The Future of the Mobile Tracking Pixel

The Future of the Mobile Tracking Pixel

The Mobile Majority has been shifting focus over the past two years from reward based ads to creating an end-to-end, programmatic mobile advertising network focused on audience targeting.

A pixel is the smallest unit that can be used to represent an image in your monitor. If you look very closely at your monitor or mobile screen, you would see a mosaic of small points of differing colors and hues. Without such units you would not be able to watch YouTube videos, buy at Amazon, read the latest news at CNN, or enjoy this article.

The pixel is as ubiquitous as it is unnoticed.

The pixel is also the basis of the technology most digital advertisement companies use to know you better. Whenever you see an ad that appears to talk to you, that seems to know what you want at that particular moment in time in the most uncanny of ways, the tracking pixel will be there.

Once state-of-the-art, tracking pixels represent fading relevance in tracking technology. Whether you are tracking user behavior through cookies, running fancy server-side algorithms to classify and segment your audience, or just trying to separate the good traffic from the bad traffic, the tracking pixel was there.

Sadly, the tracking pixel had its day and its time in the spotlight. It can only get you – the digital marketer – so far.

Using it in today’s mobile-first world is like trying to fly a fighter jet with analog instruments from the 40’s: sure, you can get the job done most of the time, but you have at best a very sketchy idea of what’s going on outside of your cockpit.

Sketchy ideas are better than no ideas and are a good place to begin, but eventually you’ll want to know more. You need to know more if you wish to compete in the current digital marketing arena.

Moving the Mobile Tracking Pixel Forward

How can you do so? How can you get ahead of your competition?

There are many possible answers to those questions, but a good place to start is by knowing more about your audience. After all, those are real people who may buy your product, sign up for your service, or simply become aware of how awesome your brand is.

When designing and deploying rich-media mobile ad units, you can learn much, much more about your audience than a simple static tracking pixel can tell you.

You can track where the user clicked, how much of a video he watched, what her score was on a mini-game, and how long he took to decide to fill out that contact form.

Using a mix of readily-available, battle tested Web 2.0 technologies such as JavaScript and HTML5, and open source frameworks such as AdKit™, you can easily tap into a plethora of information so rich that you can probably know the real people accessing your content better than they know themselves.

  • You can know that Josh likes to browse car parts after work and that he’s just waiting for the next fun, energetic ad to convince him to get that new sound system.
  • You can know that Sara is on the market for a good personal finance tool because of that college loan and, if you can convince her your app is safe, trustworthy and hassle-free, you’ve got yourself a deal.

Such is the power of insight and knowledge.

Most importantly, by collecting those types of data each time a rich-media ad is run, you are able to build a massive library of data points full of tracking information. From it, you can draw trends from behaviors, interactions, and locations across cohorts that enable the creation of targeted audiences in the future in real-time.

The future is here, and the frontier is clearly laid out. We are in a time of transition from traditional media sources to interactive, exciting new channels of consumer engagement; from boring, static “tell-me-what-to-do” ads to dynamic live content and experiences.

Best of all, the technology to tap into all that power is available now and up for grabs. Should you want to truly excel at getting your consumers to see and engage your message, all you have to do is reach out.

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Marcelo Wiermann
Marcelo Wiermann

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