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Mobile ad budgets set to rise, but marketers need proper tools

The year 2017 was a big one for digital advertising — and mobile, in particular. Marketers believe in mobile ad campaigns so much now that 74% of them are boosting their budgets for the coming year, according to Forrester. But while they’re all jumping into the pool, it seems less than half truly know how to swim…

With Chrome’s upcoming #BlockParty set to hit browsers in a little over a month, there’s growing pressure to improve digital ad inventory, and quickly. Industry experts diagnosing the year ahead provide glimpses of how brands will do so below.

Included here is your weekly digital and mobile advertising news round-up. See anything we might have missed. Drop us a line.

Forrester: 74% of Marketers Plan to Boost Mobile Ad Budgets in 2018 [Marketing Dive]

While Forrester’s survey shows that mobile advertising is on a strong growth trajectory, it also highlights the challenges that marketers face in developing campaigns for wireless platforms. More than half of marketers said they don’t have enough resources allocated to mobile advertising, and only 42% believe that their teams have the right skills for it.

What Will 2018 Bring for Online Video? [MediaPost]

“Brand safety will continue to be a topic of concern in 2018, but the discussion will transition into one of brand appropriateness — a more nuanced, sophisticated evaluation of what’s suitable for an individual brand,” says Bettina Hein, founder and CEO of video ad tech firm Pixability. “Contextual ad targeting will also make a comeback after advertisers discover the pitfalls of pure person-based targeting.

How the New York Times Gets People to Spend 5 Minutes Per Visit on its Site [Digiday]

Bleacher Report got people to spend more than five minutes per day in its app by introducing a tab for Vine-like video loops. The USA Today Network reformatted its digital properties to give users more personalized Facebook-like webpages, which increased time spent per article by 75 percent. The Outline increased time spent per session by 30 percent by embedding 3-D objects into articles. Forbes increased its average session length nearly by 40 percent by redesigning its mobile site to include Snapchat-like cards.

Study Reveals Why Consumers Block Ads on Android Mobile [MediaPost]

Ad-block walls keep users away from viewing the content unless they switch off their ad blocker or whitelist the website, but the study also shows that these walls decrease the number of visitors to websites. Only 9.3% of users agree to whitelist the website if required and 24.1% whitelist websites temporarily before turning on the ad blocker after leaving the site. Some 66.5% of U.S. users do not whitelist the website, with about 42.5% leaving the page to search for the information elsewhere.

Pivoting to Video is the Biggest Trend in Media — But it May Not be as Lucrative as Publishers Hope [Los Angeles Times]

As short-form video floods social channels, Wieser said, brands have less incentive to pay higher prices to place the TV-style ads that accompany many videos online. To continue to attract advertisers, Wieser believes publishers will need to create “very high quality” videos, which can be expensive and time-consuming to produce.

Get Out Your Checkbooks: The Price of Mobile Ads will Surge More Than 45% in 2018 [AdExchanger]

“Mobile inventory itself is not necessarily so expensive,” Friedman said. “What’s driving the prices is the ability to refine that inventory more accurately based on things like location.” Although mobile supply still exceeds demand on “a broad open-market basis,” Friedman said, as advertisers and agencies get more sophisticated with their mobile buying and start layering on targeting signals, supply will constrict and prices will go up.

Publishers are Underwhelmed by the Payoff From Hitting Viewability Standards [Digiday]

Over the past year and a half, advertisers have continually pounded their fists, demanding that they’ll only buy ads that are guaranteed to be seen by a user. The push for viewability gave the impression that advertisers would spend branding campaign dollars with publishers that had highly viewable ads, said Erik Requidan, vp of programmatic strategy at Intermarkets, which helps publishers including Drudge Report and The Political Insider market their ad inventory to buyers.

Mobile Will Catch Up to E-Commerce by 2021 [Retail Dive]

Yet many companies operating commerce apps aren’t investing as much in the mobile opportunity as they perhaps should be. The BI report quotes a finding from the BDO retail Compass Survey of CFOs last year that found only 38% of companies are planning to increase their mobile app investments even as m-commerce continues to grow sharply. Also, even fewer — 31% — plan to invest in optimization of their mobile web experiences.

Brand Safety in 2017: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going [AdExchanger]

But an integral part of that process is for advertisers to clearly define as part of their programmatic strategy what brand safety means to their particular brand. Brand safety is a subjective metric, Kratchman said, and the tolerance threshold varies for every brand. One brand’s safety nightmare is another brand’s media buy, and platforms are going to have to adapt to that. The adaptation has begun, with a combination of technological solutions and human oversight, both of which are necessary to give advertisers the control they demand, said Ken Suh, COO of News Corp.-owned video ad platform Unruly.

 

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Heads Up: Google Mobile-First Index Rolls Out for ‘Handful of Sites’ [MediaPost]

The State of Shoppable Media in 2017 and its Future in the Coming Year [Adweek]

Facebook has a 100-Person Engineering Team That Helps Advertisers Build Tools and Infrastructure [TechCrunch]

Digital Ad Growth is Accelerating [Business Insider]

Unlocking Augmented Reality for Business [TheNextWeb]

Amazon is Planning a Push Into Digital Advertising in 2018, Challenging Facebook and Google [CNBC]

Google and Facebook Broke a Promise to Advertisers [Business Insider]