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Mobile advertisers, whether they place ads inside the mobile browser or inside apps, are feeling pressure to create ads that mobile users don’t hate or want to block.

They’re using all kinds of social, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data to make ads more relevant.

But Brian Wong, cofounder and CEO of the mobile rewards platform Kiip, believes advertisers can make ads more relevant by wrapping them with contextual information like location, time of day, or weather.

For instance, Wong said, if the user’s phone knows that it’s cold outside, that data could be used to trigger an offer for a free hot chocolate.

Kiip places rewards around key moments in an app (gaining a gaming level, or completing an exercise goal) and asks users to collect free stuff in exchange for their email address.

Context could also reflect the activities or status of the phone user. If the accelerometer in the phone detects that the user isn’t nearby, it might know to save an offer notification until the user is looking at the screen.

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 7.47.10 PM

Above: Kiip’s “Moment” definition.

Image Credit: Kiip

I spoke to Wong about the future of mobile advertising at Eniac Ventures’ M1 conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.

The ability of a mobile ad to engage a user is a very serious issue. Brands will spend more than $100 billion on mobile ads in 2016, says eMarketer, and mobile ads will account for more than half of all digital ads for the first time. Yet users only interact with 1 percent of mobile ads.

Meanwhile, the ad blocking controversy has created what Wong called a “watershed moment,” in which advertisers are thinking hard about the quality and relevancy of their mobile ads, and users’ tolerance for them.

Wong also pointed out that the mobile ad industry is changing the way it measures the effectiveness of mobile ads. Advertisers have been focused on CPM (cost per thousand impressions) models for a long time. But brands, he said, are now more interested in paying for ads based on how many of them actually convince a user to take some action, like buying a product or downloading an app.

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