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New Frontiers in Mobile Advertising: Targeting & Relevance

Home » Blog » New Frontiers in Mobile Advertising: Targeting & Relevance
Posted by Sean H. Lee on August 10, 2016


Only a few short years ago, the best advertisers could hope to do was target a broad demographic. Today, as ad tech quickly advances in its efficiency and precision, the mobile app world is opening up new opportunities for ad relevance. And when it comes to choosing publishers for advertisements, the app category is perhaps the most important factor. After all, it significantly impacts who the users are and what type of content they find valuable. 

Not all app categories are created equal – as far as advertising is concerned, at least. Smaato's latest Global Trends in Mobile Advertising report shows that the Arts & Entertainment category is the definitive winner: it accounts for over half (52%) of total mobile ad spending. In the Americas alone, ad spend in this category has grown by 364% from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016. We predict that this upward trend will continue.

Within Arts & Entertainment, Music is the top-performing subcategory, accounting for 59% of ad spend  it vastly overshadows other established subcategories, such as Television and Movies. 


The Music category clearly appeals to a younger audience under 24 years old, who are also the heaviest users of smartphones. The popularity of music apps has incentivized advertisers to design campaigns that resonate with this user base. 


Recently, Ralph Lauren designed an ad campaign in collaboration with renowned EDM artist, Avicii. While the clothing company itself has very little to do with electronic music, their new in-house brand “Denim & Supply” is targeted towards young adults, a demographic most likely to be using music services and listening to artists like Avicii. By featuring the ads heavily on music apps with EDM playlists, Ralph Lauren strongly resonated with their target audience. Needless to say, the collaboration was a success. 

The newly released Smaato Demand Platform (SDX) goes one step further with the relevance and targeting theme. If your market focus is 18 to 24 year olds who frequently use Music apps, why would you want to receive ad requests from users outside of this target group? With SDX, DSPs and ad networks no longer have to receive irrelevant app traffic. They can specify a particular demographic and app category, and see only traffic that meets those parameters. From there, they can decide which specific traffic to bid on, resulting in significantly reduced waste and increased operational efficiency. Ultimately, not only do the DSPs and ad networks benefit, but also their advertisers. SDX yields higher quality traffic, with precise targeting options for inventory from over 90,000 app developers and publishers on the platform.


So why does all of this matter to you as a demand partner? A complete understanding of the target audience is a prerequisite for effective ads. It is important to identify the desired app categories and tailor your ads accordingly. Finally, reap the rewards of smart advertising: more relevant traffic, higher conversions, and greater customer engagement.

Written by Sean H. Lee

Sean is a part of Smaato’s Marketing team in San Francisco. He is focused on delivering valuable content on smart advertising strategy.

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