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Choice and Rewards Key to Engagement in Mobile Ads, Finds New Study

Research shows marketers must enhance mobile campaigns by giving users control

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Tapjoy, a leading mobile advertising and publishing platform, today released "The Mobile In-App Marketing Opportunity" findings study, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Tapjoy. The commissioned study shows consumer-controlled, incentive-based advertising can increase ad relevancy, consumer sentiment and attention toward the advertisement. The survey identified opportunities to reach a growing audience and to bring them higher-quality, dynamic and creative content.


"We've long believed that the advertising tactics that worked for the web aren't optimal for mobile," said Peter Dille, CMO, Tapjoy. "We're thrilled that a respected third party like Forrester Consulting has confirmed our beliefs about consumer attitudes toward incentivized advertising. This study shows that Tapjoy has pioneered a highly effective and unique advertising vehicle for mobile. Not only do consumers understand the value exchange concept and expect advertisements in their free-to-play apps, but participating in a value exchange model like Tapjoy can dramatically increase the relevance and level of engagement of an advertisement. Advertisers need to be considerate of user experience more than ever before."

The study offers several recommendations for advertisers' mobile strategies, including:

In-app advertising: not a silver bullet

  • While in-app advertising is a massive market poised to grow further, about half of the respondents said they completely ignore automatically served in-app ads. Of those surveyed, 70% said they found automatically served in-app ads interruptive.
  • Worse, marketers aren't making a good impression with their current advertising inventory. Only 17% of respondents found current in-app ads interesting, 14% found them relevant, and 12% found them engaging.
  • That said, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. with a smartphone who use apps monthly or more indicated they would prefer an ad-driven model for downloading apps. This suggests the majority of app users understand the value exchange concept, and expect to see ads in their free-to-play apps.

Give the consumer control and incentive

  • Handing control to the consumer for their in-app advertisements can lead to higher attention levels and relevancy. Almost 40% of those surveyed said they want to select an ad from several options and pick the most relevant option, and nearly a third of respondents said they would prefer to pick from a selection of ads within an app, as well as opt-in to view or engage with an ad.
  • Respondents' top request (at 68%) of future in-app advertising was that they prefer ads that don't interrupt their use of the app.
  • Further, 59% those surveyed said they want to be offered a reward in exchange of interacting with and/or watching an in-app ad.

Be creative and leverage data

  • By aligning with the right kinds of apps and designing their value exchange appropriately, marketers can boost the relevance and engagement in their mobile ads; simply offering users a large payout does not always yield the best results. Almost half of the respondents said they would rather see an ad that is relevant to the app they are currently using.
  • Marketers should take advantage of the influx of data (and consumer attitudes toward their own data) to adapt their targeting tools and app usage profiles. Of those surveyed, 49% want to see ads relevant to their personal interest, and 43% want ads relevant to their current location. This is a huge opportunity for marketers, as only 31% of those surveyed said that ads that show up automatically in an app are relevant to them.

"Based on these findings, the Tapjoy Mobile Value Exchange® addresses nearly every angle of the mobile advertising opportunity that might currently frustrate advertisers," Dille said. "Mobile advertising is a unique opportunity that requires a unique solution. We believe the response that Forrester received from consumers in this study confirms that the Tapjoy Mobile Value Exchange is an effective model to capitalize on this growing market."

Tapjoy commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the marketing opportunity within mobile apps, and the effect of various in-app marketing models on consumer attitudes and attention.


In this study, Forrester Consulting interviewed three experts and marketing agencies, and one marketer. Additionally, Forrester conducted an online survey of 2,000 smartphone owners who use mobile applications monthly or more in the U.S. to evaluate the effectiveness of a variety of in-app advertising models. Questions provided to the participants asked about their smartphone usage, app usage, and attitudes toward advertisements. The study began in September 2012 and was completed in November 2012. The final report also used a Forrester Research, Inc., report, "Mobile Apps For Marketing," from September 26, 2012 as supplemental research.


Tapjoy is a mobile advertising and monetization platform whose unique Mobile Value Exchange model allows users to select personalized advertisements with which to engage for virtual rewards or premium content. Tapjoy helps unlock mobile joy by empowering more than 1 billion mobile users who choose to watch videos, subscribe to services, install applications and participate in other types of advertisements in exchange for virtual rewards they can use in their favorite apps. Tapjoy's turnkey in-app advertising platform helps developers acquire cost-effective, high-value new users and monetize their applications, while its powerful advertising marketplace lets brand advertisers reach a global mobile audience spanning more than 75,000 applications. Tapjoy is backed by top-tier investors including J.P.Morgan Asset Management, Rho Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, InterWest Partners and D.E. Shaw Ventures. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company also has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta,

Boston, London, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Tapjoy, Inc.

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