“In the world of online advertising, 2012 could probably have been called the “year of mobile.” It had been about to happen, we’d been told, for several years. Sure, mobile advertising existed before this, but in this period something palpable changed. It could no doubt have been measured in spend and in budgets allocated to mobile, yet there was also an underlying attitude change. Mobile was real.”
That’s the opener from a Smaato blog post on the near future of mobile advertising.
The point, according to Garrett McGrath, Smaato’s Vice President of Product Strategy (who leads product development for the SMX Platform), is that “it’s so real that there seems to be a low-level nervousness about knowing “What’s Next.”
For one thing, McGrath believes, “it’s the point in time where mobile ad tech completely divorces itself from its display origins and stands independent.”
And the “cookie” has dried up and blown away.
The hard truth? We lack a good replacement.
“In its place are a basket of IDs, signals, and inferences that are being cobbled together to somehow approximate privacy-safe user identification,” notes McGrath. “While this is effective in some cases, particularly if you can get a user to log in, it’s less effective in many others. This bit of plumbing is ripe for innovation, provided if it can be done. Tracking users across devices and contexts within the exchange is something we are heavily focused on at Smaato.”
The entire essay is worth a read, especially for people toiling in the trenches of mobile marketing and sales.
Because — as McGrath suggests — “2016 will be the year mobile graduates, boxes up its dorm room, throws off its cap and gown, and moves into the advertising mainstream. Given its scrappy past, lack of baggage, and astonishing speed, it’s probably more accurate to say it will redefine mainstream digital advertising.”