Mobile publishers usually have a clear view of how their app is used due to many great mobile app analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Localytics and Flurry. They measure how many active users they have each day, the amount of sessions, session length, retention and more usage statistics that are vital for measuring the app’s health. However, a critical piece of information that is not provided with these analytics is who is actually using the app. In other words, they are missing the most vital piece of information: audience intelligence.
What is audience intelligence?
Audience intelligence is understanding the user base of a (mobile) publisher in terms of demographics, interests and intents for the purpose of improved monetization, or in the case of the advertiser, improved reach. It describes the characteristics that are important for marketers and advertisers for each person using the publisher’s app.
In order to properly describe an audience, there are a few key questions one needs to ask. Is the audience male or female? What is the average age: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, etc.? What is the audience’s income level? These types of basic demographics are essential in understanding why a female audience might use a particular app or why females are using the app in a different way than their male counterparts, for example. Meaningful insights into a user base are almost impossible to derive without having access to this type of data.
Although demographics are essential to know, it is only a piece of the puzzle and making assumptions based on them can be risky. Personalizing an app or showing mobile ads based on the wrong assumption is extremely wasteful and costly. Knowing what interests mobile app users have is therefore a vital complement to their demographics in order to deliver the right content to the right person.
Delivering the right content to the right person is already something quite rare in mobile today and we haven’t even discussed how to get it delivered in the right time. We’re talking about the cherry on the cake: intent. Intent describes what a person wants to do right now or in the very near future and is therefore one of the most important pieces of information for marketers and advertisers.
How audience intelligence helps mobile publishers and advertisers
For publishers it should be one of the highest priorities to know precisely who their user base is, because with this information they can finally understand the full potential of their audience. Personalizing content, making tailored offers, cross promoting and generally improving their apps based on this data will mean the difference between failure and success in an extremely competitive space such as mobile is today. But publishers shouldn’t just want to survive, they need to thrive, which is where advertisers come in. As with desktop, advertising will allow mobile publishers to monetize their reach across sometimes hundreds of millions of people. Particularly brand advertisers have pockets deep enough to fuel growth in the mobile space for decades to come, but only if they know exactly who they’re spending their ad dollars on.
Advertisers have been aware of the importance of audience intelligence for a long time because they know how it affects the effectiveness of their ads. A small, carefully tailored ad campaign can be widely more effective than a big “spray and pray” campaign. Advertisers know who they want to target and how they want to target them – through video, static image, text, etc. – to sell more of their branded products. On mobile, the problem so far has been that the vast majority of publishers couldn’t offer that data, certainly not a large enough scale.
Now technology is starting to catch up and publishers and advertisers can benefit tremendously from this. Publishers can now offer ad inventory enriched with audience intelligence on the per impression level by simply plugging into the Audience Platform. Advertisers can create custom audience segments to pinpoint exactly what type of people they want to target. The result is that more and more brand advertisers will start allocating more of their enormous budgets to mobile, allowing the mobile space to grow and thrive.
This post originally appeared on LinkedIN