28 Sep 2015 17:52 IST

In-app advertising is changing data marketing

Since the profile data is available, the ad publishing is highly targeted, unlike a print ad or a hoarding

This is the second part of a two-part series on digital marketing. In this article, I answer questions on the biggest chunk in data marketing: in-app advertising.

In-app... That sounds technical and complicated.

It works as an ecosystem of app publishers, advertisement aggregators, advertisement providers (i.e. brands) and end users.

Take, for instance, when you play Candycrush. You may have noticed ads popping up when you play the game. That is in-app advertising. The app developer can monetise his app by providing space to publish the ad content. When the user clicks on the ad, the app developer receives some revenue.

This actually sounds like a good idea, because the ad comes when the person is involved with the mobile. But what if the person is so engrossed in the game that he/she ignores the ad?

Well, brands are present on this medium because they get good access to users’ profile, and pay only when user shows some interest in the product. And these games are very addictive, facilitating higher brand recall.

Since the profile data is available, the ad publishing is highly targeted, unlike a print ad or a hoarding.

So is payment only for the number of people who click?

Yes, mostly it is for the number of clicks. The term used is “Cost-per-Click” model. However, some brands also operate on “Cost-per Impression”-model, where the brand is charged when the user sees the ad i.e. when the ad appears, even if he does not click on it.

The last major part of data marketing is brands developing their own apps — Flipkart, Ola Cabs and Snapdeal — where the main stream of customer interaction and marketing happens through the app.

You said ‘last major part’. Does this mean there are other not-so-popular methods?

We have covered most of it, except some areas like Augmented Reality (AR) and WiFi-based marketing, which have not really taken off. Augmented Reality is when you download an app and scan a particular QR Code or an image. The app then shows you a different dimension of the brand message. For example, you scan the image of a brand logo through the app, which will enable your camera and show a 3D-rendered image of a movie star, who may be the brand ambassador. You can focus the camera on your friend and click a picture, and it will look as if your friend stood next to the movie star!

Or, an automobile brand can use AR, where the user scans an image of the car and the mobile starts showing a 3D view of the car, play a commercial or even enable user interactions, such as choosing a colour to see how it looks.

That is interesting, but the thrill will wear off quickly I guess…

Yes, it is mostly used to pull in attention. The real power of AR is still untapped because the first step to use AR is to download an app. It is difficult to make the customer do so many things at his cost and then finally push a brand message. That’s not a lot of value to the consumer.

Wi-fi kiosks were tried in many places like railway stations, where the users could get access to free WiFi for 30 minutes when the user comes near the kiosk. When the user starts using the Wifi, he has to necessarily view a 30 second ad of the brand before proceeding. This too didn’t take off very well, mainly because it was capital intensive for the advertiser.

Okay, so now we have an idea of how this works. What about internet-based marketing?

Well, that is a large topic with sub-divisions. I’ll explain that next time.

To read more from the FundaMental section, click here .

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