Mobile Ad Network Launch Checklist

Ryan Gray is the current Founder & CEO of RevMax Marketing, Inc. Working online since 1998, Ryan has developed seven different successful Internet Start-ups and is considered an expert in mobile media buying. Ryan is also the co-founder behind the iMobiTrax tracking platform and previously the IMGrind Discussion Forum and Revived Media User Acquisition Network.

We’re all about finding that “secret source.” However, we have to systematically think this out so we make full use of every traffic source out there.

Regardless if a traffic source works for a particular campaign or not, I like to make sure I come out with at least some knowledge so I’m constantly learning how the industry is evolving.

Here are some questions that you want to know the answers before running campaigns. While the majority of this information should be found on their website and social media profiles (LinkedIn), feel free to dig a bit deeper and ask their reps before you get started.

Launch Checklist



General Traffic Information:

  • How do you determine Carrier traffic?
  • Do you use 3rd Party Database providers to determine Carriers? Who?
  • How do you determine device detection?
  • Do you use your own proprietary database of ip’s?
  • How often is your databases updated? Per country?
  • Do you use 3rd Party Device Detection/Identification? If so, Who?
  • How do you determine traffic quality type? Premium Versus Remnant?
  • How do you separate WIFI versus Carrier/Operator traffic?
  • What’s the policy on delivering traffic outside of what I target per campaign?
  • What is your policy on click fraud?
  • Do you separate app traffic versus mobile web (WAP) traffic?
  • Are all the websites you serve mobile ads on mobile optimized?
  • How do you determine publisher mobile website quality? Have a policy?
  • What Campaign Optimization Features Do You Have?
  • Can I exclude non-performing apps? Websites? Channels? Categories?
  • Do you offer campaign scheduling? Certain Days/Hours?
  • Do you offer frequency capping?
  • Do you offer Day/Week Parting?
  • Can I pause my ads if they are not performing? (Pause on your own, not with an Ad Representative having to do this for you) If the Ad Network has to pause them for you or optimize bad placements, ask the ad network if they can provide more than 1 Rep who will cover entire 24 hours.

Your Tracking Capability:

You should then inform your traffic source about some of your capabilities to they know you’re not just blowing smoke, but actually able to fully utilize their platform:

I am using the Proprietary Mobile Tracker “iMobiTrax.” I have the ability to automatically track all incoming mobile traffic clicks by:

  • Subids
  • Timestamps
  • Date/Time
  • IP Address
  • Referrers
  • User-Agents

I have the ability to automatically track all incoming clicks from mobile devices by:

  • Manufacturers
  • Device Name
  • Device Model
  • Manufacturer Specific: Name/Model Combination
  • Device: Marketing Name
  • Device Type: EG: Smartphones, iOS, Android, Tablets, Feature Phones, etc…

I have the ability to automatically track all incoming clicks from:

  • Carriers
  • ISP
  • Country Code
  • Country Name

Alternatively I have the ability to track with your ad network provided tracking:

  • Parameters
  • Tokens
  • Macros

Targeting Options:

What are your click tokens? Macros? Parameters?

What Type Of Targeting Do You Offer?

  • Geographic Targeting? Country? Region? City? Zip?
  • Channel Targeting? Category Targeting? Specific Content Channels?
  • Demographic Targeting? Examples:
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Education Level
  • Family Size
  • Lifestyle
  • Income Levels
  • Relationship
  • LanguageWhat is your traffic breakdown (Total Reach) per unique individual per country? Non-duplicated audience?
  • What is your Wifi traffic breakdown per country?
  • What is your operator/carrier traffic breakdown per country?
  • What is your iOS traffic breakdown by country?
  • What is your Android traffic breakdown by country?
  • What is your smartphone traffic breakdown by country?
  • What is your feature phone (aka basic phone) traffic breakdown by country?
  • What is your iPad traffic breakdown per country?
  • What is your total tablet traffic breakdown per country?
  • What is your in-app advertising breakdown per country?
  • What is your mobile web (WAP) traffic breakdown per country?
  • Who are some of your top publishers per country?

Cost And Financial Obligations:

  • What are your minimum bids per country?
  • What are your total ads served per country?
  • What are your recommended bids per country?
  • How many daily impressions per country do you have available daily?
  • Was is a competitive CPC (cost per click) in each country?
  • What is a competitive CTR (click through rate) in each country?
  • What is a competitive daily budget? Weekly? Monthly?
  • Do you have a refund policy? (For un-targeted, bad traffic)
  • What is your initial deposit?
  • What funding sources do you accept?
  • Do you accept pre-pay, pay as I go, or post-payments?

Competitive Awareness:

  • Why should we consider working with your mobile ad network?
  • How do you differentiate yourself from all the other mobile ad networks out there?
  • Is your inventory acquired directly through publishers?
  • Via third parties? A combination of both?
  • Are there costs above and beyond the media itself (e.g., serving fees)?
  • How can you ensure transparency?
  • How will you best optimize my mobile ad spending?

Now sure, not all traffic sources are going to have all of these answers. But you should be able to know as MUCH as possible so you’re not just going in blindly spending your hard earned cash. Some of these questions maybe asked during certain phases of your campaign creation. For example, I want to know as much about my cost and financial obligations before I make my opening deposit. 

Unfortunately there are some bad apples out there who have setup “ad networks” that aren’t really ad networks at all. If they stumble and fumble during your “intro interview” you’ll probably want to move on down the list and find another source. 

Feel free to add your experiences @RyanLeeGray on Twitter!