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Mobile Advertising Is Growing Up and Going Mainstream

Last year mobile online traffic surpassed desktop traffic. Now that mobile advertising has established itself, it’s poised to “redefine mainstream digital advertising.”

That’s the prediction by Garrett McGrath, Vice President of Product Strategy for Smaato, an ad-platform development company.

In a recent blog post, McGrath said he believes “2016 will be the year mobile graduates, boxes up its dorm room, and throws off its cap and gown…given its scrappy past, lack of baggage, and astonishing speed, it’s probably more accurate to say mobile will redefine mainstream digital advertising.”

According to McGrath, the timing is right for mobile ad tech to dissociate from its display-advertising origins and stand independently.

Mobile Apps Plus Mobile Web

Integrated marketers who want to win at mobile marketing need to understand that mobile ad users now spend more time using apps, going back and forth between the mobile web and apps. That means the “cookie” method of tracking users around the web (by planting a bit of code on their browser) is effectively dead.

Mobile is no longer merely an extension of online advertising. McGrath sees mobile as moving past the desktop “shrink and “squeeze” format to become its own mature market. In fact, mobile is expected to “dwarf” web advertising, similar to the way smartphones have transformed the Internet experience.

Bidding For Ads

The real-time bidding model of advertising is also maturing in mobile. Expect it to spread to television, outdoor, and print as well.

Ads As Content

As ads become more and more like content, the two will merge to form “an intelligent stream,” as McGrath calls it, thereby providing experiences that are more personal and relevant to the user.

In-App Ads

In-app advertising allows integrated marketers to target specific groups with the right ad at the right time. For example, capturing attention without being annoying is a fine line to walk with the gamer audience, but can pay off handsomely with far greater levels of engagement. In-app ads can encourage interaction by offering gamers greater control over different situations.

According to the research firm Juniper, tablets will drive spending on in-app ads. Mobile ad spending continues to grow as budgets for “rich media ads” (which expand by clicking or rolling over them and deliver interactive content) are expected to exceed online display ad spending by 2018.

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