a method that has enabled the global audience to become part of the conversation through mobile, a game-changer that challenges traditional broadcasters like Sky, BT and TalkSport. The technology can deliver to the full breadth of global mobile markets, including subSaharan Africa, where handset capabilities and broadband speeds are limited, and the cost of data is high. The region has one of the world’s fastest-growing audiences for Premier League Football content, with a reported audience of 276m during the 2014/15 season. UFF is trading on the advantage of being able to produce affordable content that is fed into these channels. The vloggers’ content can be served quickly and seamlessly into multiple territories through both Android and iOS frameworks, while also supporting feature phones through the mobile web, and enabling viewers to utilise free wi-fi to download the content in the background, with the option of being able to watch it later.

Traditional channels will continue to see a bite taken out of their market share. Over the past season, Sky experienced a 14 per cent drop in viewership for its live Premier League games, while BT experienced a two per cent loss. As a challenger brand, this is a trend that UFF is ready to make the most of, and it’s a model also welcomed by fans, who have spoken through viewership numbers. It seems that UFF is well on its way to achieving global success, simply by knowing what the fans want and delivering it in the way that they want it. To support this growth, UFF has deliberately broken from the pattern of hiring a digital agency. Instead, the company and its investors have created a strategic partnership with the Digital Innovation Group (DIG), which has installed key individuals within the UFF management team to help build its brand and market proposition, develop the technology platform, and bring in brands and advertisers who want to be associated with this content.






MAKING THE MOST OF THE DUOPOLY Sizmek executive chairman Mark Grether considers the best route for marketers in a world dominated by Google and Facebook.



will access Facebook this year, almost 90 per cent of those via mobile devices. But while the stats are impressive, the reality is that it’s still tricky for marketers to gain a true understanding of how their campaigns are performing within these closed media environments. The platforms don’t provide impression-level data, making it difficult for marketers to know whether they are reaching their target audience, and to effectively measure ROI.


acebook and Google’s duopoly over online advertising is well established, with the two platforms raking in over $100bn (£77bn) in ad revenues last year, and predicted to account for 60 per cent of the digital advertising market this year. They are particularly strong in mobile, with Facebook generating 87 per cent of its ad revenue from mobile in Q2 and Google expected to make $50bn from mobile advertising alone in 2017. Understandably this dominance of the digital landscape has many members of the online advertising industry up in arms, and it would be naive to think that the survival of other publishers and ad tech solutions won’t be put in jeopardy should the success of Facebook, Google, and emerging platforms such as Snapchat, continue as predicted. But it is equally naive for marketers to ignore the value of these platforms – which are, after all, responsible for driving much of the growth in digital advertising – in offering massive reach across multiple devices, combined with precise audience targeting. So what are the pros and cons of using Facebook, Google and other emerging platforms for mobile marketing, and how can marketers ensure they make the most of these digital giants?

MAXIMISING MOBILE PERFORMANCE Facebook and Google provide an unrivalled method for reaching mobile users, with eMarketer estimating that nearly 1.5bn people

Facebook and Google are under increased pressure to allow third-party verification. Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer, famously asserted earlier this year that both platforms must implement accredited third-party data measurement by the end of the 2017 or lose the brand’s business. Facebook has responded by agreeing to a Media Ratings Council (MRC) audit of its served ad impressions, forming partnerships with over 20 marketing attribution companies and running a series of pilot programmes, while Google has also agreed to an MRC audit of YouTube metrics and has stepped up verification practices for viewability and brand safety. Despite these significant improvements in ad verification, marketers will still only gain an improved understanding of how their mobile ads are performing within the confines of Facebook’s and Google’s closed platforms. They won’t be able to implement cross-channel attribution – outlining how ad spend in one environment is impacting other channels – or piece together all user interactions across the multiple touchpoints that now make up the modern consumer journey.

TARGETING THROUGH DETERMINISTIC DATA In addition to reach, the major benefit that marketers receive from Facebook and Google is access to the most desirable data sets going, gained through direct-to-consumer relationships. This deterministic data is gathered via user logins or registrations to specifically identify individual users, and it allows for precision targeting. Despite continuing consolidation in the ad tech arena, which can partly be attributed to the need for unified first-party data, other smaller players’ data sets cannot reach anything like the scale of those of the media giants.

Naturally, though, Facebook and Google understand the immense value of this deterministic data, and keep it safely contained within their walled gardens, meaning markets cannot apply it to other advertising channels. Nor can they combine it with their own proprietary data sets to gain a deeper insight into their own customers. To maximise the impact of their marketing campaigns, marketers must be able to apply insights across all channels and devices, optimising creative and frequency for different environments and unique users, in cohesive media planning. This is almost impossible to achieve when audience data – however detailed – is locked away in walled gardens.

THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS Marketers don’t need to opt for one over the other when it comes to advertising with the media giants or other technology platforms. Instead, in order to get the most out of campaigns, they can use these options in conjunction with one another. By utilising technology solutions that span multiple environments, they can gain a holistic view of the whole digital ecosystem and activate data across their entire media plan, adapting messaging as consumers move between environments and devices. While the likes of Facebook and Google are unlikely to ever provide performance data at impression level, these cross-environment solutions allow marketers to move beyond rule-based attribution to understand the incremental value of each touchpoint using insights gained in real time across the wider digital ecosystem. They can then effectively compare the performance of distinct marketing tactics and piece together the customer journey, no matter what environments it traverses. These solutions also allow marketers to import and export data, fuelling continuous marketing optimisation. The decision to shun major media platforms such as Facebook and Google is not a sensible one for any marketer, particularly those looking to reach users via their mobile devices. But in order to get the best out of these platforms, which offer unrivalled scale and precise targeting, marketers should use them in conjunction with other technologies, allowing them to build a holistic view of the entire ecosystem.







PROGRAMMATIC’S GROWING PAINS Scott Neville, GM of BidSwitch, considers the incredible growth of programmatic advertising, and the resulting problems for the entire ecosystem.


midst all the recent discussion around the hidden ‘ad tech tax’, and concerns about how the programmatic advertising pie is carved up, many seem to overlook the fact that the programmatic vision of real-time user targeting is reliant on a vast, complex web of technological pipes and code. The technology required to power the programmatic universe – and the cost associated with it – is expanding rapidly, and unsustainably. BidSwitch sits in a unique position, serving as an infrastructure layer that is currently powering a global integrated network of over 350 DSP and SSP partners. A core aspect of our business includes listening to and routing real-time bid opportunities across all media channels on behalf of our partners. This vantage point allows us to see not only where and how the industry is growing, but also where the inefficiencies are being created across the ecosystem. It is often estimated that up to 30 per cent of the overall programmatic ad budget is allocated towards technology. It is important to note that this seemingly large technology allocation typically incorporates several disparate intermediary fees. Between DSPs, SSPs, DMPs, trading desks and basically every vendor represented by the Lumascape, the programmatic food chain is long and complicated. Each and every ad tech provider’s business also carries an invisible, and hefty, operational fee. This is the cost associated


with servers, bandwidth and storage – all of which are required simply to listen, process and decision relevant opportunities in real time. As programmatic advertising continues to grow at breakneck speed, the sheer scale of media-related bid traffic is increasingly weighing down the ecosystem. Just 12 months ago, BidSwitch was translating 250bn bid requests a day. Today we’re translating more than 400bn, and climbing.

BidSwitch was born from the need to resolve exactly these kinds of problems – streamlining complex technology interactions and providing an infrastructure designed to mitigate the inefficiencies plaguing the programmatic ecosystem today. Our customers leverage BidSwitch as a central access point to plug into hundreds of supply and demand partners across all media channels and markets, saving them time, resources and technical costs.

While this represents some natural evolution, as programmatic expands into new channels, a huge proportion of growth can be attributed to the adoption of header bidding and reselling, resulting in significant bid duplication. Our own internal data analysis has shown that up to half the total bid traffic processed among BidSwitch’s partners is made up of duplicated bid requests. Overall, roughly 25 per cent of the bid requests that we see worldwide are actually unique. This is in addition to the much more maligned issues of fraud and fake inventory.

Perhaps more importantly, however, we also serve as a central hub dedicated to programmatic transparency and efficiency. By both removing fraud and applying critical bidstream shaping and optimisation technologies, BidSwitch is helping to negate some of the hyper-inflated ad tech tax that results from programmatic’s inefficient expansion.

Simply put, the number of bid queries processed daily vastly exceeds the number of possible ad impressions that can actually be viewed by human eyeballs. As the volume of bid traffic grows, so does the cost of managing the systems and manpower that enable it. With costs climbing disproportionately to true advertising value, profit margins are being squeezed across the board, putting huge pressure on ad tech intermediaries who have to bear this burden.

With many highly anticipated new features and initiatives in the works, including in-app mobile fraud detection, deals troubleshooting and ads.txt implementation to help combat reselling, BidSwitch is working hard to provide the tools needed to overcome the infrastructure scaling challenges facing the industry today. We want to ensure that the programmatic vision of real-time user targeting continues to grow, but in a true and sustainable way.

The continued growth of duplicated queries and fake impressions is proof that there is still much to be done.


BidSwitch partners with programmatic companies to provide a critical technical infrastructure for seamless ecosystem access, cost-efficient trading, technology tools and services. Singular Technical access to Global RTB Ecosystem

Bid-stream traffic shaping

including 150+ SSP & 200+ DSP Partners

and optimization technologies

Multi-Channel inventory support

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Mobile & In-App









YOUR COOKIES ARE STALE Mike Addonizio, director of platform solutions at Digilant, considers the age of the cookie as it draws to a close, and asks: what’s next for digital marketers?

















or the digital advertising industry, cookies are still the dominant data currency of today. Much of programmatic media-buying technology, and the way we deliver billions of digital ads, depends on this magical string of characters that helps identify consumers online. But as becomes clear when you examine these practices a little closer, it’s time to replace the cookie and move to peoplebased advertising. Many would say that a cookie is a digital identifier for a consumer that an advertiser can target. While this is true, it can be misleading. A cookie is actually an identifier for a browser on a device. Each device can have multiple browsers and each consumer can have multiple devices – so a cookie does act as an identifier for a consumer, but it is most likely one of many cookies that represent them. In the early days of digital advertising, it was quickly recognised that profiles could be built around cookies by tracking what users do across multiple websites. For example, if you browse between a travel blog, TripAdvisor and Expedia, it can be inferred that you are in the market for a holiday. In order to monetise their audiences, websites started sharing data with third-party resellers, who wrapped that behaviour up into segments and sold bundles of similar cookies to multiple advertisers. Today, however, the global average number of devices per customer is approaching four, meaning that, at a minimum, the average person is represented by at least four cookies. Given that each device can have multiple browsers, and therefore multiple cookies, this number will likely be much higher. On your iPhone, for example, a website opened in the

default Safari browser will be attributed to a different cookie to a site accessed through the Facebook or Reddit apps. What’s more, cookies are increasingly shortlived. When someone clears their cookies, they are essentially changing their digital advertising identifier for that browser, and all previously collected behaviour is lost. And when someone uses private browsing (such as Chrome’s Incognito mode), they create a new cookie each time they reopen the browser. So, an advertiser may want to target a specific cookie, but it’s entirely possible that they will never see it again. With the explosion in devices, the surge in ad blockers and the learned habit of clearing cookies, the age of the cookie is coming to an end.

FROM COOKIES TO INDIVIDUALS The goal of digital advertising has always been to use knowledge about consumer behaviour to communicate the right message to the right person at the right time. The more data an advertiser has on users, the more effectively this goal can be realised. In the days when most consumers had one desktop device and no ad blockers, a cookie represented the lion’s share of that person’s online behaviour. But we have now hit a tipping point, where the value of a cookie is diminishing. In order to replicate the successes of the past, behaviour across browsers and devices must somehow be tied back to the consumer themselves. This is referred to as ‘people-based’ advertising – where targeting occurs at the level of the consumer, not their cookies. In order for peoplebased advertising to work, there needs to be a shift from cookies to an identifier.

Many have considered email addresses as an alternative option. If an email address is tied to cookies, it is possible to tie behaviour across multiple devices and browsers back to an individual. Furthermore, an email address translates to other channels, such as social, search and (of course) email. However, the reality is that many consumers have multiple email addresses – a personal account, a work account and one that’s used for junk mail – and they don’t last forever. While email is a great starting point, it won’t create the defragmented consumer profile required for optimal ad targeting. So, what about mobile phone numbers? Most consumers only have a single number and, since mobile providers allow for a phone number to be transferred from one provider to another, users rarely change their number. This makes it a non-fleeting, unique identifier that represents a consumer. If all digital behaviour could be tied to a mobile phone number, advertisers would be able to build a full profile of their consumers. It’s no surprise that ecosystems like Facebook and Google now often require a phone number to sign up for an account or to verify a consumer’s identity. As this practice becomes commonplace for smaller apps, publishers and websites, mobile phone numbers could become the identifier of the future. For programmatic advertising, this unique identifier could one day replace the cookie. Assuming that this all happens in a privacycompliant way, the mobile phone number could span ecosystems, devices and browsers, and help advertisers achieve that core goal, of delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.





THE TABMO GUIDE TO LOCATION-BASED ADVERTISING From transparency to creativity, TabMo UK head of trading and platform sales Dan Read shares his top tips for making the most of location on mobile.


obile offers advertisers a unique proposition: the ability to target consumers based on context and location. Location data can help to significantly eliminate campaign wastage – key for agencies as they strive to maximise ROI for advertisers. But while this data is readily available, getting location advertising right is far more complicated.

KNOW YOUR HISTORY Targeting audiences in real time when they are in the vicinity of a specific place can play a key part in an advertiser’s mobile strategy, especially if the objective is to drive people to a certain location. But it’s also essential to ensure that the audience targeted has been prequalified as relevant to that advertiser – and this is enabled by historical location data. Looking at where a device has been used over a period of time gives anonymous insight into


where the device owner lives, works, shops and so on. Mapping this with personally unidentifiable offline data lets advertisers begin to paint a much clearer picture of who they are reaching.

USE EXPERT INPUT Campaigns will perform better if they are executed by experts, whether in-house or via a third-party provider. To establish which location vendors to use, marketers need to articulate a clear brief outlining what they want to achieve with their location-based campaign. At the same time, while it is important to trust the advice offered by the expert, when working together it’s important to ask questions as required, to further both transparency and knowledge.

KEEP IT CLEAN It’s no secret that fraud is still endemic in the online advertising industry. Mobile advertisers must not be reticent when it comes to asking

difficult questions about the source of location data, in order to be as confident as possible that it is not fraudulent. This requires ‘looking under the bonnet’ of the data supplier to ensure they undertake essential processes to provide clean location data. These may include cross-referencing location data provided by different sources, such as GPS, beacons and phone operators, to ensure it all matches. Or it may involve algorithms, and possibly teams of data scientists, analysing device location patterns to ensure it’s plausible that a certain device was in the given locations across a certain timeframe. If it’s unlikely, then the publishers providing that data should be monitored closely and removed if found to be fraudulent. That said, it must be acknowledged that there is no silver bullet when it comes to targeting online advertising fraud. Clean data and non-fraudulent


marketing is a work in progress. The key is remembering that everyone has a role to play in tackling the problem.

BE CREATIVE The importance of good creative cannot be underestimated. Having gathered the location data and honed the targeting, the visual element is the final piece of the jigsaw – and often the deciding factor in whether or not people engage. Improvements in technology and location data mean that advertisers have a real opportunity to deliver highly relevant, engaging creatives to a very specific target audience, not only at the right time and in the right context, but in the right place. Incorporating location into the creative can maximise the advantage of these advances. Sequential messaging, for example, could be used to advertise a new film release. The

audience could first be reached with the film trailer creative when they’re using wi-fi at home, and those that engage could be retargeted when they’re later seen in proximity to a relevant cinema. Dynamic location adverts are also a highly effective way of making creative more relevant to consumers. Tactics such as referring to local weather or traffic conditions help advertisers to connect with users in a way that hasn’t previously been possible.

TRANSPARENCY IS KEY Advertisers should always ensure they know exactly where their creative is appearing. The use of private inventory marketplaces or whitelists and blacklists is now an essential element for advertisers that are using mobile to its full potential. This, coupled with the ease of partnering with AdSafe verifiers, means complete brand safety should be achievable.

Alongside inventory, advertisers should also expect full transparency around the data being used, as highlighted above. To maximise returns, they also need full visibility on cost, to ensure they aren’t paying inflated prices because of high margins being applied by vendors.

BUILD TRUST The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into force on 25 May 2018. While there is still much uncertainty about what is required and how it will work, the main aim is to give power back to the consumer, by enabling them to see the data companies have stored about them. This should be seen as a positive development, as it will allow brands to build stronger, more transparent relationships with their consumers – creating an unprecedented level of trust. In turn, this should drive higher engagements and a better ROI for advertisers.



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MOBILE WEB OR APPS: WHICH PLATFORM IS THE REAL FUTURE? Paul Barnes, Northern Europe and Middle East territory director at App Annie, considers the place of mobile’s main content platforms.




ince the birth of the App Store nine years ago, the time spent in apps has continued to increase. Today, we engage with apps for an average of two hours a day, and over 85 per cent of time on mobile is spent in apps. The mobile web will continue to exist, but will never compete with mobile apps. It’s like 3D versus 2D: they both serve a purpose, but one is undeniably richer in information. For many brands, the app is their main digital portal, while the mobile web serves as a springboard for the audience – a tool for discoverability. However, there are still many brands that see apps as supplementary, an aesthetic flourish for the brand, rather than a sales driver. If mobile isn’t at the core of a brand’s business, then investment in apps could understandably seem non-essential, but that would mean missing out on a major sales channel and a growing financial prospect. In our latest report, we forecast that mCommerce transactions will increase by $5 trillion ($4 trillion) by 2021, to reach an astounding $6.3 trillion. As phones have evolved into handheld computers, customers, too, have evolved far beyond the understanding of the typical retailer. Expectations have never been higher. In the same progressive curve, though, opportunities to engage and delight have grown with equal fervour. Apps incorporate features and technology which help to create a better user experience for customers. Today’s customers expect a

streamlined and efficient brand experience. For any brand, it’s not the direct industry competitors that set the standard, it’s the start-up tech scene. For example, if a customer downloads Topshop’s app, they’re not comparing the experience to Zara’s app; they’re comparing it to Facebook, Snapchat… the very best apps, which they use every day. Brands needs to raise the bar, to meet their consumers’ expectations.

let interior shoppers envisage what their new furniture will look like before they even set foot in the store. Travellers can get the best exchange rate instantly through apps like Revolut, Transferwise and N26, and can check in at airports using their smartphone as a boarding pass. While the mobile web can be a quick and easy source of information, mobile apps have acted as a catalyst of consumer behavioural change.

Retail banking is a good example of a vertical that’s adapted to the mindset of digital natives. For example, customers can now open a bank account directly through their mobile and, if this isn’t possible with their current bank, they’re likely to switch to a service that provides them with a smoother, easier experience.

Despite this, you’re still likely to hear, ‘But the app stores are so crowded,’ from overwhelmed industry veterans. If it were down to these people to find the pulse of the industry in an emergency, the industry would simply die.

By the same token, however, customer loyalty can be built through apps at a deeper level of engagement than is possible with mobile web. The more information a brand can harvest from its customers, the better it can tailor both the content and the experience to match the interests of a particular user. Push notifications based on geolocations, wish lists and ad hoc updates: apps have a number of tools that can provide a dynamic portal to customer engagement – a 3D experience, compared to the 2D web. This is a mainstream phenomenon, not limited to mobile games or social media. Innovative security features like single-touch identification and voice activation have helped retail banking apps and stock trading apps continue to grow. Augmented reality features

Companies don’t decide that they shouldn’t set up a website because there are already too many websites. Instead, marketers have developed intelligent SEO strategies to market their sites – and, naturally, the app economy has its own guidelines for successful ASO (App Store Optimisation). Nine years ago, when the App Store first opened its doors, very little was known about app data compared to the web. But things have changed. While the industry was talking about multiscreen mobile web, consumers were already steps ahead, embracing mobile apps. And today we know that 2016 saw 900bn hours spent in apps, up 150bn hours on the previous year. So it’s no longer a question of whether you should have an app, but how you are going to execute a successful app strategy.





A SMALL STEP FOR TECHNOLOGY, A GIANT LEAP IN MINDSET Kevin Britt, country manager, UK and Ireland, at Infobip, explains the differences between multichannel and omnichannel, and why brands need to make the jump.




n April 2017, the number-one operating system accessing the internet was no longer Windows – it was Android. This was the moment when mobile devices undeniably became the dominant players online, turning the marketing world mobile-centric. The immense popularity of smartphones has left brands trying to adapt to a generation of users that expect easy interaction across multiple channels, from SMS to email to an OTT app. This expectation means that, in order to stay ahead of the competition, it’s now essential for brands to deliver seamless communication when and how users want it. In short: welcome to the new era of omnichannel communications.

OMNICHANNEL AND MULTICHANNEL: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? While the wisdom of reaching consumers in multiple ways is undeniable, the wealth of communication channels now available can be a double-edged sword, and businesses can struggle to live up to consumer expectations. This is where it might be useful to understand the difference between multichannel and omnichannel communications. Multichannel communication is when you use more than one channel to connect with your customers – for example, through an email newsletter as well as a Facebook feed. However, in the multichannel world, those channels might not be linked together. You might not know if the customer you’re contacting has already emailed, phoned or messaged another department. As consumers, we’ve all experienced this when we have to explain our problem from scratch every time we reach a new person in a call centre. This happens because, in many companies, different departments ‘own’ different communications channels. Marketing might be in charge of the product newsletter, while sales has the lead nurture flow, and support owns technical calls and emails. Nine times

out of 10, replies to newsletters for support bounce back or, at best, receive an automated reply with a generic email address.

the challenges that businesses face when looking to roll out omnichannel, and it offers an array of benefits.

In an omnichannel world, companies can use multiple channels to engage with customers, but they are all interlinked, so every interaction becomes part of a single, ongoing dialogue — which customers already believe it is.

CPaaS delivers the geographical spread you need – top vendors have omnichannel frameworks in place across all key global markets. CPaaS vendors generally offer a one-stop shop that integrates messaging, user segments and reporting into one system. Being able to monitor, analyse and report on customer engagement is as important as having a functioning and professional omnichannel messaging platform in place. The CPaaS model supports this by helping businesses to better manage their communication flow from initial user interaction to customer feedback and beyond.

Implementing omnichannel isn’t complicated, you just need to understand what customers expect, and make it happen without worrying about breaking down communications siloes. No part of the communications flow or conversation matrix can operate outside of the system. Remember, customers already see communicating with you as a single conversation, regardless of how they do it. Omnichannel only works if you see it that way too. Omnichannel platforms look for ‘trigger words’ and other data in incoming messages, and direct the message to the relevant person within the company. For example, emails with support-related trigger words get queued to support, while a reply from a customer to a marketing newsletter appears in the account manager’s inbox. Today’s omnichannel systems are sophisticated enough to learn and manage these kinds of tasks. They can automatically pull customer data up for representatives answering incoming calls, for example. An SMS from a certain number can be directed to an account rep or support, depending on the words it contains. Starting slow is essential for companies dipping their toes into omnichannel. Instead of integrating every possible channel from the word go, start with the ones that you do offer and integrate them. If you only offer voice and email right now, integrate those before bringing in push and SMS. However, the eventual goal is to have a platform that straddles all of the popular communications platforms through a single integrated hub.

THE NEW OMNICHANNEL MODEL ON THE BLOCK By far the most popular method of going omnichannel quickly is through the Communications-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) model. This is designed to overcome

Nowadays, new messaging services gain popularity with bewildering rapidity and are as unpredictable as consumer preferences themselves. This is another area where CPaaS comes into its own. The model offers the fastest time-to-market for the integration of new messaging platforms, allowing fast and efficient integration of new platforms into a system, in tandem with consumer demand.

PROCESS TRUMPS TECHNOLOGY According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, companies with strong omnichannel strategies retain an average of 89 per cent of their customers and see an average 9.5 per cent year-on-year increase in annual revenue. Approached correctly, omnichannel offers increased brand visibility, more routes for interaction with new and existing customers and much-improved customer satisfaction. It’s a win-win for all involved. Omnichannel communications solutions are designed to make the technology part of the equation easy. However, all customer-facing departments need to realise that they all have a stake in getting new customers and keeping existing ones happy. This isn’t a problem that technology can solve – people have to clear this hurdle first. The sooner your employees realise that customer communications are everyone’s responsibility, the easier it will become to integrate all your channels into an omni solution.





THE ADVANTAGE OF A GLOBAL AD EXCHANGE Michael G. Barrett, president and CEO of Rubicon Project, shares some of the unexpected benefits of working across markets.


ver the past few years, access to technology has spread across the globe at an accelerated pace. More than half of the world’s population now uses the internet; almost two-thirds have a mobile device. With the explosive growth of worldwide technology, the ad tech industry has also become more global. For companies, networks and exchanges in today’s economy, there are unique and sometimes surprising benefits that come with operating at a global scale. Here are a few advantages of a global ad exchange, ones that may not be immediately obvious.

EMERGING TRENDS As a global exchange, Rubicon Project connects more than 900,000 advertisers, over 1m websites and 60,000 mobile applications in the world. With so many partners across continents,


we’re able to interact with multiple markets concurrently. This gives us a unique advantage when it comes to identifying global trends – a prime example of which is the rise of video.

exchange, we have the benefit of working across platforms, from desktop and mobile, to OTT and digital out-of-home.

Back in 2015, video ad spend in the UK exploded, according to IAB figures, growing more than 50 per cent to £711m. At this time, the use of programmatic video was already a fact in Asia.

In the coming years, the cost and depth of many screens will approach zero. The subsequent explosion of new formats will serve as fresh soil, pulling activity away from closed platforms and requiring a global independent exchange to connect it in a fair, consistent, open and effective manner.

As an exchange that works with both the UK and Asia, we saw it was only a matter of time before video eclipsed display, so we developed technologies to meet the demands of video, which Cisco projects will account for 80 per cent of global internet traffic by 2019. If our exchange was more insulated, we may not have predicted this upheaval, or prepared for it.

DIVERSITY OF INVENTORY As the digital landscape continues to burgeon, so does the variety of platforms. With international scope, Rubicon Project has the opportunity to work with a diversity of unique inventory. We partner with companies like Spotify to automate their global audio inventory, and Clear Channel to automate out-of-home advertising – a market which is fast growing, with spending surging to £107m in the UK alone last quarter. Meanwhile, the rise of OTT devices and their reach among users means more ad time, and more opportunities for marketers. eMarketer predicts weekly time spent with OTT (over-thetop) TV will near 19 hours in 2020. As a global





As such an exchange, we have an inherent advantage. We’re able to facilitate both sides of the advertising equation – the buying and the selling of inventory. This means we are able to make digital’s increasingly diverse inventory available to all, offering publishers and buyers the opportunity to operate on an open and fair playing field. Recently, there’s been a demand for this kind of independence and initiatives like the GDPR are bringing increased transparency to ad tech in Europe. In the big picture, the digital ecosystem is growing rapidly, and the increasing interconnectedness of our industry is fuelling its growth. For a long time, there’s been a differentiation between private and public exchanges, but with the rising global economy, perhaps a new question has come to the top of mind for the industry: how global are we? And ultimately, in today’s connected world, being global means having an inherent advantage.








MEASURE UP Liam Corcoran, VP of ad and audience measurement EMEA at Research Now, explains how home shopping group N Brown tracks the effectiveness of its cross-device campaigns.


n an increasingly complex media world, the way content is consumed continues to proliferate, with consumers now completely device and channel agnostic. Content has become king. Innovative media agency Carat had been working with N Brown, a successful digital retail group with 150 years’ experience in home shopping. N Brown had historically spent predominantly on above-the-line media,


and it wanted to quantify the impact that the increasing digital budget was having on three of its core retail brands: JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo.

of the brand – which is where Research Now came in. We were able to provide this insight in one single source, through our cross-device measurement solution.

Carat needed to provide a holistic view of the campaign to its client. Having the ability to accurately measure a cross-device, multimedia ad campaign became critical to understanding the true impact that creative and messaging has on a consumer’s awareness and perception

THE BIG IDEA Relying on claimed data and a lack of individual channel measurement meant that traditional brand tracking methodology was simply insufficient for delivering the insight which Carat needed to provide for its client.


As a business, N Brown Group are continuing to increase investment in brand and our channel mix continues to diversify in line with our audience behaviours. Our traditional brand uplift studies could give us a broad understanding of our brand health metrics, but we wanted to know more. We worked with Carat and Research Now to develop real-time, always on-brand tracking for our three power brands, Simply Be, Jacamo and JD Williams.

Research Now provided a methodology that enabled the measurement of each channel’s impact (TV, print and digital) on brand metrics in isolation, alongside other media channels, throughout the campaign through real-time reporting. N Brown wanted data to optimise campaigns while they were live, understanding which creatives were working, the optimal frequency of digital exposure and how the channel mix impacted various brand metrics. As well as optimising the campaign, the data was needed to aid future campaign planning, where a traditional brand tracker’s results would be too late to influence the Q4 2017 planning. Research Now and Carat worked together to conduct a UK industry first trial of a new brand uplift, cross-media, cross-device methodology. The approach was trialled in Q4 2016 with one of the three brands. The trial delivered a wealth of insight for the teams and secured a Q2 2017 rollout across all three of N Brown’s power brands.

MAKING IT HAPPEN Employing Research Now’s cross-media measurement solution, which combines the benefits of persistent first-party cookies, Carat was able to capture the ad exposure across

We now track all our digital brand activity as well as traditional channels, and we are able to understand the true brand effect of combinations of different media. This means that we are now able to improve our business results to meet our brand objectives by selecting the media mix that we know optimises our awareness, consideration and purchase intent. PIERRE HUN HEAD OF MEDIA, N BROWN GROUP

each of the media channels, linking multiple ad exposures (online and offline) to create an ‘exposed’ group of individual respondents, alongside a matching baseline control group. Using a custom-designed survey sent to all respondents, Carat could assess campaign effectiveness, giving us the ability to compare uplift in brand KPIs for each media channel independently, as well as in groups, to provide attribution analysis. This data was then fed into a ‘real-time’ dashboard where, unlike traditional trackers, Carat could view weekly changes to brand metrics by each media type, frequency of exposure, creative and site.

RESULTS For JD Williams, TV, press and digital advertising combined led to a five per cent uplift in brand awareness. Of those aware, the proportion who shopped with JD Williams was nine per cent higher. Exposure to press alone led to a one per cent fall in perceptions that the company sold a wide range of products, but if press was combined with TV or digital, a six per cent uplift was seen. For Simply Be, exposure to TV and digital increased brand awareness by four per cent,

while exposure to print and digital increased ad awareness by 10 per cent and those who chose to shop with Simply Be by four per cent. Exposure to TV, print and digital increased positive impression of the brand by 11 per cent and led to a 10 per cent increase in likelihood to shop. For Jacamo, seeing TV and video advertising led to a four per cent uplift in brand awareness. Carat and N Brown will continue to measure and understand the incremental benefit that video adds to their TV strategy. For the first time ever, Carat and N Brown were able to see a holistic view of their campaign across all channels, helping to optimise their spend. The fast turnaround enabled them to use the results for immediate effect with the next season’s campaigns, influencing their autumn/winter planning decisions. The results show that a mix of media deliver higher results for N Brown. Carat is now confidently increasing investment in digital brand activity as it knows it supports the above-the-line campaign, and print continues to be an increasingly important part of the strategy, as it’s now proven to drive consideration and purchase intent.





BECOMING A BEST BRAND IN A MOBILE WORLD Simon Baptist, director of business development at Tune, explains the concept of ‘mobile-best’, and why it’s so important for marketing your brand.


he rise of ‘mobile-first’ companies has changed the way people watch, listen, play and buy. The likes of Uber, Instagram, Tinder and HotelTonight – companies born in a mobile era – disrupted business models and dominated the mobile experience. However, the halcyon days of app discovery are ending, driven by app store saturation and the accompanying cost barrier associated with convincing audiences to download more apps. It’s not just mobile-first marketers who have noticed that app downloads are slowing. Longstanding brands are feeling the app download pinch too, and are searching for mobile marketing best practices and new ad partners in the hope of jump-starting downloads. The real question they are trying to uncover, though, is this: are the rumours of the ‘death of the app’ true?


Mobile-best is the ability to engage with customers in the most impactful way, be it on the web, mobile web, in app or on other emerging channels. Being mobile-best brings the best of all channels together, while keeping the most ubiquitous and personal computing platform ever created – mobile – at the core of every marketing programme. Tune is on a mission to help brands become mobile-best. We see ‘mobile’ not just as app, but as web and app together. Apps deliver customer insights, customer engagement and customer share-of-wallet in a direct and powerful way. They also provide instant and real-time updates to your customers on a one-to-one basis. As the top mobile marketer at GameSpot told us, the brand’s app customers are more valuable than top-level customers in its loyalty programme.

If that sounds shocking, it shouldn’t be – we live in times of increasing marketing complexity and noise. Not all is lost, however. There exists a new opportunity to capture attention, streamline engagement and build life-long brand loyalty.

But apps alone do not make for successful marketing. Savvy brands like GameSpot use the mobile web as a discovery and new customer acquisition channel, before migrating those customers to the app, which is their retention tool.



Amidst all the noise, brands need to keep one simple rule in mind: what’s best for your customer is what’s best for your brand. That’s the essence behind the concept of ‘mobile-best’.

Because we’re nearing peak app, it’s not realistic to expect that everyone will install an app for every brand they do business with. In fact, very few will – so your mobile web

experience needs to be top notch. In a mobilebest world, the mobile web is for prospects, casual customers and some loyalists, while the app is for loyalty, engagement and retention. When melded into one cohesive strategy, mobile web and apps cater to different customers’ needs. This is especially true when trying to capitalise on new technology coming our way, such as voice search devices like Google Home or Amazon Echo, connected TVs and chatbots. A recent Tune report found that Fortune 1000 companies defined as ‘mobile leaders’ had higher valuations than their competitors. Companies that had more than five apps outperformed those that didn’t by 8.5 per cent, while those with over 5,000 mobile customers were ahead by 15.1 per cent. Mobile leaders in the F1000 are also twice as likely to lead in stock price growth. If you look at many FTSE 100 companies, they’ve been around the block. They make actual, real, physical products. Their products are industrial, B2B or resource-based. And yet, these companies have a modern mindset. They think deeply about technology. They build and deliver modern mobile apps. They ensure their websites work brilliantly on mobile devices. In short, even though they are not mobile-first, they understand mobile-best.


THREE TIPS TO BE MOBILE-BEST The average UK mobile user spends 66 hours a month browsing the web via a mobile device, yet competition to get that same mobile user to download an app is fierce. There are an estimated 5m mobile apps to choose from, and it’s really difficult to pack amazing purchasing or ad moments into such a small bit of digital real estate. This is where app search, app store analytics and optimisation play a vital role in winning and keeping mobile users. To win mobile users, you have to win in search first. To crack the top 150 apps in the Google Play store, app marketers need to use 15-25 different search terms to grab enough users. For the iOS App Store, it’s more like 25+ terms to crack the top 150 in a given category. Savvy app marketers use app store optimisation software to carry out keyword analysis, in order to figure out what people are searching for, and then optimise accordingly.

1. Think Organic Organic traffic is the most valuable traffic because, as intent is high, conversions in

app will be high too. There are tools you can use to optimise your titles, keywords and descriptions. You can run experiments using Google or Tune to optimise your design assets. The app store listing should be optimised as much as your web homepage to maximise conversion.

2. Marketing acquisition Make sure you have an attribution tool to measure the quality and effectiveness of the various channels you use. Make the most of your own assets: website, customer support, social communities and shops. This will give you loyal customers at very low cost. Paid acquisition should look at quality of traffic beyond the install. Did you acquire a potential customer or a pool of dead downloads? There are a lot of partners out there ready to sell you installs at good CPI, but the quality isn’t always there, so be clear about your KPI and optimise, optimise, optimise.

3. Marketing retention Don’t be fooled: a download does not represent a user or a customer. Engagement and retention are the keys to success, especially

when you consider that, just a week after download, two-thirds of potential users don’t come back to the app. App onboarding requires a product tutorial, a CRM push and paid advertising. The goal is to build engagement until that magic moment when customers can’t live without your app. Our advice to app developers is to make a great app that makes customers’ lives better. If you haven’t done that, then don’t bother marketing it. Once you’ve built something that’s truly great, take a mobile-best approach to marketing it – configure your marketing efforts to catch people in app, in others’ apps that use deep links, or on the mobile web. Ultimately, the goal is to build a connected set of touchpoints with your mobile customers that reinforce how great the app is, and keep them coming back for more.

Tune helps advertisers resolve three key challenges that all advertisers face on mobile: app store optimisation, tracking and retention. Learn more by visiting

Mobile leaders are much more likely to be financial bulls (in the top quarter of companies by stock market growth). Amazon is an excellent example, with 440 per cent more mobile customers than all of its competitors combined.







WHY THE HUMBLE TEXT MESSAGE SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR CX STRATEGY Customers’ expectations are higher than ever before – and for many, apps are more of a hindrance than a help. Oisin Lunny, chief evangelist at OpenMarket, explains why a shiny new technology isn’t the answer.


martphones changed everything. It wasn’t long ago that if you couldn’t reach someone, you’d just move on. Today, if you can’t reach someone quickly, it’s frustrating. If you can’t instantly get a hold of your supermarket, retailer or your bank? It’s infuriating. This is a lesson a lot of brands need to learn. While most are rightly taking a mobile-first approach to customer service, they’re failing to meet their customers’ expectations. They may be creating new ways to engage with people on their smartphones, but they’re struggling to be there for customers precisely when they’re needed. Part of the problem is that apps – the big priority for brands with mobile strategies – often aren’t fit for purpose. They force customers to go to a specific destination and present them with a limited number of features. If the customer can’t do what they need to do within the app, they have to find another way to reach the business. This results in a clunky customer experience, guaranteed to cause frustration. The bigger problem for brands is that interest in apps seems to be waning. The top 15 app publishers saw downloads drop by 20 per cent on average between 2015 and 2016, and the average consumer now only uses five apps on a regular basis. This slump has led Gartner to predict that 20 per cent of major brands will abandon their mobile apps by 2019. Of course, this doesn’t mean that apps are dead. But unless you’re offering a genuinely


unique service through your app, chances are your customers will ignore it.

and when a need arises, your message is automatically sent. It’s that simple.


SMS is about to get a whole lot smarter too. Rich Communication Services (RCS) has revealed what the next generation of text may look like. With RCS, customers will enjoy a very similar experience to an app, packed with lots of features and visuals. There is a great use case for train companies and airlines to make it easier for customers to access and use their boarding passes. When a customer orders a ticket, they receive a pass via text which includes a scannable QR code and their itinerary details. They can even change their seat by simply pressing a button within the message, without ever having to open a new window on their phone.

If you want to get your customer experience right, you need to be able to do two things. First, you need to pre-empt customer behaviour when you can. For instance, if your customers typically enquire about a certain kind of issue, can you proactively let them know the answer before they’ve even asked? Second, you need to be able to react rapidly when something unforeseen happens. So as soon as they send you the enquiry, do you have a way of responding automatically? The funny thing is, you don’t need some fancy new tech to get this right. In fact, many brands are already solving this with a technology that’s worked perfectly well for some time now: text messaging, or SMS. SMS is the perfect way to get in front of customers at precise moments for four good reasons: 1) It’s ubiquitous – almost all your customers have a smartphone. 2) It’s easy – replying to a text is simple and only takes a moment. 3) It’s responsive – 98 per cent of texts are read, 90 per cent of them within three minutes. 4) It’s preferred – consumers rate text as their top channel for communicating with businesses, choosing it over email and voice. Plus, because SMS messages can be automated, you can be there for all of your customers all of the time. You just plan the right message, define the right triggers

This is the kind of experience customers want. They get the information they need at exactly the right time, without having to download anything or root through their emails. What’s more, they can react to this new information quickly and easily with the tap of a button.

THE POWER OF EMPATHY Great customer experiences are all about empathy. It’s about figuring out what your customers need, and staying two steps ahead of them. That’s why text is such a powerful way to connect with your customers. It’s direct, personal and lets you be there for them when they need you. Customers want slicker, interactive and personalised experiences, and they want them now. Just remember that you don’t need to invent the next WhatsApp in order to give it to them.

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Mobile Marketing September 2017 edition  

The September 2017 print edition of Mobile Marketing