The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has just released what it calls “Mobile Identity Guide for Marketers,” which highlights the approaches to and the importance of identity management as an emerging practice for marketers, offering best practices in the use of identifiers required for user-level mobile and cross-screen marketing activities.

According to the IAB, the report in question is designed to help marketers develop a strategic approach to identity management and reap benefits that include improved targeting, campaign measurement, attribution, and ad relevancy.

The paper presents various use cases for identification data within two primary categories—targeting and measurement—and explores related applications that range from frequency management and audience amplification to attribution and predictive modeling. In addition, the report outlines the pros and cons of various methodologies used to anonymously match and map users and devices.

“The guide highlights challenges marketers face linking consumers and households across different data sets,” reads a statement provided by the IAB. “Unlike on desktop, where cookies still serve as a connective tissue for web advertising, in mobile, the persistence and acceptance of cookies can vary from device to device and across web and app environments, making them a less reliable method for identification. To compensate, marketers must become adept at mixing and matching a variety of solutions to effectively reach consumers with the right message at the right time, regardless of the device they are using.

Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Mobile and Video at the IAB say that today’s consumers “are juggling up to four different devices on a daily basis, making effective cross-device targeting critical for brands. This primer will help marketers develop strategic approaches to mobile identity management, so they can reach consumers with more relevant, device-specific creative. In this mobile-first, soon to be mobile-only, world, user-level identity management is now table stakes for brands and media companies.”

“Mobile Identity Guide for Marketers” is available here.

The post New School: IAB Primer Educates Brands on Best Practices in Mobile appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

If digital/social marketing was the business equivalent of a band’s cowbell, hotels would be replicating the famous Saturday Night Live “More Cowbell!” sketch.

Major hotels see a need for charged-up marketing via digital and social channels as they work to combat threats from Airbnb, Priceline, Expedia, and other actors in the extremely competitive hotel business.

How to stay “top of mind” with consumers? More hotel marketing professionals than ever plan to increase their budgets for digital marketing and social media strategies.

Evidence for this comes from a recent SiteMinder survey. When the hospitality marketing platform queried hotel professionals worldwide “about their projected budget allocations for the next 12 months, 48 percent of respondents said they planned high spending to go toward digital marketing, while 44 percent said they intended to designate high investment in social media strategy.”

The goal among hotels is to invest in marketing campaigns that encourage customers to “book direct.”

“One reason hotel professionals are doubling down on digital marketing and social is the growing market power of accommodations upstart Airbnb,” according to eMarketer. “Hotel operators must also compete with the deep pockets of online travel agencies Priceline and Expedia, both of which spend considerable sums on consumer marketing (and cut) into hotel profits by charging commissions for customer referrals.”

Review of the top 10 U.S. accommodation websites tells the tale about challenges confronting hotels.

“Airbnb ranked as the most visited accommodation website in Q4 2016, receiving nearly 88 million visits, up 42 percent from Q4 2015,” reports eMarketer. “Priceline Group’s came in second, with more than 82 million visits and a 24 percent growth rate, while Expedia-owned was fourth, with more than 65 million visits, up 25 percent year on year.”

Did any hotel chains make the top five chart? Only two: Marriott and Hilton.

The post More Cowbell! Hotels See Bigger Digital, Social Budgets as Way to Counter Competition appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

The following is a guest contributed post from Momchil Kyrurkchiev, the CEO and co-founder of Leanplum.

TextNow, a company offering affordable alternatives to traditional wireless plans and services, recently built an automated and personalized lifecycle campaign across several messaging channels, including push notifications, email, in-app messages and app inbox. The campaign encouraged and incentivized users to interact with their app, resulting in up to 79 percent conversion rates across

The TextNow app gives users their very own dedicated phone number and offers free unlimited texting, calling, picture messaging, voicemail, and more — including low-cost international calls. With over 60 million downloads to date, TextNow is on a mission to radically transform the telecom landscape.

The Challenge

As the saying goes, “the first impression is the last impression,” which means onboarding is a critical factor in an app’s retention strategy. Users that engage with the core app experience early in their lifecycle are more likely to become loyal users, and retain long term. TextNow wanted to ensure that newly onboarded users understood how to use the app and get immediate value.

The Goal

TextNow defined successful onboarding as getting users to send their first message or make their first call within the first 12 hours after registration.

The Campaign

TextNow used Leanplum’s mobile marketing platform to set up three engagement campaigns. These platforms enable app managers to build personalized lifecycle campaigns in one visual timeline across any messaging channel, such as push notifications, email, in-app messages, app inbox, and more. By employing a combination of mobile automation tactics, the lifecycle campaigns are instrumental in onboarding new users.

Of the new campaigns:

  • The first campaign encouraged users to make their first phone call.
  • The second campaign focused on getting users to send their first message.
  • The third campaign simply asked dormant users to come back to the app.

Once new users completed the registration, they qualified for the campaigns. When they took the desired action — making a call, sending a message, or returning to the app — they were considered successfully onboarded and moved on to the next stage of lifecycle campaigns.

The Results

With these three lifecycle campaigns, TextNow saw outstanding results as the result of the push notification:

  • The first campaign converted 25 percent of users. That’s a 3.7 percent lift in users who initiated a phone call.
  • The second campaign converted 44 percent of users. That’s a 1.2 percent lift in the number of users who sent a message.
  • The third campaign converted 79 percent of users. That translated to a 3 percent lift in day seven retention.

Put in perspective, these lifecycle campaigns had a significant cumulative impact on retention. In terms of day 15 retention, there was a five percent lift in the number of Android users and a four percent lift in the number of iOS users who returned to the app. Those are big wins for TextNow.

As TextNow moves more users towards in-app milestones, it can increase the number of users converting to paid subscriptions. More onboarded users also means higher retention and greater potential app revenue.

What this Means for App Managers

Converting new installs into active users is hard. To do it at scale, you need a great technology partner.

Specifically, you need a campaign automation solution that enables engagement with millions of users in real-time. By setting up lifecycle campaigns just once, you can onboard every new user who installs your app, at scale. This decreases the drop-off rate in the beginning of your funnel, and increases the chances of users coming back to take actions (like subscribing) that drive ROI. You can also A/B test these campaigns against one another to continually optimize for performance.

The post 3 Proven Conversion Strategies Anyone Can Use appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

The following is a guest contributed post from Mark Robinson, CEO of deltaDNA, creator of SmartAds.

In free-to-play (F2P) mobile games it’s common for fewer than 2% of players to spend money via in-app purchases (IAP). Therefore, the attraction to integrate advertising as a way of monetizing the remaining player base is obvious.

However, getting ads to work in tandem with the rest of the in-game economy isn’t without its challenges. Developers have to be able to balance player retention, social engagement and IAP monetization with advertising, in a way that doesn’t annoy, frustrate or confuse users, while ensuring high fill rates, and maintaining eCPM (effective cost per thousand impressions) value across multiple ad networks.

This isn’t easy, which is reflected in the findings of our In-Game Advertising Study 2016, which identified that the majority (52%) of developers are unsure how best to approach ads, with only 3% describing their ad strategies as ‘effective’.

In a perceived bid to protect retention, most developers take an ultra-cautious approach to setting ad frequency. However, recent research from the University of San Francisco shows that ad frequency actually has no effect on retention. While ads don’t affect retention, showing some ads can still be worse than showing no ads at all, because advertising can cannibalize hard won IAP revenues:



So, the situation is that unless they’ve taken steps to manage IAP cannibalization, many developers are losing money, some up to 75% or more of their IAP revenue by running ads, compared to not running them. I think this gives enough of a guide to show that the prevailing approach to advertising as a bolt-on isn’t working, but it’s important to note that advertising certainly can work, and work well.

Mind the data gap
Alongside the complexities of integrating, optimizing and reconciling numerous ad networks, a lack of accurate performance data means that it’s actually incredibly difficult for developers to ever truly understand what impact ads are having on different types of players.

The irony is that the industry is in a very fortunate position in that data on any player interaction can be captured and analyzed, yet most game developers can’t make the most of this data because, with advertising, it is housed in separate analytics silos.

For game developers and publishers, mediation is also fraught with potential inefficiencies. Often, when you implement an ad network, the eCPM may start high, but then it drops like a stone as programmatic buying kicks-in to minimize cost per click for advertisers. If they change around the order of the cascade, the same happens. Developers need to be able to optimize ad serving by using different ad network cascades for different regions and different device types in real-time to ensure they are serving the highest value ad available each time of asking, so each player receives the best performing available ad.

In-game experience is everything
When it comes to the in-game experience, there is a real opportunity for rewarded ads to support game progression and enhance the experience, and so long as ads don’t interfere with gameplay experience they aren’t proven to be a problem, as the University of San Francisco study shows.

Therefore, if your ads provide a positive in-game experience, then there is little need to worry about frequency, so you can confidently show more of them. Of course, the only reason for caution is when you aren’t in possession of the data to know what the outcomes of a strategy are likely to be. Segmenting your players and knowing when to provide an IAP offer, a rewarded ad opportunity, or an interstitial ad, and to whom, is the key to effective monetization.

Rewarded ads are a great case in point for understanding players’ ad engagement. On average, more than 70% of players don’t engage with rewarded ads, which is a big opportunity, given they pay out on a cost per click (CPC) basis. By testing different positions, rewards and creative, developers have a huge opportunity to improve rewarded ad monetization, and to ensure there are no adverse consequences on IAP revenues down the line.


We know, by looking at the monetization strategies adopted by the most successful games, that IAP and ad monetization can sit side-by-side and deliver great returns, but to unlock this potential, developers need to take back control of their entire in-game data, confidently optimizing ad performance with regard to its effects on IAP and retention by treating it just like a game mechanic, and use intelligent mediation that serves-up the best value ad for each player, not the lowest value ad for each advertiser.

Until then, you might never know your game’s true revenue potential.

The post deltaDNA CEO Talks Mobile Ad Strategy appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

opinionThe following is a guest contributed post by Dale Carr, CEO and founder of Leadbolt.

Brace yourself for a fiercely competitive and creative year ahead, as a steady rise of marketers (and their agencies) continue to spend on mobile advertising.  As more marketers vie for audience attention within mobile apps, it’s a good time to plan a mindful and efficient mobile advertising strategy.  Here are some ways to gain the advantage in an increasingly competitive mobile advertising market, and slay in the coming year:

The Mobile Advertising Surge Breeds Competition

First, let’s look at the continued confidence in the mobile market and why you should prepare your mobile strategy for peak performance.

According to Magna, global ad spending will increase 3.6% in 2017. 3.6% may sound trivial, but 3.6% of an already whopping $70 billion in digital ad sales from 2016, (most of which is driven by mobile), equates to an increase of $2.52 billion more spent on digital than last year.

Further, GroupM reports that spending on digital is so popular, it is now overtaking spending on TV: “2017 advertising is predicted at $547 billion (+ 4.4 percent), with digital’s share to reach 33 percent. In 2016, digital captured 72 cents of every new ad dollar (USD), and TV 21 cents. In 2017, digital will capture 77 cents per new dollar, TV will get 17 cents. The U.S. and China account for half of all net growth in the 2016 and 2017, with China taking back a narrow lead over the U.S.”

In-App Mobile Ads Reign

“In mobile, the ad dollars are following consumer behavior, so 73.2% of ad spending (that’s display plus search) is going to apps,” according to eMarketer Senior Analyst Catherine Boyle.  And while the bulk of mobile programmatic dollars (51%) were spent on Facebook in 2016, Boyle predicts a shift: In 2017, the majority (53%) of mobile programmatic ad dollars will be spent outside of Facebook.

This shift toward in-app mobile advertising is great news for app publishers and developers, and a trend that advertisers can’t afford to miss, especially if marketing to audiences in the US or China.  In-app advertising is the way.

Respect and Delight Mobile Users

The fate of your mobile campaign is the hands of mobile users, and they demand to be respected and delighted. Rather than risk disturbing users with pop-up ads, videos that auto-play at inopportune moments, or ill-fitted ads that block access to content or cover important screen space, consider the mobile ad formats that users actually appreciate:

Mobile Native Ads

Native ads are gaining the recognition they deserve, because “native” is the ad-placement strategy that ensures the ads fit into their mobile app environment in the most non-disruptive manner.  By blending into the app’s look and feel, and complementing its form and function, the ads appeal to users who are genuinely interested in the promoted product, reducing the occurrence of accidental clicks.  Whether utilizing video ads, display formats, in-feed text, or a custom ad integration to match a specific app, the ad placement strategy is really one of the most important factors and early predictors controlling how the user experiences the ad and thus the campaign outcome.

Mobile Video and Rewarded Video Ads

According to PwC’s annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report, mobile video ads will be the fastest-growing digital ad segment in the next five years. Per the report, “They will easily surpass desktop Internet video ad revenues, which are expected to grow at a 19% CAGR through 2020.”

Mobile video ads can range from 10 seconds, 15 seconds, or even longer in length, and recent studies show that users are happy to watch longer video format – so long as it’s great, captivating content. In addition to horizontal layout, vertical video has become a widely accepted format owed to the popularity of Snapchat.  In 2017, 360-video and virtual reality will come into focus.

Rewarded Video Ads are the incentivized version of video ads, allowing mobile users to receive an in-app perk or privilege in exchange for watching an ad. Some game players especially have come to rely on rewarded video ads to earn points, coins or extra lives.  For these players, rewarded video ads provide a glimpse into what is possible, and keeps them engaged in the games longer and returning often.  For advertisers, the good will and favorable brand sentiment sets the stage for the user’s undivided attention.

Budget Efficiently For Your Campaign Goals

For most mobile user acquisition campaigns, the focus is a combination of volume and high-value (LTV) audiences – acquiring new users who will either spend money or time engaged in your app or service.  The most efficient bidding model for user acquisition is CPI (cost per install), where marketers pay only when a promoted app is installed.

Setting low CPI targets may sound like a prudent move, but it can be a trap. A problem with setting low CPI targets is that pretty quickly you’ll run out inventory and you’ll be less likely to scale or reach the levels required to find high-value users.  Rightfully disappointed by the results, you’ll be tempted to spend even less, perpetuating and even worsening the cycle of low performance.

There’s truth to the adage that you usually get what you pay for, so aim for high quality users and be prepared to spend reasonably for it.  When done well, the high-value users you acquire will more than exceed the cost you paid.

Choose Trustworthy Partners

  • Look for direct relationships with Premium Publishers and Advertisers whenever possible.
  • Ask questions about any third-party integrations and affiliations such as frameworks supported and attribution partners to ensure reputable relationships are in place.  The mobile ecosystem is large, and good players tend to stick together.
  • Finally, choose a reputable mobile advertising network that is vigilant about detecting and preventing ad fraud.  A responsible ad network partner will be vigilant about ensuring you get what you paid for:  strong ad view-ability across top quality environments, 100% real interactions with humans, not bots, real-time monitoring and reporting from clean data, and flagging all irregular activity before you waste money paying for impressions that aren’t real.

The post Hello, 2017: Is Your Mobile Marketing Ready to Compete? appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.