Answers were remarkably consistent, generally falling into three broad categories:
1. “Messaging 101” Education and Case Studies
Beyond definitions and classifications, the overarching message the app companies want to convey is that the buy side must understand the ways to engage with and opportunities afforded by messaging as part of an overall marketing strategy. Specifically, this means respecting consumer expectations on these sites.
Asher Rapkin, Product Marketing Communications Lead, Messenger at Facebook, aptly articulated this notion which was echoed by other industry experts:
“It’s important that the industry understand both why people want to message friends and businesses, and also understand the expectations people have about the personal nature of the space. Working together, the industry and IAB can begin to frame rules of engagement for businesses to be able to learn and experiment while building deep relationships with the people they serve.”
This paper is just the beginning of that education process which we will follow with deeper dives into areas of greatest importance for messaging going forward.
Like social media platforms, apps with messaging functionality can vary greatly in terms of availability of data for targeting, measurement, attribution, and insights. The spectrum of available data is wide, from open to closed and everything in between.
The IAB Data and Ad Effectiveness group will lead the identification of the specific targeting/measurement needs for messaging as well as chatbots.
3. Messaging Ad Format and Chatbot Best Practice Guidance
Many of those interviewed explicitly stated a desire for IAB guidance on native messaging ad units/formats and for chatbots that could be implemented industry-wide. Providing best-practice guidance could help accelerate advertiser interest in the messaging space overall.
If there is a clearly articulated business need that can be solved with technical specifications, the IAB Tech Lab will assist with a working group to develop specifications. Any necessary legal guidance—as it relates to topics such as ad disclosure or privacy—will be provided by the IAB Public Policy group in Washington, D.C.