1. In-app advertising: busting some common myths

In-app advertising: busting some common myths

Advertisers are cautious about in-app advertising even as they invest heavily on digital. Are their reasons well-founded?

Published: July 25, 2017 1:53 AM
In-app advertising has taken the digital marketing landscape by storm, and with good reason. According to the latest estimates, there are more than 6.4 million apps live on various app publishing platforms.

In-app advertising has taken the digital marketing landscape by storm, and with good reason. According to the latest estimates, there are more than 6.4 million apps live on various app publishing platforms. Smartphone users are estimated to spend nearly 177 minutes engaged with their phones every day with mobile applications accounting for nearly 90% of this time. However, even as a rapidly increasing number of advertisers and brands make in-app advertising an integral aspect of their marketing strategies, certain misconceptions remain prevalent due to the lack of adequate understanding and information. Here, then, are a few common myths analysed and debunked to provide businesses with a more accurate understanding of in-app advertising:

Mobile is synonymous with millennials
It is no secret that younger consumers have been amongst the earliest adopters of smartphone technology and continue to be the top user demographic, both in terms of usage frequency and consumption volumes. This, however, does not mean that other age groups do not use smartphones. According to a recent Nielsen survey, almost 89% adults in the 45-54 years age bracket owned a smartphone, while the ownership number for those aged between 55 and 64 years was 80%. Smartphones even found a favourable reception with the older generation with 60% of consumers above 65 years owning it. Various app usage statistics indicate that women above the age of 30, especially stay-at-home mothers, access a lot of gaming apps. Working professionals and young adults prefer OTT content and sports apps, while male and female users above the age of 35 are heavy users of news apps.

Mobile ads have low measurability
No one has ever said that you cannot accurately measure the efficacy of your mobile ads. Advanced technologies are enabling advertisers to precisely track their in-app ads and gauge them on various KPIs such as impressions, completed views, CPI, attribution, etc in real-time. Recent innovations in the app ecosystem have also made it possible to gauge user behaviour both before and after an app installation. This increased consumer visibility and KPI measurability makes it possible for advertisers to accurately analyse and optimise their RoI through more efficient budget allocation.

In-app ads don’t perform as well as web/WAP ads
Consider these simple statistics: the overall viewability of in-app ad units, according to a report by Integral Ad Science, was observed to be around 81%, much higher than the 50% that web ads managed, enabled through more sophisticated tracking technology employing SDK integrations. Improved viewability not only helps advertisers in gauging the efficacy of their ad strategy, but also allows them to avoid ad frauds which are estimated to cost the global ad industry $16 billion in 2017.

In-app advertising is driven by app install campaigns
With nearly 30% of the overall mobile ad revenue in 2014 attributed to app install advertisements, in-app advertising has become synonymous with app install campaigns for many advertisers. But in-app ads do much more than just drive direct response CPI — they also play a vital role in brand building by unlocking greater and better opportunities. Here’s some food for thought: 75% of leading marketers feel that digital video ads will be at par with linear TV in terms of branding impact by the end of this decade. With the number of smartphone users expected to cross six billion by 2020, mobile video ad consumption is expected to shoot up exponentially. Most of this video consumption will be driven by in-app video ads. While advertisers like Flipkart, Amazon, etc use in-app advertising to drive app installs, others like Patanjali, Unilever, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, GSK, Dabur, Nissan, etc leverage video and display advertising within apps to raise brand salience and capture consumer mind share.

Ads in gaming apps are meant only for the youth
Currently, the largest category within the mobile app ecosystem, gaming apps, are assumed to be targeted mostly at millennials. This is untrue — the rapid proliferation of smartphones has enabled better access to mobile-based gaming apps across ages and gender, driving greater adoption. Take for example, a game like Candy Crush, which enjoyed impressive response from women, whether working or stay-at-home, around the world. Middle-aged men are known to prefer card-based gaming apps while children usually enjoy interactive click-based games. This diversified audience highlights how brands can target all kinds of consumer demographics through gaming apps.In-app ads are earmarked for exponential growth over the next couple of years, thanks to their multifarious benefits. Marketers and brand managers are now creating marketing campaigns which revolve around in-app ads, which are, on the whole, less intrusive and more seamless, engaging and measurable. With digital spends increasingly being allocated to in-app ads, the future of marketing seems to be very ‘app’-enening.

Rohit Sharma
The author is CEO and founder, POKKT

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