New Study Finds Programmatic In-App Advertising Helps Drive Brand Affinity and Customer Engagement in APAC

PubMatic, a sell-side platform that delivers superior outcomes for digital advertising, released the findings from a custom commissioned Forrester Consulting study entitled “The State Of Programmatic In-App Advertising In APAC.” The study, which surveyed 472 advertising decision makers in China, Singapore, India, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, uncovers several significant findings.

As advertising budgets in APAC shift towards digital media, mobile in-app has emerged as the preferred digital channel, securing the highest percentage of budget allocation over the next 12 months – 20% vs. 17% for mobile web, 16% for connected TV (CTV) and 15% for desktop. Within this channel, buyers are increasingly embracing programmatic as a critical part of media plans.

The study finds that 80% of APAC advertisers / media buyers use programmatic in-app advertising in digital media plans frequently or every time. Increasingly, this spend is being used to drive longer-term goals such as brand alignment and customer engagement. According to the study, APAC advertisers reported their top reasons to invest in programmatic in-app are:

  • To extend reach – 74%
  • Better customer engagement – 73%
  • Advertising buying efficiency – 73%
  • Brand alignment – 72%

This was amplified in certain APAC markets and formats; 81% of China-based advertisers are investing in in-app advertising for brand alignment vs. an APAC average of 72%. In Indonesia 79% of advertisers are investing in in-app video advertising for brand alignment versus an APAC average of 72%.

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Despite the benefits of programmatic in-app advertising, some challenges remain for advertisers. In particular, advertisers have concerns around data privacy and targeting:

  • 39% have concerns about data privacy limiting data collection
  • 37% have concerns about the impact of IDFA changes on optimization
  • 36% have concerns about effective targeting

Advertisers are looking to the sell side to alleviate some of these challenges – with 57% reporting access to publisher data as a key selection criterion when choosing publishers to work with. Sell-side platforms (SSPs) have an important role to play in delivering this access.

“The findings from this study are consistent with our perspective that the opportunity for programmatic in-app is enormous for both media buyers and developers. Programmatic mobile in-app is becoming an increasingly important branding channel and one that advertisers shouldn’t ignore,” said Lashanne Phang, Director Publisher Development Southeast Asia, Greater China and Korea, and Mobile App (APAC) at PubMatic. “Mobile app publishers and developers should take steps to ensure they’re capturing this brand spend. Given that the challenges raised by advertisers are focused on data privacy and targeting, app developers should consider working with an SSP with strong targeting capabilities, that also understands regional and global data privacy regulations.”

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