Food for Thought – Some Key Industry Trends for 2016 (Post 2 of 4)

03/31/16

Yesterday we reviewed how marketer passions have evolved from a laser beam focus on install counts to one that’s about the entire customer and their ongoing relationship with a brand. While this implies a broader set of responsibilities for the app marketer, it’s ultimately about putting the customer first, which is the central tenet of all marketing.

So what else are we seeing? Here’s a major tactical shift. Top apps are moving to bigger ad deals with large partners, encompassing more weeks and more dollars. We’re seeing an increasing share of total spend falling to the largest, “premium” media companies. We’re seeing brands spend more dollars, leveraging more ad formats, and running for more weeks with programs delivered by the biggest media players in the business.

Marketers tell us that this is being driven by more accountability and the increasing power of mobile app experts in the marketing management process. And in how more agency-purchased dollars are coming from mobile expert agencies, rather than marketing generalists. Let me show you some numbers to prove this out.

The share of installs driven by the top 20 networks and inventory sources has grown markedly over the past year. Beyond the top 20, there are also a number of other “winners” – often networks focused on particular verticals or regions. But when we include that specialized subset in the analysis, it’s clear that consolidation is occurring and will likely continue in the coming year.

Let’s switch to tactics, and see what trends really stand out there. As we examined growth trends, four particular tactics really stood out in the extent to which they grew in importance over the past year.

media growers

While CPI Display is still king in our industry, video has more than doubled its share of total installs. Search also grew in 2015, with accelerated growth as new products have been delivered to the market, not least paid search in the Google Play store.

Then there’s cross-promotion. We see more and more companies leveraging the audience of one app as a prospect pool for another app. It’s both cost-effective and it enables you to concentrate on getting installs from users that are proven to deliver real business value.

The fourth we see may seem a bit counterintuitive, but we have also seen growth in incentive-based installs, especially in the gaming category. We asked some clients about this and what we heard was that these incentivized dollars were being spent with a more selective set of partners than has perhaps occurred before. Because they are concerned with issues like fraud and peculiar anomalies in industry data.

Tomorrow – The User Quality Imperative

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