Mobile Leader Spotlight – A Sit Down With Kevin Ward, Supervisor at Carat

by • December 3, 2013 • Comments (0)

By: Dustin O’Dell

shutterstock_9967906Here are we are again, where I sit down with a mobile specialist to hear about their views on mobile advertising and learn how they are helping their clients navigate the dynamic mobile advertising landscape.

Today I will be speaking with Kevin Ward, a media supervisor from Carat . Kevin has worked with some the world’s largest retailers and leverages his mobile expertise to continue to lead his client’s mobile advertising efforts.

Let’s hear what Kevin has to say!

MLA: What types of campaigns or executions have you seen success with in mobile advertising thus far?

Custom engagements have been the best performers for in my experience and also an exciting sell through to the client. Working on retail, being able to display a breadth of products in an engaging environment is always a plus. Some of the best performance has come from click to expand banners with product circulars or custom LP’s with multiple products that don’t take the user out of their mobile experience. Finding the right amount of products to showcase on the small screen is key, as engagements many times don’t go further than the first few products.

MLA: How about challenges?

Far and away my challenges have been targeting and ROI attribution. There have also been challenges in properly tracking and attribution in mobile to get down to the ROI detail desired from any digital efforts. Also selling through targeting capabilities has been a challenge. Because there aren’t cookies to go off of, many of the targeting capabilities require a fairly detailed understanding of UID’s and how that can be leveraged in place of cookie data. Simplifying the technical aspect behind it is key in selling through the idea.

MLA: What do you do to stay up to speed on new mobile technologies and capabilities?

3 ways, 1. Taking meetings and asking the technical questions (i.e. ok so you are 3rd party data targeting, what kind of data are you leveraging to get to that level and what assumptions/inferences are making to bridge the user and the data). Also finding the people who are doing it well and having on going conversations about improvements in the technology, where the market is going, new offerings etc. I also find reading venturebeat to be a huge asset, getting an understanding of what kind of technologies are getting funding and what innovations are the next up and coming tool in the space. 3. My own experience as a consumer using mobile and engaging with ads I see and taking note of what works and what doesn’t (are units taking an absurd time to load, not rendering properly, or driving to a truely engaging unit/landing page).

MLA: Are there any trends or new technologies that you like?

Native ads are big on my list. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard about the mobile landscape is integrate your brand with what people are doing on mobile, not just being ON mobile. Advertise based on user actions unique to the device, not just to the device. Also cross screen advertising, getting closer and closer to syncing the brand experience with what is happening across multiple devices as consumers continue to use multiple devices at once (watching tv while casually browsing on smartphones).

MLA: Describe your ideal experience as a consumer. Explain how mobile advertising can/should make your life easier as a consumer?

My ideal experience as a consumer is having a brand experience that facilitates the actions I’m already using mobile for. Not sure what EXACTLY this would look like as a brand experience, but I find that I really only use my phone for a certain amount of things. While I have probably 50 apps on my phone, I regularly use only 5 or 6. If a brand can integrate itself in a way that helps me achieve my goal quickly (check the weather, check my fantasy team, browse instagram/facebook, email), while providing something additional that doesn’t interfere with the end task I’m trying to perform would be a positive brand experience. I think this would also tie into an awesome cross screen experience. By providing something additional to what I’m consuming on TV or on my desktop, that adds value to my media experience would be REALLY COOL.

That wraps up the second installment of the MLA’s Mobile Spotlight. Kevin touched on a lot of great points that still hand cuff mobile’s true potential but also highlights the exciting future of mobile advertising. Time spent on mobile devices continues to increase rapidly and the sophistication and success of mobile advertising will undoubtedly follow.

Big thanks to Kevin for taking time out to sit down with me and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels over the holiday weekend!


Dustin O’Dell

Dustin O’Dell is the Director of Content Management for MLA and Mobile Sales Manager for AdTheorent with a background in consumer data and programmatic buying. O’Dell is currently based in NYC, working with top agencies and brands applying innovative thought at the intersection of mobile technology, data, and marketing to change how brands engage consumers.


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