TOP Mobile Programmatic Platforms: The Comparison Part I – InMobi

TOP Mobile Programmatic Platforms: The Comparison. Part I - InMobi

Trends might come and go, but the continued growth of the mobile advertising’s popularity is definitely here to stay. And what seems to be so great about mobile advertising anyway? It’s the effectiveness.

Thanks to the numerous programmatic solutions designed to track individual’s online behaviours, purchasing habits and device browsing history, advertising through mobile channels helps you reach the relevant target audience and increases the chances of high ROI from the very beginning. 

Mobile users spend approximately 89% of their browsing time running apps, making it the most consistent place for your ads to be viewed. For the same reason, mobile DSPs are becoming the center of the aforementioned growth and possibilities.

This is also why we decided to create a 3-part blog post covering the most significant information about the TOP Mobile Programmatic Platforms out there.

OK, but What is a Mobile DSP?

As we broke it down for you a while back, a demand-side platform is a digital advertising solution, which allows media buyers to buy web or in-app traffic from ad networks in real-time auctions through a single interface.

Never a standalone entity, always integrated with a typical demand-side platform, mobile DSP is designed to enable the very same automated way of buying and selling online mobile ad impressions through real-time bidding auctions.

As any other demand-side platform, mobile DSPs offer a variety of buying options from private marketplaces or direct deals to programmatic direct buying. The impression-based programmatic media buying process takes place across different mobile apps as well as mobile websites that are a part of integrated mobile ad networks.

Mobile DSPs not only allow users to automate, track, optimize & scale the online media buying processes. First and foremost, they ensure the delivery of highly personalized mobile ad campaigns in real time.

Apart from advertising their mobile ad inventory as the best possible one, mobile DPSs are trying to market their advanced targeting solutions, tracking options, and numerous optimizations features, both manual and AI ones. That is why, before choosing the mobile DSP right for themselves, smart advertisers have a bunch of key features to consider.

How to Choose a Mobile DSP?

Here are some ideas that you may find handy while searching for your queen bee among mobile DSPs. 

  • Diverse ad inventory is a must, that is why always pay close attention to what kind of ad formats they support – the wider the choice the better. 
  • Search for innovative ad formats that require more engagement from the user, like swiping, animating or expanding the creative. 
  • An advanced tech used by the DSP should be just as important to you, an advertiser, as the variety of mobile ad inventory they can offer. 
  • Mobile DSPs depend on executing massive processes simultaneously. What you should aim for is a demand-side platform integrated with multiple ad exchanges and app publishers that will be able to reflect information in real-time . 
  • Reaching the relevant audiences is incremental to the profitability of your programmatic campaigns. Be fully aware of the targeting options a demand-side platform offers to make all of your ad impressions count. But no worries, the majority of mobile DSPs are in fact integrated with third-party data providers. 
  • And last but not least, always go for the pricing model that suits your mobile advertising strategy objectives. 

Now, the time has come to take a closer look at the first of the top mobile DSPs on our list. For your convenience, in each part we’ll be using the same criteria to describe different platforms. Our review will be based on:

  1. Ad Inventory and Reach
  2. Targeting Options, Tracking and Optimization
  3. Account Management, Tech Support, and Ease of Navigation of the Panel
  4. Cost/Buying Model


Mobile In-App Performance Advertising Platform

As a leading technology company founded in 2007, InMobi has been recognized as a 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50 company and as Fast Company’s 2018 Most Innovative Companies. What’s more, as a receiver of five 2020 Smarties awards, InMobi stands as the World’s First In-App Programmatic Buying Platform, offering high ROI and complete transparency. 

This year they mainly focus on prioritizing mobile app monetization, scaling in-app header bidding to move towards a clean first-price marketplace, and improving identity and measurement to convince more marquee brands to embrace mobile devices. This is just to name a few.

Inventory and Reach

InMobi markets itself as the largest native in-app video advertising platform for brand marketers, offering bidding on the Open Exchange or getting preferred access through the Private Marketplace deals based on personal KPIs. 

In terms of ad inventory and reach, InMobi offers:

  • High-Impact Interstitial Ads
  • Dynamic Carousel Ads
  • Interactive Rich Media Ads
  • Experiential Playable Ads
  • Non-Intrusive Native Ads
  • Immersive Video Ads

Additionally, the DSP ensures higher viewability and reduced ad fraud through regular system checks during publisher onboarding with ongoing diagnostics.

Such an approach guarantees that real people will see your advertising campaigns, ensuring the best engagement with your ad copy and boosting your ROI. 

Well, like always there is a campaign approval and some general creative guidelines that you need to follow:

  • Text creatives should have a text message, a 40 characters limit, and should adhere to the content guidelines.
  • The banner ads should be compliant with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) guidelines. What’s more, they should be less than 100 KB in size (JPG, GIF, or PNG formats).
  • In case of the compliance guidelines of HTML5 rich media ads, contact the InMobi representative.

Fraud Detection/Quality Guarantee

InMobi enables you to block invalid traffic before the actual fraudulent mobile apps install ever happens. The fraud prevention framework secures your budget in real time with complete transparency on media, pricing, and performance data at the impression level.

Targeting, Tracking and Optimization

InMobi offers deep data integration, enabling a holistic view of the user and real-time precision targeting. In practice it means data enrichment and allows for tailoring your in-app advertising in order to reach the exact targeted audience at the lowest possible cost. InMobi calls it “zero-error targeting”. 

Zero-Error Targeting

Within the “zero-error targeting” feature InMobi offers powerful mobile advertising targeting options that allow you to reach the right target audience. You can show ads to users based on their country, OS, publisher, app preferences, and many more.

The platform offers a few types of targeting:  

  • Geo targeting by country
  • Basic targeting by OS, and OS version.
  • Appographic targeting by user’s app interests.
  • App/Publisher targeting based on the performance and reach they offer.
  • Automatic targeting across all InMobi properties as well as adjusting bids dynamically to meet your CPI goals at all times.

As we learn in InMobi’s documentation, each app download campaign aims at generating as many mobile app installs as possible with the lowest possible cost. That is why tracking comes in handy for you, the advertiser, to understand the effectiveness and profitability of your mobile advertising campaigns.

InMobi’s tracking solutions not only report when a mobile app install occurs, but they also help mobile ad networks to optimize their own performance and as: 

“InMobi works with the best attribution partners in the world a.k.a, with our MTAP’s (Mobile Tracking and Attribution Partners). Integration with these partners has been certified by InMobi and advertisers using any of these attribution partners will benefit from this tight partnership. If you do not have a partner and want to track installs, InMobi provides you with our very own tracking platform.”

InMobi Support

As far as optimization is concerned, InMobi decided to focus on providing AI solutions towards ROI, fraud detection, and marketing message creation. 

State-of-the-Art Creative Platform 

It is a creative tool built to help you design high impact mobile-first ad formats aimed at maximizing your campaigns’ ROI and lower operations cost.

Predictive ROI Optimization  

Allows you to optimize towards actions, not installs. As InMobi’s website states, ROI automation is powered by BidQTM Deep Learning Technology, which in practice means that the bids are constantly optimized towards actions to maximize your return on ad spends.

This AI optimization seems to be extremely user-friendly as it requires only the budget input on your end before InMobi’s algorithms take over. 

Account Management, Tech Support and Easy-to-Navigate Panel

InMobi offers a huge volume of valuable insights, real-life case studies, whitepapers, onboarding articles, webinars and educational blog posts on their website as well as the actionable, user-friendly dashboard. All that is enabling you to get complete control over your mobile ad spend, managing and optimizing your campaigns with multi-dimensional analytics in real-time. 

A support center section on InMobi’s website provides its users with detailed documentation along with creative guidelines for different ad formats and compliance policy specs. If you’re in need of prompt assistance you can always fill out an “ask a question” template on InMobi’s support page.

Cost and Business Model

InMobi platform decided to go for different pricing options based on the kind of targeting you choose for your mobile ad campaigns. 

  • Appographic Targeting and Publisher Targeting = (CPC) basis. InMobi provides you with a recommended CPC bid to start with based on competition in different countries and on devices targeted by the ad group.
  • Automatic Targeting = (CPI) basis. InMobi will automatically adjust each CPC bid to meet your CPI goal instead of using a fixed CPC bid for all clicks. In this case, there’s a minimum CPI that the ad group needs to adhere to. InMobi arrives at this amount based on the competition in different countries and devices targeted by the ad group.

There’s also a minimum daily budget you need to allocate in order to see optimal results for your ad group. The minimum required varies between $200 – $500.

  • If you target more than 5 countries in the same ad group, the Minimum Daily Budget is $500.
  • If you target 5 or fewer countries in the same ad group, the Minimum Daily Budget is $200.

Summing-Up: InMobi is Killing it with…

Different pricing options for different targeting types, “zero-error” targeting, predictive ROI optimization, state-of-the-art creative platform, high engagement ad formats, tech support and easy-to-navigate panel…

Algorithms’ abilities exceed manual. That combined with human competence, makes the process of mobile media buying very cost-effective.

Stay tuned for the second part of the TOP Mobile Programmatic Platforms series, where we will be analyzing other InMobi alternatives. In the next blog post we gonna focus on Pocketmath PRO, a mobile advertising DSP specializing in delivering performance through the advanced technology and a goldmine of first-party users’ data on online behaviours. Moreover, in the last part, we’re going to present to you our own native advertising platform to buy, track, and scale your in-app advertising – Voluum DSP! 

Don’t miss this! Now it’s your time to engage consumers and maximize revenue!

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