Template online: Create a mobile advert
Platforms and tools There are many mobile advertising networks available, of which AdMob by Google is possibly the best known as it offers app developers the ability to analyse, monetise and promote apps.
Figure 6.4, designed by computer scientists, shows a framework for how ad networks operate to manage publishers, applications and advertisers with advertisement librar- ies. This was based on research into combating fraud in mobile ad networks, so it was important to include all steps from the publisher to the advertiser. Fraud occurs in all forms of advertising and mobile is no exception.
2. Sign up ad network
3. SDK library
4. App with library
5. Ad request
6. Ad information
8. Pay money
7. Pay money
1. Add new ad
Ad network Advertiser
Figure 6.4 How ad networks work to manage publishers, applications and advertisers with an advertisement library
Source: Cho et al., 2016, p. 3
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The acronym ‘SDK’ refers to the Software Development Kit, which is a set of tools for developing apps.
Figure 6.4 is a useful way to understand the process of implementing mobile ad campaigns as it’s not as straightforward as an advertiser contacting a purchaser to promote a mobile ad. The mediator is the ad network, which could be Apple, Google or many others, depending on the ad objectives. There are specialist networks to monetise mobile games, as well as those that provide the results in search engines (see the following Smartphone Sixty Seconds® activity to explore the different mobile ad networks).
Smartphone Sixty Seconds® – Best Mobile AD Networks • On your mobile phone go online and search for ‘best mobile ad networks 2017’. • How many networks do you find? • Click on one of these to explore what it offers marketers.
The increase in mobile ads has led to a new illegal business called mobile ad fraud, which takes place through various technical means, including:
• Impression fraud – companies selling banners and stacking many banners on top of each other (ad stacking)
• Click fraud – generating a fake transaction and the publisher is charged; this is often created by bots (see Key Term) through automatic programs.
To combat this there are many bespoke software programs that can identify fraudulent behaviour, but this takes a significant amount of management and time.
KEY TERM CLICKBOTS AND BOTS The best definition of clickbots (also shortened to bots) that I have found is from researchers Neil Daswani and Michael Stoppelman, who presented a working paper at a specialist computer conference which was the first to consider bots:
A clickbot is a software robot that clicks on ads (issues HTTP requests for advertiser web pages) to help an attacker conduct click fraud. Some clickbots can be purchased, while others are malware that spread as such and are part of larger botnets. Malware-type clickbots can receive instructions from a botmaster server as to what ads to click, and how often and when to click them. (Daswani and Stoppelman, 2007, p. 1)
Programmatic advertising Karl Weaver, CEO of Isobar, a global, full-service, digital agency, often has to explain how online advertising, digital and mobile, has changed. He has contributed most of this section around programmatic advertising.
In the past advertising was booked via a phone call between a media owner and a media agency who struck a deal over placement and cost. Digital media enables this to be done automatically and, whilst estimates vary, it is recognised that pro- grammatic dominates the digital display market, with budgets exceeding $60 billion expected by 2018.
Programmatic advertising works as webpages typically carry spaces for advertising and when you load a webpage there is lots of information gathered about you and your web behaviour (see Key Term – cookie, p. 42). This data is sent back to an ad exchange where the inventory on the site is auctioned off to the highest bidder. The ad that wins appears on the page as you load it. The auction takes milliseconds and the process is referred to as programmatic real-time bidding (RTB).
Programmatic is a delivery method, and as shown in Table 6.4 there are unsurpris- ingly benefits of and downsides to programmatic advertising. This mainly centres around the speed of the process and the control afforded by the systems. Due to difficulties with how this works, Karl Weaver commented that ‘this has contributed to some clients deciding to take their programmatic buying in-house’.
Table 6.4 Benefits and downside of programmatic advertising
Benefits of programmatic advertising Downsides to programmatic advertising
• Efficiency gains as the process is automated • No need to research where to place the ad as
happens automatically • What to pay is automatically calculated and
marketers have pricing control and can decide whether or not to enter the auction
• Wider range of places to advertise • Access to digital performance data and analysis
• Changes the nature of contracts between organisation and agency
• The type and number of people needed to deliver the work are reduced
• Data governance issues arise as less control as to where ads appear
• Could remove the need for creative people • Ad fraud
To work out what ad space to buy, advertisers will use a demand-side platform (see Key Term), which means that there is limited human intervention. The process allows ads to be targeted to groups of people accessible across a wide range of websites.
KEY TERM DEMAND-SIDE PLATFORM A demand-side platform (DSP) is automated software that bids on space available through ad exchanges, allowing the advertiser to manage the whole ad process in one place.
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There are many DSPs and the larger ones include:
• Facebook Ads Manager
• Rocket Fuel
The future of advertising is programmatic, whether it’s for mobile, digital, other chan- nels like TV, out of home or traditional print media. Karl Weaver added:
Some believe that programmatic will ‘terminate’ the creative. This turns out not to be the case, at least for now. Creatives need to adapt, like they have done before – and they are. In fact, because the message can be personalised more easily with programmatic it usually means more creative content is needed to implement a successful campaign.
Case Example 6.1 Car Companies in Difficulty with Programmatic Programmatic advertising can cause major problems and Jaguar Land Rover and Mercedes were alerted to their brand ads being shown in the same place as terrorist videos. Honda and Nissan car ads also appeared next to material relating to extremist political groups, without their knowledge.
This is a challenge with programmatic as no terrorist or extreme movement will use the labels and tags to correctly attribute the content of their work. This means that the only way that companies can ensure their brand videos are shown in the right places is to verify all locations, which is nearly impossible. There were different reactions to the findings and all companies were shocked and stated that they had not authorised the positioning. The challenge is that with 300 hours of video uploaded to popular sites like YouTube daily, this is difficult to monitor.
Jaguar Land Rover simply stopped its campaign and removed all its digital ads, whilst Mercedes asked its agency to review the situation and updated its blocklist (Dron, 2017).
Case Questions Imagine you are working for a well-known brand and your ads appear next to undesirable videos, without your knowledge. You find out when a journalist makes contact to ask why your brand is sup- porting terrorists or extremists:
• What is your reaction? • How could you explain this to the senior management team? • How could you ensure it did not happen again?
6.4 THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT – MOBILE APPS FOR BUSINESS Apps have risen in importance as we continue to download more and more apps. Each mobile phone we buy has more data storage, to cope with our love of apps. Apps can be expensive to develop and the cost depends on the purpose of the app and the functionality. The website http://howmuchtomakeanapp.com provides an indication, based on your requirements.
6.4.1 TYPES OF APPS There are three main types of apps that will be discussed here.
Native app Developed for use on a specific platform, such as iOS or Android, and to work offline. Native apps are totally compatible with the software and hardware of individual devices. They are often more expensive as you need to carry out separate coding projects for each device that needs to access the app. As an example, the PayByPhone app is available for Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows phones which means that the developers have to follow the coding guidelines for each device and submit separate apps to each store. This is why you sometimes see ‘not available for Windows phones’ as a message on some native app websites. Examples of native apps include Facebook and Shazam.