App Developers: How to Boost Revenue with Your Data

Rick Jones
VP of Strategic Marketing
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Are publishers getting their fair share of the value from advertising? Advertisers are always looking to lower media costs, while tech companies are perceived to be taking ever bigger cuts of the media revenue. But, is this actually the case? If the discussion from our recent meetup is any indication, publishers now have an unprecedented opportunity to maximize their revenue through advertising – and having a well-thought-out data strategy is the key.

Last week Mobfox kicked off their latest meetup, “Amp Your Apps!” – a series of events and workshops, sponsored by the company, to help app developers discover new ways to maximize monetization opportunities through smarter advertising. The event included a panel discussion, featured in Ad Exchanger, with speakers: Anat Halbrecht from Mobfox, Gil Rachlin from Sizmek, Nicholas Hermansader from The Meet Group, and Glen Straub from Factual – along with David Kaplan from GeoMarketing by Yext, serving as the moderator.

From left to right: Anat Halbrecht, Gil Rachlin, Glen Straub, Nicholas Hermansader, and David Kaplan.

If there was one conclusion from the evening that was made clear it is that publishers who are aware of and leverage the best practices and uses of their data are firmly in control of their monetization future. Here are a few of those practices:

1. Carefully collect 1st party data. In order to have data available for monetization, it must first be collected in an accurate and consistent way. Even though 1st party data such as age, gender, and location may be seen as a commodity, it still forms the foundation of your future data strategy. Focusing on data quality will increase the value and number of monetization options available.

2. Your users’ experience must come first. Developers know better than anyone that getting a new user to download and consistently engage with an app is not an easy task – meaning that your data practices cannot risk turning them off. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your data contributes in a meaningful way to the user’s experience.

Getting permission and being transparent with users is also important. To simplify this requirement, Anat from Mobfox suggests using social sign-in as users are familiar with this process and recognize that they are providing their data through this step.


Anat Halbrecht from Mobfox at the “Amp Your Apps” meetup.

3. There is nothing wrong with making money. Developers have always experimented with data for advertising they sell on their own, and many developers look to partners for additional options. Tech companies are constantly coming up with innovative uses for data, ad formats, targeting, measurement, and new ways just to be new. So can the right tech partner enrich your data to give it more value for advertisers? Is there value (and trust) in selling your data directly? Glen from Factual recommends that developers should consider the value exchanged between publisher and advertiser that is enabled by these tech partners, when evaluating whether they are an appropriate partner for you.

4. Be mindful of data overuse. For advertisers, the value of user data tends to increase with scale as there are more opportunities to reach the type of audience they need. The other side of this equation is that advertisers may be turned off if they are not getting the results they expect. It is important to find the right balance between monetizing and continuing to build a strong base of users to keep advertisers coming back.

5. Think mobile for advertiser needs. Unlike the desktop environment, with built-in cookies for tracking, advertisers are still reckoning with mobile and the need to measure results. Look for monetization partners who are mobile-first and creating measurement solutions that reflect users’ increasingly mobile behavior.

6. A PMP can add more value. Nicholas from The Meet Group suggests that developers should think about the nature of their relationship with a monetization partner. A private marketplace (PMP) supports more trusting relationships, giving developers the opportunity to use their data with more confidence. For example, a PMP with a partner like Mobfox gives developers the option of enriching their data to produce more valuable segments as well as the scale to make it more interesting to advertisers. Glen from Factual also suggests considering event-based opportunities within your app to catch the attention of users – and in turn advertisers.

Gil Rachlin from Sizmek and Nicholas Hermansader from the Meet Group at the Mobfox “Amp Your Apps” meetup.

As a final thought, Gil from Sizmek emphasized the importance of keeping your own business distinct in order to keep your users. And there you have it. With so many options for monetization, developers who understand the best practices and tradeoffs of using data are in the driver’s seat when it comes to their monetization.

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