Ad:tech Week Observations: Mobile and More

| Industry + Technology

Ad:tech and several other events in San Francisco earlier this week yielded some interesting observations.  My take:

• Some people still need to be convinced that mobile matters.  I had several conversations where people spent time convincing me that mobile is important. Even as companies like AppNexus and Rubicon made announcements about mobile, it seemed that each still felt that they had to explain to the audience why they should look to mobile as an important part of their business. If a company still doesn’t get the fact that they need to make mobile a part of their strategy, then they likely won’t survive.

• Speaking of mobile, apps are where it’s at – but it remains mostly games.  In-app advertising is the important and growing segment.  News apps get some ad time, as do some social apps, but the real action is on the game side. Game developers get advertising, get monetization, and have users coming back for more.  If you want to work with apps, be ready to work with games.  

• The disappearing cookie. There’s a lot of concern around what might happen to cookies in the future.  Browser policy changes have just shined the light on what smartphones and tablets had already started – the cookie is not the user identity solution of the future.  Several companies are looking to solve this problem in a variety of ways and are still looking for some agreement from the industry on what’s acceptable.

• AdTech is now merging, blurring, blending with MarTech.  Marketing Technology is getting as sophisticated as Ad Technology. The two together produce powerful tools for marketers.

• Programmatic is here to stay and growing.  It used to be a differentiator if you were a programmatic based company and sourced inventory via RTB; now it’s just expected.  The bad news is that anyone with six months to burn can build the basics and call themselves a “platform” (and we saw a few of those).  The good news is that with the maturity of the capability we now see it moving up the quality and brand ladder. Programmatic is no longer just for remnant, low-end inventory.

• Data, data and more data. We all know it, but it is stark when you see everyone together: data is the currency and differentiator in the industry.  How you get your data, what you do with it, how you analyze it, how you link it across your ecosystem, how data influences your systems operation, and on and on.  It’s a Data Scientist world.  

Corey Ferengul joined Undertone in 2013 as COO before being promoted to CEO in 2014. Prior to Undertone, Corey was an executive at Rovi Corporation, a publicly traded digital media software and services company, where his responsibilities included product planning, marketing, strategy, M&A and business development. Corey also has extensive experience through his career in both the management of large multinational teams and the evaluation and execution of M&A transactions. Corey holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Illinois State University and currently resides in Chicago with his wife and children.

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