5 Questions with PushSpring

June 14, 2016 — by Aruna Paramasivam    

We have recently partnered with PushSpring to offer their standard and custom segments within MediaMath’s TerminalOne platform. This partnership increases our mobile in-app targeting offering greatly across North America. I was recently able to chat with their Co-Founder & CRO, Tyler Davidson, to get his thoughts on mobile marketing, behavior and targeting.

  1. Where do you think advertisers face the most challenges when it comes to data and mobile marketing?

Whether you’re looking at the stats from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report or Ben Evan’s Mobile Ate the World, there are a few mega trends that advertisers cannot ignore.  Mobile continues to command an increasing share of consumers’ time spent on connected digital media, especially in the app universe.  Advertisers have a diverse array of technology and data options to provide them with alternatives to reach the right audiences via leading platform players like MediaMath, across their ever-increasing number of connected devices.  Specific challenges advertisers face, include: i) inability to target app audiences using the same cookie and data options available on the web; and ii) lack of persistent cookies in the Safari browser environment.  Again, these issues are being tackled by the top platform and data players—and I’d like to believe that PushSpring and MediaMath are solving parts of these equations.

  1. What are some call-outs about consumer mobile behavior that should be on advertisers’ radar in 2016?

At a macro-level, there are a few trends that can’t be overlooked—the ubiquity of smartphones, the increasing time spent in mobile apps and emerging types of app engagement that are happening with certain sub-segments on the audience spectrum.  There’s also an advertiser shift towards buying programmatically and leveraging native content and advertising units that can be customized for audiences based on available first-party and third-party data.  Programmatic media buys now account for somewhere between 30 to 40 percent of digital marketing, with MediaMath and other platform players paving the way for advertisers to reach audiences at scale for all device types.

From a consumer behavior perspective, marketers should also be aware of the shift towards more dynamic storytelling forms of media, including images, video and messaging platforms—as evidenced by the meteoric rise of apps like Snapchat, Instagram and a long list of real-time messaging platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook Live video.  Each of these apps (and many others in the marketplace) are providing marketers with new ways of engaging with audiences that go beyond traditional forms of digital advertising, across both earned and paid media categories.  Examples include: sponsored Snapchat Lens campaigns by Taco Bell and Gatorade, branded MSQRD face morph filters for Marvel’s Iron Man and the 150 million-impression earned media sensation of the woman with the Chewbacca mask on Facebook Live video.   Advertisers (and platform players) need to have an awareness of this shift to apps and the evolving forms of engagement, because it’s no longer good enough to view standardized ad units as the only form of media for engaging with people on mobile devices.

  1. By 2020, consumer behavior is projected to catch up to the ad dollars being spent, with 45 percent of total ecommerce expected to transact on mobile, generating roughly $284 billion in sales (Digiday). Yet conversions are still lagging on mobile. What needs to happen for advertisers, especially retailers, to get mobile shoppers to convert?

The retail market is massive, and eCommerce is taking a greater share of retail receipts with every passing year.  Some companies, like Zulily, have reported huge percentages of their business being transacted entirely by smartphone and tablet devices   However, the role of mobile devices in the eCommerce landscape shouldn’t be viewed exclusively through the lens of “how many sales/conversions are happening on a mobile device?”  Consumers are also using mobile devices in many ways in retail, including:  the rise of Starbucks as one of the largest mobile payment ecosystems on the planet, the use of mobile devices for consumers to comparison shop in brick-and-mortar retailers, the use of device-originated data to inform sales and marketing attribution models and so on and so forth.  So, for retailers to be successful with mobile, they need to understand who their customers are and how they can be activated and engaged from a mobile perspective.   There’s no one-size-fits all model.

  1. How do custom segments, based on apps, help marketers identify and target users at a more granular level?

The sophistication of marketers has improved dramatically over the past five to 10 years, as has the availability of high-quality tools and data, giving marketers an edge in targeting and understanding their users.  Marketers can use device-originated data, including app audience data, to build segments for targeting based on the presence/absence or usage behaviors inside those apps.  We’ve seen some CPG marketers interested in targeted consumers that have retailers where their products are distributed.  We’ve also seen marketers for music and video streaming app publishers seek to establish a beachhead with customers that haven’t yet selected a streaming service. And, for many marketers, there’s the ability to target customers of their competitors with offers to attract ’switchers’—this is especially prevalent in the telecommunications, banking and streaming media businesses.

  1. What opportunities will this type of targeting produce for marketers, especially when utilizing mobile advertising ID targeting?

We believe that marketers will seek high-quality data sources that can be used to activate audiences across all devices and platforms. We’ve heard from a number of Chief Marketing Officers that they want a variety of targeting and activation alternatives, to enable them to maintain a degree of marketing flexibility and efficiency.  The mobile advertising ID is the primary identifier for smartphones and tablets, providing advertisers with the ability to target high-quality data sets linked to the identifiers to target audiences anonymously and efficiently across all platforms.  It’s also important to note that mobile advertising IDs provide consumers with a certain level of control over the ability to remain anonymous or opt-out of targeted advertising entirely.