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Opera Mediaworks Creates Innovation Lab, Focused on Mobile Marketers’ Needs for the Future

Opera Mediaworks Creates Innovation Lab, Focused on Mobile Marketers’ Needs for the Future

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In efforts to push the mobile advertising realm forward, mobile ad platform Opera Mediaworks has created an Innovation Lab, focused on mobile marketers’ needs for tomorrow. Opera Mediaworks serves 64 billion impressions and reaches 700 million global consumers monthly, giving them incredible opportunities to effect positive change for mobile marketers.

The Innovation Lab’s goal is to create new products and solutions based on technology and innovation that will help marketers reach the next generation of mobile consumers in the most effective and engaging ways. Scott Swanson, President of Global Advertising Sales, has been seeing many missed opportunities by marketers:

When we first realized that marketers had a big disconnect between mobile ad spend and understanding of whether it worked or not, we looked in the industry and asked ‘is anyone solving this problem?’ While they were all making relatively good progress, there wasn’t a single company that was dominating the space. I asked people, how do you judge and measure ad effectiveness? Almost everyone had a different system.

The team realized that most of the campaigns they observed were “very vanilla”, i.e. banner campaigns running inside of apps. They thought that this was a mistake because mobile is different and has so much more possibility, so the Innovation Lab team is determined to understand how consumers can and will be interacting with their mobile devices in the future and finding the ways that brands can actively participate in that experience.

In addition to making several acquisitions that added to Opera Mediaworks’ roster of mobile talent, including apprupt in Germany and the U.S.-based mobile video ad platform AdColony, the company recruited from some of the best mobile tech firms and ad agencies to make up the 11 team members of the Innovation Lab.

“It was equally important for us to get people who understood both the realities of the demands that ad agencies face and how to communicate the hows and whys of these products,” says Orr Orenstein, team leader and newly-minted Head of Innovation for Opera Mediaworks.

The Innovation Lab will put its energy into five distinct focus areas. They are:

1. Interactivity, via a suite of interactive products that utilize the native capabilities of mobile devices, such as the gyroscope, accelerometer, camera and voice recognition.

2. Receptivity, which means ensuring that ads are served not only to the right person, on the right device and place, but also at the right time — in alignment with the user’s physiological state, or mood. According to Swanson,

One of the things that we’ve discovered is that users on mobile devices are on two primary psychological states: go-go mode or lean-forward, meaning they have no time to interact with an ad, or they’re in lean-back mode, which means they have time to kill.

Ads are catered to a person depending on their mode; for example, for those who are looking at entertainment app, they’re in a more relaxed state meaning they’re more likely to have time and inclination to watch a video ad.

3. Targeting, including a proprietary technology that detects the apps on a phone to determine that person’s “digital DNA” and serve a highly-relevant ad based on interests and habits.

4. Location, such as banners whose message is dynamically updated based on location. For example: weather-related creative, map to the nearest store, or APR (Annual Percentage Rate) offers from the nearest car dealership.

5. Measurement will continue to be of utmost importance for mobile marketers; the Lab will find ways to improve cross-channel tracking and reporting of engagement metrics as well as understanding what’s driving in-store traffic and mobile conversions.

In the coming months, the Innovation Lab will release a suite of new products intended to capture the full potential of mobile advertising. Debuts of these new products will be visible as the team takes to various cities with demo stations at breakfast events intended to give marketers an opportunity to interact with the new advertising products on devices, in person.

About Opera Mediaworks

Opera Mediaworks powers the mobile ad economy through technology innovation, transparency and trust, to create vibrant marketplaces for publishers and advertisers across the globe. This enables advertisers to efficiently reach their target audience and publishers to improve their monetization. Opera Mediaworks operates the world’s biggest brand-focused mobile ad network, serving 23 of the 25 top global brands. We also deliver the world’s leading mobile ad server and monetization tools to 18 of the top 25 media companies worldwide. Our mission is to deliver relevance in the medium where it matters most—on mobile devices.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, Opera Mediaworks has offices in New York, United Kingdom, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, India, Indonesia, Russia, Ukraine and Norway. Learn more about Opera Mediaworks at