An APAC Marketer’s Guide to Finding the Right Mobile Ad Partner

Asia’s mobile app economy is booming; more so than ever before, consumers are relying on their phones to stay entertained and connect with brands. The following areas of opportunity are emerging in key markets like Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, and China:

  1. In terms of population size and economic activity, APAC has some of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
  2. As of February 2014, smartphone penetration is higher than 80 percent in countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia.
  3. Asia has topped the United States in B2C app usage, with China and Korea having the highest percentage of users who are interacting with businesses daily via mobile devices.
  4. According to Statistica, APAC mobile data traffic is expected to grow from an estimated one million terabytes in 2014 to 9.5 million terabytes in 2019, a compound annual growth rate of 58 percent.

Now is a great time for APAC app developers to experiment with mobile cost-per-install (CPI) campaigns. The smartphone market is strong—and growing. Recognizing this major area of opportunity, ad tech partners are venturing into the region to give APAC advertisers the resources that they need to achieve their user acquisition and retention goals.

Here are key questions to ask when seeking an advertising partner to launch your first campaign:

1 Does my ad partner understand my market?

APAC countries each have their own unique audience ecosystems and market dynamics. For that reason, it’s important to work with an advertising partner that has developed a strong presence in the areas you’re trying to reach. In addition to understanding your region’s market dynamics, the ad partner should also have a vested interest in developing a high quality and diverse publisher base.

Advertising partners should have a clear strategy behind every single campaign—one that’s heavily grounded in current customer behavior and engagement trends.

This level of awareness is especially important for countries in which younger populations are the fastest growing customer segment. Those 20- and 30-something APAC crowds are becoming increasingly affluent and are attracted to brands that provide a high-quality user experience. These audiences, in the long run, will be important to reach in an authentic and compelling way.

2 Does my ad partner optimize long-term user value?

It’s common in the marketing world for advertising partners to prioritize short-term gains over long-term ROI. Over time, however, this approach will become obsolete. As apps play an increasingly important role in brands’ mobile strategies, marketers must focus on acquiring users who generate consistent value.

Advertising partners should have a clear formula for optimizing lifetime value, or LTV. Adknowledge, for instance, looks at historical transaction data to identify high-value customers via purchase frequencies and changes in transaction patterns over time.

Ad partners should always prioritize quality over volume.

This perspective represents a major shift in thinking among marketers, but it’s an important one that will drive continued conversions. By acquiring high-value users who continue to generate revenue, you’ll be able to ramp up your acquisition budget, helping you to move quickly achieve key market share among your highest value customer segments.

Customer acquisition costs for high-value APAC users are the lowest they will ever be. The time to jump is now.

3 Who’s in the publisher network?

It’s important for ad networks to work with publishers that mobile audiences find trustworthy. APAC’s smartphone audience is sophisticated; they pay attention to reputable brands. One way to boost your own brand image is to align your app with the highest-value publishers possible.

At this point in the mobile marketing world, almost every ad partner will be building its publisher bases from scratch. Now is the time for advertisers to have an open and honest conversation with their ad partners to push for a network built on top quality.

Quality yields more quality. That’s the most important lesson in mobile advertising.

4 Does my partner understand the big picture?

As APAC’s app ecosystem continues to grow, mobile will become a bigger part in brands’ marketing strategies. E-commerce companies, for instance, are already launching apps to help users browse products. It’s common for shoppers to do research on their phones and then complete transactions from their desktop, where it’s easier to input a credit card number.

Strategic advertising partners should understand—and be in a position to optimize—these cross-platform experiences. This mindset goes against the grain of “direct response” thinking in which marketers seek to drive immediate transactions.

Thanks to mobile and social, however, conversion funnels have become a bit more complex. Shoppers need time to do their research and make informed decisions. Rather than trying to force sales, advertisers must facilitate these natural shopping patterns.

It will help to position mobile as a key part of your company’s conversion funnel.

Final thoughts

The opportunity to connect with new audiences on mobile is massive, and you need an advertising partner who can help you navigate this new terrain by relying on existing data and applying them to your region’s market dynamics.

Your moment of opportunity to find your highest quality users at the best possible price point is now. Approach the situation as you would any relationship building challenge: help your customers grow, and they’ll help your app grow, too.

About the Author

Ritika Puri

Ritika Puri is a San Francisco-based blogger who writes about trends in business, internet culture, and marketing. She's inspired by the intersection between technology, entrepreneurship, and sociology.

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