Mobile ad networks: Cant live with em, cant live without em (a survival guide)

Mobile ad networks have been a singular large reason mobile stays a singular of a hardest facets of digital selling to master. We cant scale without them given most mobile media is purchased through them, though they have been a huge source of headaches, given they tend to be black boxes.Mention networks to a great share of mobile marketers, as good as youll get a glare; all as well often, it feels like a network/client relationship is heavily skewed towards lining a vendors pockets, not we do whats best for a client.That said, theres a tradeoff there; networks have to be great during working inside of a clients goals so a customer keeps spending money.An aside: Using network as a sweeping tenure could parasite off most of a providers under which blanket, so good go with a following: Networks have been companies which make use of basic technology to aggregate media buying, as good as third-party media vendors cover related companies like SSPs, DSPs as good as any company which buys media.Clear as mud, right? Well, lets mangle this down further. In this post, good outline a categorical sorts of third-party media vendors (with pros as good as cons for each); afterwards good define a singular greatest unwashed tactic which marketers competence encounter with these vendors; as good as good tighten with a little recommendation upon insuring yourself opposite which tactic.Breakdown of network (OK, third-party media vendor) typesSSPsSSP stands for supply-side platform; these vendors manage media monetization via SDK (software development kit) or API (application programming interface ) connectivity to a media sources. Their categorical seductiveness is maximum media monetization; they will run your campaigns as prolonged as they have been assembly a medias eCPM target as good as will pause as soon as someone bids aloft upon their media.Pros:Direct access to media.Cons:They dont have your best seductiveness in mind; they work for a supply, not a demand.Bids as good as rate card:Your debate should perform inside of a SSPs eCPM target.Transparency:Most SSPs have been entirely transparent, as good as we can see just who we have been shopping from. MoPub is by far a most modernized exchange.DSPsDSPs (demand-side platforms) have a capability to bid upon real-time behest exchanges. They have developed a behest complement as good as integrated it into a RTB (real-time bidding) exchanges (MoPub, Rubicon, Smaato as good as others). Most of them have developed an optimization algorithm which allows them to make educated decisions when it comes to a peculiarity of a trade they have been behest on.Pros:Quality media.Cons:Media is usually expensive. DSPs dont have any unique access to media sources. All DSPs have been behest upon a same sources; they talk about usually by a peculiarity of their behest algorithm.Bids as good as rates:The DSPs should make use of your CPI target to buy traffic. Its their job to get behind to we with feedback, as good as we can discuss bid changes. NEVER ask them for their rate card. They have been behest systems they will bid with whatever we provide them as good as should recommend a aloft or reduce bid based upon current media availability.Transparency:Depends a small upon a sell they have been connected to. (You can ask to buy from pure sources only.)Media aggregators (also infrequently known as networks)Media aggregators (Millennial Media, Google, Opera, ironSource, InMobi) concede we to buy from alternative small networks or without delay from publishers.Pros:Scaling as good as optimization abilities we can set up scale quickly as good as ask them to work inside of your CPI as good as CPA targets.Cons:Remember which black box we mentioned? Here it is. You will rarely know where a networks have been shopping from, either they have been drumming into a same sources we have been already shopping from, as good as either your code is protected with them (i.e., either a racking up a little unpalatable placements). The peculiarity of a trade can be very inconsistent.Bids as good as rates:Again, never ask a network for their rate card; they dont have one. Let them know your target CPI as good as CPA, as good as ask them to work inside of your targets.Transparency:A huge hurdle. Some of a networks have no idea who they have been shopping from, given a offer is re-brokered (more upon which below). You can ask to buy from pure sources usually as good as pass a finish name upon a link though know which this will expected diminution scale dramatically.Self-serve systemsThese systems (StartApp is a best-known) concede we to set your own campaigns, set up your bids as good as carry out your spend.Pros:You take control.Cons:You take carry out if we dont set up a debate right or experiment as good as take risks, we will never get a most out of a system. In a meantime, a risk stays upon your end.Bids as good as rates:Your call.Transparency:These have been mostly transparent.Rewarded mediaOn these platforms (Tapjoy, Chartboost, Vungle, AppLift), users have been rewarded for downloading or using a app.Pros:Best scaling abilities in a market.Cons:User peculiarity can be poor. Our recommendation: Stay away from shopping rewarded trade unless a rewarded video. If a user is rewarded for examination a video though is not incentivized to download a app, we have been some-more expected to see peculiarity users.Bids as good as rates:Usually very low weve found it to be around one-third of non-rewarded media.Transparency:Not an issue; these usually run upon offer walls.The unwashed small tactic: re-brokerageRe-brokerage is a industrys greatest fear. As mentioned, when working with networks, we can never know where your beautiful is essentially being presented. This intimidates advertisers for 3 important reasons: Brand integrity: Zynga doesnt wish a banners upon porn sites; Citibank cant have a banners shown upon sweepstakes pages. Im guessing those scenarios make we tremble as well. Rate fight: Eventually, most networks finish up shopping from a same sources given networks all buy inventory from a singular another, from exchanges, in isolation marketplaces, web as good as in-app, local as good as IAB as good as so on. This means which while we may buy with 3 networks, for e.g. (tip of a iceberg), a singular or all of those networks have been often shopping trade as good as inventory for your debate from multiple, maybe unknown, alternative networks, aggregators as good as third parties (beneath a iceberg).Now, a media can ask a networks for aloft rates, as good as a networks, which wish to hang to clients budgets, cut down their margins as good as enlarge a rate. The advertisers get held in a vicious cycle in which they keep paying some-more for a same traffic. Low quality: With any network a debate is being re-brokered to, a bid is carved up; in a little cases, 3 or 4 networks have been removing a share before a media essentially presents a ad.As a result, a advertiser pays a $4 CPI though essentially receives $1.5 in media value, with a rest starting to a brokers.Steps to prevent re-brokerageStart during a beginning: Sign partners to a non-re-brokering agreement as good as make it. But dont assume thatll take care of a issue. (Unfortunately, Ive seen agreements breached all as well often.)You additionally should make a robe of incidentally checking referrals a click ID links sent by a media. In most cases, these links have a sub_aff name, as good as thats a flashing red re-brokerage light.Ask for screen shots of your ad; this forces a networks to account for your placements. Its easy to censor behind non-transparent media. Its not easy to do which when a advertiser demands visible transparency as good as acknowledgment which a ads have been using where as good as how they should. Most importantly, your code as good as a enforcement of code guidelines, demeanour as good as feel as good as so on, stop with you.Finally, all a time remind a networks of their guilt should they get held re-brokering.If this post has amply swayed we not to work with any of these parties, Ive done a bad job. You should definitely test these partners; a how we set up mobile scale as good as performance. But go in with your eyes wide open (and consider employing an agency if we dont have time for contrast as good as policing).Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author as good as not indispensably Marketing Land. Staff authors have been listed here.

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