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3 App Marketing Trends That Will Shape 2018

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This piece was originally published in MarTech Series. 

By Bobby McFarland, President of CrossInstall

If anything, 2017’s theme for app marketers was change. The machine learning takeover began, practically anything and everything became trackable, and on-demand turned into the new norm. It’s crucial for advertisers that want to nail their 2018 marketing plan to reflect on the implications of this whole new world. Increased tools and capabilities mean advertisers can achieve more return on investment with less manual work.

What every advertiser wants to know is -- how?

Advertisers who can answer the following questions will be poised to launch a 2018 plan for success.

Am I excluding groups that could be revenue-drivers?

Within the past few years, targeting capabilities have become more advanced than ever. That being said, marketers’ 2018 motto should be one of inclusion. In the past year, it was interesting to witness certain companies’ hesitancy to expand globally. Marketers should evaluate the markets they may be missing out on that are emerging quickly. Nowadays, places like Latin America that were once considered less technologically developed are actually prime targets to help marketers achieve their goals.

With the precision of targeting, marketers can easily pick and choose individuals who will engage with their messages -- from the U.S. or anywhere else. Whereas before they would have excluded these countries completely, increased targeting accuracy makes other countries worth exploring for marketers looking to succeed in 2018. Marketers can find users in the right environment by knowing which apps they use, what countries they are in, and whether they are connected to Wi-Fi. A learning for many companies from 2017 is that they should be selecting their users from an expanded pool of countries and individuals. Tools have become more advanced than ever before, and smart marketers will take advantage of this rapid progression.

How can I ensure transparency and accuracy?

In 2018, advertisers should be asking questions of both themselves and their vendors to ensure transparency. “The ad industry prides itself on creating and using the most up-and-coming technology, and advertisers won’t stand for an outdated practice to defend against fraud,” said Jeff Marshall CrossInstall’s CEO. “Ensuring transparency falls to not just vendors or advertisers, but all of us. Advertisers who realize this is a collective effort and understand their part will help the industry move forward much more quickly toward accurate, user-first targeting sans fraud.”

Advertisers should ask themselves and their vendors, “How can I optimize my processes for accuracy and transparency, and what are you doing to help me?” In 2018, users will demand more from advertisers, and with the advancement of tools, advertisers can proactively put fraud deterrents in place to ensure they are serving their users to the best of their ability. When it comes to advertisers’ bottom lines, false positives waste time and money. With more real-time data, advertisers have greater insight into how they spend their dollars throughout the ad process -- this means traffic buying predictions and accuracy of interactions. With vendors offering new levels of visibility and involvement, these partners are making it easier for advertisers to hold their futures in their hands. Ultimately, good vendors are those that want to help make ads that work for users. And advertisers who make the necessary demands and ask questions ensure that what they are buying is legitimate.

How can I make my ad fun?

In this whole new world, complexity will push people away in a world where advertisers must catch a user’s attention in a few seconds. Based on data pulled by CrossInstall for 20 countries, 17 of the 20 countries played Casual games more than any other type. Casual games include those like Flappy Dunk, Snack Vs. Block and Dune! -- all of which include minimal instructions and are easy to pick up. It seems there is an affinity for games where nimble fingers do most of the work. Being fun -- and sometimes even funny -- works.

Marketers need to cut through the noise with something memorable, quickly. This coming year, user experience will be critical. This is why traditional ad formats will no longer be enough in a consumer-driven world where people demand more from advertisers. Static ads no longer fit the form or function of the page -- which means they don’t fit with the way consumers take in information. Interstitial ads no longer appropriately respond to user needs. With the rise and advancement of native, video, and interactive, marketers have advanced capabilities for creation and tracking of how their messages resonate.

How can I become a leader in the upcoming year?

In 2018, consumers will expect technology that is better, faster, and more transparent. In turn, advertisers must expand their horizons. Those that institute a global, user-first and engaging strategy will rise to the top. Advertisers have the opportunity to lead the way like never before. The world changes quickly, and those who anticipate the evolution will pave the way to a world where martech and advertisers interact with consumers in new ways.  

Join the conversation on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook. Do you agree or disagree with these trends?