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Demand-side platform will lead to increase in mobile ad spend: Joule CEO

WPP Group?s global media investment management operation GroupM has launched what it claims is the first demand-side platform for mobile media and advertising.

The GroupM platform lets display advertisers measure, value, buy and optimize placements on a real time, impression-by-impression basis, with machine-learning algorithms based on success in achieving a brand's desired goal. GroupM?s mobile unit, Joule, will lead the initiative, which will be integrated with the agency?s new B3 Mobile platform developed by WPP?s Media Innovation Group to further the company?s efforts to collect cross-platform data and insights. 

?Demand-side platforms give media buyers a platform providing visibility into ad inventory, letting them optimize campaigns on a real-time basis and buy into real-time inventory cross-publisher,? said Michael Collins, New York-based CEO of Joule, GroupM's mobile division. ?In some ways it is an evolution of an ad network model.

?DSPs are new to mobile, but there are variances of them in other channels?they are huge in the online space, and this is a fairly significant shift in the mobile advertising world," he said.

?We?re happy to get out there first to provide better value for our clients, which I believe will lead to an increase in advertisers? spend in mobile.?

GroupM serves as the parent company to various WPP media agencies, including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom and Mindshare.

DSPs go mobile
The new DSP mobile initiative uses ad-decisioning technology developed in conjunction with DataXu.

Unlike existing mobile advertising platforms that optimize primarily on click-throughs, GroupM?s offering provides advertisers with the ability to control media investments based on downstream consumer activity on mobile applications and across branded mobile sites.

The DSP also enables GroupM to manage the mobile buys of Maxus, MEC, MediaCom and Mindshare more directly and allocate investments more efficiently.

B3 Mobile offers insights into digital channel integrations and analytics across both mobile display and smartphone applications.

The platform also helps build, target and optimize mobile audiences.

?The DSP will make the buys that our clients make more effective, and as they become more effective, spend in the mobile area will likely increase,? Mr. Collins said.

Joule believes that DSPs will make the ad network environment much more competitive.

?DSPs create a lot more value that we can pass back to our clients, so ad networks are going to have to look for ways to differentiate themselves and do things that technology such as DSPs can?t do,? Mr. Collins said.

?Now you have much of the ad network model being taken over by a technology platform, he said. ?Plus, from that technology platform you get the benefits of the real-time impression optimization and buying into this giant pool of inventory.

?An evolution of the network model, but here, the buyers get more direct access to the publishers? inventory via the DSP.?

Changing media landscape
Media is changing quickly, and the mobile category has massive potential.

DataXu projects that smartphone sales will exceed those of PCs by 2012.

The significance of the collaboration between our two organizations means advertisers?for the first time?can reach relevant audiences at an unprecedented price and scale, across online and mobile media, per DataXu.

?Audience segmentation strategies that served advertisers well in the past fall short in the new digital world of social media, user generated content, blogs, video and mobile,? said Mike Baker president/CEO of DataXu, Boston. ?The new connected consumer is in control and on the go, and advertisers need a new way to find and keep a pulse on them, but current manual processes and tools just can?t keep pace.

?First-generation DSPs have shown success with real-time bidding for online display campaigns,? he said. ?DataXu believes in a more advanced media management platform that can automate the buying, analysis and optimization of all campaigns regardless of platform or device.

?GroupM?s announcement is validation that this is more than a trend but the beginning of a major shift for digital advertising.?

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Marketer