In the world of online advertising, 2012 could probably have been called the “year of mobile.” It had been about to happen, we’d been told, for several years. Sure, mobile advertising existed before this, but in this period something palpable changed. It could no doubt have been measured in spend and in budgets allocated to mobile, yet there was also an underlying attitude change. Mobile was real. It was suddenly a true market, with the big players starting to realize that mobile was not just a matter of shrunken processes and different ad units.
Fast forwarding to the present time…mobile is obviously real. As it moves much faster than online did, it’s so real that there seems to be a low-level nervousness about knowing “What’s Next.” The industry, if it were a team, is about ready to switch from Norming to Performing. Not as many obvious innovations, not as many left or right turns, and not as many bold claims. A lot of refining, with a lot of growth. Moreover, it’s the point in time where mobile ad tech completely divorces itself from its display origins and stands independent.