3rd party ad serving on mobile – a good start

 In advertising

I caught the news over at MobiAd news about MediaCom running a campaign for T-Mobile using the Nokia Media Network, with ad serving from Eyeblaster’s Ad Campaign Manager platform.

Quoting from the story:

Third-party ad serving may become important to the mobile advertising industry, as it allows for more consistent measurement of advertising results across mobile publishers and channels. And as brands consider moving more of their budgets to the mobile channel, a high level of accountability will be important. With this system, MediaCom is able to serve ads to multiple mobile publishers while receiving third-party delivery data, unified cross channel reports and real-time optimization.

“The lack of integrated analytics and ad serving for agencies has been a looming concern for scaling mobile advertising,” said Stefan Bardega, Director of Digital at MediaCom.

This all sounds interesting – and is a good start for the industry as a whole but at the moment we’re still talking about passive measurement – as per the internet where we know someone has viewed or interacted with the campaign but we still have no idea WHO this interaction came from or anything about them at all.

More so than with internet advertising, the mobile is an inherently better device for capturing a user’s preferences, and maintaining a relationship via mobile.  This means though that an advertiser needs to ASK the user their preferences – either directly through the device, or by interacting with a series of questions or a survey etc to understand them better.

Only when we factor in the user’s preference and profile will mobile advertising become really interesting for advertisers – because it will be more targeted and this will lead to the message hitting the right person at the right time. 

This issue is covered in an excellent new book coming out very soon about social media marketing. 

In the book the concept of  “digital footprints” is introduced and split into two categories:

  • Passive digital footprint – data collected about an action with no client interaction
  • Active digital footprint – data collected about an action with client interaction

Passive footprints are based on behavior patterns and the transition to active footprints is based on trust (part of the three P’s of mobile advertising). 

To harness the real power of mobile in 2009, we need to look for ways to move from passive to active.

The ability to accurately track, measure and report mobile advertising is key – and I agree with the comments from Stefan Bardega, but we as an industry cannot rest here – we need to strive to go further and provide the framework to make these passive digital footprints active. 

With the rise and rise of social media (both online and via mobile), those companies that manage to embrace this concept and add it into the marketing mix will become successful with mobile advertising in my opinion.

The other interesting concept discussed in the book is that of “cost per relevant audience” – which with an active digital footprint is more easily measured.  While we’re in passive mode, the old CPM (cost per thousand) will prevail and we’ll be stuck in the old internet model of it being only about reach and frequency.  With mobile, and active engagement we can do so much more.

In line with my 2009 – year of action post from January 1st,  in the coming months you will see what I mean with measurable results from active digital footprint campaigns that show the real power (and value) of mobile advertising.

Stay tuned or contact me to be part of this groundbreaking work.


Based in London, The Actionable Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and comementator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.