Perspectives On Mobile Data From Industry Vets

A topic that kept coming up in the conversation was the new landscape created by mobile data and the adaptations advertisers undergo to meet it.

“The idea that mobile is a channel is a myth,” said Adam Guy, VP of market development at Neustar, at an Advertising Week panel called Mobilizing Data. “Mobile is omnichannel.”

At the event, five speakers, including Guy, Andy Fisher of Merkle, Dave Smith of Pandora, Andy Hibbler of Whitepages, and JT Kostman of Time Inc, spoke with moderator Joshua Reynolds about the future and potential of data, particularly in a mobile-driven world in which advertisers have access to huge amounts of data that were unavailable even just a few short years ago.IMG_1450

The conversation was wide reaching and covered topics ranging from ad blocking to building a long term relationship with consumers. Check out some highlights from the panel below.

Challenges and myths of mobile data

Fisher: I’ll answer that from two perspectives, from an advertiser perspective and an industry perspective. For advertisers, the trend is towards first party data. Make sure you can participate in that space. Make sure you have everything necessary to leverage your own data.

From an industry perspective,the biggest challenge we have with data is not data. We have lots of standards problems and operations problems, but the biggest challenge is that the advertising experience on mobile is awful. How often do you get an ad for an app you already have or it takes you to Facebook and tries to log you in or it tries to autoplay you a  video when you have no bandwidth? People will block that and if they do then the data won’t matter.

The difference between content and advertising

Kostman: We tend to draw an artificial line between ad and content. Ads can and should be be content. We should create a symbiosis between the two. The questions my partners always ask are about reach and relevance. How do we get the right ads to the right people. The key word is context.

The difference between reaching people and annoying them

Smith: One of the keys there is having a longer term relationship with your users. Like Facebook or Pandora, where they use the same service over a long period of time. Over that long relationship, you can build up a rich dataset of what they’re doing and you can tailor it to fit them.

The shifts needed to be made in the industry

Hibbler: We have to be honest custodians of the data, we don’t own it. We observe the data and we have to take care of the data. […] We need to create better experiences. Take  a step back, do we need so many ads? What if we have fewer, but better ads? The key is realizing we don’t own the data, we have to react to it.

Mobile’s potential for identification

Guy: It used to be that we used cookies for identification. Now that’s a phone number. But what is a phone number? It’s a person on the other side.

About The Author
Daniel Parisi Daniel Parisi @daniel_parisi_

Daniel Parisi is a New York City-based writer and recent graduate of the University of Maryland. Daniel specializes in coverage of mobile payments, loyalty programs, and the Internet of Things.