This week, we examine the effects of bad mobile advertising, the importance of interacting with your audience and why digital advertisers are really mad at some Russian hackers.

Quality Of Mobile Ads Matters More Than You Think

Does your brand understand what mobile consumers want and are you sure you’re targeting the right people? A recent study by Forrester revealed that 55 percent of companies surveyed ranked audience targeting as the number one area where they are putting strategic attention. When asked what their key objectives were for mobile advertising, 52 percent of respondents said “increasing brand awareness,” 47 percent said “increasing brand engagement,” and 42 percent said “driving customer loyalty.” However, the study found that only 27 percent of the ads consumers see in a typical day are creating a positive experience for their users—30 percent elicit a negative response, while 43 percent elicit no emotional response at all.

Forrester surveyed 1,000 consumers and 100 advertising professionals with companies of 10,000 employees or more. What the company found was that advertisers are wasting millions of dollars on ad spend each year due to poor consumer experiences with mobile ads. In the figure below, Forrester exposes a difference in priorities between brands and consumers when it comes to advertising effectiveness.

Source: Forrester
Source: Forrester

Are You Ready For AI? Marketers Say “Yes”

Seventy-nine percent of US senior-level marketers believe that consumers are prepared for AI, according to November 2016 research from Boxever. Just 15 percent of marketers felt that consumers weren’t ready for AI, and 6 percent weren’t sure.

Wear Today, Gone Tomorrow

While wearing your heart on one’s sleeve may never go out of style, wearable tech like Apple Watches and Fitbit aren’t quite as popular as originally forecasted. According to a new report from eMarketer, wearables were expected to grow more than 60 percent year-over-year from 2015 to 2016. However, the firm is now cutting that estimate down to just 25 percent growth this year.

“Before Apple launched its Watch, fitness trackers dominated the wearables space, and consumer surveys consistently found that tracking health and fitness was the main reason people were interested in wearables,” said eMarketer analyst Cathy Boyle. “They also reported high price-sensitivity. Without a clear use case for smart watches—which have more features than fitness trackers, but significant overlap with smartphone functionality—the more sophisticated, expensive devices have not caught on as quickly as expected.”


In Russia, Methbot Smokes You

It siphons $3 to $5 million in video ad revenue from premium publishers every day and is the subject of a new report by digital advertising fraud security firm, White Ops. This new variation of the botnet hails from Russia and utilizes a network of 800 to 1,200 dedicated servers in the US and the Netherlands. Spoofing real publishers, the hackers sell digital ads for sites such as ESPN, Vogue and Fortune all while creating fake impressions and therefore hiking up the price of CPMs.

White Ops has partnered with The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) to help disseminate information and data including the list of known IP addresses, falsified domains and URLs used by Methbot to track and stop these cyber thieves.

“As scores of additional companies join the initial group of participants approved earlier this month to TAG’s Certified Against Fraud Program, TAG will continue to build a unified defense against the criminals who steal from our industry, said TAG CEO, Mike Zaneis in a statement. “We deeply appreciate White Ops’ leadership in sharing this intelligence with the broader digital advertising community.”


Is HTML5 better than Flash for video? Steve Jobs thought so, and the IAB Technology Laboratory says brands should transition to HTML5 by this upcoming July. Why? HTML5 offers mobile abilities Flash does not and IAB’s research indicates that it has been shown to contribute to a 29.5 percent brand lift. Converting Flash to the new format won’t be easy, but to help, IAB has released “Transitioning Video Ads from Flash to HTML5/JS,” a guide for migrating digital video advertisements to HTML5 and JavaScript.

TV Time For Brands

November upfront revenues for the 2016 to 2017 TV season are up 9 percent versus November 2015, and broadcast revenues are 5 percent higher than last year. Similarly, cable networks saw an increase of 13 percent in upfront revenues, according to Standard Media Index (SMI). Direct-response advertising from big scatter TV marketers weren’t as impressive, however, dropping 26 percent in November. Meanwhile, broadcast networks saw a 60 percent decline and cable TV dropped 23 percent.

Interaction Matters

A new study by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council reveals that one of the biggest challenges for marketers in 2017 will be understanding the connected customer journey across all touch points and how best to interact on a more personal level.

Thirty-eight percent of marketers surveyed feel that digital strategies have delivered mixed results to date, while 49 percent stated that alignment between physical and digital is selective at best.

“Savvy CMOs don’t see digital as a destination for transformation but instead see the digital experience as a constantly moving evolution for both engagements and operations,” noted Liz Miller, senior vice president of marketing for the CMO Council. “The year ahead will represent a real turning point in the customer experience as marketers plan to turn their sights toward connecting, streamlining and measuring the entire journey.”