How brands can leverage mobile apps to drive additional revenue

With consumers spending an increasingly large amount of time on their mobiles during the pandemic, this has shone a spotlight on emerging partnership opportunities like mobile apps. Savvy marketers are wising up to the potential of in-app monetisation and mobile advertising will take centre stage in the new year as the lucrative channel continues to drive additional revenue for brands. Tom Dowdeswell, Solutions Architect at Impact, shares his insights on how brands can get much more value from their mobile apps and how advertisers can effectively leverage emerging channels like mobile apps across a growing spectrum of partnership types.

Mobile Marketing: What are the trends you’ve seen in mobile app usage and advertising this past year?

Tom Dowdeswell: As a result of the pandemic, we’ve seen more and more brands shift their advertising spend to mobile as device usage rocketed. This opened up exciting opportunities for mobile monetisation, especially in-app. Indeed, the second quarter of 2020 became the largest yet for mobile app downloads, usage and consumer spending. According to new data from app store intelligence firm App Annie, mobile app usage hit an all-time high of over 200bn hours in April. Consumer spending in apps, meanwhile, reached a record $27bn in the second quarter. New app downloads peaked at nearly 35 billion, as consumers sought alternative ways to keep occupied during the lockdown. These trends naturally had a huge impact on brands and according to figures from PubMatic, mobile ad spend jumped by 70 per cent, despite the pandemic. Indeed, while marketing budgets were being slashed, performance-based marketing was thrust front and centre. The increased consumption led to spending on mobile header bidding rising by 20 per cent and in-app was the main driving force behind this increase.

MM: How can brands realise the lucrative potential of in-app monetisation?

TD: Savvy marketers should embrace in-app partnerships as an advertising channel that can drive additional revenue streams alongside more traditional partnerships. Brands who havent effectively monetised their apps could be missing out on potential sales if the app is poorly designed or is only there to provide information. Brands must identify the key objectives of their app, whether it’s customer acquisition for newer startups or increased conversions in-app for businesses with more mature affiliate programmes. We’ve seen that advertisers who have established partnership programmes and embraced the importance of in-app perform better than competitors. Either way, with Impact’s Partnership Cloud, brands of all sizes can unlock the power of mobile partnerships to drive in-app conversions and grow sales.

MM: Describe some of the benefits of Impact’s complete mobile solution for advertisers.

TD: Brands can drive partner traffic into their apps and connect with new, mobile-first partners. Unlike other solutions, Impact’s technology doesn’t require intensive partner integrations, so they needn’t change a thing to start driving traffic into a brand’s app. Brands can also expect to see greater revenue from their existing partners, as they begin driving their mobile traffic into the brand’s app, where conversion rates are 3x higher on average than on mobile web. This is largely due to apps being user-friendly and providing a more seamless experience compared to mobile sites. Additionally, brands can stop relying on CPI to fuel their mobile growth. With Impact, they can focus on true value by paying partners for post-install conversion events like sales, bookings, or new subscriptions.

MM: How does Impact’s technology help brands drive higher in-app conversions?

TD: With our innovative deep-linking technology, TrueLink, brands can use a single link to send users to the right place in the app, mobile website or app store for improved user experience and increased conversion rates.

MM: What are some of your mobile app partnership predictions?

TD: In-app will continue to take more of a centre stage and there will be an increased demand to tie conversion events together across multiple devices as a norm in 2021. Typically, many of the vendors in the market provide web journeys and mobile journeys in silos, so expect the tying together of these events becoming more prevalent in 2021. I predict brands will integrate their web and mobile partnerships in the new year, particularly since in-app has high conversion rates. Verticals like fintech, who often are mobile-focused, will continue driving in-app conversions, and I suspect they will make the shift towards linking technology and in-app attribution to establish successful affiliate programmes. Other verticals who are less mobile-focused will soon wake up to the opportunities that lie with driving conversion rates in-app.