ClickZ spoke with Anna Bager, IAB's VP and GM, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, about the year in mobile and what we can expect for 2013.
ClickZ: What trends did you see in mobile this year?
Anna Bager: I think 2012 was the year when many large companies started to understand the value of mobile. Retailers in particular such as Macys and Target were great at running campaigns on mobile in conjunction with their brick and mortar outlets. Retailers are starting to embrace mobile rather than seeing it as a threat. After all, more than half of all mobile consumers in the US now have smartphones. That's a vast audience for media and content, one that grows still bigger when you consider that over 20 percent of American adults own a tablet.
CZ: Do mobile advertising budgets reflect that?
AB: No they don't, and that still has partly to do with the way we are measuring mobile campaigns, which has been brought over from the world of display advertising. Click-through is simply not an effective way of measuring mobile ads. We need better ways of measuring user engagement.
CZ: What would those be?
AB: Well those metrics haven't been developed yet. But the industry needs to work on that.
CZ: IAB and On Device Research recently released the Mobile Video Diaries, a look at the mobile viewing habits of 200 respondents over a two-week period. What did you find out?
AB: Users are consuming video like crazy, a lot of it at home. We also found that mobile video was being used to tie different screens together: about 1/3 of those we polled reported watching videos in a room where a second screen was available for viewing, such as a TV, tablet or desktop computer.
CZ: What is the significance for brands?
AB: This highlights the cross-channel marketing opportunities out there for brand marketers, such as tying mobile digital video to live television programming or linking magazine ads to relevant mobile clips. Going forward, advertisers need to think about serving mobile users in certain contexts. The IAB also has new research underway to demonstrate how different media work together to convey ad messages to consumers.
CZ: What's ahead on that for 2013?
AB: I believe industry moves towards common standards, metrics and advertising tools will make it easier and less expensive to produce mobile video in the near future, which should help spur the growth of mobile video advertising. IAB's V-Suite, a set of specifications and protocols for in-stream video ad formats, will make it easier to seamlessly play video across multiple compliant publisher sites, for example.
CZ: What is one mistake you think many marketers are making on mobile video?
AB: Only about 45 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a mobile website. We believe all organizations, large or small, need to have a mobile Web storefront that helps device users quickly access company information. This could particularly help mom and pop operations such as your local pizza parlor. They are missing opportunities to let people find them when on the fly with their devices. Companies need to give thought to answering the question, how can users find me?
CZ: Any other trends you see ahead?
AB: I think we will see some opportunities for mobile advertising within the enterprise in 2013.
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Mary Lisbeth D'Amico is a freelance writer based in Jersey City who frequently covers digital marketing, social media, tech startups, and venture capital. She has contributed to a wide range of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Red Herring, and Real Deals. Find her on Twitter at @mldamico.
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