Cross-device attribution is going to be the hottest ad tech topic in 2014

Last week I had the pleasure to moderate a panel on cross device monetization at Mopub’s “Mobile First” Conference.

The premise of the panel was to discuss the difficulties around cross-device attribution – likely to be one of the hottest topics in mobile in 2014!

Here is the panel recap:


  • Are Traasdahl, Founder and CEO of Tapad
  • Giorgos Zacharia, Chief Product Officer at Kayak
  • David Wiener, VP Product BlueKai
  • Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, Founder and CEO of Drawbridge

13MobileFirst_303 (1)We are witnessing a massive shift from desktop to mobile computing. However, even to complete a single task, consumers are weaving their paths through multiple devices and screens. This is making it increasingly difficult for advertisers to follow users through the purchasing funnel and understand which campaigns drive purchasing behavior.

We invited a panel of friends and entrepreneurs to discuss cross device attribution, and the future of programmatic buying.

Here is the great news: everyone agreed that attribution is finally a reality, and will lead to increased eCPMs in the coming quarters. While most attribution solutions today remain siloed within tablet, desktop, and smartphones, there is much innovation happening in the space.

All that is fantastic news for publishers and advertisers alike. Here are some of the other key takeaways:

  • Location targeting is coming fast and furious
  • Multi screen experiences are key to creating a deeper and more magical storyline for consumers
  • Cross device attribution is in its early days, but possible
  • Advertisers are excited about cross-device attribution
  • Many things the industry has been waiting for are now reality
  • Growth will accelerate
  • The mobile phone is one of the primary devices, but it is not the only one
  • Taking mobile data and extending its reach into desktop is next frontier

So here is my take: The ecosystem is striving to reduce hurdles and allow advertisers to create a unified view of consumers. This will be critical for the success of the programmatic buying ecosystem, as well as for the publisher that needs to optimize content and provide a continuous user experience.

Cross device attribution is possible today and (even if slightly inaccurate) allows advertisers to follow consumers through their purchasing funnel. Today it is unclear to what extent 3rd party data can drive mobile DR campaigns, but the panel agreed that it does help in upper funnel brand campaigns.

Advertisers & publishers: 2014 promises to be a fabulous year!

Photo curtesy of A.E. Fletcher Photography 2013

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