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Everything that's going on in mobile advertising, audience networks, 1st-party data, and all things Pocketmath

3 min read

The Power of Understanding Your Competition

Jul 24, 2019 8:30:41 AM

To beat your competition, you first need to understand it. Today’s mobile marketing technology does that and goes one step further, giving advertisers unprecedented insights and access to their rivals’ audiences, if they know where to look. In the hypercompetitive world of digital advertising, your targeting methods and audiences can be the difference-makers in narrowly edging out the competition and achieving your conversion goals. In this relentlessly cluttered world, understanding your competition has never been more important.


Marketing tools like Pocketmath’s AppGraph feature finds competitors audiences’ in a place where their intent is clear: on an app. The average smartphone user spends an average of 2.3 hours on apps. That means nearly 10 percent of any given owner’s day (or even higher when sleep is factored in) is spent scrolling through social media, shopping, playing games, and more. A significant portion of those hours is spent receiving advertisements. In-app ads are often unavoidable or take up a larger percentage of the mobile screen when compared to computers, and they’re only becoming more prevalent.

A 2017 study showed that people have twice the interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else, including TV and in-store. Considering the meteoric rise of mobile ad spend, that rate of brand interaction has assuredly gone up since the study. While ads are not the reason a user goes on an app, they are demonstrably successful when pulled off correctly, as clickthrough rates on apps are more than double those on the mobile web. In-app ads are the present and the future, and marketers must adjust to the new advertising methods and mechanics they bring.

The AppGraph feature, for example, lets mobile advertisers create audiences of users that have certain apps downloaded on their mobile device. AppGraph even lets advertisers target only the app users who have opened said app(s) recently, or only users who have made an in-app purchase. Even if there is brand loyalty to take into account, a gaming app looking to boost its downloads, for example, can decide to target its latest promotion toward users who have made a purchase on a rival game in the past 30 days. A makeup brand can showcase their latest products to users with the Sephora and Ulta apps, reaching users with a demonstrated interest in shopping for makeup online. By harnessing the power of apps, new ways of narrowing a target audience emerge.

Mobile marketing is also changing the psychology of advertising. For generations, retailers have used lifestyle marketing to convince customers that buying their product will make them cool, smart, attractive, or other positive traits. Mobile marketing reverse engineers that process, instead empowering advertisers to use their digital toolbox to target users based on their individual lifestyles. Brand awareness is still important, but now manifests itself differently. A flower delivery company can feasibly combine their desired targeting (married men from ages 25 to 44, for example) with an audience who uses flower delivery services as well as other on-demand delivery apps in order to narrow down the list of people they will target to those who would be the most likely to buy.

A portal into other apps’ audiences has the added benefit of letting marketers conduct A/B testing on a new playing field. A kitchenware company may find that their product resonates better with puzzle game app users than those playing card games on their mobile device. Or that users of one big-brand retailer’s app are much more receptive to cutlery ads than a competing retailer. While brands and companies usually know their general audience demographic targets, having access to other apps’ audiences lets them experiment in new ways to find the most engaged audiences, and ultimately, drive the most conversions as they can.

Knowledge is power, and mobile marketing is consistently providing new technologies and programs for advertisers to further optimize their targeting. It’s a sink-or-swim world for marketers, so the onus is on them to seek out and utilize their tools better than their competitors. At the end of the day, some things never change.


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Nuno Jonet

Written by Nuno Jonet