Buyers embracing in-app programmatic due to engagement and targeting – report

Person mobile smartphoneMedia buyers are allocating almost 50 per cent of their digital advertising budgets to mobile, splitting their spend evenly between web and app, despite concerns particularly around in-app advertising.

According to a study of 336 media professionals and four interviews, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of PubMatic, 45 per cent of digital advertising budgets now go toward mobile. Within this, buyers are choosing programmatic buys, via both programmatic direct and open exchange, over direct buys for in-app inventory.

In-app investment is being driven by the better customer engagement and targeting capabilities the environment offers – with around 75 per cent of marketers buying programmatically because of these benefits. 56 per cent of respondents say they experience better audience targeting with in-app ads, while 54 per cent claim to receive more customer engagement.

Despite the growing in-app investment and the positives that go along with it, there are still challenges facing the format. The number one concern for brand advertisers is in-app fraud, with 52 per cent of respondents highlighting the issue. Meanwhile, viewability measurement tops the list of concerns for agencies – 48 per cent well-aware of the challenge.

Media buyers are calling on publishers and technology providers to address the aforementioned areas of concern by offering fraud verification (over 50 per cent) and viewability verification (47 per cent). Moreover, 73 per cent of respondents say that targeting is important when choosing an in-app publishers. This is followed by inventory quality (58 per cent) and brand safe environment (56 per cent).

“As buyers increasingly embrace programmatic in-app opportunities, transparency and quality are critically important,” said Paulina Klimenko, SVP of corporate development & GM of mobile at PubMatic. “Brands are leveraging their buying power to make smarter investments in programmatic, and it is imperative that publishers and ad tech providers alike understand buyers’ needs and challenges with regard to in-app environments. By focusing and innovating around data capabilities and inventory quality, supply providers can capitalise on the growing opportunities available in-app.”