IAB Programmatic Awards: Programmatic Solution App2Web

Deesi Li Marketeer

The IAB Programmatic Awards are the award show for everyone in the programmatic advertising industry. Finally, there is a platform where programmatic campaigns, solutions and specialists are rewarded for the amazing work they’re doing. This summer we’ll publish the cases that won an award during the IAB Programmatic Awards 2018. The first one was the award for our Programmatic Talent Mart van Melick in the “Rising Star” category. Today it is the Programmatic Solution award for App2Web. 

Photo from the IAB Programmatic Awards 2018

The Challenge

Mobile strategies for brands changed from a nice-to-have to a must-have in order to engage with their audience since 75% of the Internet usage already occurs through mobile phones. To achieve a better mobile experience and to increase the retention rate, brands and publishers created mobile-friendly websites and mobile apps (90% of the mobile usage is via mobile apps). For the advertiser, the existence of both mobile web and app environments is not ideal as there’s limited communication possible between the browser of a mobile device and apps installed on that same mobile device. Advertising in-app with a landing page opening in a mobile browser makes it hard to link the in-app click to the landing in the mobile browser. Therefore, it’s hard to justify the ad spend in apps as you can’t easily measure the performance of your campaign and ROI of your marketing budget. Also, moving the advertisers budget from mobile app to mobile web is far from ideal since users prefer mobile app over mobile web.

The Solution

In order to build a bridge between mobile web and app, Bannerconnect and Greenhouse Group used existing technology from the DSP AppNexus and combined this with a custom-made solution in CORE (Bannerconnect’s DMP solution for managing and activating large chunks of data). When a user clicks on an ad, a unique click token will be generated by AppNexus, which we’re able to store in CORE via a macro on the landing page of the banner. The user will land on the advertiser’s landing page via a redirect page. Thanks to this redirect page we’re also able to store the user-ID of the user’s browser in CORE. The unique click token, the user-ID and the Mobile Device ID we receive from AppNexus (which we receive when serving the ad in-app) make the perfect ingredients to match an in-app click to a landing in the browser!

The Tactical Execution

By inserting the correct AppNexus macro and the CORE tracking code in both the landing page of the creative and the landing page of the advertiser itself, CORE will automatically create a match between clicks and landings, without any additional input required. For Eneco, Greenhouse Group used their banner on, for instance, the NU.nl app with an Eneco banner. When a user clicked on the banner, the unique AppNexus click token is scrapped and added to the click URL. CORE is then able to store the click token and the user-ID of the user’s browser, while the user lands on the Eneco landing page with a CORE/AppNexus conversion tracking pixel. This Pixel-ID is sent to CORE to match with the user-ID and triggers the AppNexus algorithm to optimize the campaigns of Eneco in real-time.

Measuring Success

When trying to combine actions from two separate environments (mobile web and app) you wonder how accurate the solution really is or, in other words, what the measurement rate is of this solution? To validate this, we’ve used data from Google Analytics and based on almost 4,000 conversions, we were able to track 98%(!) of all conversions, across both Android and iOS and many app publishers. This is a great result as most specialized mobile conversion attribution companies are not even able to measure these App2Web conversions.

The Business Impact

As mobile is becoming increasingly important for brands, it’s important that we’re not only able to connect the dots between mobile app and mobile web, but to also make it actionable. For instance, AppNexus recently developed version 8 of their algorithm to maximise performance, however, without conversion data even the best algorithm in the world can’t optimize a campaign. We’re not only able to measure these conversions in the DSP and justify why we want to move budgets from mobile web to app in order to achieve a better performance and higher ROI. We’re also able to actually act on it and let the algorithm use the data to further improve the performance! Our App2Web solution powered by CORE is only one of the many projects we have in order to boost our Mobile Proposition.

Related content

winning two awards at the IAB Programmatic Awards
Bannerconnect Hackathon October 2015