Why In-App Advertising is Crucial for Brands

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For some brands, advertising within apps is either an afterthought or not in the picture at all. After all, if legacy advertising channels like television, print and even web browsers are still reaching mass audiences, why rock the boat?

But, advertisers that fail to fully appreciate the power and magnitude of in-app advertising are doing themselves a great disservice. Compared to other modes of advertising, reaching target audiences through apps is uniquely valuable and beneficial, capable of providing significant ROI no matter the brand’s ultimate goals.

Explaining In-App’s Preeminence

So what makes in-app advertising particularly unique?

1) It’s where people are
Increasingly, people spend more and more of their day on their phones using apps. According to the latest numbers from eMarketer, time spent on mobile devices rose to 215 minutes in 2018, up 11 minutes from the previous year. And, 90 percent of all time spent on a smartphone is devoted to using one of the thirty-plus apps Americans open on a regular basis. By 2019, adults in the U.S. will spend more time with their mobile devices than they will with their televisions.

2) It’s perfect for targeted personalized experiences

User identification in app is based on Apple and/or Google Ad IDs, which are stable IDs that can be turned off or reset by consumers. In-app audience targeting does not use cookies, and in-app advertising IDs provide much greater stability. Additionally, the rich data signals from apps such as latitude and longitude location signals, among other sources of data, enable in-app advertisers to develop deep, targeted personas.

Through this stable and rich audience data – which is only available in app – brands can determine with a high degree of accuracy who precisely they should be targeting, where they are (both digitally and physically), what they care about and how they can be reached through advertising. The rich data sets available from in-app advertising make it possible for brands to facilitate and provide truly personalized ad experiences.

3) It’s brand safe

Concerns around brand safety are greater than ever before. Increasingly, many companies are worried that their ads will inadvertently end up next to objectionable content without their knowledge, and severely tarnish their brand reputation. According to research from GumGum and Digiday, 67 percent of all marketers in the U.S. have already dealt with brand safety concerns – and this may become an even bigger problem over time.

But, this problem can be safely addressed within the app environment. A number of apps are inherently brand safe, and advertisers can be sure their creatives only appear in these environments. And, they can utilize the innovative in-app brand safety solution from IAS to ensure their ads only show up on outlets that have been independently verified to be brand safe.

4) It’s immersive and interactive

Mobile devices can now support buffer free, true HD quality ads where you don’t have to compromise on metrics like viewability rates and click-through rates while still maximizing user experience. It’s possible to develop targeted, compelling advertising that’s effective and memorable, even on a small screen.

Brands have a whole host of audio-visual and even haptic capabilities at their fingertips when they advertise within apps. The technology, alongside the inherent immediacy of mobile devices, makes in-app ads far more interactive and immersive than anything else found from other channels.

Here’s just a small sample of what I mean:

  • As smartphone screen sizes grow in size and definition, brands can run television-quality full screen advertising that easily captures attention. These videos can then be supplemented with interactive end cards for optimal performance. And, when video ads are delivered via VAST as opposed to VPAID, they are pre-cached and thus load in mere milliseconds.
  • With 360-degree ads, the target audience feels like they are fully immersed the action. Essentially, these kinds of ads bring a virtual reality-like experience to a standard smartphone screen. For example, an automaker could run a 360-degree ad for its latest model, allowing end users to take a (virtual) peak under the hood.
  • With augmented reality-based advertising, people can participate with the creative. For instance, an ad for makeup will allow you to virtually try on a shade before buying, or a furniture ad can help you visualize what that lamp or sofa might look like in your living room.

5) It’s ideal for everyone

All players in the mobile advertising ecosystem benefit from in-app advertising. Advertisers reach their target audience effectively and at scale, app developers get a steady stream of income and end users get their favorite apps for free with minimal intrusion.

In-App’s Growth Potential

And, while in-app advertising is already powerful, it will become even more of a necessity in the months and years to come. For one, there’s no indication that we’ve reached peak app. Going forward, expect people to spend a greater share of their day on their phone using their favorite apps.

Plus, with connected television sets and over-the-top television (think Roku, Chromecast, etc.) set to become more popular, apps will migrate onto new, larger screens. The next generation of TV viewing will likely be centered around apps.

For advertisers, there’s no time like the present to embrace in-app advertising in full.

Anne Frisbie

Senior Vice President of Global Brand & Programmatic at InMobi

Latest posts by Anne Frisbie (see all)


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1 Comment
  1. Sorry, but advertising in apps is extremely annoying. I will never click an in app advert because they’re intrusive and a waste of my data. I believe that Americans are absolutely fed up with all advertising and the last time I checked data wasn’t free. If you can’t create an app that benefits your business and your customer without advertising, maybe there really isn’t a need for your app in the first place. Advertising becomes less effective every day because most of it is dishonest and there’s entirely too much of it. I know, I’m a business that struggles like hell to get a ROI on most all forms of advertising anymore.

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