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Changing Paradigms of Digital Advertising with In-app ad Brands in India spent INR 4,200 crore on mobile advertising in 2016, a number expected to more than double by 2018

By Rohit Sharma

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Consider this: India is currently the second-largest smartphone market in the world. It is also the fastest growing smartphone market globally, and will be home to 700 million smartphone users by 2020. Do you know what this means? There will be a huge demand for mobile-based, internet-led services from Indian consumers in the near future.

A quick look at the current market data and consumer trends bears this assertion out. More than 60% of the country's 354 million internet users are mobile-only, which isn't surprising, considering that mobile is the device of choice for accessing the internet for 77% of urban users and 92% of rural users. With Indians spending 178 minutes on average per day on their mobile phones, more than 78% of the overall internet consumption in the country in 2016 came from mobile devices, as opposed to a meagre 21% that was generated by desktops.

These statistics underline why a significant portion of digital advertising dollars is being directed towards mobile advertising. Brands in India spent an estimated INR 4,200 crore on mobile advertising in 2016 alone, a number which is expected to more than double to INR 10,000 crore by 2018. As brands look at mobile-based solutions to optimise their consumer outreach, in-app advertisements in particular have emerged as the preferred medium to enhance market visibility and presence.

Why In-app Advertising: Why Ever Not?

To understand why in-app advertising is being touted as a highly lucrative medium for brands, we must once again look at the statistics. India currently ranks third when it comes to Google Play app downloads — more than 6 billion apps were downloaded by Indian users in 2016, marking a 71% year-on-year growth. Yahoo's Flurry Analytics estimated mobile app usage across the country to grow by 43%. In comparison, the global app usage only grew by 11%.

But app download and usage statistics are not the only reason behind the segment's rapid growth.

In-app advertising provides a certain immediacy, which neither mobile web nor other digital advertising tools can match. Mobile apps also enable superior consumer targeting by pushing highly personalised, intuitive, programmatic, and event-based advertisements. The entry of state-of-the-art tools like MOAT, Grapeshot and Nielsen DAR for attribution, data, and tracking have facilitated enhanced inventory transparency.

Advertisers can not only track user acquisition with a high degree of accuracy, but also have much greater visibility over post-acquisition behaviour, which cuts down on a lot of ad fraud that was taking place over the web. Significantly higher CTRs and RoIs are driven as a result, giving advertisers unparalleled targeting reach, frequency, and precision.

What in-app ads also end up doing is generate consumer data, lots of it.

Mobile Advertising and Data Analysis

When Satya Nadella joined Microsoft 25 years ago, daily internet traffic amounted to 100 gigabytes. Today, with technology penetrating each and every aspect of our lives, we are generating an estimated 17.5 million times of that traffic every second. Everything we do is data; everything we don't do is data. The world is literally swimming in the stuff, which is rapidly emerging as the new gold for businesses.

Thanks to SDK integrations, in-app advertising creates better and larger data points which provide publishers with higher quality and more detailed user data. Brands can use thisdata to understand the tastes and preferences of individual users, effectively breaking their target demographics down to markets of "one'. This enables the creation of highly personalised advertising strategies with optimised consumer targeting; more relevant ads can be delivered in a targeted, systematic manner to the end-user without interrupting their usage experience. Employing data analytics can also help advertisers in placing dynamic, real-time in-app advertisements which are highly contextual. This not only reduces the "skipping' of ads, but also significantly improves consumer engagement.

Data analytics also helps advertisers in effectively and accurately tracking their ad impressions and click-through rates.The availability of more refined data points presents them with actionable insights on their advertising strategy in real-time. This added flexibility makes for much more effective utilisation of ad expenses, leading to better returns on investments.

An "App'ening Future: The Road Ahead for Mobile Advertising

That mobile marketing is on the rise in a world rapidly moving onto a virtual medium is hardly surprising; mobile-based data traffic is expected togrow at a CAGR of 47% till 2021. In-app mobile ads will play a crucial role in sustaining this digital change.With the paradigms of digital advertising already being rewritten, the time is ripe for Indian brands to make in-app advertising a key aspect of their mobile marketing strategy. Integrating data-driven in-app ads will help them survive and thrive in tomorrow's dynamic business environment.

Rohit Sharma

Founder & CEO, POKKT

Rohit is the Founder & CEO of POKKT (Pocket), a leading Mobile Video Ad Platform in India & SEA. POKKT helps Game developers & Publishers in South East Asia & India to monetize through Video Ads. POKKT today works with more than 500 Game Publishers globally and over 300 Advertisers in APAC. He co-founded POKKT in 2012 and has built a 100 people strong team with offices in India, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines & Vietnam. POKKT has raised over 8 million US Dollars in investment from Marquee investors like SingTel Innov8, JAFCO Asia and Jungle Ventures. Last year POKKT has also sold its performance Ad Network to Adways Inc., one of the Leading Listed Ad Tech Company in Japan.


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