Technology and QSR Companies Are Top Investors in Mobile Performance Advertising
"Thanks to powerful attribution and return-on-ad-spend metrics now available, brands are not just comfortable, but eager, to spend at scale on mobile," says Will Kassoy, CEO of Opera Mediaworks. "We are seeing a trend of brands focusing more on attribution metrics using partners like us to complement their traditional media to drive incremental reach, engagement and actions on their mobile device."
The global ad platform's Mobile First Insights (MFI) report, which this quarter focuses on the growth of brand performance (i.e., direct response tactics for Fortune 1000 brands), found that companies in the Technology/Gadgets vertical have invested the most heavily in mobile direct response (DR) over the past year, capturing 24.3% of ad dollars spent on performance campaigns. Among those campaigns, the most successful have been for apps that offer daily utility to the user, such as those that increase photo storage or track stocks.
While Technology and QSR captured the most annual spend, Retail and E-commerce was the top category in Q2, and both Retail and Automotive have shown the most consistent growth since the third quarter of 2015.
Food Delivery and Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) was not far behind, with 23.4% of annual ad spend, and it has been the strongest vertical for the first half of 2016. These brands present a unique challenge for performance teams because they are often looking to optimize multiple KPIs at once, the company said.
"These top QSR brands are looking to do much more than drive app installs at their targeted CPI rate. They're measuring post install engagements such as registrations and coupon downloads, with an ultimate goal of driving foot traffic to their brick-and-mortar locations," said Jude O'Connor, Opera's Vice President of Brand Performance. "By tracking those post-install events, we've been able to create audience profiles of their common customers, optimize to those audience and others who match their patterns of behaviors, and play a large role in them redeeming coupons within store -- thus directly boosting the brand's sales and revenue."
Ad spend from travel brands has more than doubled from Q1 to Q2, due mostly to the summer travel season, but the company expects both Travel and Entertainment to grow tremendously, the latter as the United States heads into NFL season (fantasy sports apps) and fall television series (streaming media apps).
Other highlights from the report:
Nearly 10% increase in time spent in the Top 100 apps
The amount of time that mobile users spend in the Top 100 apps that monetize on Opera's platform is now 33.5 minutes a day, up from 30 minutes in the first quarter of 2016. Average session length also increased by 10.8% and is now 9.4 minutes.
Top performing publisher categories, impression share and revenue
· News & Information is now no.1 for impression volume; more than 1 in 4 ad impressions were served in apps with daily utility to users, such as weather apps and a mobile reader for Reddit.
· The highest engagement levels are seen on ads run in the Education and Travel categories, with performance of 1.9X and 1.7X the average platform CTR.
· Games is still the top converter, followed by Sports, but Health & Fitness and Productivity have moved into the Top 5 for the first time.
Tracking post-install events to calculate LTV
The definition of a high-quality user is different for each industry, and each brand as well. While lifetime value (LTV) models for Gaming are fairly simple, based on retention and in-app purchases, those for brands are more complicated, Opera found. However, by tracking and optimizing to as many as 22 post-install events, such as registration/logins, social sharing, wishlist-add or initiated checkout, brands can calculate LTV and focus their spend on sources that deliver results.
"Targeting, tracking and optimizing is how you win in the world of performance, and that's why having a mobile-ad SDK is so important -- so that you can feed your algorithm with accurate data signals and feedback from campaigns," said Kevin Teng, Senior Director, Performance Advertising, Opera Mediaworks. "But the people who work with that data are also important. As demand for top-tier performance advertising grows, I believe we're going to see even more User Acquisition and Performance teams with incredible talent in analyzing KPIs and navigating complicated reporting and attribution structures."
Overcoming obstacles in mobile creative
There are significant pain points that brands have when designing ads for performance campaigns, including hesitation to loosen brand guidelines and lacking the kinds of assets and storyline that will convert users. In the report, Opera's creative team presents three best practices for mobile creative specifically built for performance campaigns.
To see these best practices, and to view the report in its entirety, visit http://www.operamediaworks.com/innovation-and-insights/mobile-first-insights/2016-q2-uk.
About Opera Mediaworks
Opera Mediaworks is one of the largest mobile advertising and marketing platforms in the world, reaching an audience of 1.4 billion consumers globally. We help clients deliver innovative brand experiences that evoke emotion and deliver real outcomes fueled by data, technology and creativity. Trusted by Fortune 500 brands and more than 85% of the world's top grossing mobile publishers, we are an essential advertising and monetization platform to drive meaningful results on mobile. Known for our exclusive Instant-Play™ HD video technology, our global performance advertising business and our extensive ad SDK footprint in the Top 1000 apps worldwide, we are passionate about helping brands connect with consumers at scale on the most important screen in their lives. A fully-owned subsidiary of Opera ASA, Opera Mediaworks is a global organization with over 20 offices worldwide.