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How to Scale Mobile? Programmatic May Be the Answer

Bellow, Martin Kogan ,our Co-CEO and Co-Founder, shares his views on the importance of mobile in your advertising efforts and the important role programmatic buying plays.

Martin Kogan, our Co-CEO and Co-Founder, has provided some insight on how to scale mobile in this month’s newsletter. Below, Martin shares his views on the importance of mobile in your advertising efforts and the important role programmatic buying plays.

How many times a day do we grumble because the person in front of us has his head buried in his mobile device, blocking the exit? Or that the sales girl is too busy texting to notice we need help?

Like it or not, we’re never far from our mobile devices. StatCounter reports that 80% of mobile users sleep with their smartphones nearby, and that 75% would never consider leaving home without it. It’s no small wonder that advertisers are keen to launch mobile campaigns: those tiny devices are nothing short of a 24/7 conduit to the consumer.

And we haven’t seen scale at this level before. Consider that some 1.5 billion consumers worldwide carry smartphones, nearly all of whom use them to access the web (comScore predicts that mobile Internet usage will surpass desktop usage this year).

Need I go on?

As an advertiser, you’ve probably been frustrated by past mobile campaigns. Perhaps you’ve tried to launch a mobile campaign with a trusted publisher, but couldn’t quite get the scale you needed to succeed.

Hype aside, mobile only accounts for some 10 – 30% of a publisher’s traffic; not quite the threshold they need to invest serious dollars to update their I/O systems, standardize reporting, and clear untold number of obstacles in order to make mobile sales seamless.

As we head into 2014, the question we face is how do we scale mobile? Fortunately, the answer is right there in front of us: programmatic.

The global ad exchanges have an abundance of mobile inventory, enough to scale your most ambitious campaigns.

(For those of you who are new to programmatic buying, global ad exchanges pool inventory from hundreds, if not thousands, of publishers. All impressions are sold one at a time in real-time auctions. When you buy, say 300K impressions, your ads will appear on a multitude of publisher sites.)

Additionally, all of the leading demand-side platforms (DSPs) – which marketers use to launch programmatic campaigns – are integrated multiple ad exchanges, which means you get access to billions of mobile impressions for your campaign.

What’s more, going the RTB route provides your mobile campaign with all the efficiencies marketers have come to know and love about programmatic buying, including:

  • Laser targeting. With programmatic, you can purchase just the impressions that meet your campaign criteria. Of course, targeting options aren’t as broad as they are with display ads, but progress for this solution is growing rapidly, and I’m confident that the day is near when we can do as much with mobile as we can with display ads.
  • Real-time optimization. Programmatic captures results in real time, and uses that data to hone campaigns. If your ad isn’t getting the results you want in a specific DMA, it can focus the balance of your ad spend on more productive regions to deliver superior return on ad spend (RoAS).
  • Access to multiple publishers from a single platform. Programmatic buying, with its robust reporting, can help you determine the sites on which your brand gets the most traction (useful information when you’re planning future direct campaigns).

In 2013, mobile advertising doubled, reaching 3.7% of all digital ad spend; a tiny portion given the consumer’s preference for mobile. In 2014 it will probably double again, thanks to programmatic buying.

As a marketer, you no longer need to sit on the mobile sidelines. Headway Digital can help get you in front of your consumers as they interact with their smartphones and tablets. To learn more, visit or contact a Headway Digital representive at

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