Five Minutes With: David Smith, MD National Sales, ONE mobile

What are your biggest opportunities & challenges in marketing tech for next 12-24 months?

The biggest opportunity for the industry is evangelizing the importance of matching quality mobile ad inventory with an engaging ad solution at scale. Every six to twelve months seems to bring a new turning point for mobile–location, cross screen, viewability, etc.–and we believe it’s time for marketers to take notice where their ads are being consumed and in what form the message is being delivered. 

Meanwhile, the challenges are two fold. The first is catching up with the who’s who of mobile incumbents’ market positions. The second is the industry’s focus on executions rooted in programmatic, which looks to marginalize inventory in favor of the promise of enriching impressions with a variety of data concoctions. 

What keeps your clients up at night? 

Aside from the constant growth and innovation comes the king of insomnia: viewability.  There is no doubt viewability is a concern for marketers today, as execution strategies have moved from publisher direct, and weith the app economy’s explosive growth the transparency of where ads are being delivered has become a question. 

What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about? 

The shiny object obsession is an area to which clients tend to gravitate.  Time and time again I hear capability questions that, whether feasible or not, will rarely impact a program or make a plan due to a lack of scalability or strategic alignment. While shiny objects are interesting fuel for brainstorming sessions, more often than not they get washed off the plan recommendation.  It’s important for brands and agencies not to forget the fundamentals of creative message, placement and measurement. 

What are some unmet needs in marketing technology landscape? 

One challenge that stands out is the fragmentation of technology development in the mobile landscape.  As companies look to expand or innovate their suite of offerings there always seems to be a bottleneck around scalability.  Companies are pushing the boundaries of rich media only to find executions can take place on a single or handful of publishers.  We have location technologies that deliver pinpoint precision; then the best location signals come from dating and gaming apps.  There needs to be more of an approach that is rooted in creating scalability and standardization.  We seem to have a landscape filled with technology that operates well within walled gardens, but not enough that can expand to serve the ecosystem at large. 

What social network do you anticipate accelerating growth in the next year? 

Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine are seeing tremendous growth, but are still in limbo when it comes to properly monetizing this growth.  The idea of mobile snacking hasn’t died and these social networks are filling users snacking sessions, the ones who crack the code around scalable monetization will see accelerated success. 

–David Smith is Managing Director, National Sales, at ONE mobile
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