Category Archives: Articles

User Acquisition (UA): Tips and tricks

Do you have the plan, the team and the dream for a digital innovation? You are probably missing something if you can’t achieve what you aimed for and that may be on UA. Get your head in the game and gain new users. Create a strategy intended not only to attract a targeted audience of your choice but also to convince them to use and keep using what you are offering. The way to success can be simple when the right tactics and channels are used.

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In-app ads run across a wider range of app categories increase conversions

According to Adobe, smartphones accounted for the majority of digital shopping traffic during the 2018 holiday season with 51% of mCommerce visits from mobile versus 49% on desktop and tablets.

Now, research by programmatic mobile bidding platform Appreciate, has found that advertisers who ran multiple in-app ads across a wider range of app publishers noted a higher number of conversions.

Indeed, campaigns across five to seven app categories generated 45% higher engagement rates than those in one to four app categories.


72% of marketers favour credible editorial when looking for media ad partners @ The Drum


Credible editorial is the most important factor marketers are looking for in a media partner, according to research from the World Media Group.

The organisation ran an online survey from 5 November to 5 December, which comprised 176 respondents from agencies (48%), media brand studios (37%), advertisers (13%) and consultants (3%).

When selecting their requirements of media partners, credible editorial came top (72%). Quality of audience engagement followed at 65%, then audience profile 63%. Only a fifth were looking for either a ‘renowned content studio’ or a global audience.

The response is not great news for the many media organisations hoping to pull in income by attracting brands to in-house creative consultancies, indicating perhaps that they should instead commit their resources to ensuring top editorial content.

Elsewhere in the research, marketers outlined how they are measuring the success of campaigns run through media partners. In all, 26% of respondents said increased brand awareness was the primary KPI they used to measure their most recent campaign.

This was followed by brand perception (25%). ‘Time spent with content’ came third.

Spend in the area looks set to increase, according to those polled. Content-driven marketing will continue to grow, with 78% of respondents (and 85% of agencies) believing it will boom over the next two years, 18% said it will stabilise and only 5% that it will decline.

On contributions to campaign success, 71% said the story in the content was the most important factor, followed by authenticity (62%) and creative execution (38%). Once the creating is out of the way, the most important variable looked to be matching the environment/platform to the audience 66%.

On campaign failures, respondents blamed insufficient creative (32%), poor strategy (30%) and lack of media support (22%).

The World Media Group is an alliance of publications including The Atlantic, Bloomberg Media Group, The Economist, Forbes, Fortune, National Geographic, Reuters, The New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Alex Delamain, newly appointed president of the World Media Group and senior vice president and head of client sales and services at The Economist, said: “The fact that advertisers and agencies expect investment in content-driven marketing to grow reflects our own experience at the World Media Awards where we have seen a rise in the number and quality of entries we receive every year. But what is really interesting is that they are recognising the impact of quality journalism on content campaigns.

“This sentiment matches independent research carried out by Moat last year which confirmed that readers display higher attention levels when viewing content within a trusted editorial environment.”

Source: The Drum

Brands and agencies are investing more in in-app advertising @ Business of Apps


The majority of brands (77%) have now asked their agencies to invest in in-app inventory according to a survey by tech company Fyber among ad agencies and brands.

Both UK agencies and advertisers are now spending the majority of their ad budgets on mobile, according to the study.

Among the main reasons for investing in in-app ads, respondents reported the format to be more reliable than mobile web browser ads. A third of respondents also cited improved engagement as a core reason.

At the same time, targeting features are also better for in-app ads and campaign ROI can improve by 41% according to some media agencies and brands.

“Mobile devices are the consumer’s primary means of access to the Internet, and close to 90% of time on mobile devices is spent in apps, so it’s no surprise that the mobile in-app inventory is of growing interest to media buyers and brands,” said Yoni Argaman, SVP for Marketing and Corporate Strategy at Fyber. “It’s gratifying that agencies and brands are reporting better targeting capabilities, an issue that has long stymied ad spend in the channel. And with higher ROI and engagement levels, media buyers now regard in-app inventory as a key conduit to their target audience.”


Gaming apps lead when it comes to investment return with 60% of respondents finding that both scale and reach were preferable, while 59% also mentioned engagement and prime reason for choosing game apps over others.

78% of brands have already placed ads in game apps and that number is predicted to rise over the next 12 months with 91% of media agencies and 87% of brands planning to invest in the category.


However, more than half of agencies are also happy to include fashion and retail apps as part of their in-app targeting strategy.

Furthermore, playable ad formats (32%), rewarded videos and opt-in (28%) formats are seen as the most effective.


The findings also mean that in-app inventory will take a higher share of the overall ad spend with in-app inventory accounting for 43% of digital ads budgets, up from 34% this year.

However, just 22% of UK buyers have invested more than 50% of their ad budgets in in-app ads, whilst just 32% include in-app in 50% of their plans.

Similar to advertisers, buyers are turning to games as their predominant choice for in-app advertising.

Source: Business of Apps

App marketers are only slowly adopting in-app header bidding technologies despite proven advantages @ Business of Apps


Just 31% of app marketers are utilizing in-app header bidding solutions, whilst the majority (57%) is still using waterfall-based systems where ad opportunities are presented to advertisers in sequential order.

However, waterfalls tend to come with a range of issues including latency and high costs which render them less effective than in-app header bidding.inmobi1

Indeed, the latest survey by InMobi highlights that by using waterfalls ad revenues tend to remain the same for 32% of respondents, whilst 24% did not even track their performance.


Another 43% said they used real-time bidding strategies, signalling a move away from waterfalls over time.

According to the new InMobi survey, 52% of app marketers said they currently had a mediation partner.

However, among the reasons why waterfalls have survived this long is because app publishers aren’t aware of the alternatives. 40% of marketers said they had a limited or moderate understanding of in-app header bidding. Another 59% of respondents believe that header bidding is not advanced enough just yet to resolve issues related to waterfalls.

However, a limited understanding (31%) and implementation issues (23%) were the core reasons for preventing publishers from adopting in-app header bidding solutions.

inmobi3Among those who did utilize in-app header bidding solutions, 36% had seen their revenues improve, whilst 49% were expecting to see gains over the coming 12 months.

In addition, 38% said it reduced latency, whilst 37% found the technology to provide better transparency on impressions and bids.


The survey also noted that publishers were now using in-app header bidding for banner ads (67%), interstitial ads (52%) and videos (47%) among other types.

When it comes to finding the right in-app header bidding partner, brand safety ranks as a top priority for 39% of respondents, followed by transparent auction dynamics (19%).

Despite in-app header bidding holding much promise, InMobi expects it may still take a while for the technology to catch on.

Source: Business of Apps

Setting up in Singapore: why you should choose the city state for your APAC base @ The Drum

We find out why creative businesses are choosing to set up base in Singapore, and about the challenges being mounted by Asia’s other creative hubs.

The Asia Pacific market promises the advertising and media industry some of the strongest growth projections globally. On a country-by-country basis however, few provide the scale for truly localized offerings. The hub model is therefore the primary tool for networks, brands, suppliers and even publishers to make the region work for them and to create relevance out of small local teams while scaling this up by using core markets as headquarters.

We speak to leaders of creative businesses in Singapore about how they plot their businesses in Asia Pacific, and how this might change.

Why choose Singapore?

Tobias Wilson, chief executive, APD Singapore

We didn’t choose the Singapore hub, the Singapore hub chose us. In short, the place made it almost impossible not to set up here. Apart from the financial incentives (which anyone can do), proximity is a huge reason to hub out of Singapore. Also, if you need to attract regional talent then you need to go beyond the money… I’m talking about things like safety, convenience, cleanliness and infrastructure. Singapore simply can’t be beaten in those areas.

Valerie Cheng, chief creative officer, Havas Southeast Asia

Being one of the most modern cities in the world, with amazing support from the government through the Economic Development Board of Singapore and initiatives like Smart Nation, which is a government mandate to be a smart city by 2020, many major brands such as GSK and P&G have located their regional and global teams here. It is therefore necessary for our regional and global teams to be based where our clients are.

Caspar Schlickum, chief executive for Asia Pacific, Wunderman

It wasn’t necessarily a ‘choice’ we made. After extensive analysis of the alternatives, it happened organically over the years. But it’s a logical place to be. Many of our regional clients are here and there is a depth and breadth of talent that is hard to find elsewhere. And, of course, geographically it is easy to get to the rest of the region. Having said that, we wouldn’t be closed to the idea of having people with regional responsibilities based in other parts of the region. We just happen not to right now.

How does having a ‘hub’ office in Singapore help or hinder creativity?

Valerie Cheng, chief creative officer, Havas Southeast Asia

For many brands, Asia is the growth opportunity, and talent that is constantly exposed to such diverse cultures is more likely to create more considerate and inclusive ideas that will work in key markets around Singapore. Also, with more international talent from various countries in one place, unexpected seeds of ideas emerge, thus lending itself to fresher approaches and executions.

Tobias Wilson, chief executive, APD Singapore

My two business partners, who I’ve worked with here for nearly 10 years, are two of the absolute best creative minds in the business. Sadly, however, they’re the exception and not the rule. The art and culture scene is definitely growing and there are some amazing creatives here, but if you looked at a metric such as ‘creatives per capita’ against a place like Thailand, it wouldn’t be pretty. It’s changing though, and that’s awesome.

Katie Ewer, strategy director for Asia Pacific, JKR

It’s too easy to sit behind a desk and moan about Singapore’s lack of creative talent or characterize its efficiency as sterility. The whole industry needs to spend less time at our desks. We need to get out there and find creativity in unexpected places. All agencies have a responsibility to foster and be part of a creative culture in Singapore. The industry is what we make it.

Caspar Schlickum, chief executive for Asia Pacific, Wunderman

I think creativity is largely local. There is no such thing as a ‘regional’ consumer to the brands we work with, including the regional ones that are ultimately trying to engage with people in local markets. In my view, regional hubs exist for one reason only: to help the markets be as good as they can be. Creative is no different.

What is the future of Singapore as a regional hub?

John Hadfield, chief executive, BBH Asia Pacific

For Singapore to continue to be an Asian, even global, hub, it needs to provide the conditions for continued industry growth: continued client-side demand for world-class strategy, creativity and origination, and the availability of fantastic talent and associated creative services. There are, of course, pressures on all of these factors. Also, Singapore is acting as a global ‘petri dish’ through its publicly stated objective to be the world’s first smart city. And the most exciting thing is the emergence of a new generation of creative talent that are pursuing their passions, rather than conforming to generational norms.

Valerie Cheng, chief creative officer, Havas Southeast Asia

While most countries have a rich history that gives a strong identity, Singapore is extremely young in comparison, with no historical ‘baggage’ to hold it back. In fact, if there were an image of Singapore, I would liken it to a highly successful startup company. The pace and energy to constantly move forward is reflected in people’s work ethic and mindset. It has a ‘never-good-enough’ approach to life and business that naturally forces it to progress. If the government and company leaders continue to champion new thinking and provide the right training for its people, it will remain a perfect place for businesses to call home.

Caspar Schlickum, chief executive for Asia Pacific, Wunderman

In many ways Singapore is going through a difficult time, but, for all the reasons already mentioned, it is still the best place to base a regional business in Asia Pacific. Singapore has always been very business-friendly, with a very open and welcoming outlook to the world. As China opens up there is some threat that Singapore may be under pressure, especially given the sheer scale of the Chinese market.

Shufen Goh, principal, R3

I see a future where creativity and technology merge. Singapore has a strong foundation in STEM education and should be able to leverage that to its advantage. Primary-school kids are learning to code and AI and machine learning is already being used. We need people who know how to apply them to drive creativity at scale.

What other markets are challenging the city’s hub status, in Particular when it comes to creativity?

Valerie Cheng, chief creative officer, Havas Southeast Asia

As it proves to be the beacon of innovation with the likes of Alibaba, Tencent and WeChat, China could be the one to watch if it gets a few other factors in place. Japan and Australia meanwhile have always been lighthouses for creativity. If global businesses start to base themselves in Australia, it will be a tough competitor to match with the quality of creative thinking and production capability it has. We are also seeing interesting work from Thailand and the Philippines, but with their strong local heritage and their choice of first language being more native, it makes for amazing locally relevant work that does not travel beyond its shores.

Shufen Goh, principal, R3

We believe China to be the most creative market – not in terms of awards won or creativity judged in the traditional sense, but the sheer creativity in its approach to solving and circumventing problems and riding on opportunities, ethically or not. But it’s in an ecosystem of its own. Small can be powerful in today’s world, where speed and agility sometimes matter more than scale. Singapore should be thinking about unseating London or New York as hubs, and not just other Asian threats.

Tobias Wilson, chief executive, APD Singapore

Thailand has some phenomenal creatives and just a really cool approach to creativity. As far as challenging as a hub, I can’t see anyone in the near future coming close to Singapore. When design and dental graduates here get the same applause and encouragement from their families, we’ll know we’ve made it.

Source: The Drum

Consumers are now using twice as many retail apps as they did a year ago @ Business of Apps


App installations appear to be picking up as smartphone users now have double the number of apps installed than they did in the previous year. According to data from financial services firm Synchrony, the average user installed four apps over the last 12 months.

Many of these apps were shopping-related or eCommerce apps, according to the report. Indeed, 67% of consumers downloaded a retailer’s app, with over half of consumers opting for retail apps because of a coupon or discount code. Almost 50% of consumers who downloaded a retailer’s app used it to make a purchase.

“In today’s competitive landscape, a mobile application is not just another piece of technology for retailers, it is a vital tool to engage shoppers with their brand. Done well, retail apps engage both in and out of stores with personalized experiences and easy credit solutions,” said Maya Mikhailov, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, GPShopper, a developer of mobile apps acquired by Synchrony in 2017. “Consumers that use retail mobile applications are a retailer’s top shoppers. As such, they want their apps to be tailored to their unique shopping experiences and preferences.”

At the same time, retailers have adapted their strategies to respond to the trend with 47% saying they placed more focus on a retail app. In response, 83% of customers say they are happy with their app experience.

Additionally, 60% of US consumers now think that the average shopper will be using a mobile wallet by 2025 despite a slow adoption trend of mobile wallets. However, millennials are at the forefront of mobile wallet usage with 61% of them already leaving their wallets at home in favour of other payment methods.

Among the larger retailers, 75% have already integrated mobile wallet technologies.

Credit card features in-app are another area of mobile financing that consumers appear to be predominantly satisfied with. Indeed 53% of consumers are now using app-based credit card features and 77% of them are happy with the service.

The Synchrony 2018 Digital Study, was based on the answers of 1,255 respondents.

Source: Business of Apps 

Does Your Business Need a Digital Transformation? @ Entrepreneur

For several years, digital innovator Maurice Freedman and his team had been developing a practice to help companies find an efficient way to transform their business, building a proven model for commercializing innovation. Here, Freedman breaks down the process and how it can help reshape and revitalize a company.

What is “digital transformation”?

“Most would say it’s ‘up-teching.’ That is, adding technology to an existing, broken way of doing business. But we have found that a shiny new app is not the answer. Technology alone is not trans-formative if processes are broken — it can actually be a distraction for the actual problem. Injecting technology often make matters worse, and comes at a great expense. Our digital transformation practice evaluates the whole process, from innovation through commercialization, to help companies build pathways to profit, using technology as an empowering tool. A tool is only as good as the teams using it.”

What separates you from competitors?

“First, real-world experience. Lots of bruises, some broken bones and a few glorious trophies. I’ve been lucky enough in my career to have been involved with many different industries: software, healthcare, consumer goods, military, media — some companies on the way up, and some that failed miserably. I learned the most from the failures. Failure teaches modesty, persistence and that the answer lies in the field, not in the lab. I’m on the ground, talking to customers, learning the market. When I’m not talking to customer and clients, I’m walking the startup aisles at trade shows, learning as much as I can.”


How do you choose the right technologies for a complex problem?

“We start by lateraling — searching first for a solution, at least in part, from a completely different industry. Often, the problem may have been solved already, and at great cost. The challenge is focusing first on the mechanism of the problem, and less so on the granular details, and surface analogs. Most companies think their problems are unique or are so complex that is impossible to understand. But it’s not usually true. The supply chain for human tissue, for example, involves a massive amount of complex science, but as it turns out, an open source e-commerce platform can manage it perfectly. That’s thousands of hours of engineering, knowledge and testing under market pressure — inherited for free! It’s the same software I use to order socks.”

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in all this?

“With every new engagement, I have to put everything I think I know to the side and re-engage from scratch. Leave the assumed problems alone for a moment, and fully understand the customer experience. Everything else I do stems from that. Corporate tribal knowledge is often suspect, propagated myths about customers that they’ve never met. It’s like playing telephone with billions of dollars. You’ll never get the right answer purely from demographics, ethnographies, or a BI dashboard. Get with customers and show them products directly. Test, try and iterate in the marketplace. Put something as close to real as possible in their hands, as fast as you can. Watch where it fails, retool, and go again. And again. In the end, customer sentiment is not the most important thing. It’s the only thing.”

Source: Entrepreneur

Advertising generates more than half of revenue sources for mobile app developers @ The Drum


With 55% of total mobile publisher revenue generated from ads, app developers are increasingly looking to continued growth in mobile publisher revenue.

The report looked at top mobile game developers (90%), with a minority making non-gaming apps (18%) who were surveyed throughout EMEA (40%), followed by 34% in North America, 22% in APAC, and 4% in LATAM are finding revenue resources primarily from ads.

Outside of advertising, publishers are far more likely to make money through direct in-app purchases than they are from paid installs or subscriptions. In fact, in-app purchases was the single greatest individual revenue contributor cited, driving 39% of total publisher revenue.

A vast majority of publishers (87%) reportedly feel that rewarded video ad placements provide a positive user experience and in-app purchases was the single greatest individual revenue contributor cited, driving 39% of total publisher revenue.

The next most favorable ad units were those that are well-integrated (native), short in duration (interstitial display), engaging (playable), or modest in stature (banner display). The least favorable ads were those that auto-played before (preroll) or amongst (in-feed) content.

When asked which monetization methods were most effective, publishers reported that rewarded video ads, in-app purchase systems, and interstitial video were all highly effective. As these methods account for a majority of publisher revenue and also rank well with respect to the user experience, this sentiment was not all too surprising.

The most popular engagement methods used by publishers were achievements, push notifications, value exchange ad integrations, and in-app events. This suggests that users must be rewarded and reminded while content must be refreshed.

Source: The Drum