We recently spoke with Ari Brandt, CEO of MediaBrix, about the findings of a joint study conducted with Harris Interactive on monetizing Facebook Apps and Moblie Apps.
The Makegood: The survey found that traditional online ads, i.e.: standard banners and video ads, are not effective in a social media app environments. What elements insocial advertising are necessary to be effective?
AB: Two words best describe what is necessary to make social advertising effective:interactivity and integration. The digital ad industry is shifting towards in
novative advertising that engages users while adding value at the same time. The Harris Interactive survey findings support that the trend towards such advertising units in social and mobile apps aligns with consumer preferences.
According to the survey, 72% of Facebook app users and 60% of smartphone owners prefer to see immersive and integrated advertising such as those that offer people virtual rewards or currency and interactive video ads that occur during natural breaks in apps and games. Similarly, the survey found that only 28% of Facebook app users and 40% of smartphone owners prefer to see standard banner ads.
Therefore, developers and platforms offering static units or those patterned after the web are missing a huge opportunity by not offering interactive and integrated advertising units that people can engage with, view, receive virtual currency from, share with their friends or even skip, if they choose to do so.
The Makegood: In-app social media ads need to show respect for users. What would you say are best practices for this?
AB: The research findings made it clear that in-app advertising needs to acknowledge, embrace and respect user experience, all the while giving users control of how they interact with a brand. Thus, user-initiated ads and those that are built with user experience in mind are crucial to the future of in-app social and mobile advertising. With video ads, for example, the survey found that 63% of Facebook app users and 62% of smartphone owners prefer to initiate video ads or view them during a natural break in the app or game, as opposed to watching a pre-roll video ad. That’s really telling. We can’t force people to watch video ads before their app usage experience begins, like some pre-rolls video ads do. Instead, we must put users in control of all their in-app advertising experiences, including video ads and beyond.
The Makegood: The survey confirmed that consumer adoption of social and mobile apps is on the rise. How does MediaBrix enable marketers to reach this growing audience with innovative social advertising?
AB: New environments require new advertising formats. In the case of social and mobile apps, this also means that ads must offer users more interactive features. Luckily, industry thought leaders are calling for this to happen. For example, the IAB’s Peter Minnium, head of brand initiatives at the IAB, stated, “I estimate that well over 90% of digital video advertising is linear and non-interactive and that’s a huge problem because it’s just repurposed TV advertising then.” He continued, “we need to establish right now the fact that when you see a digital video ad on a laptop, phone or tablet that you should be able to do more with it.”
I couldn’t agree more. At MediaBrix, this is precisely what we are striving for across all of our in-app social and mobile advertising products — SocialFlex, SocialViews and SocialFusion. MediaBrix offers brand marketers a suite of products that include video, social sharing and other interactive features. Our units also give marketers a new canvas with 100% customizable messaging that fits seamlessly into any social and mobile app. These features are sure to make brand marketing messages much more viewable, memorable and effective.
The Makegood: MediaBrix has found immediate success in offering marketers better options for social media advertising. Can you tell us about what you have seen and the future growth you expect for MediaBrix?
AB: Absolutely. We are going to push the industry forward by continuing to develop interactive in-app advertising products for social and mobile platforms and roll out new features for our current products, SocialFlex, SocialViews and SocialFusion. Over the last year, the marketplace has responded favorably to our offerings – we’re working with the largest brands in the world, the largest developers in the world and we’ve experienced 500% year-over-year revenue growth. We expect to keep growing rapidly as we deepen our market penetration.
Going forward, MediaBrix will also continue to deliver a massive and engaged audience of social and mobile app users and gamers to Fortune 500 marketers. In addition, we’ll keep putting people in control of their advertising experiences by allowing them to interact with brand advertising on their terms. Not only will this approach offer people the best user experience, it will also deliver better campaign results for marketers and garner higher CPMs for app developers.
In addition, MediaBrix will build upon the rich data we’ve gathered from our proprietary analytics system so that brand marketers can gain visibility into campaigns and optimize across platforms and across our products, possibly even unveiling new metrics for in-app advertising. The beauty of in-app and in-game social and mobile advertising is that this environment offers brand marketers a one-to-one connection with engaged users, while giving marketers 100% share of voice because there is no below-the-fold inventory as there is with the web. We hope to take the onus off of impressions and click-throughs and offer other ways for marketers to measure how users will engage with their brands.
The Makegood: Thanks, Ari.