The Era of Mobile Programmatic is Now. Part One


We are in an industry that is, conservatively speaking, 20 to 25 years old. If you were to draw a comparison to the automobile industry and think about where that industry was after 25 years, you could say we are in the Model T era of the Internet.

Similar to the fast adoption of the car, it’s hard for many of us to imagine being without our smartphones. According to eMarketer, the average person spends over 4 hours on their phones each day doing non-voice activities. And it’s not a one-generation phenomenon. The Internet is not just for Millennials, for Gen Xers, for Baby Boomers: it’s for everyone. In fact, a recent survey from Voya Financials found that Baby Boomers are even more attached to their smartphones than Millennials and Gen Xers.

Because, as it turns out, we want the Internet the way we want it—which means NOW, untethered from our desks and our living rooms. If we’re going to read or shop, for example, we’re going to do it using whatever distribution device we want, wherever we are. Same with our television shows, our books, our music, our ways of interacting with family, friends and contacts.

People have always sought out information and ways to connect with others. Over time the method of communication has evolved from the daily morning newspaper and the “golden age” of radio in the 1920’s – 1950’s to the arrival of multiple televisions in each home and now today, to our deep love of the connected smartphone.

The good news for marketers today is that consumers are on mobile for a much longer period of time when compared with previous mediums. We can all access far more content in a significantly more engaging way wherever we are. This, in turn, gives marketers significantly more opportunities to reach consumers than ever before by using powerful signals of location-based intent.


Need more evidence of the explosion of mobile and the importance of local marketing? Just look to the adoption of mobile devices. Every Internet metric in the chart below from Pew Research has quickly gained ground as consumers have continued voraciously buying tablets and smartphones. Those numbers have skyrocketed. As of January 2017, Pew Research also stated that 77% of the population owned smartphones and 51% owned tablets.

And how often are we using our beloved smartphones and tablets? Here’s some telling statistics:

  • 87% of smartphone users have their phone by their side day and night
  • 68% check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up
  • 82% of people consult with their phone when shopping at a physical location
  • 91% turn to their phones for ideas while in the middle of tasks
  • On average, people check their phones 150 times a day

[sources: Google, eMarketer]


So, what does the growth of mobile mean for programmatic advertising? It means inventory is shifting, dramatically, from desktop to mobile and that brands and agencies need a partner that not only understands mobile but has a cross-channel platform that delivers audience-based media buying across devices and formats. Enter In 2014, mobile made up 7% of our impressions served. By the end of 2016 we hit the tipping point: half of all impressions were delivered on mobile. Today mobile now makes up 65% of all impressions served.

People are using mobile more and more to connect, research, play and shop and advertisers are following their consumers to mobile. The importance of reaching localized audience through mobile will only continue to grow. Over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about localized advertising in a mobile era. We’ll share these learned lessons in the next part of this blog, but we’ll give you a hint – put your location-based marketing hats on and get ready to have fun with targeting.