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A report was published recently by app marketing company Trademob stating that 40% of all clicks on mobile ads are either fraudulent or accidental. The study analyzed six million clicks from mobile devices, suggesting that pay-per-click fraud is fairly widespread in mobile. Of the fraudulent clicks, over half of them were found to be client-side fraud or clicks from botnets, and the rest were a result of server-side fraud, where publishers tell servers to report clicks that were never actually made.
While fraudulent clicks are a nuisance, they do not have to be problematic, as there are ways to ensure that the clicks counted are legitimate clicks. First, when advertisers work on a performance basis, they pay only for successful leads or sales (such as a download, subscription, etc.), and are not charged on a per-click budget. With this model, companies and service providers are only charged when an action was taken after an ad or landing page was clicked on, making fraudulent clicks irrelevant.
Another way to keep fraudulent clicks from being an issue is to work with advertising partners who ensure that only genuine clicks are counted. When running CPC campaigns with us at Sponsormob, for example, advertisers are only charged for unique clicks (which are counted based on a 24-hour time frame). This way an advertiser is not charged for any fraudulent clicks being generated manually or by machines, ensuring that only actual clicks are counted.
Basically, in either case – in performance campaigns or with CPC campaigns, fraudulent clicks are not a huge issue. We’d be interested in hearing from others on this – what is your experience with fraudulent clicks? What other ways are there for advertisers to ensure they only pay for real clicks?
Real-Time-Bidding technology with Sponsormob makes it possible to place targeted, highly optimized advertising in ad spaces on mobile websites almost instantly. Thanks to RTB, our system can bid on ad impressions, defined by various factors (such as place, time of day, type of ad, target market) and place the ad in the corresponding space, making the most of advertising spend. And yes, this all happens in a fraction of a second.
For a detailed description of what RTB is and how it works, see our related post on Real-Time-Bidding.
You probably have heard a lot about Real-Time-Bidding (RTB) lately. It has been an important part of online advertising for some time now and has more recently become part of the mobile advertising landscape as well. Earlier this year, we added RTB technology to our platform to provide better, more highly optimized ad serving for our clients.
What exactly is RTB?
Real-Time-Bidding is technology that makes it possible to bid, purchase, and serve advertising automatically and nearly instantly. With Sponsormob, RTB technology gathers upon our data history, ensuring that ads are placed in the areas where they are most likely to be seen by the right customers. With RTB, ads are also bought on a large scale from various publishers, saving time and leading to better results for advertising spend.
How does Real-Time-Bidding work?
With Real-Time-Bidding on the publisher side, our technology is able to review, in a fraction of a second, several ads which would fit with an ad request. It then automatically bids and purchases the best ad for that space, placing the corresponding ad in that space almost immediately.
The graphic above gives an example of RTB in action. When an ad request is made, the technology behind RTB (called the ‘auction engine,’ for simplicity’s sake) reviews various ads, chooses the best one, and then purchases the space. The ad is then served in that space, resulting in highly targeted ad serving. As the graphic shows, the ads served through Real-Time-Bidding are not always the cheapest, but they are the ones that will prove to be the best-placed ads, resulting in cost-effective advertising on a performance basis.
Sponsormob is launching a new service aimed at converting simple impressions into prequalified leads for mobile advertisers. The new service, known as “Call-Back,” allows mobile advertisers using Sponsormob’s mobile ad platform to generate call-back requests from mobile consumers interested in a product or service offering.
According to Peter Glaeser, CEO of Sponsormob, what consistently eludes many mobile advertisers is the ability to convert raw impressions into qualified leads which advertisers can close with a greater degree of predictability. “Call-Back is the next step in the evolution of mobile advertising as it strives to target customers with more precise product and service offerings,” Glaeser says. “Sponsormob can now deploy campaigns for advertisers targeting precise demographics down to the phone carrier, content, mobile device, location, and more. With deeper marketing intelligence, our Call-Back service has the potential to yield much higher consumer engagement and drive even more leads for advertisers.”
Glaeser cites an example of a telecommunications company seeking to expand its customer base in a particular geographic region. “Our advertising platform can target customers based on location, even ones on a competing mobile telecommunications carrier,” he says. “Based on our marketing intelligence and new Call-Back service, mobile advertisers can create highly targeted ad campaigns to drive phone interactions where consumers prequalify themselves in advance. Conversion rates for Call-Back are averaging 10% for confirmed calls,” Glaeser adds.
Sponsormob’s Call-Back was designed to be simple and direct, allowing users to request a call-back from the mobile advertiser with an additional step in the click-flow. Glaeser notes that there is also a double opt-in to ensure data security and guarantee that leads are genuine. “Because prequalified phone interactions have higher sales conversion rates than traditional telemarketing campaigns, Call-Back will have an immediate impact on a mobile advertiser’s ability to grow its customer base. Industries that have proven to be most responsive to targeted, high-touch campaigns are in finance, entertainment, telecommunications, fitness, and information-based services, such as consulting,” Glaeser adds.
March was a busy month for us at Sponsormob – not only did we open a new office in Austin, Texas, but we also attended several events here in Germany and abroad. The end of the month had us in three places at once, and we’ll tell you a little bit about them here. Photos can be seen on our Flickr page:
So yes, those were the recent places to be for Sponsormob – at the moment, our ad:tech team is on its way back from San Francisco and we are also in Paris at Buzzness Mobile. Updates and photos from those events are still to come, so stay tuned!
In response to the change in Apple’s tracking approval requirements, Germany-based Sponsormob has adapted its system to track apps through the use of an encrypted hash of the device’s MAC (Media Access Control) address. This tracking method replaces that of tracking the device’s UDID, its “Unique Device Identifier” or serial number.
Apple recently changed the basis on which apps can be tracked in the app store. The company no longer approves new apps that are tracked with the device’s UDID to track apps. Existing apps are not affected, but new apps and apps that are updated will need an alternative method of tracking in order to be approved by Apple for listing in the app store.
Sponsormob CEO, Peter Glaeser, says, “We at Sponsormob welcome this change, as we never used unencrypted UDIDs to track apps. Within the Sponsormob network, user data is tracked anonymously, as we place an emphasis on the privacy of user information and are not interested in the specific details of each individual user.” In some cases, UDID tracking has been misused to collect and exchange user data.
Through its new technology, Sponsormob’s tracking is as secure as it was before, and the company can continue to provide highly targeted advertising on mobile to its clients.
A recent study by ABI Research reveals that mobile app revenues (from in-app advertising, pay-per-download, and subscriptions) will increase greatly over the next few years, growing from over $8 billion in 2011 to roughly $45 billion by 2016 (Mobile Commerce Daily). The research shows that in-app purchases are set to surpass revenues from pay-per-download, but apparently there is much more potential than what we are seeing right now.
Interestingly, the information in the study shows that despite the high amounts of revenues coming in from in-app purchases, the actual sales are coming from a relatively small number of subscribers, meaning that there is much more potential for reaching customers in-app than what we are currently seeing. Of course, as in-app payment models expand, and once Google allows in-app purchasing, the revenues from this form of monetization will become even greater (currently, iOS enables in-app purchasing, pay-per-download, in-app advertising and subscriptions, while Google only allows pay-per-download and in-app advertising, but not in-app purchases). So depending on how the in-app ecosystem evolves over the next months, it could be that those revenue estimates end up being even greater …
Berlin, Germany, and Santa Barbara, California (January 31, 2012). Mobile advertising solutions provider Sponsormob is now offering mobile Click-to-Call to advertisers in the United States through a strategic partnership with RingRevenue, the leading provider of call performance marketing in North America. With Sponsormob’s mobile Click-to-Call, advertising partners in the United States can now be contacted directly by potential customers via their mobile phones. Any merchant with a call center looking for inbound sales calls can benefit from mobile Click-to-Call. Phone calls are tracked in real-time with campaign-specific numbers that give detailed analytics and insight into which ads are performing and driving inbound calls.
Click-to-Call marketing is an advertising medium that makes perfect sense for mobile, yielding higher conversions through in-bound customer calls. Interested consumers who click on the call button of a mobile banner or landing page are automatically connected with an advertiser’s call center. Given the high-intent of a phone call compared to a click, and the addition of being connected to a live sales-person, calls typically convert at 30-50 percent compared to clicks at 1-3 percent. Additionally, Sponsormob’s business model is performance-based, which means advertisers only pay for the calls that meet their criteria, maximizing their advertising spend and seeing a greater return on investment.
“Sponsormob is a company who understands mobile and performance-based advertising. With Forrester Research projecting a 38 percent compound annual growth rate in mobile over the next 5 years, it is clear that advertisers are going to spend a lot of their budgets trying to monetize this channel,” said Jason Spievak, CEO of RingRevenue. “Placing a call is one of the most intuitive actions a consumer can take on their mobile phone, and calls are proving to be a very effective way to monetize mobile advertising, especially in service-based verticals.” Industries currently seeing the most success with mobile Click-to-Call are typically service-related, including banking and financial services, legal services, insurance, and education.
While Sponsormob is based in Berlin, Germany, the US mobile advertising market is growing exponentially and represents a massive opportunity for advertisers. The company is excited to offer mobile Click-to-Call to current and new advertisers in the US. RingRevenue’s experience and leadership in performance-based call advertising makes them the ideal partner for Sponsormob in their launch of mobile Click-to-Call. Regarding the partnership and Click-to-Call offerings, Jet Patel, COO of Sponsormob, says, “We are happy to have found a great partner in RingRevenue and look forward to offering Click-to-Call to our partners in the US market. Mobile is a fast-moving space, and we strive to offer our advertisers the best opportunities for connecting with users on mobile, of which Click-to-Call is one with great potential.”
Both Sponsormob and RingRevenue will be participating in this year’s LeadsCon, one of the most successful events for online lead generation, taking place in Las Vegas, February 28-29. Representatives from both companies will be attending the conference and exhibition discussing mobile Click-to-Call and call-based advertising. Sponsormob will also be exhibiting at Table Top # T-17 in the exhibition hall.
As 2011 is coming to a close, we are looking forward to the holidays but also have an eye on the future. The upcoming year will bring some big changes from us, as we are adding features to our network to make mobile advertising simpler and more effective. Although we can’t share all the details now, we can say that Sponsormob will be making advertising on the mobile web more accessible for companies wanting to reach a broader audience (more info on this to come in January 2012 …).
In addition to making plans for 2012, we have also been expanding our company. We are actually still hiring, looking for candidates to join our Berlin office. We even made a short video about it. Details on our open positions can be found on our jobs pages (English and German). If you are looking for a job in mobile advertising, please check us out. And don’t forget to keep an eye on this space for more from us in January!
In case anyone needs further evidence of the growing impact and use of mobile advertising, the travel industry is ramping up its involvement in mobile. MobileMarketingWatch reported today that hotels are beginning to dramatically increase their mobile ad spend. A recent poll shows that half of hotels will be putting marketing funds toward mobile advertising in 2012. Given the growing numbers of smartphone users worldwide, it makes sense to spend money where the people seem to be.
Beyond marketing spend on mobile, various sites and apps are making it easier to consumers to make travel plans and bookings from their mobile devices. Hotels.com has just launched an app that makes booking accomodation faster and simpler for those traveling. The app is free, and also offers customers daily deals as well as last minute bookings, making it easy for consumers to see the latest travel specials (Mobile Commerce Daily). Another app, this one for Android, is Google’s OnTheFly, which enables flight comparison and shopping. The app has recently been updated and now offers flexible date search, letting travelers check out flights within a 35-day time frame. Search history can also be saved for later viewing, making it easy to go back to flights you may want to see again.
These advancements in mobile travel offerings makes it easy for those in the industry to gain new customers via the mobile web, and consumers are given tools to research and book travel on-the-go. This win-win situation is one of the many things we like about mobile!