Happy man using his mobile device while reclining

Predictions for Mobile Advertising in 2023

Group shot of people collaborating in an office setting. The PubMatic logo is shown
By PubMatic
December 22, 2022

If you remind digital marketers about the so-called “Year of Mobile,” you’re likely to get a laugh. That, of course, is because most of the 2010s ended up being the Year of Mobile.

Now, it’s clear mobile is far more than just a year, it is a constantly evolving opportunity and channel. To that end, here are some ideas about what’s to come in new year – and era – of mobile advertising from Lashanne Phang, senior director of mobile at PubMatic.

Privacy and Targeting

For starters, privacy changes, such as Google sunsetting third-party cookies in its Chrome browser and Apple’s App-Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, have spurred many industry categories to rethink their approach to data.

“We have to find a way respect privacy, but to continue to create efficiency in targeting,” Phang recently told Kurt Donnell, President and CEO of Freestar, and host of the podcast Blood, Sweat and CPMs. “So how do advertisers, and platform service providers like us, efficiently facilitate that while at the same time respecting a user’s privacy?”

The answer lies in striking more of a balance between privacy, efficiency and targeting, which we can expect to see in the future.

Virtual Intrinsic In-Game Assets

While mobile buyers used to be driven by performance, they are now seeking truly engaging in-game experiences.

“Therefore, an in-game format that appears as a virtual billboard within a gaming session becomes interesting, especially for brand buyers, because not only do you have exclusive attention from the user within the gaming session, you have that explicit engagement with the user specifically to drive brand awareness,” she said.

What’s more, you can expect to see these virtual assets become interactive in the future.

That’s in part because mobile has evolved beyond performance measurement and is now focused on user experience in gameplay.

Better In-Game Measurement

Meanwhile, measurement of user attention on in-game ads like the virtual billboards mentioned above remains a challenge.

In 2022, the IAB updated its measurement guidance on in-game advertising sessions.

Phang, who works with mobile app developers to help them understand their monetization options and how to best optimize programmatic yield, called this change “one of the motivators for the industry to really dig further into the environment to experiment with the successful and innovative approaches to engaging users in a different way.”

Efforts to engage the right audience at the highest attention point within each session will flourish in the year to come. It looks more and more like 2023 will be a year of mobile optimization, value and new frontiers in consumer engagement.

To hear Phang’s full interview, listen to the podcast episode here.