The piece of code that could make or break a mobile advertising program
In case you have not heard, mobile application consumption is skyrocketing. We are spending two out of every three digital media minutes on mobile, and 86 percent of that is spent in-app, according to market researcher comScore.
With the average adult consuming nearly six hours of digital media each day, according to eMarketer, that means we are spending more than 200 minutes in-app daily. In other words, it is a massive audience that is growing all the time.
But in-app advertising is tough work.
Each mobile consumer has a different online personality: a distinct device, operating system and service provider. Your mobile ad must adapt on the fly to run across tens of millions of individual consumer profiles.
This is why you keep hearing about a certain ad-tech acronym: SDK (software development kit). It is a tiny piece of code – when done right – that rapidly assesses each consumer and serves a mobile ad at the correct dimension, size and speed.
While an SDK may seem like an insignificant widget – many come in at less than a megabyte – it acts as a vital organ for in-app advertising, determining the quality of how mobile video ads are delivered and, ultimately, perceived by audiences.
And, like any other ad tech product, not all SDKs are created equal.
The right SDK gives you unfiltered access to millions of consumers.
In a cookieless mobile world, it enables first-party targeting, multiple interactive functions and unprecedented data collection.
Low-quality SDKs, on the other hand, load ads slowly and serve choppy videos, with the sound and visuals misaligned.
Given the intimacy of the mobile screen, slow and poor user experiences are not tolerated and reflect negatively on the advertiser.
To present an advertiser’s message in the best light, the right technology is essential.
How to evaluate an SDK
Here are a few questions that you should ask to help determine if your advertising partner has high-quality SDK technology.
Can you provide third-party ad verification (e.g. MOAT)? The right partner will have objective third-party verification built into the SDK technology.
What targeting capabilities do you have? SDKs extract data from each device, enabling the collection of rich first-party survey data. This information gives brands high visibility into audience characteristics and the ability to target and engage in unprecedented ways.
Do you pre-cache video ads? When an SDK pre-loads ad content on a user’s mobile device, videos play instantly and with crystal clarity, regardless of connection strength or device type.
Does it provide post-view interactivity? Can users tap to follow you on Twitter, view your mobile Web page or sign up for a newsletter? The right SDK will give users the opportunity to interact further with the brand after the video view.
Mitchell Reichgut is CEO of Jun Group, a New York-based mobile advertising platform for video and branded content. Reach him at email@example.com.