AdTruth spent the better part of the past two weeks with 28 of the best minds in mobile from over 18 companies on two continents. After a great start in San Francisco, last week we gathered in Munich, Germany where it was 30 degrees Celsius (that’s the upper mid-80s for us Americans), sunny, and with a crystal clear view of the Alps to the South. As productive as our Mobile Universal Identifier workgroup sessions were during the day, evenings in the Biergarten were even more productive. At the bottom of a couple of Paulauner Weissbier’s, we had most of the tracking problems in mobile figured out!
Seriously, it’s not often in life, personally or professionally, that you sense a connection in a group on something so important. Not long from now, those of us involved will look back on these early workgroup events and share the experience that “we were there…” The 28 of us in Munich and San Francisco all focused on a vision together and sharing in a mission to innovate and lead this industry forward in some fundamental ways.
Change the Economics
The digital display ad market is roughly $40Bn globally with less than $2Bn of it in mobile. eCPMs on desktop range from $.50 to $2.00 but are generally less than $.25 in mobile at best. Given the incredible consumer adoption of mobile, the dramatic shift in media mix occurring, and the “lean back” experience in the mobile environment foundational to effective advertising, these economics simply make no sense. The main reason for this outcome so far – tracking (or lack thereof actually). While so much of the industry is focused exclusively on app to app performance tracking to replace the UDID, this group recognizes the larger issue. Sure, performance tracking is key and is a big part of it, but we want to open up ALL use cases in mobile, at scale, globally, in a very short tight frame. Targeting and re-targeting, reach & frequency capping, data enrichment, and performance tracking are all at our fingertips. Our Wave 1 workgroup will literally help change the economic landscape of mobile advertising and gain long term competitive advantage as a result.
Commit to the Consumer
A vastly better consumer experience is needed when it comes to mobile advertising. Unsavory techniques like”swishing” are not only awful consumer experiences, they are a bullseye for privacy lawsuits. The alternative of simply spamming consumers with the same app add hundreds of times is not the path forward either. With the PC declining and the cookie in trying times to say the least, we need alternatives that are effective and fair to consumers. Our whitepaper on “fair game” tracking articulates the approach and the commitment to privacy in tandem. What’s important to recognize is that the focus on the consumer is not just about privacy. That’s a given. It’s also about a great experience. Better ads with more relevancy and no invasive user experience.
The Present Future
There is now and there is then. Now is not about AdTruth “competing” with the UDID or OpenID or SecureID or MacID or ODIN. All of these solutions cover the app to app download tracking use case and that’s it. Our advice – keep using these technologies while they are still here, but use AdTruth alongside them. Forward thinking companies are training their operations on a new way of doing business while a source of truth still exists. Even better – these companies are setting themselves up for every use case in mobile and will be among those winning companies that change the economics of mobile – a topic we already discussed. Then should have come along ages ago. With a foundational technology problem now solved, then will be here very soon!
In summary, innovation is essential. We will solve the issue of tracking and solve It for real. Our deepest appreciation to the 18 companies who are stepping up to change things and believe in AdTruth. Together we will move this industry forward and, hopefully, toast our success with a few more Weissbier’s in the biergarten soon!
Stay tuned for our press release this week…