Apple has recently revamped its iAd advertising platform and today we’re taking a closer look at this alternative to other mobile advertising networks. It also brings an unexpected alternative to traditional cookie-based tracking.
iAd and mobile advertising
Mobile marketing is here to stay. As we buy more and more smartphones and upgrade our devices to more sophisticated and advanced technologies, the marketers are trying to keep up by offering smarter advertising solutions. Now apple has joined this race, as it attempts to bring in more advertising revenue from its platforms. The idea is simple – you create ads which run on Apple apps or iTunes Radio. As long as you have Apple ID you can register for the iAd Workbench platform and start creating your first campaign.
Using the iAd platform is really simple. You start from selecting your objective – be it a promotion of iOS app or a different product. You then decide to run your campaign on iTunes Radio or App Network. Like with any other network you can pay for clicks or impressions. With Manual targeting you get to select from a number of options, like age or gender and more interesting ones – like type of the apps downloaded from the apple store previously or specific app channels you want your ads to run on. You can send the traffic to either app, external website or video play page. Once you enter your budget an estimate of impression and click (‘tap’) volume will be available.
Depending on the devices you select to advertise on you’ll be given different ad size options – it total iAd allows you to run up to 9 different ad formats.
You are however required to provide all of the specified ad formats available for the device combination you’re using. All of the formats are either vertical or horizontal stripes, so it’s important to take that into account when developing ideas for your creative.
The system still has a few glitches, but if your ads are ready it shouldn’t take more than 10 – 15 minutes to setup your campaign.
The end of the cookie?
While the another advertising network by itself is not the most exciting thing to hear about, one of the new targeting options available in the iAd interface got marketers buzzing. It’s the ability to follow the same user across multiple devices, without the need to rely on cookies. As the latter method becomes less and less accurate, a strong alternative from Apple could bring big changes to the market.
What’s our verdict?
As soon as we find a client willing to create 9 awkwardly shaped ads and run them across mobile devices – we’ll let you know. Until then our money is still with Google Display Network.