OPS Mobile NY Live Blog – April 19

Check out all that happened at the NY event.

Monsters Mobilize!

I thought of that about three weeks ago and it’s been burning to get out ever since.

Phew, ok that’s out of the way. Welcome to the OPS Mobile NY Live Blog coming to you direct from a somewhat overcast Soho, NY City.

Stay tuned for a day of industry leaders, pioneers and – well let’s be honest – dreamers, all set to lead sessions and push the mobile industry forward.

And we’re off people – AdMonsters President Matt O’Neil and CEO & Founder Bowen Dwelle kick off the day with an intro into proceedings.

Up first we have David Berkowitz, VP of Emerging Media at 360i.

Pinterest, Draw Something, Try It On, Sad Keanu so far in David Berkowitz’s mobile day. 

Amazing learning experiences through Mobile now – you can learn a language, about artisan foods and more through apps.

Task Grabber – If you don’t know it looks it up, great way of getting odd jobs done. 

Snooth – scans a bottle of wine and lets you see reviews..

Fashism – unfortunate choice of name, fantastic app. Judge and ridicule fashion sense from around the world – why not?

David’s mobile day consists of a combination of the best apps i’ve never heard of. Find them all here.

Photos from the floor of #opsmarkets #opswk. Recognise anyone? Tag them, Share them and if you Like them, let us know.

Alistair Goodman, CEO of Placecast – From the Sidewalk to the Register: Mobile + Location + Shopping

11:35 – In location marketing, it’s not really about traditional ads but delivering actionable items – in a word, offers

11:41 – With improved measuring techniques, Alistair sees the potential for location marketing to move toward a performance-based (CPA).

11:44 – From Alert Shopper report – smartphone users have become increasingly engaged with promotions in the last year, a trend that has stretched across demographics (notably age). 

11:48 – Smartphone usership is increasing awareness of location-based services, including advertising – it’s becoming a “retail navigation device.” Phone is a time-saving device (especially if you have kids). Hence Placecast offers programs based on vicinity to a retailer – both for customer acquisition and loayalty/CRM.

11:50 – 50% of location-related text advertising drove consumers to retail locations in the vicinity

11:53 – Other data increasingly being integrated into location-based efforts – from psychographic and demographic to weather-related.

11:57 – Offer exclusivity – offers must be unique; since these tend to be opt-in, if a consumer finds something somehwere else (a coupon in a circular), they won’t see location-based services as valuable.

12:03 – Location-based loyalty programs work better over time; consumers begin to expect offers.

12:07 – Next frontiers – extending web data into location-based marketing; Real-time location-based bidding on users!

Sol Masch, Director of Mobile Advertising, Viacom Media Networks – Tablet Advertising: Developing a Flexible Soloution

11:32 – “Tablet useage happens predominantly when the user is alone – as a social tool whilst consuming another type of media, predominantly TV.”

11:40 – “Our data shows that although people have a strong relationship with their tablets they don’t see them as functional and research shows that both smartphones and laptops are seen as more crucial.” 

11:45 – “There is no set standard for tablet ads set by the IAB or MMA, so it’s a bit of guesswork at the moment but we wanted to put as much thought into our ad units as possible as if there are set standards that come out we’re left with a whole heap of work to re-do.”

11: 51 – Our soloution was the ‘skinny leaderboard’, its only 50 pixels long so it doesn’t eat up too much real estate – especially when in landscape mode. 

11:58 – It’s also malleable so if new formats are released or get standardised then we can work to them.

12:03 – 74% of tablet usage happens at home – so with new ad formats and as retina screens become more commonplace in tablets higher filesizes aren’t as much as an issue as some would think.

John Egan, GM, Mobile of Miniclip – Beyond Click-Through Rates – Measurement and Mobile

11:34 – Predicting the functionality of an ad – challenging for an ad server’s perspective. Also, developers hate having to put lots of different ad serving layers on their app because:

  • Bloats the app
  • destabilizes app
  • requires updates
  • multiple ad serving sdks

11:38 – You would not want to risk a product that accounts for 95% of your revenue for a product that accounts for 5%. How willing are they goign to be to integrate some other SDK.

11:41 – MRAID Compliant Ad Server – great starting point to make ad ops lives easier. Acts as both:

  • Container: Allows rich media ads to display in apps
  • Controller: Serves a bridge that can integrate HTML based ads

11:43 – On Android, we served an impression on 379 different devices in 30 days. Plan on fragmentation and make a lot more ads.

11:46 – “Puss in Boots” movie example: Internal research – looking at brand recall – we found that recall is inversely proportional to click through rate. CTR is not brand lift.

11:48 – Example metrics from SDKs: a lot of capabilities from the rich media side of the fence. Start with impressions and clicks, then look at things like video starts, video completions, custom actions, gameplays, and replays. 

11:53 – you can start to ladder these types of engagement to understand what brand lift really means on mobile devices.

  • exposure (impressions)
  • participation (clicks)
  • completion (finishes, completed video views)
  • advocacy (social media)

11:57 – Compare performance by

  • Platform
  • Device
  • Game Genre
  • Creative 
  • Trailer

12:03 – Marketers can leverage developer’s sensibilities to think about what creatives work best for users.

12:05 – A lot of brand lift researchers require cookies. There aren’t cookies in mobile. So the tricky part is finding something that works as a proxy for a cookie. We thought UDID, but now we’re trying to figure out an alternative. We’re going to be testing using open UDID as a proxy.

12:09 – Best Practices:

  • Think about it as one digital budget. Combine mobile, online, and social to really bring metrics together.
  • Respect audience behavior.
  • Add new games, new content – keep in mind relevancy and familiarity.
  • Plan for fragmentation
  • Ask if the ad server AND creative are MRAID compliant 
  • Talk about prior experiences with 3rd party tracking
  • Has that exact combination been tested before?
  • Define the metrics that matter
  • Communicate!


Michael Nicholas, Chief Strategy Officer, Roundarch Isobar – Mobile, Tangible Design & the Future of Everything

1:26 – Innovations with QR Codes – mobile payments, food… Still, it ain’t the future.

1:28 – 50% of scanners are scanning from magazines, many in-house; large majority of smartphone users have never scanned.

1:30 – Scan software is not good and there’s a limited base; scanning codes is not a natural interaction. Doubt there will ever be widespread adoption of the behavior.

1:32 – Tangible design – no instructions needed. With the computer revolution, intangible design has taken over – knowledge required to use.

1:34 – Multi-touch disrupted mobile space just like the mouse disrupted personal computer biz.

1:35 – Computer/machine vision: what you see is what you get. Near-field communication: what you touch is what you get (or you get what you touch).

1:36 – Computer vision can detect brands, see an object in context (see the sky, give the weather); powers augmented reality. Can be in phone or objects.

1:40 – NFC has major consumer possibilities – Isobar held 3 hackathons where people created apps in 32-48 hours: music apps, bar ordering apps, even a sex app. Digital keys…

1:42 – Rethinking brand loyalty – put NFC in car keys so partner brands can reach drivers wherever.

1:47 – In the future there will be less screens. Tapping means no UI, which means less use for screens.

1:49 – The QR code will become superflous as objects themselves will be tagged and NFC technology (available in all mobile devices) will recognize them.

1:51 – Low barriers to interaction will cause an explosion in the collection of personal data and vanity metrics. A new world of transparency will emerge.

1:55 – Tap is the new click.


Panel: The Future of Buying Mobile


  • Moderator: Jim Payne, CEO & Founder, MoPub
  • Alex Andreyev, Strategic Investments, Associate Media Director, NEO@Ogilvy
  • Jon Schlegel, Founder & CEO, Optime Software
  • Lara Mehanna, GM Mobile, DataXu


2:04 – Andreyev: Marketer’s lack of knowledge holding up faster growth in mobile ad space. Clients have to optimize their whole experience to the mobile experience, including landing pages and measurement.

2:09 – Mehanna: Measurement biggest obstacle to increased mobile ad spend. Limited amount of room for attribution (no cookies!).

2:11 – Schlegel: Sells inventory on performance basis; important to recognize which campaigns are going to connect with users. For direct sales this is easy;. Outside of that, mobile RTB seems the best option for campaign optimization – more control on the advertiser side. Mobile landing pages have been a big drag.

2:14 Mehanna: For marketers, tablet advetrtising can be a good gateway to moving into smartphone advertising – baby steps!

2:26 – Schlegel: Only collect data within an app if it’s related to content, not just for advertising purposes. Hopes one of the platforms develops some kind of tracking unit (be it a cookie…). Interstitials – some that users like, interact with, higher engagement rates and better performers.

2:31 – Mehanna: Regarding units, publishers need to think of how to engage users within the experience.

2:35 – Andreyev: Potential of mobile geotargeting is cool, but the data is nowhere near as reliable as online. Mehanna: However, it is getting better, especially with more mobile wireless use.


2:42 – Schlegel: What does RTB want from the buy side? Close the loop on performance – learn what sites performed and how conversions occurred. Doesn’t need to be absolute, just relative to be helpful. Also like info from the buy side about which demographics are most valuable. Andreyev: Communications between pubs and agencies on this front need to improve, will benefit both sides.

2:44 – Andreyev: Excited about interesting mobile executions using smart data in 2012 – already have seen it happen online.


3.30 No we’re at the last keynote of the day – The Branded App presented by the animated Stephen Baer. 

“Mobile commerce solves problems for big businesses as well as small businesses”

“QR codes are just the beginning, it started in Japan about 20 years ago – it’s not a new technology but it’s only just making it’s way here in the US”

We just launched an anti-smoking campaign aimed at teens – it’s basically saying put your cigarettes down and play a game, we’ve had a 33% CTR rate – that’s huge.

Take aways
– Smartphones are attached to consumers hands
– 50% of consumers use smartphones 10x per day
– Don’t just think of mobile as a small screen for big ads
– Think of mobile as a platform for initiate dialogue, create experiences, solve problems, share content and build personal relationships with your audience
– Mobile is a canvas to foster innovation and engagement

Maria Breza & Gregg Fenton from Bloomberg are about to take us through their Roadmap: In App Rich Media.

“I dont like ads that take people out of the application – things like that bug me and aren’t what I like personally but rich media apps are effective, they have high rates of engagement and that’s ultimately what we want” “

Rich media ads are in essence an app within an app, they aren’t small, they use memory etc so it’s not just as easy as saying let’s roll it out – there’s a lot of work to do with it.”

“The other side is how do we let the users know? How do we tell them? ‘Here download this app we’ve updated the ad slots’ No one’s going to download that – to combat this we’ve bundled these updates with actual bug fixes, when you have an update and it says ‘bug fixes’ predominantly this is what has changed. “

“One issue is supporting both high and low bandwiths. To combat this we’re using our video player to create custom bit rate files to indicate whether there’s a high or low bandwith user and serve the correct file accordingly.”

“There are more discrepancies in mobile and especially in rich media than other mediums as it’s such a new medium and the metrics are being defined and redefined as we speak. “

And we’re into the home stretch – Rob Beeler leads an all-star panel on The Future of Mobile Publishing.

The panelists include:


  • Janae Redmond, Strategic Partner Lead, Mobile Platforms, Google
  • Terrence Sweeney, CMO, Pinger
  • Kevin Kearney, CEO & Founder, Hard Candy Shell
  • Chris Feo, Director of Business Development, Tapad

5:07 – Rob’s asked the panelists to share the most embarrassing apps on their phones. From children’s games to cocktail-creating apps, it seems everyone has an embarrassing app to share. The AdMonsters Content team amuses ourselves with Oldify – turns out Gavin will look like Gandalf in 40 years.

5:09 – It’s important for publishers to consider how consumers should engage on a mobile device. They should think carefully about whether this means they’d need an app or to use the mobile web – or both. Just because the options are there doesn’t mean they’re necessary or useful.

5:10 – It’s important for publishers to drive their existing audience to their new mobile developments.

5:12 – “Virality comes from a point of passion.” – Kevin Kearney. But that passion is hard to create. Creating an app doesn’t happen overnight. 

5:21 – You have to think through your business strategy, specifically monetization. Do you have a direct sales force? Does your sales team have the right tools? Are you driving users to your app? – Janae

5:25 – We can learn from trials and tribulations of display so that we can innovate more rapidly on mobile. – Janae

5:27 – Complexity and lack of tracking are what will kill mobile, or at least slow it down. – Terrence

5:29 – We all understand the need for accountabiility and attribution on mobile. One of the big things we’re trying to solve is cross-platform attribution. One of the cool things about mobile is that we can take a branded campaign and layer performance actions that the computer could never offer. Syncing all devices would be a huge win. – Chris

5:31 – We don’t even know what screens will be out there. We’re all trying to catch up on mobile, but what comes next? It’s hard to stay ahead. – Kevin

5:32 – But that’s hard to do as publishers, and especially for ad operations. You have no money coming in, but you have to spend an exorbitant amount of time thinking strategically about what will happen.  – Rob

5:34 – Anything that seems like a shortcut is probably a shortcut. You’ll probably end up with a non-optimal experience. – Kevin Kearney

5:38 – The panel lists their ideas of the most important issues in the next 6-12 months: UDID issues, tracking opportunities inside of rich media, mobile- and tablet-first companies (which will be in a better position to grasp social), Facebook’s own mobile monetization techniques (which might be shared), and solving challenges by creating standards – ergo lowering barriers to entry and generating more excitement for mobile.

5:40 – That concludes OPS Mobile!

Thanks to everyone for a fantastic day! If you’d like to learn more about mobile advertising, be sure to check out the AdMonsters site for continual mobile coverage from our mobile editor, Maria Tucker (follow her at @mariatucker3). Also contact her to participate in future OPS Mobile events and to contribute to the site.  

If you’re interested in mobile issues across the pond, check out our upcoming OPS Mobile London!