‘Emerging markets’ continue to establish their position as the growth driver that holds the key to connecting the next billion mobile Internet users. Mobile adoption in the emerging world is happening at a blistering pace and the sheer scale of these markets will soon dwarf that of developed markets. In order to capture market share and win new customers to reach that next stage of monetization, developers and marketers alike will need to adopt a new focus on global strategy.
The easiest places to start are emerging markets. But, emerging markets exhibit a few distinctive characteristics that stand in stark contrast to mature, developed markets. For example, 80% of subscribers in emerging markets are prepaid users and mobile penetration rates vastly exceed credit card penetration rates. With that in mind, there are a few tips.
Quick insights for mobile ads in a global environment:
1. Engaging with ads has emerged as a de facto currency used to pay bills and buy goods
2. Developers from emerging markets are able to maximize their mobile advertising revenue by accessing global RTB demand inventory
3. Mobile developers are collaborating with Telcos and plug into their billing system so that users can purchase from the app store utilizing their prepaid or post-paid mobile accounts
Getting Paid to Watch Ads
If a user is required to use valuable data or talk time to engage or view an ad, this cost is a significant deterrent in emerging markets. However, innovative companies are turning this potential weakness into a strength for advertisers and consumers. By allowing consumers to top up their prepaid mobile account in exchange for engaging with ads, downloading apps and other actions, advertisers engage and cultivate brand loyalty among users by rewarding them for desired actions.
By providing consumers free mobile top-ups through carrier-incentivized data, advertisers are given the opportunity to engage users like never before by rewarding them through impactful advertising. In effect, mobile airtime has emerged as a de facto currency used to pay bills and buy goods and services in emerging markets.
Maximizing ROI from RTB
In emerging markets, the supply and demand of ad space is often not accurately represented, leading to ad inventory being sold at the wrong price. Real Time Bidding (RTB) provides an optimal solution by providing advertisers a massive, data augmented reach while allowing them to selectively target and bid for specific clusters of audience. The advertisers are able to gain access to high volumes of rich media inventory through real-time, programmatic buying even with minimal to no understanding of the RTB platform, while developers from emerging markets are able to maximize their mobile advertising revenue by auctioning each ad request to the highest bidder through access to global RTB demand inventory.
Maximizing monetization strategies by mobile ad developers
Unlike developed markets, GDP per capita & low credit card penetration in emerging markets means that ‘in-app purchase’ via OEM app stores cannot be the sole viable monetization model. Not all users in these markets have the ability nor billing mechanism to pay for apps. To overcome this fundamental challenge, mobile developers are collaborating with Telcos and plug into their billing system so that users can purchase from the app store utilizing their prepaid or post-paid mobile accounts. Mobile developers in emerging markets are utilizing a varied “freemium” monetization model through micro-transactions such as Try & Buy, Pay per Play and Subscriptions. This blend of monetization models garners good results in terms of reach and revenues for the developer.
Understanding the nuances across each market and delivering mobile advertising experiences that are a function of the right context, content, and business model will exploit the true potential of the mobile medium in these high growth regions. And by moving away from a cookie-cutter, developed market approach to this varied strategy, innovative advertisers and developers will reach consumers across emerging markets, winning the next billion mobile subscribers in 2014 and beyond.