Anton Ruin is the CEO of Epom Mobile Market a mobile advertising exchange that connects both supply and demand-side partners across an international network of inventory.
1) First of all, what’s the latest news from Epom Market and how is 2014 going for you?
I am happy to admit that Epom has been continuously growing and extending its functionality within the past years. As for this year, the amount of traffic at Epom has increased up to 120B+ monthly impressions, we have partnered with new reputable companies, and introduced a range of advantageous features for our clients. Our representatives have already taken part in various ad-tech conferences, e.g. Ad:tech SF, 2014, and will be exhibiting our services at the upcoming DMEXCO 2014 and Ad:tech NY, 2014 events. Epom Market’s client base has also significantly increased as of late, especially since we became a Certified Google AdX Seller. Now, the network is working with top-quality advertisers and publishers in over 40 verticals worldwide, and our predictions for 2015 are very optimistic. Undoubtedly, we are looking forward to presenting even more features for Epom clients this year, as well as developing our services further within the next years.
2) Why do you think mobile engagement is a such a big issue for the industry right now?
From my point of view there are three potential hurdles regarding mobile engagement: incorrect ad display on different device models, lack of precision in targeting, and lack of clarity in terms of ad performance measurement. Fortunately, the global market has already managed to resolve some of these issues. In particular, at Epom we have put our effort in the modification of available non-standard mobile ad formats and the expansion of mobile-specific targeting options. Namely, we have recently added mobile browser and OS version targeting and extended the range of custom targeting opportunities for our clients. As for ad performance analysis, we have recently introduced the cutting-edge Transaction Tracking and Piggyback Tracking options, which allow clients to keep ad campaign results under control and further optimize them for maximum ROI.
3) What are the key factors that influence mobile engagement?
Clearly, the core factors affecting mobile engagement include a company’s initial ability to determine its target audience on mobile, further segmentation of target customers, and precise understanding of what ad messages should appeal to their interests and preferences.
While it is generally easier to engage mobile customers with catchy, thought provoking, entertaining, and easily shareable advertising messages or content, it is still crucial to figure out the particularities of different market segments. For example, if a company wishes to sell rather expensive accessories for Apple gadgets in NYC, but has limited shipping offers, it would be useful to target iOS users living in NYC and its suburbs by using Epom mobile geotargeting and mobile OS targeting options simultaneously. Additionally, it is insufficient to focus merely on the initial audience engagement levels without developing customer retention strategies.
4) Are there any interesting data points you’ve seen across your network in terms of mobile engagement?
According to the Epom Data Center research results, in addition to the continuous growing popularity of video ads on mobile, we have also seen a substantial increase of mobile ad spending among our clients in various verticals. The shares of ads run on mobile web and within applications are increasing at similar rates, and Epom clients in the app segment currently apply either SDKs for iOS and Android and APIs. We have also discovered that the number of launched e-mail ad campaigns on mobile among advertisers has been gradually growing since January 2014 (by approximately 18%).
5) Mobile and App Retargeting has become hot areas of the market right now, is that something Epom is also focusing on?
Obviously, the role of precise retargeting in digital marketing has been increasing within the past couple of years; hence, our experienced team of developers is now working in this direction to upgrade available functionality for Epom clients.
6) What should publishers and developers be doing to improve engagement?
Undoubtedly, the short to-do list for publishers aiming to improve their customer engagement should include:
- Precise specification and segmentation of target audience segments and their particular characteristics.
- Development of content marketing strategies for versatile media channels.
- Improvement of the ad shareability aspect.
- Tracking and conducting precise analysis of audience responsiveness to ad messages.
- Ongoing optimization of ads.
As for developers, they should definitely focus on:
- Increasing the site load speed
- Making the site’s design more responsive
- Improving the site’s usability (including search, navigation, etc.)
7) What role does advertising play in building engagement and what is your advice for managing this successfully?
It is obvious that advertising is one of the most effective methods to increase audience engagement. As long as a company succeeds in launching creative, highly targeted, and well-optimized ad campaigns that appeal to their customers’ interests and display well on any device, it is possible to substantially increase the level of viewers’ responsiveness. However, running digital ads will never become a remedy unless a company creates a complex marketing and advertising strategy beforehand. Thus, this is what one should start with. Hopefully, my advice turns out useful for both publishers and developers and helps them maximize mobile audience engagement rates easier.
Thanks to Anton for the incredibly interesting insights and reflections on mobile engagement and the mobile market in general. You can find out more about Epom Mobile Market here.