Thought Leadership

Rubicon Project Mobile Advisory EMEA

March 16, 2013
By Jay Stevens

Last Friday, we held our latest ADvisory Event for EMEA – this time covering all things mobile.

Premium publishers from broadcast, magazines, pureplay as well as news businesses descended on Soho House to hear from a wide range of mobile experts including Vivaki, the Telegraph, madvertise, StrikeAd as well as some of our own Rubicon Project colleagues. Here is a quick summary of the proceedings:

I introduced the event by attempting to cut through some of the hype around mobile we see in the industry, and to explain why mobile is where display was 15 years ago – including a little known fact:

UK mobile ad spend last year was at the same level as media spend in Slovakia (population 5 million.)

Moving onto a case study from a leading mobile publisher, we heard from the Telegraph’s Director of Mobile Platforms Mark Challinor who gave an excellent talk peppered with useful facts (for instance, that 3bn people will be connected to the internet through mobile by 2020.) Ending with a video of a one year-old girl playing Angry Birds on an iPad, Mark left the audience in little doubt of the importance of becoming a mobile-first business.

Next, my colleagues Ingrid Lestiyo (VP Mobile, and formerly Co-Founder & CEO, Mobsmith – the mobile company we acquired last year) and Josh Wexler (GM, Mobile) followed up by showing how tech, standards and scale are all required for mobile to grow this year. Not just that, but also how packaging inventory through formats, targeting & measurement would be key to driving mobile CPMs – and on that note, they demonstrated the highly user friendly interactive mobile ad creator function on our platform.

Josh Wexler

Josh Wexler, Rubicon Project GM, Mobile

In summary, Josh and Ingrid outlined the obstacles publishers currently face in selling mobile, and how the Mobile Project can help to resolve them, applying the learnings and success we’ve had for publishers in desktop display to mobile.

On the subject of obstacles to mobile ad growth, Forrester Research’s Melissa Parrish was up next with plenty more advice for attendees. There were far too many to list here, but just to highlight a few:

  • IT & sales need to work together to find the best tools for sales intelligence & efficiency
  • From a sales point of view, ‘it’s more about the objectives than the screen’ – what advertiser is trying to achieve – to that end, ‘the special things mobile can do will be the super-premium mobile sell’
  • ‘Run of site is going to mean run of everything – totally device agnostic’
  • She explained how mobile campaigns are reported in a different format to display, and advised that publishers and agencies both need to be upfront about that
  • She also revealed that the majority of publishers currently don’t manage mobile yield at all

Following Melissa’s enlightening talk, it was time to hear from the buy side, and Vivaki Product Director Danny Hopwood’s take on mobile. Though Danny expressed reservations about the state of measurement in mobile advertising, saying a cross-industry effort would be the only way to move forward, his explanation of the agency planners’ view on mobile was telling:

“If you had mobile private marketplaces with premium publishers we would be comfortable increasing spend with mobile.”

Danny then joined our buy-side panel, ably chaired by my colleague Oli Whitten: both mobile DSP StrikeAd’s Sales Director Paul Gubbins and Antje Gallo, Senior Manager Partner Development of mobile ad network madvertise completed the buy side picture with some great points, and the audience got a welcome chance to pose their own questions.

You can see some photos of the event on our Facebook page. Tweets from the event were also posted under the #RPmobile hashtag.

Find out more about the Mobile Project.


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