Tag Archives: Mobile Marketing

Advice for AMP-curious publishers

Columnist Barb Palser offers a framework to help publishers assess the potential benefits of Accelerated Mobile Pages. The post Advice for AMP-curious publishers appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Do you know what a mobile crawl of your site looks like?

Columnist Eric Enge discusses the implications of Google's impending "mobile-first" index, using a case study to illustrate some of the challenges that webmasters and Google alike will face in implementing this change. The post Do you know what a mobile crawl of your site looks like? appeared...

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Links to AMP content are showing up outside of search results

With several popular distribution apps now linking to Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) content, columnist Barb Palser notes that the format is taking root outside of Google search -- likely to provide an optimal experience for mobile users. The post Links to AMP content are showing up outside of...

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Local search: It’s all about mobile

More and more, people are searching for local options on mobile devices -- and columnist Jacob Baadsgaard points out that if your business isn't showing up for those searches, you're likely missing out. The post Local search: It’s all about mobile appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Google AMP carousels are multiplying!

Columnist Barb Palser says the growing number of single-source AMP carousels in Google search sweetens the deal for AMP-enabled publishers. The post Google AMP carousels are multiplying! appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Why brands should care about brand safety in mobile advertising

Easily spotted on the mobile web: holiday ad next to plane crash story; ?Muslim dating ad next to KKK story; beauty ad next to domestic violence story; car ad next to emissions scandal story…

[This post originally appeared on our sister site ClickZ.com, but we thought it was so useful we wanted to share it here as well]

Let?s admit it we?ve all had an occasional giggle when we spot an ad prominently displayed next to inappropriate content on the web. But for advertisers this is no laughing matter.

An ad that is not displayed in a contextually appropriate environment is not only a waste of marketing budget, but is a potential embarrassment (if shared on social media) or, at worst, damaging to the brand?s reputation.

Research by inMobi (via eMarketer), July 2016, highlighted in this column on mobile ad fraud ?reveals that 26% of advertisers state that concerns over brand safety is preventing the take up of programmatic purchasing (buying ads on the fly via an ad exchange) of mobile inventory.

While this is considerably less than the 48% concerned about fraud/viewability, this is surely a matter the industry needs to address.

The examples pictured in this column were easily found on the mobile web. Try it yourself by selecting potentially controversial stories and waiting to see what ad loads (often ads load slower than the content).

The sites we have featured are not implicitly ?toxic?, such as pornography or gambling, but prominent news outlets where some stories will deal with unpleasant matters from time to time.

No one would want these news stories to go unreported. But that doesn?t mean that a holiday company wants its ad next to a plane crash story; a baby food brand ad next to a child sex abuse story; a Muslim dating service ad next to a KKK story; a beauty ad next to a domestic violence story or a car ad next to a story on the emissions scandal.

The ad business calls this brand safety or content adjacency. The issue is a real one.

But preventing brand safety issues has become increasingly complicated because:

  • Direct relationships between advertiser and publisher have increasingly been replaced by a web of intermediaries including ad exchanges and ad networks companies.
  • Many sites are implicitly safe, but publish eclectic content that could any subject ? i.e. news sites or news stories/user generated content (UGC) on social media sites.
  • Keeping track of ads displayed on mobile sites and ? particularly ? mobile apps presents a unique set of challenges, compared with desktop web.

As Kurt Hawks,?SVP of cross device and video at digital ad targeting specialist Conversant, explains:

Mobile ad tech is still maturing and while the mobile web operates similarly to desktop display, the in-app environment is a very different and more complex tech ecosystem. A rise in the intermediaries needed to execute in-app has resulted in a more fragmented digital supply chain that is more difficult to monitor.

Text, image and video-based analysis have gotten more adept at assessing brand fit within webpages, but a lack of mobile standardization, particularly in the in-app environment, can hinder the effectiveness of these tools. For example, the VPAID?(Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition) standard is still not universally supported within in-app environments yet.

This is the forth in our series of columns on mobile ad quality: see also:

  1. Mobile ad fraud?
  2. ?Combatting mobile ad fraud
  3. Mobile ad viewability

Brand safety issues easily found on the mobile web

Let?s take a look at some examples of what appears to be untargeted ads appearing next to stories on three mainstream news sites: Inquisitr, Washington Post and The Mirror; and/or via Google?s AMP (accelerated mobile pages) search results.

Please note that brand safety is subjective, we can only guess that the brand, the viewer and the publisher would deem these contexts inappropriate.

  1. It is hard to imagine many mainstream advertisers wishing to be associated with a story about a man being arrested for murder, a KKK march in favor of Donald Trump?s victory, or pictured above a picture of a KKK ceremony. There were plenty of examples spotted on various journals ? but this was the most controversial: a Muslim dating site alongside this INQUISITR story.
  1. Are stories of funerals or air crashes ever a good context for advertisers? But surely no travel brand would wish to be pushing overseas holidays against the backdrop of a funeral of the president of a football club wiped out in an air disaster as spotted alongside this Washington Post story.
  1. Child sex abuse is also a topic that most advertisers would consider toxic, but a brand, particularly one of the magnitude of Heinz is will be questioning how an ad for baby meals ended up topping this Daily Mirror story??about alleged child sex abuse at Chelsea Football Club.

Just to be certain, we checked the stories pictured in this column with Melody Gambino, director of marketing at brand safety expert, Grapeshot:

Every one of these examples is poignant. The key to brand safety is not only ensuring you don’t put your advertisement in front of bots or on spam sites, but also that the content surrounding your ad is not offensive. This can be in a broad sense (terrorism) or something specific to your brand (emissions testing for VW, for example).

But no one can say for certain what is considered brand safe or not except the advertiser, explains Melody Gambino

Brand safety means different things for every brand and every campaign, so clarity about what it means for you is imperative to ensure you are getting the most from your brand safety partners.?

Defining brand safety

In the useful New Rules of Brand Safety, ?Grapeshot gives the following definition for brand safety:

The term ?brand safety? is notionally understood. It represents an environment that is fundamentally not hostile, will not cause perceptions of uncomfortable association or, worse, spur unwelcome sharing or commenting.

The costs of an error in this arena can mount quickly, from the need to craft defensive counter-messaging to lost sales. Only after the fact does the degree of damage become clear.

Dirty dozen of toxic content categories:

There are 12 different content categories which, according to the report, tend to be considered toxic and are routinely excluded by agencies and brand safety tools. These are adult, arms, crime, death or injury, online privacy, hate speech, military conflict, obscenity, illegal drugs, spam or harmful site, terrorism and tobacco.

Why brands should care about brand safety in mobile advertising


Based on these criteria, the three stories pictured above ? the KKK organizer?s arrest, the Chapeco funeral and the Chelsea abuse allegations ? all appear to fail the toxic test.

Presumably a rape story, even when associated a classic film such as Last Tango in Paris, is deemed toxic content. But should it be considered universally inappropriate for all brands?

The following ads have no contextual relevance to the film or the news story, but is this an association that charities or luxury brands should avoid? N.B. if you perform a mobile or online search on this story, you will find plenty of other examples, these are not isolated cases:

Why brands should care about brand safety in mobile advertising

Targeted or untargeted?

Advertisers attempt to improve the impact of ads by targeting the ads at visitors based on the publisher, the visitor, their location, and contextual relevance of the story using keywords, images and metatags.

There is little evidence targeting in the Last Tango rape story, but the following three examples suggest contextual targeting at its most unfortunate.

Why brands should care about brand safety in mobile advertising

  1. The Volkswagen emissions story isn?t a universally toxic topic ? but it is one that auto manufacturers, such as VW, should and do seek to avoid. The ad targeting software appears to have picked up on the keyword ?Volkswagen? on this Chicago Tribune story to serve up ads for a VW leasing service. Unfortunately the ad targeting failed to pick out the word ?emissions?, so did not put the break on the ad.
  1. In the second example, the ad targeting seems to pick out the keywords ?makeup tutorial? in this Mediaite story?to serve up an ad for a Beauty app and a recruitment ad for models. To a computer this will look like a good opportunity, but no beauty brand will want to be associated with the use of makeup to hide domestic violence.
  1. It is unlikely that the CBC house ad ?Holiday like you mean it? is contextually targeted at?this story 3 about drug use by Hitler and Nazi Army, but a reader would be forgiven for thinking so.

How brand safety works

There are two key methods for avoiding brand safety issues:

  • Blocking websites/URLs that are known to contain contentious material.
  • Detecting context from keywords either a) pre-bid, preventing the ad space being purchased at the exchange) or, where not possible, b) post-bid, where the ad is blocked from appearing on the page.

The first approach relies on agencies maintaining vast blacklists (and whitelists) of websites. Ad technology then blocks the ads from displaying on these blacklisted sites. The problem with this method is that it assumes that all content on blacklisted sites is bad for business and all content on whitelisted sites is good for business ? which as we have seen above is not the case.

The second approach is more complicated. Ad quality/verification software, from vendors such as Integral Ad Science and Meetrics scan websites for possible issues for advertisers.

Jason Cooper, general manager, mobile at Integral Ad Science, tells how it works:

When web pages load they are requesting content from all across the Internet; text, copy, images, advertising content, tracking and analytics pixels among others. In each one of these requests, a little tout runs ahead declaring the page that is making the request; by intercepting that call, a verification vendor can decide whether that page meets the brand safety threshold of an advertiser before allowing the ad to serve.

However, apps don’t send URL’s, in fact identifying the app name requires a number of different strategies and is something that will be solved incrementally over time.

Issues with mobile (apps)

One advantage of native apps, is that they are scanned ? particularly with the Apple Store ? for malicious code and inappropriate content, before being admitted to the apps stores. However this does not take account of individual stories, user generated content or content pulled in from third party sites. Unfortunately, as native apps use proprietary code, rather than the web technologies, the web-based (JavaScript) scanning techniques used by the verification vendors is ineffective.

Felix Badura,?director product development at Meetrics, explains:

It is not possible to apply state-of-the-art brand safety technology to the in-app environment due to technical limitations with regard to the interplay of native code (e.g. Java, Swift) and web code (HTML, JavaScript) inside the webview container that actually displays the ad.

Due to the fact, that native apps and content loaded via a webview cannot exchange information, JavaScript based ad verification for instance cannot scan the content of the app on the fly.

Tips and common mistakes with brand safety

  • Don?t assume that because you are buying ad space on a known app it will be safe for your brand. Apps don’t need to be porn free to tick the box of ‘safe’. An article about performance enhancing drug scandals next to Reebok or Nike ads can be equally as damaging. ? Melody Gambino, Grapeshot.
  • Brands must be especially vigilant and engage vendors that have robust brand safety capabilities (semantic analysis of text; tags; imagery and tonality of web pages and apps; video-level data), but must also ensure these partners are capable of handling the nuances of brand safety in-app. ? Kurt Hawks,
  • Only serve ads via the big marketers like AdMob or MoPub and keeping the pressure high on insisting to have a third party measuring the data. ? Felix Badura,
  • While it is a good idea, to retrieve and analyse the Package names of the apps where an ad is running, one should be aware that even problematic apps might be uploaded using inconspicuous names to stay below the radar. ? Felix Badura, Meetrics.

This is Part 39 of the?ClickZ??DNA of mobile-friendly web? series.

Here are the recent ones:


Andy Favell is ClickZ columnist on mobile. He is a London-based freelance mobile/digital consultant, journalist and web editor.

Contact him via LinkedIn ?or Twitter @Andy_Favell.

Why data amplifiers matter in a world of omnichannel discovery

Local customers now expect a seamless omnichannel experience with your brand, and columnist Adam Dorfman believes that targeting data amplifiers will ensure that you're present with accurate data across devices and channels. The post Why data amplifiers matter in a world of omnichannel discovery...

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Mobile ad viewability: what is it and does it matter?

Brand advertisers and their agencies only want to pay for mobile ads that are seen by a person. They do not want to pay for ads that are not ‘viewable’ i.e. they don’t render or are displayed where they are invisible; or for insufficient time to register the message.

With brand advertising a mobile ad does not count as an impression and the advertiser thus should not be charged if:

  1. The ad is not seen by a real person;
  2. Because it fails to render or is displayed where it is unseen, e.g. below the fold, when the visitor doesn’t scroll; or
  3. If there is insufficient time for the visitor to digest its message.

• The first factor is an invalid impression, often caused by ad fraud. These were discussed in the previous two columns.
• Factors two and three are referred to as viewability, viewable ads or in-view ads and will be discussed in this column.
• Brand safety or brand adjacency – i.e. the placing of content next to appropriate content, will be discussed in a subsequent column.

This viewability standard is very new to mobile. And, in practice, ensuring ads qualify as a chargeable impressions, is even more of a headache on mobile than desktop, especially for native app advertising.

Viewability is an issue on many levels:

1. Digital ad viewability, generally, is a contentious political issue.

It has led to some high-level industry bickering between advertisers, agencies, intermediaries and publishers. For example:

2. Measuring viewability on mobile is even more difficult than on digital.

  • The industry had to wait until June 2016, before there was any standard for mobile viewability. See MRC Guidelines below.
  • These standards are for the US, and do not necessarily have international scope. The viewability standard for mobile in the UK, for example, is still a work in progress, headed by JICWEBS (Joint Industry Currency for Web Standards).
  • Quantifying viewability on mobile apps is even trickier than mobile web.

3. Viewability isn’t the same as ad quality or effectiveness. It does not guarantee results.

  • You can thrust the wrong ad creative, in the wrong format, for the wrong product, in the wrong person’s face all day and they still won’t buy it.
  • Striving for max viewability can drive advertisers / publishers to use more intrusive ad formats, such as interstitials, which can alienate visitors and encourage ad blocking.
  • Viewability is more of an issue for brand advertisers, who pay CPM (cost per thousand impressions). For performance advertisers, who pay by results e.g. acquisition of a new subscriber / installation of a mobile app, it is far less of a concern than ad fraud.
  • Viewability is pointless if there is no guarantee that it is a human rather than a robot viewing the ads.

Definition of mobile ad viewability

MRC Mobile Viewable Ad Impression Measurement Guidelines (PDF), published June 2016 offers the following definition.

Mobile viewable display ad impressions are counted when the following criteria are met:

  • Pixel requirement: Greater than or equal to 50% of the pixels (density – independent) in the advertisement were on an in-focus browser or a fully downloaded, opened, initialized application, on the viewable space of the device, and
  • Time requirement: The time the pixel requirement is met was greater than or equal to one continuous second, post ad render. This time requirement applies equally to news feed and non-news feed environments.

Video Time Requirement:
To qualify for counting as a mobile viewable video ad impression, it is required that 2 continuous seconds of the video advertisement is played, meeting the same pixel requirement necessary for a mobile viewable display ad.

Why this definition is a good thing:

Jason Cooper, general manager, mobile at Integral Ad Science.

“For years we’ve seen media owners avoid addressing mobile viewability or brand safety concerns, citing reasons such as: ‘the MRC has not made up their mind.’ But now the MRC released its mobile viewability guidelines. So this should now help to align all sides of the industry in how to move forward.”

But are the MRC guidelines too lenient?

Anyone familiar with desktop display advertising will recognize that the mobile guidelines are remarkably similar to the MRC’s desktop viewability guidelines. These are the same guidelines which critics led by Unilever’s Keith Wood argues are too lenient.

However, the MRC guidelines should considered the base standard, rather than the gold standard, according to Mark Finney, director of media and advertising, ISBA (Incorporated Society of British Advertisers):
It is a misconception that the MRC standard is a “target” to be adhered to, it is really more of a baseline. A baseline is needed because all advertisers have their own viewability targets, but you have to have a definition of a “view” for comparison purposes and to calibrate measurement tools. What you choose to pay for is a different matter. However, some people think that MRC is advocating 50% for one second – it is not.

Setting a lower threshold gives advertisers the flexibility to buy the type of inventory they require. So while some brand advertises call for 100% viewability to maximize eyeballs, this is less of a priority for performance advertisers who are interested in consumer interaction with their ads, but do not what to pay over the odds.

Mark Finney:

“Unilever has been very vocal that everything should be 100% viewable. Group M will not pay for anything less on behalf of its clients, and this would seem sensible, but there are downsides.”

Not all advertisers share the “100% “view. Advertisers who are more focused on direct marketing care less about this than CPA (cost per acquisition). E.g. if the price is right and something is 40% viewable but had a measurable effect on sales they may be happy with that. To get 100% viewable ads carries a hefty premium.

A good indication of the bewildering array of metrics / definitions currently used by agencies and advertisers to measure viewable impressions is to look at the data dictionary of a measurement company, such as Moat Analytics. ClickZ was shown a copy by InMobi. There are dozens of variants, depending on percentage of ad in view, time in view, position on the page and behavior of the user, all defined with different methods of calculation.

How are mobile ads verified as viewable?

Publishers, and increasingly agencies and advertisers, use independent verification companies.

The list of vendors accredited by the MRC (PDF) currently includes 14 vendors. Check with the MRC which ones of these are ‘Compliant – Self Asserted’ and which are ‘Compliant¬ – Audited’.

Only two of the 14 are currently accredited for mobile web and mobile app:

  • Integral Ad Science
  • Moat

What proportion of ads are viewable?

Unfortunately no company could supply any stats to show how many mobile ads are viewable. So we will have to make do with a chart for general display viewability from measurement company Meetrics. This suggests that more than half of display ads in the UK currently fail viewability tests.

You might expect publishers to refute such numbers. But they do not.

So what would it take to get publishers to improve viewability?

That’s an easy one: advertisers will have to pay a premium for guaranteed viewability.

Ben Price, group product manager, global media brands, at UK-based publishing house, Future:

I think there are two things to understand – 1) Increasing viewability will always increase CTR (click through rate) – that’s a fact – because if the ad isn’t seen, then it isn’t going to be clicked. However, 2) Advertisers need to be aware that publishers aren’t currently flocking to drive viewability up, because the yield doesn’t make sense right now.

For example, if advertisers were just to pay for viewable impressions, at a viewability rate of 50%, the publisher needs to see a rise of 100% in CPMs to achieve the same revenues as before. In reality, the publisher CPM increases are in the 20-30% range, which is why we haven’t seen widespread adoption from the publisher side.

This also poses the question of how important viewability and CTR really are to advertisers, if the publisher CPMs aren’t in direct correlation to viewability and CTR, what other quality metrics should be measured?

Does improving mobile viewability improve effectiveness?

Tests run with one campaign by Future found that doubling the viewability of mobile web ads, increased CTR by 145%.

Ben Price explains:

“We focused on mobile ads on one of Future sites – and subsequently rolled it out across the portfolio. We did two main things. 1) Added a sticky footer (ad remains on screen, when scrolling) 2) Adjusted the placement of MPUs (Mid Page Units) to higher viewability locations on the page.”

The CTR was pretty evenly increased across all campaigns and all ad sizes on mobile as a result. We compared to a previous 3 month average and saw similar sizes of increase in CTR as we rolled out on the other sites as well.

Off the back of this test, we’ve been building out a dynamic ad serving technology that automatically optimizes the placement of ads across the sites, depending on the content, user and engagement, optimizing for viewability and time-in-view. We plan on launching in Q2 2017.

This does not mean viewability is the same as effectiveness, points out Price:

Viewability is a minimum metric and only indicates a minimum level of quality, we need to make sure that we are working to optimize quality at an advertiser, agency and publisher level.

ISBA’s Mark Finney agrees. Confusing these two is a common mistake:

“Don’t confuse viewability with effectiveness – they are two very different concepts. Viewability measurement is based on a minimum threshold to enable the validation of an exposure to an ad impression, but it is not a KPI (key performance indicator) in itself. It should be a hygiene factor.”

Why mobile viewability is different and more difficult than desktop

The first thing to note is that the smaller form factor means that if publishers, under pressure from advertisers, use more intrusive tactics to increase viewability, it will have an even greater impact on user experience. For example interstitial (interruptive) ads will take up the full-screen and (if badly designed) can be difficult to close, and large sticky ads take up far more of the real estate on mobile than on desktop.

Mark Finney:

“Trying to optimize to viewability can lead to creative decisions that can negatively impact the user experience and therefore the brand (intrusive overlays, interstitials etc.). This may also drive more users to ad-blocking.”

Remember the context and the importance of creative – factors often overlooked in mobile where it is routine to re-use (or should that be “misuse”) creative designed for other platforms.

The second thing to note is mobile connection times may be slower, so the ad may not even loaded fully by the time visitor has moved on.

Verifying mobile web viewability is more difficult than desktop:

The issue is that the technologies that vendors use to verify ads on the desktop are not necessarily applicable on mobile web.

Integral’s Jason Cooper:

“The over-arching issue is that in mobile we have moved away from an environment where URL’s (referrers), cookies and Flash were ubiquitous across all major desktop browsers, to an environment where none of these elements can be relied upon. Using a Flash approach solved measurement of unfriendly iframes in the desktop environment, but Flash is redundant on mobile, so for mobile web viewability we have to seek out new solutions for iframes.”

The situation with in-app ads is even more complicated as they use a mixture of proprietary “native” technologies a long with web technologies.

One effort to cure this is the IAB’s on-going MRAID (Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions) standard.

Jason Cooper:

“Broadly speaking there are two approaches for measuring in-app viewability: a native approach, which is the MRC accredited route, and MRAID, which offers more scale, but in its existing form, isn’t MRC accredited.”

Another major misconception is that all in-app ads are always in view because they have a fixed placeholder within the app. However, there are numerous use cases where this isn’t true, one case is with ads that are preloaded waiting to be shown at intervals dictated by the app developer such as between levels of a game. In this scenario the ad downloads and fully renders in the background, in a preloaded state, and of course all tracking pixels load along with it. However, if the user doesn’t get to that certain point in the game, then the preloaded ads are discarded, this is an important point to understand especially when an agency is trying to make sense of the data in their reporting.

Mobile ad viewability – and viewability in general is a contentious and evolving subject. It helps if all members of the ad ecosystem are well informed. Get involved with whatever initiatives are running in your country and attend any events.

This columnist recently attended a JICWEBS town hall that was well attended and informative (but the only advertiser speaker, from Unilever, wanted to keep his opinions secret).

This is Part 38 of the ClickZ ‘DNA of mobile-friendly web’ series.
Here are the recent ones:
How agencies and advertisers can spot and combat mobile ad fraud
Mobile advertising accounts for nearly half of digital spend, but it comes at a price: ad fraud
Where is Google heading with mobile local search?
Is Google killing mobile organic search


Andy Favell is ClickZ columnist on mobile. He is a London-based freelance mobile/digital consultant, journalist and web editor.
Contact him via LinkedIn or Twitter @Andy_Favell

Google’s shift to mobile-first: mobile moments that matter

Columnist Jim Yu outlines Google's long march toward a mobile-first index and explains why optimizing for mobile devices is no longer optional. The post Google’s shift to mobile-first: mobile moments that matter appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

How marketing will change when 5G and VR collide

5G networks are expected to start rolling out this coming year and will likely be standard in 2018.

Given the profound impact that 4G had on mobile advertising, and the fact that by 2020, there will be an estimated 20.8 billion connected devices in the world (up from the current figure of 6.4 billion), the advent of 5G represents an enormous opportunity within the world of mobile.

Indeed, we are looking at a seismic event that will dramatically change mobile marketing for publishers, advertisers and end users.

Here’s what you should know now:

It’s not just about speed

Looking back on it now, we can see how 4G ushered in the era of mobile video advertising, a format that has come to dominate mobile marketing.

While the limits of 4G are still being pushed, as with Finnish telecoms firm Elisa, which recently claimed the new world record for fastest mobile internet at an astonishing 1.9 Gbs per second, 5G will theoretically make download speeds of 10,000 Mbps the norm.

But it’s the enormous speed and high capacity that’s going to open new frontiers. 5G will empower media companies to deliver 4K video and high quality AR and VR content to mobile devices.

It will become the backbone of a digital society enraptured with new technologies that deliver more realistic, immersive and interactive experiences.

With 5G just around the corner, the marketing world should be poised for still more innovation, and with that a subsequent vast array of new mobile marketing opportunities.

VR, AR and mixed reality will be the new norm

As noted above, the increased power of 5G will make the expansion of augmented/mixed reality more feasible, with mobile VR (virtual reality headsets not connected to a computer) driving that adoption.

Consider for a moment where that could take marketing, for example in a travel app – it could use VR to build photorealistic representations of candidate vacation spots or hotels for customers to help them choose.

From your living room or office, you could have a mini-experience with the Taj Mahal, Amazon River, and Aurora Borealis over Reykjavik; you could move effortlessly from one location to the next simply with a wave of your hand.

Done right, applications like this could enthral users and drive conversions in ways which could make “traditional” clicking and swiping anachronisms.

In the classic sci-fi movie Total Recall its lead character purchased a memory implant for a holiday adventure. Given where things appear to be going it is entirely plausible that VR holiday content will fuel a new, viable ecommerce market.

How marketing will change when 5G and VR collide

Rather than selling actual physical holidays brands and publishers could also offer ‘VR vacations’ as in-app purchases.

In this scenario, the traditional levers to pull for mobile commerce (targeted UA, engagement and retention tactics) would be just as important or more important than ever, as more and more “content” for purchase becomes mobile and digital.

Growth in AR and VR is increasing at an exponential rate, TechCrunch reported that revenues for AR and VR could reach $150 billion by 2020, with augmented reality taking the lion’s share at around $120 billion and VR at $30 billion.

How marketing will change when 5G and VR collide

Some companies are ahead of the game, like Magic Leap, which has demoed what it calls ‘Mixed Reality’, has been deemed “the world’s most secretive startup”, and has already garnered $1.4 billion in investment.

Its engineers are working on a headset that uses actual surroundings blended with digital light and graphic elements to create a version of the world that seems just as believable as the real thing. Their goal is to use human sight patterns to create an algorithm to make things look as realistic as humanly possible.

With the planned deployment of 5G expected in 2018, the proliferation of affordable VR and AR, for example Sony’s mass-market PlayStation VR rolling out in October 2016, a record $2 billion USD invested in VR this year alone, it’s safe to assume that VR will become the a widespread platform for mobile in the very near future.

New platforms will usher in even more data about consumers

Smart 5G wearables, 5G powered IoT devices, and AR/VR/mixed reality will empower mobile advertisers with unprecedented access to consumers, their personal interests, and their activities (done right, this will be on an anonymous level, with no data tied to a personal identity).

All this data combined will take advertising to a new level of tailoring and relevance; given that mobile already offers a terrific degree of targeting and the ability to continually iterate based on data, additional insights garnered from 5G will take it even further.

Think of the possibilities with augmented reality ads on 3D Google maps, ultra-intelligent refrigerators that link to markets in your area, context-aware ads on IoT home devices that find deals on items you need for dinner, or VR goggles that track eye movements for controlling on-screen graphic interfaces – the only limit is one’s imagination.

How marketing will change when 5G and VR collide

Who will succeed?

So what will it take to successfully leverage 5G? A willingness to grab the bull by the horns and leverage virtual and augmented marketing, of course. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, industries that will benefit the most from 5G will be those that connect something in the physical world to the internet, and vice versa.

It’s going to be all about customisable connectivity. For advertisers, the sky really is the limit. There’s much to anticipate in the shiny 5G world of possibilities.

Once this game changer for mobile marketing and advertising enters the ring, 5G will push augmented and virtual reality and IoT into the mainstream, and marketing and advertising will be right there with it.

Simon Spaull is the managing director EMEA of AppLovin and a contributor to SEW.