Mobile truly is taking over. Last year iOS app downloads reached 25 billion and Android – 50 billion, as reported by Business of Apps. Measuring app installs is therefore crucial, and cost per install (CPI) has become a true indicator companies use to evaluate their investment to keep mobile as one of their key channels.

As a result, CPI networks have become increasingly important for app developers and media-buying agencies, yet picking the right one can be a tough task. That’s why we produced the CPI Buyer’s Guide to inform would-be investors of some of the best players out there.

Following the release of our free resource, we caught up with the sales and marketing director at Mobidea, Nabil Ben Khélifa, to find out what to bear in mind when working with CPI networks.

Running a CPI campaign is big business at the moment. Why is this?

Nabil Ben Khélifa: Mobile is now the preferred method to access content worldwide. Mobile apps play a big role in the distribution of games, utilities and all kinds of entertainment and productivity software. Cost-per-install campaigns are the natural response of the performance marketing industry to this change. This is due to the fact that they provide a safer acquisition business model for advertisers and more competitive payouts for the publishers that run CPI offers. I believe the CPI business model will continue to be a huge opportunity for digital marketers as long as mobile apps continue to be the preferred way to access content on mobile devices.

Which would you say are the most important factors to bear in mind while running a CPI campaign?

NBK: Fraud is one of the biggest concerns in the digital advertising industry and CPI is no different.

Advertisers increasingly look for more than a simple installation. In fact, they expect some kind of retention inside the app they are promoting. This means the digital marketers who want to run CPI offers should provide quality traffic for the offers and adjust the traffic sources according to the advertisers’ needs and feedback.

And for selecting a CPI network?

NBK: Fraud comes in all kinds of flavours, and some CPI networks also commit fraud to publishers by scrubbing conversions and not issuing all the conversion post-backs the publishers should receive. When choosing a CPI network, make sure you get to know the company and the people behind it. Mobidea is working hard every day to make sure we provide as much transparency as possible to our publishers since their success is our priority.

Who would you say the model is best for?

NBK: I think the CPI business model is ideal for someone who wants to take advantage of the growth of the overall app economy. That is why at Mobidea we see many online marketers that previously only ran CPA offers (subscription services) increasingly applying to run CPI offers.

What are the key challenges to anticipate while running a CPI campaign?  

NBK: As in all performance campaigns, the biggest challenge comes when you need to make sure the traffic sources are in tune with each of the offer’s needs. This is how you find the “gold mines” that not only scale your profit margin up but also provide quality traffic to the advertiser. As long as you can provide quality, Mobidea will make sure you will get competitive payouts and big caps on your CPI offers.

What are you looking forward to in the next year, both in the CPI space and as a company?

NBK: I believe that automation – the programmatic buying of media – and machine learning will both play a big role in the mobile advertising ecosystem in the near future. That is the reason why we work hard at Mobidea trying to be at the market’s forefront, foreseeing changes and providing the best solutions to the most demanding online marketers.

For more details on choosing the right CPI network, download our CPI Networks Buyer’s Guide.