Fyber

Charting in-app advertising: A survey of brands & agencies

Why don’t brands and media agencies increase ad spend through in-app advertising and mobile games? That’s the million-dollar—or rather, billion-dollar—question everyone in the mobile app industry wants to know. Despite countless reports from top market research firms, all of which are forecasting ad spend (mostly from brands) on mobile to surpass other media channels such as TV, the collective mobile app industry, including mobile gaming, hasn’t felt the effects.

Rather than panic, maybe patience is all the mobile app industry needs to hear. “Advertising in games is in the first inning of opportunity,” wrote Activision Blizzard president and CEO Bobby Kotick and chairman of the board Brian Kelly in the company’s 2017 annual report. For those unfamiliar with baseball, Kotick and Kelly were making an analogy between the slow-moving nature of a baseball game and the state of in-app advertising in mobile games.

To truly find out why brand ad spend isn’t flowing into in-app as much as expected, we surveyed both brand advertisers and agency media planners from the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France, gathering over 500 responses, to get a pulse on what they think about advertising in-app and in mobile games. What follows in this report are the top five highlights from the survey as well as a complete list of our findings.

Buy, buy, buy.

Brand advertisers are increasingly aware of the exceptional growth of app usage and greater campaign success, which is requiring in-app to get the spending it deserves. Over two-thirds (68%) of brand advertisers primarily use in-app ads to build brand awareness and 52% have used in-app ads to generate sales.

 

This is why 77% of brand advertisers surveyed have asked their agency to start buying in-app. But brand advertisers need to move fast to win this newly accessible premium inventory.

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The value of in-app advertising.

According to brand advertisers, in-app ads can improve ROI by an average of 41%.

 

While in-app is already competitive and prices for premium inventory are high, there is still plenty of inventory that is under-monetized and the fact that less brand buyers focus on mobile app advertising gives early movers the opportunity to win more premium inventory for lower prices.

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Reach your targeted audience.

The top benefit for agency media planners of in-app advertising is better user engagement (32%), while the greatest gain for brand advertisers is targeting capabilities (27%).

 

Because apps can collect first-party data with a user’s consent, app publishers use advanced audience filters to send buyers the exact impressions they are looking for, making it easier for advertisers to reach their targeted audience segment.

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Engagement, scale, and reach. Oh my!

A users’ attention may seem impenetrable when they are trying to raise their score, conquer the world, manage resources, or complete a mission, but user engagement is stronger in mobile games according to 51% of brand advertisers surveyed. Another reason to invest in mobile gaming, according to 49% of respondents, is scale and reach.

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Don’t deliver an ad. Deliver an experience.

When playable ads were introduced to the market, many wondered if they were merely a trend or would prove to be an effective way for app developers to acquire new users. Two years later, 28% of agency media buyers surveyed said that playables were the most impactful for in-app advertising. Rewarded video came in at a close second, with 26% of media buyers surveyed considering it to be the most effective in-app ad format.

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Full survey results

This survey on in-app advertising was administered in August 2018 by Sapio Research—a leading market research company—and commissioned by Fyber. Take a look at the full survey results below. Each chart indicates the respondent group that answered the question.

On advertising channels

Have you asked your agency to start buying in-app inventory specifically (vs. mobile in general)?
Which campaign objectives do you primarily use in-app ads for?
Of the brands and advertisers who haven't asked their agency to start buying in-app inventory, why not?
Which device do you consider to be the 1st/2nd/3rd most effective for accurately targeting consumers with ads?
Which device do you consider to be the 1st/2nd/3rd most effective for accurately targeting consumers with ads?
What percentage of your budget is spent on...?
What percentage of your budget is spent on...?
What percentage of your overall digital advertising budget is...?
How often do you include in-app in your media plan?
Which type of apps do you include as part of your media mix?
Which mobile environment do you find most effective for accurately targeting consumers with ads?
Which ad format do you think is most effective in-app?

On in-app advertising challenges/benefits

What is the main challenge when it comes to in-app advertising?
What is the main challenge when it comes to in-app advertising?
What is the main benefit you see for investing in in-app advertising?
Please complete the following statement: “In-app ads can help increase ROI by...”

On audiences

What age do you consider to be the most likely to engage with in-app ads, mobile web ads?
What age do you consider to be the most likely to engage with in-app ads, mobile web ads?
What gender do you consider to be the most likely to engage with in-app ads, mobile web ads?
What gender do you consider to be the most likely to engage with in-app ads, mobile web ads?

On mobile games

Have you advertised in mobile games?
Why did you choose to advertise in mobile games?
Which statements do you agree with in terms of how you feel about advertising in mobile games?
Which statements do you agree with regarding advertising in mobile games?
What would you say the advantages of advertising in gaming apps are?

Who we surveyed

What type of company do you work for?
Which industry do you work in?
What sector do most of your accounts cover?
How many employees does your company have?
What country do you work in?
What is your company’s annual gross revenue? (U.S. respondents)
What is your company’s annual gross revenue? (U.K. respondents)
What is your company’s annual gross revenue? (Germany respondents)
What is your company’s annual gross revenue? (France respondents)
What is your current job title?

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