Mobile advertising is a huge business that is currently being dominated by those running ad networks. A rift has been caused between advertisers and consumers because consumers are being less responsive to current mobile ads—which are mainly miniature versions of ads seen on your computer.
Lars Albright, the visionary of iAd—Apple’s mobile advertising, saw an opportunity amidst the current status quo of the mobile advertising industry. Lars believes that we are entering “Phase 2” of mobile advertising. Phase 1 focused on click through rates and page views, but Phase 2 is focused on using gamification to drive engagement and daily active users. His new startup SessionM is showing proof that the world is indeed moving towards a new advertising age.
SessionM, recently backed by KPBC and Highland Capital, is a mobile ad innovation company. The company gives mobile publishers a platform for adding game design elements, including a rewards system called mPoints. On top of helping publishers with retention and engagement, SessionM also provides an opt-in platform for advertisers. Given these services, what exactly is giving SessionM confidence about the future of mobile ads? Developers are seeing a 35% increase in retention rate and a 25% lower bounce rate after adopting SessionM. Company research and A/B testing between SessionM users and non-users have shown that SessionM’s gamification integration to mobile ads led to a 250% lift in in-app activities, where SessionM users were 40 times more likely to perform social actions such as sharing content and checking-in. Livestrong, Honda, and the New England Patriots are just a few of SessionM’s clients that have claimed success stories in mobile ad effectiveness.
So what’s the secret between gamification and mobile ad innovation? In an recent article, Lars Albright sees further innovation in the mobile ad industry will be accelerated if more advertisers shift attention to creating new value rather than formats. Value flows among publishers, users, and advertisers. Applying reward structures and engaging game mechanics will allow advertisers to boost value to a publisher’s good content.
Digital natives—generations X,Y, and Z—have grown up surrounded by a vast Internet and handheld devices. They know what their attention is worth, and a winning combination between value and content will pull their attention. As Lars says, “Mobile ads need to be as vibrant and interactive as the mobile content they’re part of. They need to be less like the ‘in your face’ billboards in Times Square and more like the buzz of excitement and interaction on the street.” SessionM’s current success with the hot trending topic of gamification gives evidence that they are targeting the entire mobile audience, not just digital natives. With SessionM pioneering innovation in the mobile ad industry, consumers can be sure to expect to engage with advertisements like the never have before.