Mobile has been promised as the next great communication channel for marketers, and for good reason. Consumers have their phones within arms reach almost 24/7. The smartphone is the consumer’s most trusted and important device, and a marketer’s most direct and reliable engagement vehicle.

Even so, there seems to be a disconnect between marketers and mobile. Maybe it’s a fear of the unknown, or a lack of resources. But if you are wondering how to acquire your ideal customers cost-effectively, and effectively, the answer is mobile.

With mobile advertising, you essentially have 3 options.

 

Option 1: Bid on Demand Side Platforms (DSP’s)

Your first option is to have is to have your internal digital marketing team to create ads and then bid on external exchanges to place those ads across a number of different apps and mobile browsers. Exchange traffic is typically priced on CPM (cost per thousand impressions), which means that you are only paying for people to see your ads, not to actually engage with them. This model works for brand awareness campaigns but not if you are looking for a particular action, such as acquiring customers for your ESP or CRM.

While the CPM’s on exchanges might be low, you should consider the return you will see from your efforts. Engagement on banner ads is extremely low (1.1%), and even when there is engagement, 60% of clicks are accidental. It will also cost your team a lot of time and resources to set up and manage your campaigns. Plus, because of the bidding nature of exchanges, your CPM is always changing.

 

Option 2: Work with affiliate networks

If you don’t have the manpower to manage your own campaigns, working with an affiliate network or agency might seem like an appealing option. Affiliates represent your brand digitally, and broker out your performance campaigns across different mobile traffic sources, for a fee. Affiliates typically work on a CPA model, which means you only pay when they acquire you a new customer, and they will take a percentage of that cost for themselves.

This is great because it offloads the time on your side, but can be risky as you are blind to where and how your brand is being presented. Affiliates don’t share all the information with their brand partners, so you don’t know if your ad is being served up as a banner, or interstitial, or in a placement that is intrusive to the user.

 

Option 3: Work directly with mobile publishers

The third option you have is working with a company like Pretio who can serve up your ads in specific placements in apps and games. Pretio’s traffic is on a private marketplace, which means there are no bidding wars driving up your cost. Like affiliates, the pricing is based on CPA, meaning you only pay when users take a desired action, like signing up for your newsletter. The nice thing about CPA models is that you get all the branding exposure from users who see but don’t engage with your ad for free.

The best part about working with a platform such as Pretio, is that you maintain control of your campaigns without any of the effort. With Pretio, you know your brand will always be served up at peak Achievement Moments in apps and games. This approach targets consumers based on their mindset, which creates a positive user experience that allows you to acquire happy and loyal customers affordably.