Today we continue a series of Q&amp;As with mobile advertising leaders leading up to Rubicon Project&#8217;s conference on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 from 9am to 1pm at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The packed agenda includes two panels: -- &#8220;Ad Agencies, Mobile and the Automation Opportunity&#8221; featuring leading mobile first agencies and &#8220;Mobile First DSPs -- Why? And Why Now?&#8221;If you plan to be at Mobile World Congress and would like to attend the Wednesday conference, please send an indication of your interest here or contact email@example.com.Today we continue our mobile leader series with Gareth Davies, CEO of Adbrain, a mobile demand side platform.Your Name: Gareth DaviesYour Company: AdbrainYour Title: CEOWhat flavor ice cream best describes your management style?Mint choc chip, refreshingly different to reflect our offering SEARS: In mobile today, how much of each $1.00 spent on mobile media by one of your advertisers is spent on automated or programmatic channels? DAVIES: All demand flowing through the Adbrain platform is automated &#8211; as a result, 100% of our clients&#8217; ad budgets are trading programmatically. SEARS: App vs. mobile web. The app world is fueled by cost-per-install advertising dollars from the most popular apps such as King.com&#8217;s Candy Crush, yes or no? DAVIES: At least for performance driven CPI activity the traditional performance verticals -- social gaming, travel and retail -- still dominate. That said, brands are increasingly looking to drive rich, engaging brand experiences in-app, so the landscape is shifting quite rapidly, but we still have a way to go. SEARS: The mobile web world suffers from an inability to track users and is waiting for better targeting and more brand dollars to arrive in mobile, yes or no? DAVIES: This is certainly the perception, particularly considering the challenges around cookie tracking in the both the m-web and in-app worlds. However, the reality is different. We&#8217;re seeing brand advertisers react strongly to the opportunities that fully transparent, brand-safe private marketplaces and multi-screen audience identification offer, so expect more audience dollars to follow in 2014 and beyond. SEARS: It seems like many of the leading agency trading desks have been slow to embrace mobile. After they solidified their work in display, most trading desks focused on building their video capabilities. What will be the catalysts for trading desks &#8211; and their operating agencies at the biggest holding companies &#8211; to place more focus on mobile? DAVIES: It is certainly true that we&#8217;ve yet to see the rise of the mobile trading desk, as large global agency desks have traditionally followed higher CPM and revenue opportunities in desktop video. We believe this will change in 2014, as consumers shift en-masse to mobile the big desks will roll out mobile and multi-screen trading capabilities powered by new data points uniquely available in mobile.Three catalysts:1. Consumers are already mobile first&#8211; unlocking existing first, second and third party data sets in mobile will become hugely powerful, and table stakes for digital media buying, where multi-screen is the norm (at least for consumers)2. Transparency into price, inventory, tracking, single and multi-screen attribution is desperately needed for desks to move to mobile in a major way3. The right tools &#8211; True mobile-first enterprise solutions will emerge to deliver customization and performance at scale SEARS: Are the big carriers still relevant in mobile? Everything now happens &#8220;off deck,&#8221; SMS and call revenue is declining, yet carriers sit on a treasure trove of data. What are the biggest threats and opportunities for carriers and which ones around the globe are the most progressive? DAVIES: UK-based joint venture Weve is illustrating the enormity of operator data and we expect to see other global operators move to offset the decline of traditional revenue streams by opening up their data assets to advertisers, namely in both the US and Asia. The challenge remains for the leaders of programmatic buying: How do I access this data transparently and at scale? How do I manage consumer privacy and permissions? How do I integrate with hundreds of global operators to access this data at a local market level? Despite significant operator investment to date, many of these questions remain unanswered and may well require third parties to help the operators unlock and monetize their data, safely, at scale. SEARS: The future of user ID and cross device targeting. What do your advertisers use today for user targeting? Which companies (or types of companies) are in the best position to facilitate user ID and cross device targeting? DAVIES: At Adbrain we deploy our artificial intelligence-powered cookie-less audience identification technology, while also embracing other in-market non PII methodologies such as AdTruth, cookies and device ID&#8217;s to provide a singular cross device view of the customer.We believe an open, statistical model that leverages all available data and allows advertisers to enhance their multi-screen audience IDs with proprietary insights is best placed to deliver results at scale.SEARS: What are the top three &#8220;data points&#8221; either missing or of dubious quality in mobile media?DAVIES:1. Location &#8211; We need to break location down to both IP and lat/long. The former can be a red herring, tying users to the wrong location unless hyper-local IP triangulation technologies are used to better classify and assess location, whilst the latter is passed in less than 10% of all available bid requests, and needs to be opt-in only to be consumer privacy friendly.2. Uniform UIDs &#8211; Whilst Apple and Google have their IDs, and AdTruth is doing a good job, this is by no means an industry wide standard. More needs to be done to drive standardization around probabilistic device identification.3. Audience personas and first party publisher data. There needs to be an increase in rich first party audience data being passed by publishers in the bid stream. But it is chicken and egg. Without robust PMP capabilities and true, data-safe enterprise mobile DSP platforms, publishers will remain shy.SEARS: Tell us about Adbrain.DAVIES: Adbrain is at the forefront of the data-driven, multi-screen advertising revolution. Powered by the latest technologies in artificial intelligence and deep learning, the Adbrain platform turns data into actionable insights, allowing advertisers to connect in real-time to their audiences, no matter what device they&#8217;re on.Users of Adbrain&#8217;s fully transparent, open and customizable programmatic technology stack can marry and activate their proprietary data with Adbrain cross-device personas as well as third party data for enhanced real-time mobile and multi-screen audience buying, relevance and results -- all from a single, easy-to-use SaaS interface.SEARS: Please tell us:&#183; How many employees globally [headcount number]?o DAVIES:&#167; Worldwide &#8211; 27 (Europe and US)SEARS: What are Adbrain&#8217;s three biggest initiatives for 2014?DAVIES:1. Multi-screen &#8211; targeting audiences regardless of their devices2. Customization &#8211; enabling the buy-side to build true IP value on top of our technology stack3. Data activation &#8211; smart interpretation of existing data assets for multi-screen targetingSEARS:Apple vs. Google. iOS vs. Android.Closed vs. Open. &#8220;The 1%&#8221;[Apple] vs. the &#8220;Middle Market&#8221; [Google]. How do you and your clients think about this dichotomy and how does it impact your advertisers? And how do global markets with a preponderance of feature phones even fit into this mix? DAVIES: We believe in a truly open technology architecture, where buyers and sellers can meet and transact both media and data in real-time to unlock and deliver value. The industry needs open standards and credible, enterprise technology to allow innovators on both sides to create value. We always favor open over closed, transparent over opaque, scale over niche, democracy over dictatorship. SEARS: To drive adoption of direct deal automation (programmatic premium) and use of the programmatic channel, what are the major impediments to overcome? Rank these in numerical order: DAVIES:_1__ Operational or workforce issues inside the holding companies or operating agencies_4__ Premium (direct deal) inventory availability via programmatic__3_ Lack of proper ad technology__2_ Alignment of agency compensation modelsLack of proper ad technology: Credible buy and sell side solutions are needed for both mobile and desktop programmatic premium to be able to be transacted and delivered effectively at scale.&#183; Operational agency issues &#8211; With credible tech will come the ability for agencies to deliver solutions at scale using internal resources, namely in mobile.&#183; Premium inventory &#8211; As buyers and sellers move to automate all sides of the media landscape, both premium, torso and tail inventory is needed to satisfy all media buyers&#8217; needs.&#183; Alignment of agency compensation models.SEARS: How are RFPs used in your business? What does a &#8220;Programmatic IO&#8221; or a &#8220;Programmatic RFP&#8221; look like?DAVIES: Adbrain is a pure technology business, so RFPs are detailed and lengthy (!), focusing on technology, product roadmap, service and support. SEARS: What should top comScore publisher CROs do to build their mobile direct order automation and programmatic selling with your trading desk and operating agencies? DAVIES: Select tools that enable the ingestion and segmentation of their data sets. Ensure transparency (bid price, clearing price, inventory, bid stream data) at all levels and a full suite of push/pull APIs.SEARS: Why is direct deal automation so important? Is it important?DAVIES: Direct deal automation, along with other premium programmatic strategies, is a necessary step in helping premium publishers automate the selling, delivery and optimization of their inventory via programmatic channels, while helping buyers access premium, brand safe inventory, ideally coupled with additional first party data.SEARS: All of you work for global companies. What global markets are the leaders and laggards in mobile programmatic?DAVIES: UK and US as leaders in mobile programmatic and other EU5 countries (France, Germany logically, but lots of innovation coming from the Netherlands). APAC and LATAM still a little way behind but strong growth, albeit from a small base.Tell us a bit more about you:SEARS: If you could travel for pleasure anywhere in the world, to a place you have never been, where would you go?DAVIES: Okinawa and the southern Japanese islands. After travelling in Japan I fell in love with the country, and have always wanted to explore the southern islands. SEARS: If you were trapped alone on a desert island and needed to choose one ad holding company CEO to accompany you ( other than your own holding company CEO), which CEO would you pick and why? DAVIES: Maurice Levy, that way I can brush up on my French whilst getting the low down on the Omni-Pub deal!SEARS: When is the last time you went out for a three martini lunch?DAVIES: Not since my DoubleClick days ;-)Thanks Gareth!Jay Sears is Senior Vice President, Marketplace Development for the Rubicon Project. Sears works with leadership and business unit heads across the company to expand Rubicon Project&#8217;s potential market. Sears has also served as General Manager, REVV Buyer, where he was responsible for global relations with the buy side including ad holding companies, ad agencies, agency trading desks and demand side platforms headquartered in North America. Jay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Check us out on Facebook at MediaBizBloggers.comFollow our Twitter updates at @MediaBizBloggerThe opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaBizBloggers.com management or associated bloggers. MediaBizBloggers is an open thought leadership platform and readers may share their comments and opinions in response to all commentaries.