The Value of Data in Mobile Advertising


ADOTAS — Data in any advertising medium is a currency. For advertisers, it is an economic asset that enables them to drive and optimize top-of-funnel, mid-funnel, and bottom-of-funnel performance. For publishers, it allows them to enhance the price-value of their audience.

The Mobile Context

It is no different in mobile advertising. It is just that the journey and reality for mobile is different than other media. The complexity is apparent when we consider the lack of a persistent, universal cookie or the shock wave to the market when Apple deprecated UDID. There is also incredible upside, demonstrated by mobile’s unique ability to deliver precise lat/long targeting data to drive hyperlocal campaigns, for example.

The journey rightfully begins with the lack of a persistent, universal cookie, which, for some people, represents a fatal flaw especially when it comes to enabling retargeting within and across channels. The lack of a cookie has forced mobile to develop an independent and different data regime. Ironically, as online faces the real possibility of a cookie-less future, the mobile data regime — though newer — may serve as a reference point and source for best-practice.

So where are we as a mobile advertising industry and how are we building a productive data regime?

Data: A Hot Topic at the Nexage Forum

We recently held our inaugural Nexage Forum and had the opportunity to explore that issue with a panel of well-respected industry veterans:

  • Marta Martinez, Head of Sales Strategy & Operations, AOL.
  • Omar Tawakol, CEO, BlueKai.
  • Joe Zawadzki, CEO, MediaMath.
  • Alex Rahaman, CEO, StrikeAd.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the discussion:

Multiple addressability schemes: Absent a third-party cookie, mobile companies have investigated a number of methods to create proxy identifiers. Some, like subscriber information from carriers, already exist and it becomes more of an implementation issue; some have fallen by the wayside; others appear promising. However things evolve, it is likely there will be multiple sources and approaches to create workable identifiers. In other words, mobile will not have a universal identifier (one “cookie”) but different cookie jars made up of different methods.  

Multiple integration schemes and data solutions: Data is and will continue to be a hotly contested market.  Different targeting and retargeting solutions will, at a minimum, be based on:

  • The multiple cookie-jar reality described above means data solutions will source different identifiers to enable targeting and retargeting.
  • Different approaches will be used to integrate mobile-to-online and mobile to-offline data to gain a cross-channel view of the consumer.
  • Different “secret sauces” of data enrichment and decisioning capabilities will serve as points of differentiation for targeting and retargeting solutions

Surely competitive lines will be drawn based on who can gain the most efficient access to identifiers and, more to the point, who can best integrate, enrich, and decision on data to create the most accurate view of the consumer.

Privacy and business confidence: The market is rapidly innovating and evolving. As fast as we are going, we need to keep a close eye on ensuring privacy-safe operations. Indeed, privacy is not just a legal or regulatory concern; it will also heavily influence a brand’s confidence and interest in mobile. Capabilities like easy-to-understand, easy-to-execute opt-out options will be an essential component of any successful mobile data regime.

Efficiency and speed: Ultimately, the market will consist of different and competing targeting and retargeting models. This will place a premium on building a robust and efficient infrastructure that reliably delivers data: identifiers, location, contextual, behavioral, etc.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here