Mobile App Downloads Metrics and Attribution Tracking with Mobile Ad NetworksAt the HasOffers Postback event held in Seattle this week, Fred Shu of Manage.com, Paul Cushman of Drawbridge, Hanno Fichtner of Applift, Paul Longhenry of Tapjoy and David Diaz of SponsorPay speak on the evolution of the mobile ad network.

The panel covered where the market was in the mobile ad network space a year ago and where they are today. Here are my key take-aways from this discussion.

  • A year ago bundling was the biggest thing in mobile, specifically in gaming, and this year “gifting” is the hottest thing. This has been beneficial because the user doesn’t feel they are being disturbed, they feel it’s just part of the game.
  • Banner ads don’t really work (as multiple people have said), so more creativity is seen right now in full screen formats of marketing.
  • Get rid of 350 x 250 banners and focus on  320 x 480 and other “mobile” friendly, larger sized banners that impact a larger part of the screen. These still have up to a 21% conversion.
  • The use of bots has decreased significantly and competition has increased exponentially across the board. Segmented targeting is becoming more prominent.
  • Anything that has ROI positive campaigns is what people are focused on, which right now seems to be happening most in androids.
  • If you’re a seller that has a low CPI (Cost per Install), be careful with expectations because you will not likely get a high amount of installs.
  • Pay per Engagement (PPX) models are now becoming more common and creating a new level of interest with publishers which are creating more success than seen in the past.
  • When it comes to retargeting, start with your homepage and understand and test it. Then work your way through your site systematically to measure the success of each page. Whatever works best after testing each systematically, run with. Then test more.
  • Target and test segmented users regularly to understand their lifetime value and true loyalty. Then segment those groups more.
  • Anyone who’s not focused on data is going in the wrong direction.
  • Twitter is staring to move into the field – social media is getting very active in mobile. Facebook announced about 50% of their profits came from mobile / app revenue. Social data is huge and entirely relevant to mobile. Social graphs in apps are useful. Use app cross promotions and “refer a friend” models for mobile app development and growth.
  • More large brands are going to spending more money on mobile and SMS such as American Idol Texting and Apps for voting to drive more sales and consumer engagements now that proven models have been made.
  • Anyone who’s focused on targeting with rewards (driving a person to a point of sale experience and offer them an incentive or reward) has tons of opportunity right now.
  • More apps are starting to deep-link into the app directly, which is becoming more common especially with big brands.
  • “Lookback” windows are generally 48 hours to 30 days. The majority of engagements happen within those windows.