Everyone in the ad business knows that mobile video is red hot.
What very few folks know is how to best measure mobile video.
That’s why the Mobile Marketing Association is forming a mobile video committee to review current standards and develop best practices for mobile video advertising and measurement. The MMA’s foray into pursuing standards comes on the heels of several promising reports on the growth of mobile, including numbers from the Interactive Advertising Bureau citing that mobile had nearly doubled in the first half of 2012 to $1.2 billion , up from $636 million from the year-ago period. On top of that, Nielsen has said that nearly 36 million mobile phone owners now watch video on their phones—up 26% from a year ago, while eMarketer has said 54% of tablet owners watch video on their tablets each week.
“Mobile video is probably one of the fastest growing areas and it probably needs some legs, so we want to develop insights about how marketers are looking at the opportunity in mobile video,” Stuart said in an interview. He added that there are a number of areas that the MMA is looking at in mobile from audience research, to the currency of buying, to metrics around engagement.
The committee is aiming to understand the opportunities in mobile video, as well as the best metrics to use such as click-throughs, time spent, or video completion. Brands also want to know, as examples, whether mobile is best at boosting brand awareness or for top-of-the-funnel purchases, and if swiping on a phone or tablet is an indication of engagement, he said. “Just because someone clicks on a part of an ad does that mean brand effectiveness goes up?” Stuart asked.
“We believe there is a heightened level of engagement on mobile phones and there are a lot fewer ads so that would boost effectiveness, but we also want to look at how we control frequency and generate effectiveness,” he said. Marketers need to guard against overloading the consumer with ads that aren’t targeted or relevant, he said. The ideal frequency, then, is another best practice that the committee may weigh in on.
Members of the MMA video committee include Collective, comScore, Mindshare, Nielsen Company, Turner Broadcasting, Univision Interactive, Verizon Wireless and others. The two co-chairs of the committee are Anne Schelle of Acta Consulting and Will Kassoy of AdColony.
Metrics and standards would likely help grow the business. “Brand advertisers are mostly guessing as to actual consumer usage of mobile media, are uncertain about how they can manage mobile marketing in a cost-effective manner, and are further unsure about what they can do with mobile that is incremental to existing activities on the conventional web,” said Brian Wieser, senior research analyst at Pivotal Research Group in a report last week. “These issues must be overcome in order to induce meaningful change and acceleration beyond the typically small budgets that large brands allocate to the medium today. We believe that most of the large brand budgets that are allocated are often based on hunches about appropriate allocations, or because of a general commitment to experimentation and belief in the long-term promise of mobile.”