Fridays with Frost: Riding the Wave of Mobile Monetization


Fridays with Frost: Riding the Waves of Mobile Monetization

Q: You just got back from the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting where concerns about ad fraud dominated the coverage surrounding the event. What were you talking about when everyone wasn’t talking about fraud?

A: I always enjoy attending this meeting, the IAB is a great organization that really moves the industry forward. I welcomed the focus on campaign integrity, as it is something that we are passionate about here at But there were plenty of other great discussions at the event. Mobile monetization was a really hot topic.

Q: What exactly is mobile monetization?

A: Mobile monetization is the ability of the advertising industry to capture a percentage of spend equal to the percentage of mobile engagement. In her annual Internet Trends report, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers partner, Mary Meeker, reported that while mobile usage makes up 12% of all media consumption, it only represents 3% of advertising spend. Aside from Facebook and Twitter who are focused on native ad formats, most seem to be struggling with mobile monetization.

Q: What will it take for mobile spend to catch up with mobile engagement?

A: In my opinion, there are a couple of catalysts that will drive mobile ad spend going forward to help it close this gap:

  • Cross-device matching–To date, mobile has been hampered by the lack of audience data against which to target ads. Cross-device matching will bring over rich user data profiles from desktops and laptops to mobile devices.
  • Improved geo-location targeting–Geo-targeting is a bit like the Wild West these days with widely varying data quality and availability. This will get better, partly by using optimization algorithms that will see which data is performing well and directing spend to ad impressions powered by the most effective data.
  • iBeacons and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices–as these indoor positioning units are adopted, they will be a new, rich source of very granular (and unstructured) location data that will be valuable for driving hyper-targeted advertising at the point-of-purchase or engagement.


Q: So, what can advertisers do in the meantime?

A: Now is the time for advertisers to get their feet wet in mobile. Experiment with mobile creative units and targeting at the device and OS level now and be prepared for when the tide turns.

Q: You sound like a surfer that just got back from the beach.

A: The mobile usage wave is already here. The mobile spend wave is still coming. When spend finally catches up that’s going to be one amazing double up.