InMobi, which describes itself as “the world’s largest independent mobile advertising platform,” is betting that its new advertising program called “guaranteed outcomes” will grab attention and ad dollars from rivals. The program appears to be the first of its kind.
InMobi is taking on financial risk by saying that it can contractually deliver against selected advertiser goals. Currently the outcomes that are guaranteed include form fills, coupon clips, click-throughs and video completes. Social media likes and shares are coming soon and eventually commerce.
Despite heady predictions about the growth of mobile advertising – the MMA has said that it could reach $220 billion globally by the end of the decade — there are still numerous challenges. One of those is ROI. Surveys show that despite increases for 2014 marketer budgets for mobile advertising are largely flat through the end of the year.
Guaranteed outcomes seeks to address the uncertainty that still surrounds the value of mobile (display) advertising for many marketers, as well as to help InMobi differentiate vs. other mobile platforms.
InMobi’s Preetham Venkatesh told me last week that guaranteed outcomes are really a floor. “There’s no upside cap,” he said. “We have consistently delivered 2X or 3X over minimums.”
The company has developed sophisticated predictive modeling to be able to pull this off. Based on historical data, machine learning and some real-time calculations InMobi felt sufficiently confident to introduce the program.
There’s an initial conversation with an advertiser about campaign goals. The company then runs various scenarios to determine what’s possible given the marketer’s objectives. Once InMobi has a sense of what’s possible, there’s a negotiation and the campaign commences — with the negotiated guarantees included in the contract.
Venkatesh said that InMobi is able to optimize and correct during the initial phase of the campaign to ensure the desired outcomes are met. He added that the predictive modeling and machine learning are what enable InMobi to offer this unique program without taking on significant risk.
While the program currently doesn’t offer an unlimited menu of outcome choices it does seek to eliminate current perceived risk or uncertain ROI surrounding mobile. Despite its maturity, display advertising on the PC is similarly embracing new ROI metrics such as “viewability” to address perceived waste and fraud in the system.
It will be interesting to see how marketers respond and whether any of InMobi’s competitors pursue a similar guarantee. Not unless they’re forced to would be my guess.
The company says its network sees 759 million monthly active users and features more than 30,000 publishers.
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