Presented by Vungle

The global in-app advertising market is expected to grow to $201 billion by 2021. As the mobile market surges, having a defined, measurable approach to mobile advertising is imperative to any marketing strategy.

Below I’ve listed three key elements to achieving consistent ROI from mobile advertising spend and how advertisers can distinguish themselves in what continues to be an increasingly crowded ecosystem.

Design ads specifically for mobile

The mobile device is personal. Therefore, when consumers use their smartphones, they expect an intuitive, non-intrusive experience in everything they see and interact with, including ads. So why would you cram a video ad specifically created for TV onto a mobile device? It doesn’t make sense, and it just doesn’t work.

We’re starting to see more advertisers optimize their marketing strategy and their creative approach with the in-app experience in mind. Understanding and preparing for even the most basic variables in the mobile environment can have huge impacts in performance. Is the sound off? Deliver an ad with subtitles and other text that conveys your value proposition. Is the phone in portrait mode? Then you should deliver a portrait video.

In-app ads can also deliver more immersive, engaging experiences than other platforms — playable ads and interactive end cards have proven to significantly increase engagement and downstream consumer value.

The result is the delivery of more compelling experiences that resonate with consumers — driving both increased engagement with your ad and measurably higher performance.

Go where the people are

Mobile apps account for nearly 86 percent of time spent using smartphones, and consumers are now spending an average of three hours a day in mobile apps. If you’re looking to drive consistent ROI from mobile advertising, you should focus your attention where consumers spend most of their time. Not only does this increase the likelihood that your ad will be seen by the users you’re targeting, it also increases the chances that they’ll interact with your ad.

In-app ads also have some unique characteristics compared to other media. In particular, mobile app developers have pioneered what are commonly called ‘rewarded’ placements. These are natural break points in the app experience where users can opt-in to watch an ad to receive some in-app benefit.

Some examples include Spotify’s “Sponsored Sessions”, where users watch an ad to get access to 30 minutes of ad-free music, or in games where consumers can get an extra life or in-game currency. By giving consumers the choice of whether to engage with an ad (or not), advertisers see much higher engagement, and video completion rates approaching 100 percent, which result in higher click-through and conversion rates than other formats.

Target value not audiences

The good news for mobile marketers (particularly app developers) is the increasing sophistication of tools to measure the value of their customers at a granular level. This allows marketers to abandon outdated methods such as audience targeting, and base their decisioning on real-time results.

The first step is to define your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). For a game developer, this might mean a user who is still engaged with the game seven days after they begin playing. For a shopping app, this could be a consumer who spends $15 within 10 days of an install. For a travel app, it could look like a user booking a reservation within the first 30 days after an install.

Sophisticated marketing platforms will enable advertisers to provide data around which users are meeting these KPIs in a shared effort to optimize campaigns and target the sources of these valuable consumers — wherever and whoever they might be.

The most advanced platforms empower advertisers with the tools needed to create and test a wide variety of creative and messaging combinations to measure which campaigns result in the best returns in real time. In any given market there may be several different combinations that react well with different consumers, and the bids can be refined to ensure that the target KPIs are consistently met.

More marketers than ever are recognizing the importance of the mobile ecosystem as a means to reach customers, and as a result, the mobile marketplace is more crowded. By designing advertising campaigns with the mobile experience in mind from the outset, and by choosing partners who provide the tools and platforms that measure and utilize data relevant to their business, marketers will be able to find and convert the most valuable customers who deliver meaningful ROI over the long term.

Tanya Lee is Global Head of Demand at Vungle.

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