The UK is now a ‘smartphone society’ according to Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Market Report, which recorded that 33 per cent of internet users see their smartphone as the most important device for accessing the internet.
Online audiences’ migration to mobile devices presents a myriad of problems for all parties in the media business as targeting ads towards mobile users is more challenging compared to a desktop environment.
This is due to the fact that cookies – the primary means of targeting ads toward internet users in the desktop era – don’t work as effectively on mobile devices. This is fuelled by the increasing number of ‘connected screens’ (think smartphones, tablets, and connected TVs) meaning it is now rare for internet users to begin researching a purchase, and then converting on one device.
Most advertisers are aware of the importance of making sure their ad campaigns take place across a number of screens, and then being able to attribute value back to each media placement. However, the difficulty lies in coordinating the messaging across screens in a manner that will tell the brand story, to the correct audience, and in a coherent manner.
Currently two models prevail in the industry, either through deterministic or probabilistic targeting (see box out).
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