The time is now; marketers must move away from a desktop paradigm

InMobi VP of brand solutions and programmatic Stuart Bartram
By InMobi VP of brand solutions and programmatic Stuart Bartram | 20 April 2017
Stuart Bartram

We’ve come a long way with programmatic advertising since its early days in the desktop world to its current advanced avatar across devices and digital media. But with the global proliferation of smartphones, unprecedented mobile consumption and an explosion in the number of apps available across the world, it’s time for marketers to move away from a desktop paradigm and increasingly focus on mobile programmatic in order to get the best insight and results from their digital campaigns.

With mobile, having the right in-app strategy can deliver transformative results for any brand, across various campaign objectives. Whether a brand is looking for reach, frequency or engagement, the most effective way to do this is through in-app mobile programmatic. However, simple as it may sound, the main hurdle to increasing focus on this strategy remains basic - awareness amongst decision makers - as most senior marketers simply don’t know how powerful an in-app programmatic strategy can be.

While there is a fair understanding and adoption of mobile programmatic, what marketers really need to know is that more time is being spent in-app than on mobile browsers these days. The time users spend in-app is growing 70% faster than the growth in mobile web use. Despite this, marketers continue to focus their mobile strategy on mobile web rather than in-app. It’s time for a change and here are five reasons why it should happen now:

1. Apps are where the users are

It’s no secret to anyone that where users go, brands will invariably follow. Today, when 60% of all online consumption is happening on mobile, users spend over 90% of their mobile device time in-app, with entertainment, gaming and productivity apps taking the lion’s share of that time. This trend signals a major shift in user behaviour - mobiles are fast becoming the primary screen with apps being the most frequented digital destinations. The underlying reason for this is that increasingly there are more app based businesses with distribution channels than ever before, challenging traditional bricks and mortar and online business models. In such a scenario, having an well thought-out in-app strategy is no longer an option for brands, it becomes a necessity in order to stay relevant.

2. Video, video, video

Mobile video is eating the world - it is the highest engagement format, delivering 10 times more engagement over the traditional banner and three times more engagement over interstitial and native. Video, which is mobile-first in the truest sense, leverages the inherent capabilities of the device, enabling brands to drive immersive engagement with the power of sight, sound and motion. By accessing this mobile-first format programmatically on mobile-first app environments, brands benefit from highly efficient and transparent campaigns that deliver instant, real results.

3. The cookie-less world is a mobile reality

For programmatic buyers used to the world of desktop, cookies have been key to driving retargeting and understanding user behavior and the path to purchase. However, with mobile consumers outnumbering desktop, relying on cookies becomes highly ineffective as they present huge challenges in our multi-device reality. It’s time marketers moved past the cookie and embraced the app-based future instead. Also, with innovations in mobile campaign management and highly advanced mobile-first tracking solutions, it becomes easier than ever to manage and measure the efficacy of in-app campaigns, rendering the cookie redundant.

4. Apps make moment-based marketing possible

Globally, users’ mobile consumption patterns are not consistent - they vary through the day based on factors such as time of day, app category, user demographic and many more. With mobile being an always-on environment, marketers need to follow suit by being adaptive and ready to engage with users across numerous, dynamic bursts of mobile moments, 24/7. Programmatic in-app buying solves this need by enabling marketers to be nimble and easily adapt their messages across constantly changing user moments such as moments of travel planning, food ordering or entertainment. This is made possible by sophisticated mobile ad serving that leverages the rich and diverse data signals available from SDK-based inventory; it also allows marketers unprecedented understanding of user behavior and path to purchase - proving to be a gold mine of data.

5. Apps unlock immense scale

Today, more than four million apps are available globally and programmatic buying of in-app inventory gives brands instant access to incredible scale across the world. With the most premium apps opening their inventory to exchanges, in-app Private Marketplaces (PMPs) are the best way to ensure that marketers reach the right users at scale within brand-safe environments.. Further, with the increasing collaboration between exchanges and independent third-party viewability and verification partners, in-app programmatic provides marketers verified user data and transparent reporting of campaign performance within the most valuable mobile real-estates - apps.

By newly appointed InMobi VP of brand solutions and programmatic APMEA Stuart Bartram

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