Mobile advertising is pulling away from the desktop, and this will further increase over the next couple of years. Mobile marketing will become the new undisputed king of digital, and as per eMarketer, marketers are ready to invest record-breaking billions in mobile ad spend in 2020. This growth will lead to fake bots leading to wrong analysis. To that end, the role of Adjust, an industry leader in mobile measurement, fraud prevention and cybersecurity, comes into play. By making marketing simpler, smarter and more secure, Adjust empowers data-driven marketers to build the most successful apps in the world. Ramesh Kumar Raja talked to Shubham Jha, Sales Manager India at Adjust, to discuss more about the same and its growing importance in today’s app economy. Excerpts:
With mobile phones becoming core of almost every activity, how do you look at it as a medium of marketing/advertising a product? What does it hold to influence a brand?
As the most personal and omnipresent channel, mobile gives marketers the easiest way to reach and understand consumers. It offers a direct communication line with users, and today, the first touchpoint many people have with a brand is from the palm of their hands.
For brands, the best way to leverage the opportunities afforded by mobile is to make best use of their data. This is essential to understanding who their customers are and how they interact with campaigns and products. Mobile has become a hugely competitive channel, and all marketing decisions should be proven with data – whether that’s changing creatives, testing out a new ad network or deciding which cohort of users to target. Without this data, marketers are shooting in the dark.
How significant is India as a market in terms of mobile advertising? Where do you see the figure going in years to come?
As the world’s third-largest economy, India represents a potential growth market unlike any other. The country’s mobile market is already well-established, with home-grown success stories including PlaySimple, BankBazaar, Flipkart, FreshToHome and Pocket Aces inspiring the next wave of start-ups.
But this is just the beginning, and the region is still developing fast. Mobile penetration rates show there is still plenty of room for growth, with the number of smartphone users in India expected to almost double to 859 million by 2022 from 468 million users in 2017, according to a joint study from Assocham and PwC.
Among apps, which category holds maximum potential for a brand to get recognized?
In India specifically, Adjust data shows that Gaming, Utilities and E-commerce apps are the fastest-growing app verticals – facilitated by rising salaries and an increase in purchasing power. Finance apps are also experiencing a boom worldwide, in part driven by the competition created by new mobile-first or mobile-only banks.
However, the vast majority of brands, whatever the vertical, will benefit from investing in an app. In fact, as mobile’s importance grows all over the world, the companies that will survive and thrive are those that become mobile-first.
|“In India specifically, Adjust data shows that Gaming, Utilities and E-commerce apps are the fastest-growing app verticals – facilitated by rising salaries and an increase in purchasing power. Finance apps are also experiencing a boom worldwide, in part driven by the competition created by new mobile-first or mobile-only banks… However, the vast majority of brands, whatever the vertical, will benefit from investing in an app”|
What does Adjust do and what are the services it provides?
Adjust is a global SaaS company, founded in Berlin and with 16 offices and counting all around the world. In Asia specifically, we have teams in Bengaluru, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul.
Our goal is to help clients build the most successful apps in the world – and we do that by providing the highest quality analytics and measurement. Essentially, that means we help brands to understand where their app users are coming from, and how they interact with their product once the app is installed.
By connecting the whole user journey, brands can then optimize performance. They gain valuable insights into which campaigns are resonating with consumers, which ad networks are performing the best, and how to spend their marketing budget for the best return on investment (ROI). Most importantly, marketers’ decisions are based on data that is comprehensive, accurate and free of advertising fraud.
What transparency looks like in mobile advertising and the impact it creates?
The mobile sector is still fairly new, but developing quickly – and we all have a role to play in the healthy development of the industry. Transparency and education are key to building trust in the sector, and help drive it forward in the years to come.
We’re proud to support the industry as a whole by bringing more education into the ecosystem. We do that through educational events all around the globe, hosting workshops for clients and partners with industry experts, and regularly speaking at conferences and events. We also produce a range of educational resources around industry hot topics to share knowledge with marketers.
What is ad fraud? What are the best strategies when it comes to fighting ad fraud?
Put simply, ad fraud is the attempt to defraud brands or publishers by exploiting mobile advertising technology. Fraudsters’ objective is to steal from advertising budgets, and as these rise around the world, the incentive is only getting bigger.
At Adjust, we estimate that globally, fraud affects an average 20% of an app’s paid user acquisition budget. The threat isn’t only due to the monetary value lost, but also because fraudulent (and therefore inaccurate) data sets can influence marketers’ decisions. It’s also important to note that in fast-growing mobile markets like India, fraud prevention tools aren’t as commonplace. That leaves marketers more vulnerable, and more likely to be wasting their budgets paying for fraudulent installs.
The reality is that fraud prevention solutions are the only sure way to eliminate fraud. These filters dramatically increase the workload for fraudsters seeking to steal brands’ ad budgets, making it financially unsustainable for them.
However, education is an important weapon in the fight against fraud. We strongly recommend marketers try and learn as much as possible on the topic – it will serve them well when deciding on a service provider in the space, as the fraud protection methods need to be in line with the attribution tech used and the campaign setup.
It’s important also to have visibility and transparency throughout the user conversion funnel, from impression to click and install down until in-app events and potential reengagement. And remember: if the figures look too good to be true, it’s probably fraud.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are bringing about a big change in the tech world. How do you look at their future with regard to the mobile ecosystem?
At Adjust we’re really excited about the potential automation has to revolutionize the marketing industry, especially when it comes to increasing the scale of mobile marketing activities. Today’s marketers handle a huge amount of channels, and the work involved is heavily manual – from setting up campaigns one by one on multiple network dashboards, manipulating hefty audience lists in Excel, or merging and acting on disparate sources of data.
With automation, marketers will be able to iterate and implement an astronomical number of campaigns at the speed of change. And by increasing the amount of campaigns one person can manage, it allows smaller brands to compete with huge companies with big marketing departments. Reducing repetitive workflows also let teams focus on what really matters to them: creating, strategizing, and pushing boundaries.
Poor data network is a cause of concern for the mobile app ecosystem in India. What’s your take on this issue?
It’s no secret that connectivity and mobile data remains patchy in India, leaving consumers frustrated and impatient. These issues can be especially damaging for media-heavy apps that require a lot of bandwidth. Brands hoping to overcome these issues need to stay aware of the constraints many of their customers struggle with, and think about which graphics, videos and other rich media elements can impact the user experience.
What are your growth plans and future strategy for the India market?
Continuing to grow our market share in India is our priority. Throughout 2020, we’ll be focusing on diversifying our clients and the verticals we work in. We will also increase local customer support by hiring for our technical teams as well as sales and marketing. We also have some exciting product releases in the pipeline, which will help make marketing simpler, smarter and more secure for the brands we work with all around the world.