May 22 2015
Basis Technologies

Mobile meets programmatic: What to take home from #adtechSF


Another day in San Francisco, and thousands more people descended upon #adtechSF. If day one was about the big thematic discussions around what brands are doing in marketing, day two was an in-the-weeds, meat-and-potato discussion on all things programmatic.

While a lot was discussed, there were 3 major themes that emerged.

Trend 1: It’s all about mobile

The adtech industry has been talking about the mobile space for a long time, but this year at #adtechSF the conversation felt like it has finally gone mainstream. And the mobile conversation is now touching every major advertising discussion: Consumer purchase journeys; click attribution; device IDs; smartphone adoption; social media usage; and even a rally cry for a new industry metric called “cost per human.” Everything was about mobile.

Some impressive numbers are being dropped too.

InterContinental Hotels Group went from $2 million in mobile booking revenue to just under $1 billion over the last five years, AdExchanger reported.

Google has seen an increase:

In the retail space, Macy’s said consumers are twice as likely to convert on a smartphone as desktop. And a key takeaway for mobile marketers: Conversion is not a linear path.

Trend 2: People need help with programmatic, and that’s OK

“I don’t understand this space and feel really anxious and nervous that I’m not keeping up,” said nobody, ever. At least not publicly. The good news is, if you feel behind in adtech but don’t like to admit it, you’re not alone.

A trend we saw at #adtechSF was an overall feeling that people have a hard time with adtech jargon. They feel like the changing pace of technology is overwhelming and not everyone is at the same point in their adtech learning curve. A number of people told us they struggle with the basics. Some of the questions we received at our booth and during our presentations highlighted that education is still an important part of the adtech ecosystem. So we put together a few things to help:

Trend 3: Programmatic is greater than the sum of its parts

For those who do know programmatic well, the #adtechSF conversation centered around viewability, fraud, transparency, and hyperlocal. Some of our notable takeaways:

Transparency was a discussion that moved through social media as well as foot traffic at our booth. For those inquiring about the new Centro DSP in person, the levels of reporting were the most (delightfully) surprising. Many attendees commented about being impressed that reporting can be broken down to a very granular level: campaign level details, to site-level reporting, to placement-level stats, to conversion and ad-level stats.

Everyone is asking for better tools in adtech and we were happy to showcase a new approach with the Centro DSP.