Report: New Metrics for the Mobile Ad Market

1 Summary

As we approach the end of this decade, there has been a frantic pace of evolution in how media is consumed. Communication has become multidimensional, consumer expectations from media have changed, and the business of advertising is transforming. There is no other platform that captures the essence of this change and holds more promise than the mobile device.

Mobile epitomizes the shift in power to consumers, who have grown accustomed to controlling the kind of media they consume, how they consume it, when they consume it, and how they share their experiences through it. While the enormity of options available might seem overwhelming, it presents a rare opportunity for the advertisers to communicate directly with the intended audience through sophisticated targeting, to precisely measure the impact of individual campaigns, to positively persuade the consumer to buy, and finally, to achieve the elusive nirvana of tying the purchase back to the advertising campaign in a scientific manner.

Mobile Advertising presents a unique opportunity to the media ecosystem not only to make traditional media more accountable but also to reinvent interactive advertising in the most fundamental way. Advertisers care about two basic metrics – reach and purity.* They want to reach as many people as possible, and they want to reach as targeted audience as possible. In the past, the two goals have often been in conflict because there is no easy way to distill just the right audience from the entire population. One often ends up casting a wider net (read, wasting advertising dollars), and the advertisers don’t reach the precise audience they hope to target.

The mobile customer base is growing at an astronomical pace. Over the course of the next 10 years, penetration rates for mobile are predicted to reach nearly 95 percent.** The media and data consumption rate is also growing exponentially almost everywhere on the planet. Mobile’s reach is going to be many times more than all the other mediums combined. For most, mobile will become the primary channel for media consumption. This, coupled with the very personal nature of the handset, makes mobile an ideal platform for engaging consumers one-on-one and for building long- term loyalty.

Mobile ad networks play the important role of a broker between advertisers and publishers. The ad ecosystem has evolved over the last 12 months. In this report we will take a look at the value chain, the evolution and the players, and discuss some emerging themes in this segment.

* Purity is defined as the ability to reach the right targeted audience for a given campaign. The more targeted the segmentation, higher the
** Source: Mobile Services Evolution: 2008-2018, United Nations Foundation White paper presented at Rockefeller Foundation’s EHealth
Connection Summit, Bellagio, Italy, Chetan Sharma Consulting, 2008

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