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IAB UK research reveals that 50% of marketers are buying mobile programmatically, yet understanding of programmatic is low

Editor … Thought you’d be interested in this IAB study of over 300 marketers doing mobile advertising which reveals that 50% are buying mobile inventory programmatically, however, nearly half have no/little knowledge of the discipline.

In addition, location-based advertising is seen as the most exciting mobile opportunity.

A study released today by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK reveals that 50% of marketers surveyed use programmatic for buying smartphone inventory. However, programmatic advertising on mobile is one of the least understood mobile topics, with 44% of respondents reporting having no or little knowledge of it.

The study which was conducted by research agency Circle Research on behalf of the IAB UK looked at insights into advertisers’ understanding, use and opinions of mobile advertising. The research which was carried out in December 2015 takes an in-depth look among 301 marketers advertising on smartphones (“respondents”), across a range of sectors, including FMCG, travel, retail, finance, insurance and arts and entertainment.

Levels of uptake and understanding around mobile advertising
Nearly 3 in 10 (29%) respondents feel they have an “excellent” understanding of mobile advertising as a whole compared to 22% who said they had a “poor” level of understanding.

The benefits and challenges of advertising on mobile
79% of the respondents said that mobile advertising is an important part of their organisation’s overall advertising strategy. The study revealed that mobile spend in the next 24 months is expected to increase. However a lack of budget at the moment remains a top challenge for nearly one 1 in 3 respondents; as well as budgets, difficulties in tracking and restraints on creativity are also barriers against increasing usage of mobile advertising.

The future of mobile
Location based advertising is seen by 66% of respondents as the most exciting mobile opportunity, whilst 52% agree that wearable technology is an excellent opportunity for the industry. Furthermore, 56% of respondents plan to start advertising on wearables in the next 12 months.

IAB’s Mobile Manager, Mike Reynolds said: “It’s great to see just how far mobile has come in a relatively short amount of time and it’s even more exciting to see mobile on the agenda for so many advertisers in the UK.

Interestingly, the results show that programmatic has established itself as an effective way of buying mobile media, however there is a clear disconnect between this buying technique and knowledge levels.

Therefore, strengthening this knowledge base across the industry remains a top priority of ours for 2016”.