With market saturation rapidly approaching there is now fierce competition amongst game manufacturers to reach an audience with an insatiable appetite for the latest games. These individuals are impatient, heavy consumers of short-form content – a YouTube generation often also defined as Generation Y – with Millennials in hot pursuit. Yet, with the banner ad recently just celebrating its 20 year birthday, it is clear that these individuals require creative engagement strategies more than ever before.

One area which has developed rapidly is programmatic advertising. Manage.com alone drives the mobile engagement strategies for more than 50% of the top grossing apps on iTunes and Android. For those unaware of its strengths here we provide an easily accessible approach which should appeal to most marketers:

Find your audience 

Reaching you target consumers at a time when they are most responsive has never been more important. Unlike purchasing advertising in batches with premium publishers, programmatic allows you to scour the web to find the right audience wherever they are by taking into account information about the individual rather than the publisher.

With traditional display advertising, you are at the mercy of the publisher and you look for sites whose audience composition most closely matches up with your target audiences. Programmatic is a game changer, because it is generally publisher-agnostic. Instead, an advertiser can define very granular targeting parameters, and allow a programmatic bidder to sift through hundreds of thousands of advertising opportunities in microseconds and bid only on those matching the defined parameters. Programmatic puts the control in the advertiser’s hands.


Once a unique target audience has been developed, a personalised approach can be developed. Clearly, the more advertisers know about their consumers, the more appropriate a creative can be targeted. First, second and third party information (such as number and type of apps downloaded), can have a major impact across hundreds of thousands of impressions.

There are three major types of data that can be put into play. First party data is data that the advertiser provides about their own user base, which is secured, encrypted and only used to target against for a specific campaign. This can include any information an advertiser collects from their customers like location, age, gender and usage information. First party data is highly valuable if you are looking to reengage lapsed users. Second party data is data that gets passed along with the bid request, usually via a mobile exchange, and pertaining to the publisher site making the bid request, such as the app’s audience profile. Third party data is data that is supplemental and adds an additional targeting dimension, such as geography, credit information, and behaviour patterns.  Combining these three types of data allows for the most granular audience targeting.

Get creative

Dynamic and creative content is essential to captivate consumers habituated to the most sophisticated and captivating games which spend huge budgets on visual elements. This is where the banner add has moved on – the days of poorly visual banner ads have gone, replaced by creatives as sophisticated as the games themselves.

Creative design is one of the biggest factors in mobile ad performance. Users are more likely to respond to colourful, interactive and fun designs that pique their interest. The creative is the first preview of an advertiser’s app, and should reflect the design elements of the app. Additionally, we find that creative burnout happens faster on mobile, so it’s important to continually refresh your set of creatives and present the user with something new. Every element of a creative can be tested and optimized over time to achieve better performance.

Get interactive

Being interactive is essential and this is where programmatic excels. Video adverts drive audience interest and participation with a captive audience primed and ready to become core users. Programmatic also integrates video adverts which consumers can enjoy for up to 45 seconds before deciding whether to purchase them.

Today’s larger, high-definition mobile and tablet screens are excellent vehicles for a host to dynamic, engaging ad unit types. One ad unit that is exclusive to Manage is called the Experience Ad, which allows users to experience up to a 45-second trial of the advertiser app without ever leaving their current app. Other compelling ad units that perform well on mobile are video ads, animated HTML5 ads, MRAID ads and native ads (which blend into the publisher site’s look/feel).


By identifying exactly where in the buying cycle consumers are, the message can be tailored accordingly. Lapsed consumers can easily be re-engaged with appropriate creatives to reignite their passion. 

As mentioned above, mobile advertising is an excellent way to re-engage users that have lapsed or who could be spending more time within your app. By leveraging an advertiser’s first party data, specific customers can be identified across other apps and presented with a targeted ad that entices them to install your new upgrade or check out a new feature. It’s an effective way to remind them about your app, and give them a reason to come back.