Each week, Simpli.fi CEO, Frost Prioleau, shares his perspective on the world of advertising  technology. Fresh off the plane from AdTech NY, Frost discusses the slow, but inevitable, rise of mobile RTB. Follow Frost on Twitter @phrossed.
Q: It seems like every year is declared the year of mobile–is 2013 really it? A: Well, people are spending more time with their mobile devices, and we have seen the amount of impression inventory for smartphones and tablets rise with it. Right now, however, supply for mobile inventory is outpacing demand with Facebook and others bringing on lots of new mobile inventory. This is keeping mobile CPMs low as advertisers are trying to catch up. Q: What are the factors that are affecting the demand for mobile inventory? A: There are a couple of things that are keeping mobile advertising from keeping pace with its adoption by consumers. One is that there is a lot less audience data available for mobile devices than there is for desktop and laptop devices. This is because there are fewer cookies in mobile and more time is spent in Apps instead of browsers. I believe that cross-device matching will be a game changer here, as it will allow us to target users on their mobile devices based on the the browsing, search, site, and other data that we currently associate with their desktop browsers. Another issue effecting demand is the evolution of mobile creative. Most standard mobile ads are either too small to communicate a message or too disruptive to the user’s experience to be effective. IAB’s mobile “Rising Star” ad units like pull and slider have the potential to match the message with the medium and users’ mobile behaviors. And finally, attribution will have to evolve as well. The real potential here is in hyperlocal targeting where we can show actual in-store sales lift associated with exposure to mobile advertisements.
Q: What advice would you give to an advertiser that wanted to get started in mobile RTB?
A: Mobile RTB inventory is extremely affordable and for many categories it is also extremely effective, particularly when paired with traditional browser-based advertising. Also, remember that tablet inventory is part of the mobile RTB ecosystem. We see three times the amount of tablet inventory, which is mostly browser-based inventory that uses standard creative, than we do smartphone inventory. Tablets ads have also been show to have higher conversion rate than smartphones. So I guess I’d say jump right in with a test, the water’s fine! Learn more about Simpli.fi mobile capabilities