• Advertising

Mobile Advertising Data Usage Trends for 2020

Team InMobi
Team InMobi
6 min read
Posted on December 19, 2019
Mobile Advertising Data Usage Trends for 2020

In the programmatic-first world of mobile advertising, data is central to everything. Perhaps no topic is as talked about in this space today as data. Data is extremely top of mind for just about everyone in the mobile marketing and advertising industries.

How is data collected for mobile app ad campaigns, and what specifically is being gathered? How is that data being used, and is it being utilized properly? What do data-driven advertising campaigns on mobile devices actually look like? Throughout 2020, marketers will be taking pains to answer these questions.

Sourcing Data for Mobile App Advertising in 2020

"I think in mobile for the past couple of years, people have just been taking desktop analogous numbers. I have this on the desktop and I'll apply that into mobile or these are my desktop travel segments and I'm going to take that from the desktop side and find those users in mobile. I think we are getting to a point where people are starting to ask, ‘Where is that data coming from and is it coming from a mobile specific source?’ So when I think about one of the biggest challenges holistically of even my trust with analytics packages, it's where is the backend data coming from?” Mike Brooks, SVP of Revenue at WeatherBug, noted.

He added, “By taking a stronger look at the source of mobile data, I think it's going to open up some holes for people who have been taking desktop data into mobile at face value for the past few years. Where is your data coming from and to what extent does it actually apply and capture mobile insights correctly?”

One of the biggest trends in 2020 will be the increased use of first-party data. Marketers will increasingly leverage data either that they directly own and control, and/or work with partners capable of providing them with their own first-party data to supplement what’s already available in house.

“Having access to an audience insights report based on first-party data from an independent marketplace enables marketers to discover new, high-quality audiences,” Jason Hicks, EVP of Growth at Kochava, said. "Through such a data set, marketers gain increased visibility into demographics (gender and age), device information, and interests and behaviors. They can apply those learnings to launch more personalized campaigns or use those audience attributes to create lookalike audiences.”

What can marketers do when they have this high-quality data in place? Vanja B. Brzin, Celtra’s VP of Product Marketing, noted the value of “data-driven mobile creative,” especially for “data-driven, forward-thinking marketers.”

Another great application for this data is for predicting performance. By combining high-quality data sources with machine learning algorithms, advertisers can more effectively determine how well certain creatives, messages, channels, etc. are likely to perform for them before media budgets are ever spent.

“We see the limitless potential for machine learning in digital advertising. Current advancements are blurring the lines between human and machine as evident in applications like sentiment analysis – machines are increasingly able to identify and categorize the opinions expressed in a piece of text, in order to determine whether the writer’s attitude towards a particular topic or product is positive, negative, or neutral,” says Harmon Lyons, Senior Vice President of Global Business Development at IAS. “Nuance here is always evolving as language expands and includes things like sarcasm and emoticons to express meaning. Rapid advances in deep learning are allowing computers to process images and video in a more human-like way. These advancements will enable a more robust generation of brand safety and fraud solutions that will help to protect digital advertising investments.”

How to Use Data to More Effectively Reach Consumers Across Touchpoints in 2020

Jason from Kochava noted that better data can help marketers better understand their consumers across environments, so they can develop a holistic understanding of consumers no matter where they are or what device they’re using. The end goal is being able to granularly target mobile-first users and provide them with unique value as a result of this intelligence.

This kind of location-targeted intelligence will be top of mind for Hershey’s in 2020, according to Vinny Rinaldi, their Head of Addressable Media and Technology. During Advertising Week New York 2019, he told InMobi’s Anne Frisbie that Hershey’s is interested in using location data in combination with digital ads and other emerging marketing channels to more effective reach and impact their target audience segments.

The Role of Privacy Initiatives in the Mobile Advertising Industry in 2020

But according to Yory Wurmser, Principal Mobile Analyst with eMarketer, location-based data signals are a double-edged sword. While location data can be incredibly powerful (especially if collected in real time), brands need to be careful about respecting end user privacy. Mobile users are increasingly pushing back against improper data collection, and the law is right on their heels.

And this leads us to perhaps one of the biggest points that will dominate the mobile marketing news in 2020: privacy and legal frameworks around data collection and use. The California Consumer Privacy Act will finally go into effect in 2020, and other states (most notably Florida at the moment) are likely to follow suit.

“GDPR, and now CCPA, are living beasts, if you will, and we’ll need to continue to watch how they evolve and adapt accordingly,” said Dennis Buchheim, EVP and general manager of the IAB Tech Lab, according to AdExchanger.

Brands need to be really careful that they’re collecting and using data in a way that is compliant with all upcoming laws and privacy initiatives. “It can potentially be an existential crisis for the industry,” Abhay Singhal, CEO of InMobi Marketing Cloud and Co-Founder of InMobi Group, said.

“In addition to guaranteeing the rights of individuals to control their personal information, we believe privacy laws should be further strengthened by placing more robust accountability requirements on companies. This includes making companies minimize the data they collect about people, specify the purposes for which they are collecting and using people’s data, and making them more responsible for analyzing and improving data systems to ensure that they use personal data appropriately. Indeed, we are calling upon policymakers in other states and in Congress to build upon the progress made by California and go further by incorporating robust requirements that will make companies more responsible for the data they collect and use, and other key rights from GDPR. More requirements for companies, together with the rights and tools for people to control their data, will prevent placing the privacy burden solely on the individual, and will provide layers of data protection that are appropriate for the digital age,” Julie Brill, Corporate Vice President for Global Privacy and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Privacy Officer for Microsoft, wrote in a November 2019 blog post.

Charting 2020’s Top Mobile Advertising and Marketing Trends

How will brands more effectively understand, identify, engage and acquire mobile-first users? What steps will they take to drive real connections with consumers over mobile? Download InMobi’s 2020 trends report today for key insights on the future from the world’s top mobile experts.


Note: This is the second in a five-part series on the top mobile marketing and advertising trends of 2020. The first post covers how mobile in-app advertising overall is likely to evolve and mature in 2020. Be sure to stay tuned to the InMobi blog for more predictions.

How do you think mobile advertising data usage will evolve in 2020? We’d love to hear from you on social media! Send us your thoughts on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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