Four key trends in mobile advertising now

Mobile technology and its advertising formats have come a long way. Here are four key trends in mobile advertising out of the Mobile World Congress this year.

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An increasing trend in the ad tech space that we saw at this year's conference is data. Companies and marketers are increasingly looking to access data from their mobile campaigns and ad-tech companies are scrambling to present, understand and utilize the massive amounts of data being generated by their platforms.

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Media agencies, which were more visible in the ad-tech space this year than ever before, increasingly want their buys to become more efficient and automated, which will constantly push the industry forward.

There is a resurgence of unique creative within mobile. With 2014's trend of video having run its course, brands and agencies are looking to differentiate their branding on mobile platforms by using unique ad units that can be transacted using programmatic direct platforms, an emerging tool in the ad-tech space that integrates directly into the ad servers of the publishers to avoid fraudulent inventory.

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No longer is mobile marketing the "cost per install" market it was in the past. The big pivot in the ad-tech space is the rapid pace that brand dollars are now entering the ecosystem. Using the same strategy to drive a $1 install of a game is very different than trying to influence the purchase of a $90,000 car.

This gap will undoubtedly lead to massive change in the coming years as traditional ad units and technology will be replaced by new companies, platforms and new activation-based marketing techniques powered by technologies like Bluetooth and innovative devices such as wearables.

For both consumers and marketers, there is no avoiding the presence of The Internet of Things (IoT). Every car on display, every appliance, every wearable is connected. There will be no such thing as a non-connected product in the future. Those responsible for marketing these products will need to understand how mobile has been injected into a product's DNA and how they can market to people who use these products.

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We are now in the middle of the mobile-advertising years but the industry is quickly preparing for its next evolution to IoT. The largest challenge is whether the brands and media agencies can keep up with the technology that is tripping on itself due to its rate of evolution.

Innovate or die is the message every marketer, vendor or advertising agency must take to heart from Mobile World Congress this year.

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Commentary by Neil Sweeney, president & CEO of Juice Mobile and Freckle IoT. Juice Mobile provides the strategy and technology that solves the monetization and data challenges for mobile marketers and Freckle IoT is an ad-tech company designed to be the testing ground for the activation of next-generation connected devices. Follow him on Twitter @NEILatJUICE.