The media manager’s role is in a state of flux due to the growing prevalence of mobile, video and social advertising as a part of day-to-day responsibilities.

Today, a vast majority of Millennial consumers receive news, content and advertising from their mobile devices as they view videos, browse Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, and check their other apps.

It’s essential to actively be advertising with mobile app ads to continue to reach your audience at scale, but with the right, targeted approach based on your company’s unique goals, especially since it’s still a newer ad format.

According to eMarketer, ads in mobile apps deliver far fewer clicks than mobile ads in browsers. Why? Because the users aren’t interested in the offering, the ad wasn’t relevant to them, they didn’t look at the ad, or they understood the point of the ad without clicking.

When crafting your mobile media plan for the next quarter, keep these reasons in mind to build a stronger strategy for your company. Many waste their time with advertising in mobile apps because they aren’t aware of how to properly approach the medium at scale.

The purpose of this article is to help empower your decision-making process to be a better media manager who drives results for your organization.

Here are some key considerations to be mindful of before, during and after the execution of your mobile app’s advertising strategy:

A One-Size Fits All Approach Will Not Work.

In many cases, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when trying to scale your mobile app ads across different apps, platforms and devices.

This technique might have worked in the past when scaling display advertising, but each app, publisher and platform has its own specific audience and goals to keep into account today.

Using programmatic buying can help to get your mobile app ads to the right audience at scale, but again, it’s critical that there is actual oversight on the part of the media manager to ensure this is executed properly, inline with goals of each initiative.

As the eMarketer study referenced, lack of relevance is one of the main reasons users don’t engage mobile app ads.

No automation will be ever be perfect without human oversight, which is critical to keep in mind when trying to scale your campaign and make your ads relevant to each audience you’re trying to reach.

Don’t Scale at the Cost of Your Target Audience.

Scale shouldn’t be the point of your mobile advertising if it costs you the ability to provide value to your target audience.

In addition to simple irrelevance, sometimes mobile users don’t engage with an app ad because the offer wasn’t interesting or they got the gist of the ad without even clicking.

This calls for a complete re-evaluation of a media manager’s priorities when helping the larger advertising team develop the messaging for these ads, the offer presented and how it best matches the audience and the platform where they are active.

It’s the media manager’s role to make sure the goals of each mobile app ad campaign are properly reflected in each of the important elements that drives the success of their ads.

Focus on Downloads Over Traditional Digital Ad Metrics.

To help ensure your campaigns are on continually on track, apply the right metrics to best understand what’s working for your business and what isn’t when it comes to your mobile app ads.

The study by eMarketer outlined some of the most common reasons why mobile app ads aren’t engaged with, but this was conducted by geographical region.

The results, or lack of results, your organization experiences from mobile apps ads versus other types of ads could be completely different.

It’s critical to understand why a particular campaign is on track, while others are not for your own unique purposes. The clicks and impressions can have value, but in the end, if you’re advertising a mobile app, it’s critical that your campaigns drive actual downloads with a non-incentivized CPI.

The download of your mobile app is the ultimate indicator of the success of these ad campaigns.

Keep in Mind the Larger Advertising Ecosystem.

Whether you’re focusing on making smarter advertising decisions on Facebook or targeting more of your advertising spend within another highly trafficked mobile app, it’s important to keep your brand’s other advertising in mind, as it relates to your mobile app ad campaigns.

The coordination of the marketing across channels is important to achieve the various goals of your campaign. It’s your responsibility to coordinate with your company’s other marketers and advertisers at your organization for two reasons.

First, if there are ever opportunities for your mobile app campaigns to coordinate with efforts on display, social media, email or other channels, it’s essential that your team takes advantage of these chances to expand your impact with a multi-channel campaign.

Second, by working closely with other media managers, marketers and advertisers at your organization, you’ll have the chance to share what you all know and swap resources related to what worked for certain campaigns, and what didn’t.

These insights can be extremely valuable to help determine what works and what doesn’t for your audiences across channels. This type of data can be found in your analytics, but it’s important to speak with team members who’ve run these initiatives first-hand to learn from their experiences.

Pay Attention to Your Brand Positioning.

One of the key considerations to keep in mind for your next campaign is to ensure that all your mobile app advertising provides an “on-brand” experience for your audience.

If an ad campaign is off-brand, then it could do more bad than good for your business.

Referring back to the eMarketer study, one of the reasons many don’t engage with a mobile app ad is because it doesn’t relate to them or just wasn’t interesting.

This is likely the case if your campaigns rely too heavily on programmatic buying or other forms of automation in an attempt to quickly scale.


As seen in the example above fromTwitter, too much automation or sloppy targeting can serve a mobile ad like this one to the wrong audience or serve your ad in an app that’s very off brand.

It’s really important not to create a negative experience or association with your audience members on mobile, especially those who are interacting with your business for the very first time.

As referenced in our recent article on programmatic buying, the BBC, UK Charities and a few other organization’s ads appeared next to a jihadi recruitment video on YouTube. This is a branding nightmare for these businesses that your company should obviously avoid at all costs.

This issue can be prevented by testing your programmatic buying with a smaller budget to be able to get the scale you’re working towards, but also the quality brand positioning on the right publishers, apps and platforms near appropriate content.

Final Thoughts: Remain Strategic at Every Step

The most important aspect of your mobile app ad campaigns is that you’re heavily focused on reaching the right audience and catering to the specific experiences it is having on each mobile device and publishing platform.

Scaling is important, but not at the cost of improperly positioning your brand, neglecting your greater marketing mix or reducing the quality results your mobile app ads are driving.

With these concerns in mind, you’ll be able to better cater your ads to match the preferences of your audiences and the nuances of the channel you’re reaching them on.

What are your top concerns as a media manager when running mobile app advertising campaigns? Which techniques seem to drive the best results for your business using mobile app ads? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Adknowledge blog.