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Mobile Fix - November 24

The natural place to start Fix this week is a new deck from Luma charting the current state of digital marketing. Lots of facts and figures and the overall trends are familiar; consolidation in adtech is accelerating - largely driven by the continued supremacy of GAFA. One new topic we are very interested is the emergence of a new trend - Customer Data Platforms facilitating the improved orchestration of digital marketing.

Now that poses the obvious question; What is the difference between a Customer Data Platform and a DMP? Watch this space

Automated Ads - Agencies

Whilst we think this a significant step forward do we really need another three letter acronym? A survey from our friends at IDComms confirms what we all know - marketers are quite baffled by the constant developments in tech.Their survey looks at media technology and just 8% of advertisers are thought to have a good understanding of how each technology platform contributes to the value chain and serves specific business and media goals. No-one believes anyone has a full understanding and two thirds think there is some understanding

And guess what? This lack of understanding translates into ineffective use of the tech; Only 15% of advertisers believe they are using media technology effectively.

Consider that alongside the huge amounts of money mentioned in the Luma study and you have a recipe for disaster. Especially when most advertisers believe they are too dependent on their media agencies, who are seen as one of the best sources of advice.

Now we have skin in this game and I can see both sides - but the key issue is whether your advisor is actually advising or just hawkling what their Holding Company factory has built. Our New York team has done lots of tech stack implementations and advice, but we don’t have our own tech to sell. And we pride ourselves on total transparency

A new paper from AppNexus on the future of trading - and consequently the future role of DSPs - is worth reading. As is this paper from Infectious on brands taking their media inhouse. The take from their research is that most people see the need for a hybrid approach. Three quarters of the advertisers surveyed think agencies struggle with programmatic. But most see that Agencies can add value across numerous areas like partner management and strategy.

With Consultancies eyeing up this space - they have hired strong talent and are now actively recruiting traders - it’s going to get more and more competitive. But I believe the key is smart strategic thinking and the ability to adapt creative to the data and the platform, on top of good trading.

Automated Ads - Publishers

On the other side of the equation,the supply side has just as much going on. The push for identity is seeing more and more collaboration with Digitrust making good progress in the US

We have discussed the various initiatives in Germany and France and we are starting to see some progress in the UK. The Telegraph, Guardian and News have partnered, so their outstream video can be bought together. And reading between the lines, more collaboration seems likely. But a shared identity? With GDPR we think getting good quality consent is crucial and sharing that effort probably makes sense.

Spoofing of publisher sites continues to be a problem - a significant new scam has been spotted. Removing the friction from buying direct from publishers has to help thwart these crooks.

Good ads

It is not all doom and gloom in digital, despite what the flat earth lobbyists, seizing upon every negative story, would have us believe. Thousands of businesses are successful with digital - driving their brand metrics and driving sales.

And the quality of the ads is - slowly - getting better. WPP and Facebook have been working together to get creative agencies up to speed on the possibilities. Working across our adtech clients ( especially Photospire and Mporium) we are seeing better traction with creative agencies - and some remarkable creative is coming out of Media agencies too.

There are lots of interesting new formats in mobile and this article is a great round up of some of the better ones - worth digging into.

And the push to 6 second video ads is driving some good creative and good results as the TMobile WorldSeries activity shows - pushing up brand recall, likeability and message recall.

New brands

Many of the brands proving the effectiveness of digital marketing are new startups and scaleups. We mentioned last week the Accenture report on CPGs being impacted by new brands last week that are better at digital and the Economist has a good report on some more of these brands.

A good example is Allbirds - they have become the Silicon Alley footwear of choice. Mahabis are the UK equivalent in many ways

But as we all know, smart businesses blend online with more traditional marketing activities and, as our story last week on Singles Day showed, Online to Offline (O2O) is the way to go. Alibaba linked 150k high street stores with the Singles Day activity and a Los Angeles mall is seeing many online businesses open stores - including Amazon, Warby Parker and Bonobos.

We are so focused on Pop up stores as we see them as a really exciting new medium for clients. Lots of obvious benefits around the brand and sales - and also the possibility of generating first party data on store visitors that can be used online. I will be talking more about the great opportunites for retail and O20 at an EagleEye event next week. If you are there please come and see hello. And if you would like to hear more about our retail focus, let me know


A great piece on the huge opportunities for product placement - one of the smartest ways to use TV these days.

And this US study sees that channel surfing is declining as people watch fewer shows but watch them for longer. But that doesn’t help advertisers;

Does anyone know if the UK data looks similar?

And as Fix is being written a little late as I went to YouTube Brandcast last night, it’s good to look at just how big the top Video players are in the Tubular Labs charts -and good to see ‘trad’ publishers like the Daily Mail and BBC are competing

And I learned at the excellent Brandcast extravaganza that the appearance of Ed Sheeran in the top 10 - with a huge YouTube reach - is down - at least in part - to a YouTube ad campaign by the 7 Stars Agency where they identified 200 tribes amongst YouTube viewers and targeted the appropriate videos.


Influencer marketing has quickly evolved from a fringe activity to be a significant strategy for many brands but a key limitation has been the ability to scale the activity. Facebook has announced plans to encourage brands to boost the reach of influencer posts with ad spend and Amazon has widened its influencer programme to include Instagram and Twitter as well as YouTube


One of our clients mporium has a new product that uses influencer posts as triggers for search and social amplification. Another - Soreto - enables anyone to earn money as an influencer when someone buys a brand they have shared

The sector is maturing and it’s now possible to extend the reach of activity and better measure the ROI. Lots of potential.


When i started addictive I chose the name as we knew that with mobile everything has to be addictive or it will be ignored. An app or a piece of content. Or an ad. If it’s not addictive it’s wallpaper.

The product people at GAFA have executed against this common sense amazingly. This piece by Umar Hague sums up it so well; The Mad Men Created Consumers. We’ve Created Algorithmic Addicts.

Redef have collected a whole set of articles on the problems - Election influence. Fake news. Bullying bots. Treating users like Pavlovian dogs

As with other types of addiction, those suffering come to resent their condition and try - with differing degrees of success - to come off their particular poison. We have seen more about this and this New York Times articles asks if our love affair with digital is over?

Maybe GDPR will be a reset. As people are able to better manage their consent, does this limit the ability of companies to use our data to show us a never ending supply of things we like? We have long argued for people to have the option of taking control of their own data, but the value isn’t really high enough to make this an interesting business. Could the solution be in making the data more valuable?

Quick Reads

Are Cryptocurrencies a West Coast bubble? Hull now has its own.

Finally - tech is just a tool

Whats cooking at The Media Kitchen

Lots of new business conversations, a pitch or two and interviews.

And our US colleagues are concerned about the erosion of Net Neutrality

If you find the topics we cover in Fix resonate with you we should be talking. Whatever your marketing stack I feel sure we could probably add value. Lets discuss.

Fix is my thinking rather than that of MediaKitchen. We now have over 5500 subscribers across Google, Facebook, Snap, Yahoo etc as well as many VCs, Brands and Agencies.

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