SIMON KHALAF: We’re on target to go live by the end of July. Our goal is to have 20 DSPs when we flip the switch. We’ll be passing a lot of data through the DSPs and we’re working with them to take advantage of that data. That’s the challenge: how do we create segments that DSPs are interested in and also signals that they can interpret?
What kind of data do you provide?
We provide location, age, gender, and about 40 segments that we have computed. For example, is this a first-time mom, soccer mom, car enthusiast, gambler etc. We have this type of data compiled for about 1.1 billion consumers worldwide. That will give the buyer, the DSP, insight into the context so they can decide what kind of ad unit they want.
What were the key issues at your conference?
I’d say the popular topics are mobile shopping, where in the funnel does mobile shopping fit in and how can mobile close the transaction?
We’re seeing mobile become the favorite pastime in which you’re shopping everywhere. You’re shopping on the couch; you’re shopping while standing on line. We just put out a report that shows males are more likely to shop after a meal and with women, it’s a constant effort. There’s no question that mobile is a catalyst for retail.
eMarketer recently estimated Google holds half of mobile advertising revenue. Any reaction there?
We definitely agree [with the report]. These are still very early days though. There’s going to be a lot of innovation in mobile marketing that’s beyond the bottom of the funnel, which is what search is. But yes, Google has done a good job of capturing the search experience of mobile and monetizing it the same way web is being monetized.
What will it take for Facebook to catch up?
A miracle. What is Facebook offering in mobile that Yahoo hasn’t offered in the early days of digital? Facebook is a massive publisher in mobile and will take 10% to 15% of the mobile ad dollars no matter what they do. So far though, I have not seen a killer ad unit come out of Facebook that is going to change mobile advertising.
What trends are you seeing in ads on the web versus apps?
Twenty percent of time is spent on the mobile web and 80% is in apps. The mobile web is… diminishing, but that doesn’t mean it can’t come back. I believe it’s all about the experience. I’m not focused on web versus app. The mobile-optimized websites are looking more like apps than they look like websites, so it’s about providing the best experience to your customers.