Making Rich Media Advertising Better, Faster, Easier

When faced with the creation of rich media ads, many companies find themselves stuck with few options and the daunting task of creating an ad that performs.

From start to finish, even when designers build an ad unit, it can take several iterations to get it right. From storyboarding, ensuring the proper look and feel with high-quality assets, to the finishing touches; it can take as much as four weeks to finish a complex rich media ad. Even minor tweaks can cause havoc on companies, as it often requires redistributing the ad units to many partners.

Rich Media Creative Studio

That’s why we decided to apply some lessons we’ve learned as an advertising technology company to our Aarki Studio Multiscreen Creative Platform.

Modifying existing ad to run an A/B Test should be easy and immediate

Studio allows you to easily clone an existing ad. Cloning copies all the changes and gives you a new instance of the ad. The designer can now make changes on the cloned new ad, and deploy the A/B Test.

If an ad works incredibly well, it should be easy to replicate.

Some ads when launched perform exceedingly well. That’s why we added a feature in Aarki Studio that allows the saving of any ad as a template with one click. All the assets used in the ad are saved in the template, making the reuse of this ad, or the creation of a new ad based on the template, as easy as possible.

Deciphering the latest in-demand and industry standard ad units shouldn’t require a team of experts

Like the Mobile Rising Star Ads, Aarki studio has enabled more than 50 out-of-the-box templates to boost creation of ads that perform well. Aarki will continue to add more templates so all our advertisers can quickly create the latest and highest performing rich media ads across all devices.

But don’t take our word for it. Contact us to get a demo and see these features for yourself.

Multiscreen Advertising is Here to Stay!

Multiscreen has been a buzzword for a lot of marketers with the explosion of ad sizes across smartphones, tablets and desktops. With the mobile landscape growing, marketers need to be smart and are forced to cater to the demand of users who access content across multiple devices each day. For this, marketers who care about branding, want consistent look-and-feel no matter where a user hangs out–whether that’s on a tablet, mobile device or desktop.

On the other hand, A/B Testing is something that is a holy grail for optimizing ads when you have one ad size, this is something that’s been solved by many ad platforms, and marketers continue to use these techniques.  But adding multiple ad sizes creates complexity and makes it difficult to scale this type of testing.

Lets observe how to solve this in two scenarios:

  1. Create a campaign and create one ad creative for each of these devices (highly manual and labor intensive)
    • Creating multiple ad tags that work for each screen
    • Ongoing optimization across ad sizes is extremely time consuming
  2. Create a campaign and only one ad creative (the Aarki approach)
    • Create only one ad tag that works across devices
    • Changes to creative applies to all ad screens

Now most marketers are using option 1, which is easy and straightforward. But the amount of effort required to generate a proper ROI ratio is unknown and hit or miss. In the long run, marketers will be looking for solutions that deliver the highest ROI for minimal effort. We have been working closely with our partners and clients to come up with best practices to accomplish better ROI results and easier ad creation across multiple screens.

Image

So, what is the solution? Aarki Studio, and here’s how we solve it:

  1. Create an ad across screens in one place (i.e. our studio)
  2. Make real time edits to creative, thats deployed to all your ad sizes. Ads are responsive and adjust to the display environment.
  3. Universal ad tags – one tag across devices
  4. Run multiple tests across devices in real time

Interested? Leave us a comment, or contact us to learn more.

The Ins and Outs of In-App Ads

 

The third post in our “Developer Insights” series comes from Rantmedia, a Cardiff-based company that offers high-end web applications. Sinces its establishment in 200, the company has accumulated a large team of mobile app developers who create mobile apps and games for international brands.

The mobile in-app ad industry is constantly expanding and is widely available, but just how knowledgeable are you on this cunning technique?  Read on to develop your understanding of in-app ads.

Apps are precious to smartphone and tablet users; from the addictive Angry Birds game, to leading video-sharer YouTube, apps are used on a daily basis. This makes it increasingly difficult for mobile marketers as in-app advertising is a top priority and can disrupt users while they are in the middle of using an app.

With in-app advertising on the rise, mobile marketers must adjust their in-app ad strategy to ensure they’re not upsetting their target audience through interrupting the whole app experience. When using an app, it is very unlikely that a banner or pop-up is going to be of interest, simply because that app was being used for a reason and that reason was not to divert from said app!

However, while these ads often interfere with apps, they actually do their job and encourage users to proceed with the desired action, whether that is to ‘Open a Link, ‘Watch a Trailer’ or ‘Purchase’ proving that in-app ads are working their magic. The most successful ads tend to be the ones that display ad upgrades as the majority of people will purchase an update for their app over a particular product or service.

It has been proven that during peak times, after people have finished their working day and had dinner, marketers use in-app ads to reach a growing audience. However, it has been suggested that rather than a direct-response ad approach, a strong customer experience should be offered by considering specific mobile apps.

It is crucial for mobile marketers to always keep their potential target in mind. Are they using an iPad? What is their location? Important factors such as device type, location and personal preferences all help to deliver accurate messages to a specific audience. When mobile marketers are conjuring these messages, it is important for them to consider the time of day as well as in-app actions as these attributes will determine what type of audience is reached.

Mobile app campaigns need to be designed with a ‘best user experience’ motive in mind. This type of experience would involve ads displaying on screens during natural break points in the app, rather than a game, song or video being deliberately paused for an ad to be inconveniently displayed. Energizer – a manufacturer of batteries runs an ad through a game in which users drag devices across the screen to recharge them and gather points. During a break in the game, the advert encourages consumers to enter a competition to win $200 gift card for Ticketmaster.

If an in-app ad is relevant to the user, it can certainly be effective. Why? Well it will blend in to the overall experience, (like Energizer) of using the app. So rather than it being a distraction, it will feel like a helpful extra.

General Motors and Mobile: An Auto Industry Leader

As we’ve previously discussed, the automotive industry is one of the most competitive mobile advertising vertical globally. Auto companies must continuously jockey for global consumers’ share of mind as they introduce new cars, making ad spend on all channels necessary for successful brand efforts. 

General Motors

General Motors is the world’s third largest advertiser.

General Motors (GM) in particular has been widely recognized as a one of the earliest adopters of mobile ads within the auto industry. As the world’s third largest advertiser, GM’s annual spend of over $3 billion is wholly managed by Aegis’ Carat, and is divided proportionally among Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, and other GM brands. GM’s mobile strategy has helped them to come back from its bankruptcy in 2009 to retain its position as the world’s largest automaker by vehicle sales since 2011.

For example, in October 2012 GM utilized a rich media banner ad to promote GMC and Chevy trucks. By simultaneously displaying both branding elements and financial disclosures, the campaign targeted price-sensitive small business owners looking for new trucks. It achieved click-through rates of 1.31%, and allowed users to peruse GM’s promotional financing options without clicking through the ad.

More recently, GM has returned to advertising on Facebook’s mobile ad platform. GM had divested from its Facebook advertising presence in May 2012, citing Facebook’s inability to influence purchase decisions at the time. In April of this year, however, GM reversed its decision, and began running mobile Facebook ads for its subcompact Chevy Sonic. As a mobile-only pilot campaign that will utilize Facebook’s new targeting and measurement capabilities, this represents a first for the traditionally TV, print, and digital-oriented auto industry.

General Motors’ mobile advertising adoption and strategy thus set it apart as a leader within the auto industry. By heavily investing in mobile ads, GM is able to engage and interact with global consumers on the platform that they are spending more and more time utilizing. Going forward, GM will be able to leverage its mobile expertise to maximize its advertising returns, allowing it to retain its dominant position within the automotive industry.

Successful Omnichannel Begins With Mobile

Multi-channel marketing campaigns combine the best of all worlds. Utilization of multiple channels allows marketers to have multiple touch points with their brand’s consumers, and allow consumers to choose how they will interact with their favorite brands.  By utilizing TV, print, digital, mobile, and other types of media, marketers can achieve comprehensive consumer reach and brand immersion.

Companies are continuing to grow the shares of their omni-channel marketing budgets that are spent on the mobile channel. By integrating mobile strategies with point of sale systems, signage at their brick-and-mortar stores, and direct mail coupon campaigns, brand marketers are leveraging mobile’s ability to engage consumers everywhere.

However, ongoing uncertainty still plagues mobile. A recent study by Forrester Research found that 37% of marketers have not defined their mobile objectives, and that those that have view mobile primarily as a consumer engagement and satisfaction tool, neglecting to consider the variety of other objectives that mobile can help accomplish.

Starbucks

Starbucks recently engaged consumers through a variety of channels, including mobile, to sign a petition to end the government shutdown.

More successful omni-channel campaigns successfully leverage the mobile channel to accomplish a variety of goals. For example, the recent Starbucks “Come Together” campaign spanned mobile, social, and web channels, influencing consumers to sign petitions expressing cross-party solidarity during the government shutdown. Starbucks allowed consumers to send a mobile SMS to sign their petition and updates on the status of the government shutdown, capturing their phone numbers for future use. By utilizing its mobile presence to both capture information as well as engage consumers, Starbucks is able to leverage their mobile strategy to its full potential; 10% of its 2013 Q3 revenue came from mobile.

Overall, the most important component of any successful multi-channel strategy is a consistent customer experience. Brands must develop quality experiences across their mobile, print, and digital presences, accustoming their consumers to expect the best from their products.

Marketers More Knowledgeable About Mobile

Over the past two years, brands’ mobile marketing budgets have increased by 142%, according to the recent “Marketer Perceptions of Mobile Advertising” study published jointly by the IAB and Ovum. With the number of brands adopting large mobile budgets increasing from 7% in 2011 to 32% today, it’s apparent that brand marketers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about the mobile advertising space. In order to win the increasing amount of money being spent by brands on mobile campaigns, mobile advertising operators must therefore offer truly differentiated offerings.

Ovum

Responsive design, HTML5, and native advertising are viewed as the most important mobile trends.

As a result of their greater familiarity with mobile resources, formats, and strategies, 74% of brand marketing executives plan to increase their mobile ad spend over the next two years. They’ve identified responsive design, native HTML5 advertising, and programmatic buying as the top industry trends, with the primary goal of driving brand awareness. Secondary goals include increased engagement, driving sales, support for specific promotions, and customer relationship marketing.

Most notably, a decreased number of marketers claimed that agencies lacked expertise, with only 15% of marketers citing it as a challenge of high importance, compared to 21% in 2011. Additionally, only 23% of marketers stated that dealing with device fragmentation was a challenge, compared to 39% in 2011.

Mobile rich media ads have experienced increase use as a result of marketers’ increased mobile knowledge, now being used by 35% of marketers compared to 19% two years ago.  At Aarki, we work with brand marketers to develop engaging rich media campaigns that drive both awareness and engagement, and educate the advertising industry on the latest mobile advertising tools available.

Leading the Charge: CPG Invests in Mobile

The consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is rapidly adopting mobile marketing. CPG brands increased their mobile spend by 235% last year, as men and women worldwide use their phones in-store as well as on the go to find coupons/ deals, as well as research product details. In the intensely competitive CPG industry, it’s clear that brands that fail to adopt mobile will be left trailing their competition. In order to serve as a quick introduction to the mobile CPG landscape, we’ve outlined some of the major CPG trends and metrics that Aarki has seen.

Main Drivers

84% of CPG companies have developed consumer mobile apps, but have done so for a wide variety of reasons.

In order to engage the increasingly mobile consumer, one major tactic that CPG brands have utilized is the development of mobile apps to directly engage consumers while deepening their relationships. 84% of CPG companies’ employees stated that their company had developed at least one live mobile app, while over 30% of companies had developed more than five apps.

However, the majority of ongoing mobile spend has been on mobile campaigns that center on generating targeted awareness. 46% of mobile CPG campaigns have had awareness as a goal, compared to 14% of mobile campaigns generally, with CPG campaigns also being twice as likely to utilize video. This approach has led to excellent campaign performance. CPG campaigns have averaged 17% engagement rates when using HTML5, and experience a 34% increase in CTRs when applying data targeting.

When it comes to mobile, targeting is one of the main considerations that CPG marketers have focused on, with 40% of them having utilized location targeting in their mobile campaigns. Women and men also exhibit different in-store mobile behavior, with men using their phones to learn more product information and women using their phones to text/call/send pictures to their friends in order to learn more about them.

Overall, CPG companies have generally seen positive returns on their mobile investments. At Aarki, we’re leveraging our premium publisher inventory, engaging HTML5 rich media ads, and display and video volume to help brands deliver deep, branded experiences to consumers everywhere. With US adults spending an average of 2 hours and 21 minutes on their mobile devices everyday, mobile is a channel that cannot be ignored or underinvested in; Aarki can help you maximize the effectiveness of your spend and resources.