You've got your maps and navigators, your movie trailers and music players, your code scanners and stock trackers, games galore, and so much more. It's no exaggeration that the list of apps you can run on your mobile device never ends.
I mean, seriously, who uses some of these things? Randomly hunting for cool apps is crazy. You could sink a weekend into that activity. Searching on and narrowing down a specific type of app -- say, healthy eating -- to the one best fitting your needs isn't much easier with the sheer volume available.
Getting creative efforts out of a long "try me/buy me" scroll down and on to a user's home screen challenges the biggest and the littlest mobile app developers. Naturally, app developers are doing what they can to get their goods noticed. As Brian Gilbert, director of monetization at Pinger, told me in a recent interview: "There's a lot of money going to promote the discovery of mobile apps." More specifically, "There are a lot of dollars in the ad ecosystem being spent on app discovery and promotion."
Gilbert knows what he's talking about; Pinger is part of that ad ecosystem. For the last four years, it has been serving up mobile ads to users of its free device-independent and carrier-independent text-and-talk network. Users view ads in exchange for that $0 bill and independence. (See: Pinger Taps Into Mobile Ad Optimization.)
But developers aren't pouring money into the mobile app ecosystem with abandon, Gilbert said. Whether developing a standalone mobile app, a social game, or an app aimed at amplifying a brand experience, developers want to know the payoff. How much are they spending for how many installs? "That's a fairly important aspect to be able to capture from a mobile perspective."
Pinger, which uses an ad-serving optimization platform from SAS (this site's sponsor), is deep in the midst of this rising need for mobile ad insight. In our interview, Gilbert shared a variety of other examples of the types of information mobile players want out of the ad ecosystem.
For example, many mobile advertisers want to know how socially engaged users are. That means Pinger has to deliver metrics on how many people went to Facebook or Twitter, for example, after being exposed to an ad. Equally important is the ability to deliver ads based on user location and time.
You can't just deliver an ad at a country level anymore; you have to target it to the nearest Starbucks. You might not want to advertise in the middle of the night but within the next three to four hours. The ability to do advanced targeting is something everybody is looking to leverage.
And given the here-and-now nature of many mobile campaigns, Pinger has to be able to deliver much of this data in real-time -- or pretty darn close to it.
Some of the ancillary, post-click engagement activity ends up with a 24-hour delay if it involves getting metrics from third parties back in through the data piping. But campaign targeting -- like click-throughs in last hour -- gets tracked in real-time, so advertisers can take action in real-time. They can change and adjust the settings, throttle, and target on the fly.
Gilbert credits the ad-serving optimization platform with allowing Pinger to keep up with advertiser demands. "There has to be a lot of communication between what we're seeing and hearing from our ad partners and the tools we're leveraging," he said. "It's a good thing the platform we're working with is fairly nimble."
Hopefully, that nimbleness will help Pinger tick off its next wish-list items quickly. A primary one is the ability to identify users as they cross the desktop and mobile environments. "The cross-platform user ID and targeting is an interesting challenge," he said. "It's a prime time for SAS to be exploring this and tackling it for the marketplace."
Do any of your mobile devices act as ad-serving platforms? If so -- or even not -- what sorts of data might advertisers glean from your mobile activity? Share below.
Newer and faster is always fun ;-) I have been finding that I use my tablet and smartphone more than before my desktop, but still I am using them for different things most of the time.
Though at this point I think my iPad gets the most use out of all my devices, both at home and on the go.
Beth.... How can you put me in that postion? hahahahah.
If I could only keep one, I would probably go with my phone just for ease of use. and I can sync it to my TV and a bluetooth keyboard if I need a larger screen. I would not have the computing power of my desktop or the flexability of my iPad but I def think the phone is the way to go.
bulk, - now that you mention tablets, when i went out shopping for a tab i thought i had finally migrated my office to my handbag and could work from anywhere...months later, i've come to realize it is not that comfortable to work from when doing serious work...its just more of an entertainment tool. I even find my phone more useful to me work-wise.
I carry my tablet with me just about everywhere with me, I also toss a bluetooth keyboard in my bag and bring that with me as well. Though I enjoy using my tablet for a lot of work functions, I still mostly use my phone when I am in a pinch. It is really my go to device at this point.
Tablets will certainly become the primary computing devices for most people in a near future. Advertizers may find it easier to track users as they will stick to just one environment - which will likely be the mobile environment.
" i've come to realize it is not that comfortable to work from when doing serious work."
It depends on the kind of "serious" work you want to do. I think you can do good editing work with a tablet nowadays, when you really get used to it. I've learn't to do great things with my iPad - it is just a matter of training and patience.
Hospice, - have you done or seen someone do graphic design or CAD like 3D modelling on a tab and render it? i really would like to see...i haven't seen a tab with a sufficient processor for that rendering leave alone ease of use. But it would be great relief if there is.
The abundance of apps is staggering and makes me wonder if developers are getting conned in some ways to bring more and more to the market. In encouraging the invention of more and more at small cost, the "higher" in the food chain can benefit.
It will be interesting to see data for use by varioius devices to get a better idea of the usefullness or not of new apps.
Identifying users as they cross channels is critical to our analysis in the future so many companies still can't determine what type of device a user is coming from much less if the same user as a multi device user. This solution sounds like it will bring great insight to organizations.
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