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The Transmitter Between Physical & Digital Worlds – Mobile Data for Programmatic Advertising

(Original article published in German at adzine.de)

Mobile is more than just another device category, mobile represents a paradigm shift: The internet has left its stationary environment and is on the move with us seamlessly integrated in to our daily lives. This fusion of physical and digital worlds offers advertisers a new gateway to customers, which can be tapped in to in the form of programmatic advertising.

Whether users are checking in, tracking a run or scanning a product on their devices, every mobile situation generates data. The intrinsic value offered to users of smartphones, tablets, wearables or connected cars today extends far beyond the mobile phone’s initial intent. Weather is displayed at current locations, coupons appear based on purchasing decisions and traffic reports are displayed based on movement. The ubiquitous way in which the mobile generation rely on and interact with their devices creates data dimensions way beyond those of traditional online usage. Putting that newly accessible data to use for campaign optimization offers unprecedented targeting possibilities and remains one of the most talked about topics of 2014 in the industry.

Data is the New Oil – Geodata is Pure Petrol

Whilst classical media planning focuses on channels and devices, programmatic advertising puts the user at the centre and data is at the very heart of this. The more data there is, the higher the ROI as messages only reach those they were intended for. Data for programmatic advertising, especially mobile data, unleashes outstanding audience targeting potential and is today’s most auspicious currency.

The most promising data for advertisers is a user’s location. Geodata provides a direct link between digital advertising and consumer behaviour in the physical world, helping increase ad relevance. Take the business traveller at the airport or the student at the campus as examples. With the addition of qualitative POI, event, household and app-usage data to pure location-data audiences can be built over time, increasing in accuracy with every data point. This approach makes mobile programmatic advertising unique, delivering unparalleled value to advertisers.

Big Data in Real Time

When talking about this kind of data, stringent EU privacy laws should be interpreted as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. Germany’s particularly strict consumer privacy policies require adept privacy-by-design methods. In the post-Snowden era of global awareness, “Made in Germany” ad-tech has the potential to become a hit export.

From a technical perspective, mobile data for programmatic advertising provides developers and data scientists with sufficient challenges. Take adsquare for example; We analyse the local context of millions of 50×50 metres squares. The analysis of the local context through the interpretation of thousands of data points from multiple static and dynamic sources provides audience information in real-time. With Exchange platforms such as AppNexus, up to 50,000 requests per second are enriched with audience data in less than 5 milliseconds, enabling DSPs to provide relevant users for their campaigns.


For advertisers, mobile programmatic data represents a multitude of new possibilities. The incorporation of consumer’s offline behaviour in media planning opens doors for entirely new campaign strategies and ensures a far more precise advertising response.

Mobile programmatic advertising is the future of the advertising industry. This is reflected in recent figures from the UK where 68% of the population are smartphone users (Google/TNS “Connected Life 2014”). Today, mobile ad spend accounts for 27.9% of the digital budget (eMarketer 2014) and 28% of display campaigns are already programmatic (eMarketer 2014). Almost five years after Google announced its mobile first strategy in 2010, mobile is becoming a key perspective for marketers around the globe.

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About Christoph

Christoph is VP Marketing, is five years with Adsquare and based in Adsquare's head office in Berlin. Before stepping sideways to join the Marketing Team, Chris was VP Data Partnerships at Adsquare. He has a weakness for print ads and also reads the small print on product packaging. Chris acts as an unsalaried Brand Ambassador for Lufthansa, plays the drums, field hockey and golf.

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