• Advertising

Why Savvy Marketers Advertise in Mobile Apps

Matt Kaplan
Matt Kaplan
Content Strategist
5 min read
Posted on January 10, 2019
Why Savvy Marketers Advertise in Mobile Apps

The very best marketers - the ones that always hit their goals and move the business forward - advertise in mobile apps.

That’s why the in-app advertising market is red hot right now. Mobile ad spending and ad revenues will likely reach record highs in 2019, predicts eMarketer.


What’s so special about in-app mobile advertising? Why are the best of the best running in-app ad campaigns with greater frequency?

Here’s why:

1) Your Target Audience Uses Mobile Apps a Lot

In 2019, the average smartphone owner in the U.S. will spend over two hours every day using apps - 134 minutes to be precise in 2019, according to eMarketer. And by 2020, that’s expected to jump up even higher.

In comparison, the typical smartphone user will spend just 13 minutes using a mobile web browser in 2019, and a paltry 12 minutes in 2020.

With mobile devices likely overtaking television sets as the most popular screen in the house this year, this shows just how ascendant apps have become.

And what kinds of apps are people using? There are a few top apps used the world over, but people are utilizing a lot more apps every day than you might think. In the U.S., the typical smartphone owner leverages more than 10 apps a day and around 30 in an average month.

This may all be the tip of the proverbial iceberg too. As the number of cord-cutters and cord-nevers rises and as apps become more critical to media, expect app usage to rise even further. In short, if you’re not advertising through apps and in-app advertising platforms, then you’re probably not reaching your target audience at all.

2) In-App Advertising is More Effective than Desktop or Mobile Web

Not only are apps more commonly used than browsers, including mobile web, but they also are increasingly advantageous. In comparison to mobile web advertising, in-app advertising provides a number of key, uniquely valuable benefits:

  • The ability to target and locate end users more accurately with mobile device IDs instead of cookies.
  • Ads provide a total share of voice, as ad blockers don’t exist in apps and apps only show one ad at a time typically.
  • It’s easier to leverage high-impact ad creatives like playable ads and videos with end cards.
  • Within app environments, it’s possible to target audiences with a high degree of precision thanks to deterministic data signals like lat/long.

3) Lots of Ad Formats at Your Disposal Beyond Display Ads and Banner Ads

Traditional ad formats like display ads and banners definitely have their place. After all, they’re easy to insert and are not disruptive. But, within in-app environments, there are a lot more possibilities.

Consider these examples:

This ad for the movie “Black Panther” is a great example of what’s possible within mobile app environments, especially in regard to video. It takes up the entire screen, so there’s no way it can be ignored. It’s interactive, allowing someone to scroll through the major characters and learn about them. And, it has a clear call to action; by clicking the blue button at the bottom, someone can easily peruse movie showtimes and make a purchase - all in an app-native environment.

Interested in learning more about mobile video advertising? Be sure to download our report on The Present and Future of Mobile Video Advertising today!


This ad campaign for Samsung uses information from the phone itself to determine which specific creatives to show. Through precise targeting and customized ads, Samsung was able to increase new device sales. This level of targeting and personalization is incredibly difficult to achieve outside of in-app environments.

One of the top benefits of in-app advertising is that it can be both totally immersive and interactive. This ad campaign, also for Samsung, provides yet another example of the kind of high-impact creative that can only be found from mobile advertising.

These are far from the only creative options too. Native ads, experiential playable ads, interactive rich media ads, dynamic carousel ads, high impact interstitials and a whole lot more are in a mobile marketer’s creative arsenal when they go down the in-app route.

4) Mobile Ad Networks Provide Real-Time Insights

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” - Ferris Bueller

While this quote is, of course, from the 1986 cinema classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it’s just as apt for marketing and advertising today. If you don’t know what’s going on in real time, then you lack crucial insights that can make or break a campaign.

Too often, marketers rely on historical data when running and optimizing ad campaigns. But just because something worked well yesterday doesn’t mean it will work just as well today.

Good mobile ad networks and in-app advertising partners collect and pass along data in real time. That way, marketers know exactly what’s happening in the moment, allowing them to make smarter decisions now so that they can see continued success.

5) In-App Campaigns are the Best Ways to Attract and Retain Mobile Users at Scale

Increasingly, many businesses are shifting to becoming app businesses. For instance, many banks allow customers to check on funds, deposit checks and send money all through a mobile app. Quick service restaurants are getting in on the app game too, enabling hungry consumers to order food through the click of a button on an app. Even the automobile industry is getting in on the app action.

But how do these companies, especially those with little to no previous app marketing experience, prevent attrition and bring back lost users? By far the best way to achieve these goals is through an in-app campaign. By using all that in-app advertising has to offer, app-first businesses can be sure they are effectively targeting, retargeting and communicating with their core app users. This kind of route helped social network and gaming app IMVU increase revenue by 279 percent.

6) Has Your App Developed an Audience Yet? Mobile Advertising is Critical for UA

But what happens when your app doesn’t have any users to begin with? What can apps do to acquire users beyond paying to appear in the search results within the app stores?

Yet again, mobile in-app advertising is here to the rescue. These kinds of campaigns can be a great tool for user acquisition (UA). In fact, InMobi UA campaigns are responsible for around 450,000 app installs every day across a wide variety of industry verticals.

No matter their goals, savvy marketers the world over are turning to in-app advertising. In 2019, mobile app campaigns are further emerging as the best way to reach, acquire and retain prospects and customers.

About The Author:

Matthew Kaplan has over a decade of digital marketing experience, working to support the content goals of the world’s biggest B2B and B2C brands. He is a passionate app user and evangelist, working to support diverse marketing campaigns across devices.

Additional posts by Matthew:

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