Five Minutes With: It All Comes Down to Mobile, says Jim Schinella

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

It all comes down to mobile’s continued growth and rapid evolution and, as is often the case in our industry, the opportunities and challenges we face are interlinked.

Mobile’s growth is bringing more and more interest and investment from marketers—particularly global brands. But to fully capitalize on marketer budgets, and compete for these dollars, advancements in targeting, attribution and measurement must continue. Another dimension of this change is that the drivers of these budgets are often people that have been overseeing desktop web, and the technology is quite different. The combination of dollar pressure and expectation pressure will drive these advancements.     

Additionally, there is the work to educate brands about the value of in-app audiences in comparison to mobile web and desktop users. The majority of time spent in mobile — and with digital media in general — is now spent in mobile apps, but the ad dollars invested in-app still doesn’t match that.

Meeting both of those challenges at Fyber means we get the opportunity to capture more of that brand spend and funnel it to the app developers and publishers that we service, so it’s a challenge we readily accept.  

What keeps your clients up at night?

The pace of change and staying at the forefront of mobile monetization.  

From our perspective, we’re doing our job if we can help our clients stay focused on what they know best—developing great content, growing their audiences and making continued improvements to their user experience and community. If we can be the trusted, reliable partner that helps drive and optimize monetization and lift them from the burden of being both ad tech experts and content experts, then we have served our mission. We know that being world class at both ad tech monetization and content is very difficult.

So, we work hard to stay on top of all the changes in ad tech—from new ad units and programmatic trading capabilities to evolving technology standards—so that our publishers and developers can stay focused on building great, content-rich apps and experiences for their target audiences.

What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about?

The business of creating, promoting and monetizing apps can be very lucrative, but also very uncertain for many — meaning there’s very little tangible peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing about specific benchmarks and best practices. That makes it hard for mobile publishers and developers to confidently know how they’re performing relative to appropriate benchmarks, and if they could be doing better. Because we can see performance across a vast amount of app categories, ad formats, implementation styles and geographies, we spend quite a bit of time advising our clients on both small and large improvements they can make to their monetization strategies to increase their average revenue per daily user.

From the buy-side, we work to educate direct media buyers, networks, agencies and trading desks about the expectations they should have for measurement and targeting in mobile apps, as well as the overall strategies they need to deploy to get the results they want.

What are some unmet needs in marketing technology landscape?

These echo the challenges and opportunities—there’s still room for innovation around data usage for audience targeting and post-campaign measurement when it comes to mobile and in-app campaigns.

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

Not a social network per se — but messaging services like WeChat, LINE and Whatsapp will become even more interesting to watch. These apps are evolving into more than just social communication tools, they’re the new frontier for transactions, content discovery and brand interactions.

Forward-thinking companies will look to APAC to see how this trend is shaking out, where services like LINE have payments integrated, and people can use a messaging app to book a taxi, split their bill at dinner, and even order and have a product delivered to their home. In some ways, this trend is toward multi-function which is more web-like.

Jim Schinella is Chief Business Officer at Fyber
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