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Up and to The Left: The Current State of Mobile Advertising

by Jim Jones on Sep 5, 2014

Recently, there has been some talk about how mobile ads can’t live up to their desktop counterparts. But as our business continues to expand and the overall mobile opportunity grows, we see mobile advertising as a thriving, mature business.

This is the new world of mobile ads, and it’s not just gaming companies who are engaging. There are dozens of other examples of non-gaming companies who are leading the way in this new world of mobile advertising, in diverse areas. Retailers like Nordstrom, eBay, and Joss & Main are all employing successful mobile advertising campaigns. Mobile users are flocking to daily deals properties like Living Social and Groupon, both of whom are leading the way in leveraging mobile ads to acquire and re-engage their customers. Mobile users also love to book last minute travel on the go, so it’s no surprise that Hotel.com. Bookings.com and Priceline are leveraging mobile advertising to increase bookings on mobile.

By having a product with a solid mobile experience, and a strong overall strategy in place, brands can carefully execute their mobile ad spends to maximize the LTV of acquired users. What does it mean to have a solid mobile product and strategy?

  • They need to invest–and keep investing–in quality apps. You can’t just have ads that push to poor performing apps.
  • Easy purchase flow from within the app is key to maximize conversions.
  • Gaming companies have been big players because they saw the importance of ads to help increase in-app purchases and grow LTV. As more and more channels improve the ability to users to make purchases – ads can become a bigger revenue driver.
  • They need ad platforms that are focused on performance metrics that align with their objectives. For example, if their objective is focused on ROI they need metrics that tie back to revenue. It’s not just about driving installs, it’s about driving installs from users that transact because they are getting content they want.

Companies like Uber, Instacart, Airbnb, Shopbop and others have launched with mobile as a priority (or even as mobile first). As more and more startups bring focus on building a mobile centric business, mobile advertising will be something more companies turn to to acquire new customers and re-engage them to increase LTV. Rather than mobile advertising being a house of cards, it is a strong foundation, just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.

The world of mobile ads is thriving, but only for those players who already have a solid mobile strategy. Mobile advertising’s growth will continue and those with a strong mobile strategy will continue to recognize increased profits.

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Jim Jones is Senior Vice President for Sales at AppLovin.

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