How to Advertise on Apps: A Guide for Agencies

  • By next year, people in the United States will spend more time looking at a mobile device than a TV.
  • This year, the typical American adult devotes more than three hours and thirty minutes a day to their mobile devices, up 11 minutes from 2017 averages.
  • In the U.S., 90 percent of all time spent with a smartphone is spent using apps.

How is Mobile Advertising Different from Digital Marketing?

Mobile Web Advertising Vs. Mobile In-App Advertising: Is There Really a Difference?

  1. Apps are how people interact with their phones. The average smartphone owner utilizes at least nine apps a day and around 30 apps every month, according to numbers from App Annie, and spends the bulk of their time in apps (as opposed to in mobile web browsers).
  2. Apps provide much greater targeting capabilities. Instead of relying on cookies and JavaScript tags, SDK-enabled app inventory provides you and your clients with rich device ID data, which includes latitude and longitude, and other key identificators.
  3. Apps can better guarantee brand safety, which is especially key for household names when advertising online. While mobile web advertising can mean your clients end up in uncomfortable advertising situations, you can control which apps make the most sense for your customers and won’t put them in brand unsafe situations.

How to Scale Mobile App Advertising

  • Instead of connecting to every single app, you’re much better off working with a mobile ad exchange. An ad exchange will directly connect with a wide variety of apps, often through a dedicated SDK. Imagine you’re at a fork in the road, and there’s a gap in the pavement preventing you from going forward. An ad exchange is like a bridge: through it, you suddenly gain access to many different options.
  • Don’t know which ad exchange to choose? Not sure how to work with all of them? Fear not, as this is where a demand-side platform (DSP) comes into play. DSPs already have connections with multiple ad exchanges and other sources of app inventory. By working with one or a few DSPs you can easily be ensuring that your clients’ ads appear on dozens if not hundreds of different mobile apps.
  • On top of all this will typically exist various independent tracking solutions. These third parties will help you and your clients confirm that their mobile in-app advertising were indeed successful or not. They provide peace of mind that the ads were seen by the right people.




Matthew Kaplan is the Content Marketing Manager at InMobi (

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Matthew Kaplan is the Content Marketing Manager at InMobi (

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