Editor's Note: There are more interviews in The Jay Sears Mobile Leader Series including Adelphic CEO Michael Collins , M&C Saatchi Mobile Global CEO James Hilton and Somo VP of Client Services Andrew French .

Today we begin a series of Q&As with mobile advertising leaders leading up to Rubicon Project’s conference on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 from 9am to 1pm at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The packed agenda includes two panels—“Ad Agencies, Mobile and the Automation Opportunity” featuring leading mobile first agencies and “Mobile First DSPs—Why? And Why Now?”

If you plan to be at Mobile World Congress and would like to attend the Wednesday conference, please send an indication of your interest or contact sears@rubiconproject.com.

Today we start our mobile leader series with Lauren Moores, VP of Analytics at Dstillery, demand side platform.

Your Name: Lauren Moores

Your Company: Dstillery

Your Title: VP, Analytics

What flavor ice cream best describes your management style?

Ben & Jerry’s Scotchy Scotch Scotch

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?

MOORES: All of our mobile spend is programmatic. $1.00 for $1.00. We have been 100% on mobile from build to acquisition of EveryScreen by m6d/Dstillery. Dstillery embraced programmatic on desktop after 2009, moving from 10% to 90% by the end of 2011.

SEARS: For mobile, what was this number in 2011?

MOORES: $1.00

SEARS: For mobile, what will this number be in 2015?

MOORES: $1.00

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’s Candy Crush, yes or no?

MOORES: The perception is that apps are just CPI but the reality for Dstillery is apps as a vehicle for brand engagement. At first we had clients who wanted to pay pennies for CPI and even then, at the very start of mobile RTB with tons of supply and little demand, those economics were not going to work. As one of the early mobile audience providers, most of our campaigns have been brand related not direct response.

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?

MOORES: As much as I want to say no here, it is yes. It is the limited ability to provide measurement of the value of mobile that is the issue as most brands and agencies will need to prove a ROI before they can or will spend the budget dollars. Better targeting should not be an issue as any DSP should be able to provide better targeting on mobile impressions through their own data enhancements, adding third party data or putting signals in context. One other reason that brand dollars are not yet in mobile is that mobile spend is driven mostly by niche agencies and limited if any mobile budget dollars come from the bigger agencies.

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 – and their operating agencies at the biggest holding companies – to place more focus on mobile?

MOORES: Entirely agree. Three catalysts:

1. New hires with mobile experience -- they will help push this from inside.

2. Data education -- understanding how to fit the cross-channel data together to build the right intelligence for the right output.

3. Mindset -- mobile is an add-on to existing strategies. If we continue to keep it siloed, its possibilities are restricted.

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?

MOORES: Our advertisers are using our audience targeting which is built off of user events -- a visit to a site, a visit to a location, a purchase. We are able to match cookies to any device_id through our geoIP crosswalk algorithms and we purposely do not rely on a specific ID. As there is no holistic ground truth in mobile, companies that can use data science combined with 1st party, 2nd party and 3rd party data are in the best position to provide cross-channel solutions.

SEARS: What are the top three “data points” either missing or of dubious quality in mobile media?

MOORES:

1. Lat/Lon -- The accuracy and quality of this data point varies by publisher and in many cases is either inaccurately inferred or bogus. We see it about 40% of the time in our impression data and look for GPS origin if that information is available. Otherwise, we have our own lat/lon scrubbing to remove outliers.

2. IFA -- Prior to the recent announcement limiting app developer access to this device ID, the IFA seemed to be on its way to helping all of us provide better cross-device matching and ultimately, attribution. It is not a cure-all. However, as we see it in only 43% of our mobile impressions and not all SSPs are passing it in the clear. Also, with the growth of Android, we still need science to gather devices across OS in mobile.

3. IAB Category -- We see almost 100% of our impressions with an IAB category although most impressions, particularly apps, fall into three categories: Tech, Gaming and Entertainment. Although level 2 of the IAB categories can provide more information, the reality is that many times a level 2 classification is not available and in general, these categories were not built for mobile which means that the category does not provide much signal in terms of finding the right audience.

SEARS: Tell us about Dstillery.

MOORES: Dstillery captures the complete customer journey – from web browsing to app usage to physical visits – to deliver cross-channel and cross-media campaigns with unprecedented scale and efficacy. By distilling mountains of raw anonymous data, Dstillery generates brand signals to assemble the purest custom audiences scientifically proven most likely to care about your brand. We then intelligently deliver your brand’s ad at the best moment and places to reach new customers.

SEARS: PLEASE TELL US:

● How many employees globally [headcount number]?

o MOORES: The United States - 115

SEARS: By 2015, what percentage of total media spend in across your holding company (or your agency, or your agency/trading desk clients) will be programmatic?

MOORES: 100%

SEARS: How are RFPs used in your business? What does a “Programmatic IO” or a “Programmatic RFP” look like?

MOORES: RFPs are used extensively in our business.

SEARS: Why is direct deal automation so important?

MOORES: Direct deal automation is important to bring more publishers into the programmatic space that want to curate who they allow to advertise.

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?

MOORES: Vietnam.

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?

MOORES: Sir Martin. He has more thoughts on strategy in his head than we will ever know.

SEARS: When is the last time you went out for a three martini lunch?

MOORES: Never. I stick to cocktail hour.

Thanks Lauren!

Jay Sears is Senior Vice President, Marketplace Development for the Rubicon Project. Sears worksJay Sears with leadership and business unit heads across the company to expand Rubicon Project’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 jsears@rubiconproject.com.

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