Note: This article is based on an excerpt from "A Complete Guide to Mobile Marketing for 2014."
With over 75% growth in mobile advertising in 2013 (AdAge Mobile Fact Pack) mobile is no longer an emerging channel. Along with social media, it's become an essential part of every digital marketer's strategy: 2013 was, finally, the year of mobile.
The long predicted shift in the industry occurred as category leadership shifted from pure-play mobile companies to digital media leaders such as Facebook and Google. The launch and huge success of Facebook's mobile advertising, which scaled from zero to a multibillion-dollar run rate was unprecedented. It was clearly the single most important event in mobile advertising during 2013, and it reshaped the mobile ecosystem.
Envisioning the future of the ever-changing mobile marketing industry is certainly challenging. Nevertheless, to guide marketing executives through the 2014 mobile planning process, we at TapSense have outlined what we believe will be the important trends and innovations that marketers will face.
1. Mobile RTB will makes up 45% of all mobile ad buys
Mobile Real Time Bidding (RTB) went mainstream in 2013 with Twitter's acquisition of MoPub, an early leader in mobile RTB technology. In AdExchanger's third quarter 2013 mobile roundup, Mobile RTB was projected to hit 30% by the end of the year. We expect this trend to continue, with RTB comprising 45% of all mobile ad buys at year's end in 2014.
The RTB trend has been around for some time in desktop advertising and promised to deliver more transparency to buyers and better monetization (higher CPMs) for publishers than non-RTB buying. PC ad buyers, however, were slow to adopt RTB, and the results were mixed. In mobile, it's grown rapidly as buyers have embraced this model as the best way to get scale.
Now with desktops and laptop shipments decreasing 14% year over year from 2012, consumers are entering mobile faster than ever before, and it will be up to marketers to adapt their digital strategies accordingly. The primary challenge of this method of buying has been fragmentation, with too many exchanges representing too little inventory. The Twitter acquisition of MoPub, however, promises to bring significant scale to this buying process.