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POV: Interview with Ryan Murray, Mobile Media Sales Director

By:   Date posted: May 16, 2012

ryan-j-murrayWelcome to The Agency Post. Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Ryan Murray. I’m the US Sales Direction at StrikeAd. I currently reside in New York, New York. Prior to joining StrikeAd, I spent five years developing and generating revenue for the digital network development company Collective. We experienced triple digit year-over-year growth while establishing the national sales group at Collective.

What trends do you see happening in mobile media buying?

Mobile media buying is fragmented. A growing need to identify return on ad spend is quickly coming to the surface. Marketers and advertisers are smart, and agencies are charged to find solutions that are well positioned to stand the test of time; by that I mean mirror and/or are in line with digital acceptance.  Cookies, transactional value, lifetime value are all mainstays of the digital community and have finally found their way into mobile thanks in part to technical advancement. Apple’s recent deprecation of the UDID has helped to accelerate this.

What upcoming and/or future technologies in the mobile space are you excited about?

Mobile real time bidding (RTB) of course! The ability to transparently plan, buy and evaluate mobile display media in real time with real time optimizations and greater pricing efficiencies is happening. There is a lot of anticipation and excitement about near field communication (NFC) as well.

What frustrates you about mobile advertising?

A word used earlier — fragmentation. And I will add inconsistency and the lack of standardization. Because of this, there is limited spending acceptance by the brands and advertisers. As an industry, it behooves us to begin to help advertisers become comfortable with how to best utilize mobile to reach their desired audience. Advertisers know they should build a presence and engage via mobile, but there is trepidation, and it’s to us to exact this feeling.

Mobile ad spending is expected to grow 80 percent in 2012 to $2.61 billion. Have you seen a large increase in the number of brands and agencies that are allocating budgets to mobile advertising? What’s the cause for this large increase?

Yes, and in large part, I attribute it to the undeniable growth of consumer device usage/ownership.  Mobile phones and tablets are arguably the most personal of all communication devices. Brands are realizing a very intimate “conversation” can be had if done right.

Can you tell us more about StrikeAd. Why was it created? How does it serve to alleviate issues when placing a mobile campaign?

StrikeAd is a real time ad platform. What does that mean? We are a unique company in the advertising and advertising technology space because we are solely focused on providing mobile infrastructure solutions and technology. We empower agencies, trading desks and advertisers the ability to transparently plan, buy and evaluate mobile media in real time through one centralized platform. In an otherwise fragmented market, we offer two service agreements — self or managed.

A self-service agreement puts the real time bid platform in the client’s hands. Our managed offering assigns a dedicated StrikeAd representative to handle everything from ad trafficking to collaborative planning to reporting.

We listen to 10 exchanges and 15 billion bids per month and currently have license agreements with Xaxis, Accuen, Cadreon, NEO@Ogilvy and Mindshare and work with brand teams from Orange and AMEX to Bridgestone and Miller Coors.

What are some of the problems advertisers face when trying to target and track mobile ads?

Patchy cookie support and  limited third-and first-party data available due to difficulty of placing third-party pixels for persistent tracking. StrikeAd, in addition to providing RTB media is helping to address and pioneer tracking and attribution. A number of tracking software development kits (SDKs) have emerged as leaders for the new best practices as the UDID and other device identifiers continue to be phased out.

Many people talk about the fragmentation of mobile advertising. What does this mean?

Lack of standardization. There are too many ‘best solutions’ entering the market almost monthly. We need to stick to the fundamentals. That’s what we stress and urge of our clients at StrikeAd. Don’t be afraid to test and utilize the unique offerings mobile can provide, but don’t try to chase. Become great at a few things.

How is the industry working to standardize mobile advertising?

Common language, in my honest opinion. We need to cut through the clutter and determine how companies are best positioned to work together to achieve common goals. We need to provide a clear set of terms and practices for measurement and be transparent about what is truly available.

Who are some of your top people and/or companies to follow on Twitter for updates on topics related to mobile advertising? Top blogs to read?

Shockingly I don’t use Twitter. I do read eMarketer, ClickZ, Mobile Marketer, MobiAd, AdExchanger…all really good for various reasons.

One reason that you love what you do: I’m constantly learning and challenged to think outside of the box.

Mentor(s): Joe Apprendi, Jerome FitzGibbons, Alex Rahaman, Mike Kerans have all taught me. I also try to take pieces of information and/or approaches from others that I deem extremely intelligent.

Must read book: “The 4-Hour Workweek”

Music that gets you in your zone: Depends on the day/mood…

Connect with Ryan on Facebook or LinkedIn.

 

 Feature image courtesy of Flickr user alangrlane.

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Jami Oetting is the editor of The Agency Post. She is an advertising nerd who's big on creativity, quick wit and good conversation. Interact with her on Twitter @jamioetting or LinkedIn.

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