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5 ways to convince your boss to invest in mobile advertising

Feb 25,2014 by Francis Bea

5 Ways Boss to Invest in MobileAdvertising by AppFlood

Your company has built an app that they’re proud of, but its user acquisition strategy isn’t quite living up to its expectation. Of course, like any other company, you have a limited budget and your boss isn’t too keen on paid acquisition or branded campaigns. Or maybe he or she isn’t too intrigued by the idea of spamming mobile ads to smartphone users.

Hell, you might even be asking yourself, “Should I invest in mobile ads, and is investing in mobile ads worth my while?”

Whatever the roadblock may be, let’s chalk up the hesitation to misinformation. Mobile advertising is an essential user acquisition or branding strategy that developers and other advertisers add to their marketing mix, primarily because mobile advertising (or advertising in general for that matter), is effective – granted that you have the budget.

How effective? Well, let’s start off with this fact:

Every major developer has advertised on mobile; brands will follow

Name ten app developers; nine of them have invested in a user acquisition campaign through mobile advertising – maybe with the exception of Whatsapp. In fact, performance advertisers aren’t alone. Brands are recognizing that as time spent on mobile devices surges, it becomes harder to ignore the missed opportunities to funnel eyeballs into new loyal customers. In fact, after AppFlood has opened up its doors to CPM (and soon RTB) campaigns, brand advertisers are coming to us to promote their CPM campaigns to our network.

Mobile ad spend hasn’t caught up to time spent

To expand on the topic of “time spent,” you might have seen theKleiner Perkins Mary Meeker annual Internet trend report last year. While we await her 2014 presentation, we can defer to this particular chart that’s made the rounds, suggesting that the mobile ad spend hasn’t caught up to time spent on mobile. In fact the gap is huge and presents a $16 billion opportunity for advertisers and publishers (granted that mobile ad spend was on par with mobile usage). 

mary meeker mobile ad spend vs. mobile usage chart 2013

 What we’ve been seeing this year is a sudden rush by advertisers to capture the opportunity to get in front of mobile users. In fact, Gartner estimates that global mobile advertising spending will grow 37.4% this year to $18 billion. By 2017, mobile ad spend is projected to hit a whopping $41 billion.  

Surprisingly, mobile users don’t mind ads THAT much

Here’s a surprise for mobile advertising skeptics. With more and more apps flooding the app stores, the noise in the app ecosystem is getting louder and louder. With millions of apps competing for space on users’ devices and in comparison few channels to curate the growing library of apps, app discovery is increasingly becoming a problem and users are diversifying the types of channels they’re using to discover new apps. Some users might turn to blogs; others might download an app discovery app like AppoDay or Quixey. Then there are people who discover apps through mobile ads. Then there are people who discover apps through mobile ads. Granted, app discovery by way of mobile ads isn't the number one app discovery channel according to a Nielsen study, but as much as 13% of downloads are derived from in-app ads on the Apple App Store and 9% on the Android Market. Those aren't figures to balk at.


Users can be cheap (depending on the region)

Cost is of course the primary concern with any user acquisition or branding campaign. The question that you’ll need to answer for yourself is, “what is the cost per acquisition that I can afford to pay for this campaign?” If you’re a performance advertiser, users can be particularly cheap to acquire depending on the region you’re targeting. For instance users in China cost as little as $0.29 on average, although the retention rate or lifetime customer value (LTV) is another matter of discussion, while CPM prices for advertisers could dip to as low as $0.10 (or even lower) per impression on AppFlood.

When in doubt, an account manager has you covered

You can’t ignore the tangible benefits of a mobile ad campaign, and there are dozens of strategies within itself – one of which might include a burst campaign to climb the app store rankings in a short amount of time. But of course you and your boss’ expertise might not be particular to the mobile advertising industry, which is O.K. User acquisition encompasses a wide assortment of strategies, meaning that paid campaigns is just one facet among your multiple user acquisition channels. Fortunately, this is where an account manager might come in. They probably know more about mobile advertising than you do – bearing in mind that this is what they’re paid for. If you’re looking to acquire a target number of users in limited time, an account manager can help guide your campaign through optimization, traffic allocation (by region or other target demographics) or other techniques to maximize your dollar. All you have to do is set your target goals, and monitor your user quality (whether by retention rate or LTV).

Francis Bea

Francis Bea is the Content Market Manager at PapayaMobile. Francis writes about the intricacies of the global mobile advertising industry and analyzes industry trends for AppFlood. He hails from the tech blogging world, where he got his start at Digital Trends, and contributed to TheNextWeb, PSFK, CNET Asia, among other tech blogs, and his reporting has been cited in numerous major publications. Francis holds B.A. in English and Art History from The University of Wisconsin-Madison.Google +