Mobile Ads for the On-Demand Era– At Scale?

The following is a guest contributed post by Andrew Dubatowka, VP of product marketing, AdColony

Advertising has always gotten a bad rap. For every great ad there have always been hundreds or even thousands of awful ones, the ones that “ruin it for everyone else.”

And now, in the digital space, despite the capabilities we have to serve high quality ads to the right people, at the right time, in a way that adds value to their lives instead of annoying them, we are starting to see a frightening decline in quality. Mobile web ads that appear on your screen while you are navigating to a distinct URL, actively seeking content, and completely distract you from your search. They’re like the original pop-up desktop ads of the early 2000s, reimagined for the mobile device!

Much of this has been by the need to standardize, the need to template advertising that can be delivered at scale, through an increasingly automated means. And that is certainly the future, it simply has to be.

However – the ads don’t have to be bad. They don’t have to be disruptive. They don’t have to destroy user experience. We can create ads that people control and request, and not just because they are clever, or cute. We can serve ads that entertain and inform, and that people are choosing to see, not being forced upon them.

You can make ads people like, and you can deliver them in the way they want them. And you can serve those ads to the right audience, at the right time, with massive efficiency – programmatically, which is the way that media from this point can and should be bought and sold.

Ads people like…

How do you create a “likeable” ad? According to a recent customer-first marketing survey, it’s all about bringing more joy to your ads. As one respondent noted, “Unless they are about medication or other very serious matters, companies should integrate more humor into their ads.”

Other studies on emotion-centric marketing strategy back this up. Evoking positive emotion in your viewer is essential to concentrate attention, retain viewers and drive digital sharing. Specifically, the most effective is to create a sense of surprise, which is then quickly followed by joy. To be even more effective, the Harvard team suggested taking that joy away, and then bringing it back again, ultimately creating an “emotional roller coaster,” a cycle that hooks viewers and increases their likelihood of continuing to watch a digital video ad to completion.

Take note, too, that mood matters beyond just the ad itself. When consumers are in a positive mood due to the content they are consuming, perhaps using an app that makes them happy, advertisers can use that build a positive connection with the user, and with that comes the trust that leads to a purchase action. Consumers have reported being happiest while playing mobile games (77%), for instance, which could be one reason why mobile ads – whether they be rich media banners or full-screen videos – in gaming apps perform so well.

In the way they want them

Another oft-overlooked component of delivering the best ad experiences is format. Sure, advertisers use a variety of ad formats, but how often do they think about which format the consumer wants? How often do they put the customer first?

We must refocus on the consumer, and user-initiated advertising is the way to do that. When a user is in a digital environment that contains solely ads you can opt-in to, they perceive it as a highly private arena in which they are in control. Brands must ask permission, in the right way, to enter their world. And, once they enter, the brand must add relevant value to the experience, based on what they know from behavioral triggers  – or risk breaking that trust.

When they do so, though, they are rewarded with higher performance:

  • Embedded, user-initiated ads within apps have received 8X more mental engagement, 3X more time spent with the brand and a higher brand recall than the usual interstitial video ads.
  • Value exchange, or rewarded video, ad units drive a 34% lift in awareness and a 26% increase in purchase intent, surpassing Nielsen’s benchmarks by 3.5X and 5X respectively.
  • Playables are now found by more than 7 out of 10 advertisers to be effective, and 45% find them to be the most exciting ad unit for 2017, as well.

Instead of buying impressions, the advertiser is earning the user’s attention. Another benefit is that you cannot teach bots to perform these levels of engagement, so advertisers know they are reaching an actual person.

Bought the way media should be bought

You can deliver compelling creative, and in the right format, but it won’t matter a bit if you cannot reach your audience at scale, or if your campaign cannot benefit from the great promise of automation – delivering the right ad, to the right person, at the right time, and at the right price.

Traditionally, that’s what programmatic has been about: Audience and scale. And while the industry for years has been predicting the death of the standard mobile display banner, it’s not going anywhere soon. There’s too much ease and scale wrapped up in those units.

However, it’s now clear that we have evolved to the point where full-screen and interactive display units – the expandable rich media, HD video and playable ads I refer to above – can be bought and sold programmatically. Budgets for these units have grown nearly 50% in the past year, and usage has also grown by 61% in that time.

With this shift from remnant inventory and low-denominator ad types to premium apps and highly engaging units, we can see that programmatic is now a tool for efficiency, reach and to help achieve lower-funnel brand outcomes, not just media outcomes.

From this moment forward…

Digital ads, including mobile, do not have to be a source of annoyance or discontent with consumers; they can delight, entertain and provide valuable information for their daily lives. As an industry, we must commit to delivering these experiences, and in the moments and places that the consumer chooses to receive them, rather than at our own whims.

This is where mobile is going, and the best global brands are already leaning into this movement – it’s time for everyone else to do it, too. As more marketers jump on board and move into automated, scalable delivery of these types of ads, mapping them to downstream KPIs, everyone will benefit.

The post Mobile Ads for the On-Demand Era– At Scale? appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Mobile Marketing Watch

Former General Motors Executive: “We Are Approaching the End of the Automotive Era”

Relinquishing the Driver’s Seat

Saying that autonomous cars are slowly increasing in popularity is a bit of an understatement. An idea once relegated to works of sci-fi is slowing becoming a reality, and it’s seemingly only a matter of time before the majority of vehicles on our streets and highways are self-driving and we reach the end of the automotive era as we know it.

A glance at the companies investing in autonomous technologies should tell you everything you need to know about the tech’s expected impact — Tesla, Google, Lyft, Uber, General Motors, and Ford are just a handful of the many companies creating, testing, and deploying autonomous cars.

While figuring out how to sell self-driving cars to consumers might be a more near-term consideration for some of these companies, no doubt others see the possibility that we’re heading toward a future in which people no longer own cars at all or, at the very least, one in which owner-driven vehicles represent just a small minority of those on the road.

Bob Lutz sees such a future on the horizon.

The former VP of General Motors may have retired in 2010, but with 47 years’ worth of experience, few know the automotive industry as well as he does, so when he says we’re approaching the end of the automotive era, it’s in every automaker and car owner’s best interest to pay attention.

“The auto industry is on an accelerating change curve,” Lutz wrote in an article published by Automotive News. “For hundreds of years, the horse was the prime mover of humans, and for the past 120 years, it has been the automobile. Now, we are approaching the end of the line for the automobile because travel will be in standardized modules.”

Autonomous Public Transport: The Future of the Urban Commute [INFOGRAPHIC]
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Lutz expects the transition to autonomous cars to impact consumers fully within the next 15 to 20 years. The “tipping point,” as Lutz put it, will be when roughly 20 to 30 percent of vehicles are self-driving, which will cause society to realize that autonomous cars are safer than those driven by humans. Human-driven vehicles will then be made illegal on roads, and car owners will either have to scrap their vehicles or trade them in for something that can drive itself.

Public Acceptance

Interestingly enough, Lutz doesn’t believe public acceptance will be necessary for self-driving cars to find success. Companies like Uber, Lyft, FedEx, UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, and Amazon will lead the charge, each buying thousands of low-, medium-, and high-end models to advance their businesses.

Those vehicles won’t be branded by their manufacturer, according to Lutz. Instead, they’ll bear the brand of the company using them, so while the autonomous car may look like one of, say, Ford’s models, it’ll be branded “Lyft” or converted into a UPS truck.

Lutz’s prediction that the end of the automotive era is nigh is supported by a number of recent assertions and actions by others.

NVIDIA’s CEO thinks we’re only four years away from fully autonomous cars, and Toyota believes they’ll have intelligent talking cars by 2020. California will allow self-driving cars without human drivers to operate on roads by mid-2018, and Google’s Waymo is expected to launch a self-driving car service within the next few months.

According to Lutz, automakers will be largely okay for the next 10 to 15 years, operating in a manner similar to what they do today. However, within 20 years, the shift to self-driving vehicles will be complete, and the human-driven automobile, repair facilities, and car dealerships will become relics of the past.

“I won’t be around to say, ‘I told you so,’ though if I do make it to [105-years old], I could no longer drive anyway because driving will be banned,” mused Lutz in his article. “So my timing once again is impeccable.”

The post Former General Motors Executive: “We Are Approaching the End of the Automotive Era” appeared first on Futurism.


Apple Enters ‘Post-Steve Jobs Era’ as Samsung’s Design Excels

With its aesthetically pleasing devices like the Galaxy S8 duo, Apple is “in danger of being left behind” by companies like Samsung, according to Hugh Dubberly, a former Apple creative director who notes that Cupertino has entered the “post-Steve Jobs era” of design and innovation.

“It’s not so much that Samsung has gotten better,” but rather “Apple has fundamentally changed,” Dubberly said while adding “The pipeline Steve [Jobs] started is over.” Dubberly — who during his tenure at Apple in the late 1980s and early 1990s founded the Computer Graphics department at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California — has years of experience working with both Apple and Samsung, having previously served on Samsung’s global design advisory board.

His sentiments echo those of analysts cited in a recent report by The Wall Street Journal, who contended that Apple’s upcoming iPhone 8 flagship will need to include at least one exclusive new feature in order for the handset to truly outshine Samsung’s latest Galaxy S8 offerings. Specifically, the WSJ report centered around whether or not Apple will embed its Touch ID sensor underneath the device’s edge-to-edge display, calling it a “crucial decision,” since the iPhone 8’s design in itself “won’t be enough to outdo Samsung.”

“The Samsung Galaxy S8 is nudging the bar higher as Apple seeks to impress with its 10th anniversary iPhone this fall,” analysts cited by WSJ said, while adding “For Apple to outdo Samsung on design, it would need a new distinguishing feature, like a fingerprint sensor beneath the display rather than a physical home button.”

Dubberly argues that the design lead Apple once held over Samsung has ended due to the Galaxy S8 and S8+. With its thinner, lighter, and slimmed-down frame that sheds almost all traces of bezel, analysts say that many tech-industry insiders would agree that the Galaxy S8’s sleek design has bested Apple’s — even if for the very first time.

According to Charles L. Mauro, president of MauroNewMedia, (a product-design research firm that’s previously done consulting for Apple and Samsung), what a smartphone looks like now accounts for “about half” of the consumer’s purchase decision. Mauro argues that while previous peer-reviewed studies reveal that consumers didn’t care as much about a device’s aesthetic design, so much as they cared about its features and value, more recent data suggests that customers actually care about how their smartphone looks more than previously thought — particularly as a device’s technological specifications, for the most part, have “reached something of a plateau.”

Of course, at this point, the fate of Touch ID on the iPhone 8 remains a wild-card, as Apple could ultimately go one of multiple routes in implementing the technology. Considering that glass-embedded fingerprint-scanners are already out there, we find it hard to believe that Apple would skimp out on it. Only time will tell though, especially since recent reports suggest we’ll be waiting much longer than previously thought for the high-end iPhone 8.

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