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The new era of advertising is being battled in-app

It’s been almost two full years since Canadians were sent home to do their part and help stop the spread. At the time there were many uncertainties that had brands, marketers, agencies, and businesses of all sizes adapting to changes on the fly.

For many businesses, the pandemic presented a wakeup call to embrace digital transformation along with new and emerging technologies to meet the on-going changes in how consumers preferred to do business. That new way of doing business for 56% of Canadians in 2021 was on their smart phone, specifically in-app. This increase of consumers spending money shopping on their smartphone comes as no surprise as Canadians spent an average of 4.4 hours a day on mobile apps in 2021, up from 3.9 hours in 2020.

Today, there is an entire generation of Generation Z Canadians that are entering adulthood and are spending even more time on mobile than their elders which, for many businesses, should sound the alarm indicating that it’s time to add in-app advertising to the advertising mix and for those already doing so; to hike up the in-app advertising budget.

The increased time spent on mobile smart-phone technology was accelerated by the recent global pandemic and it helped make mobile commerce (m-commerce) a rapidly growing way for the 56% of Canadians who are shopping on their phone to begin and end their customer journey. In 2020, retail e-commerce alone grew to 18.2% from 8.1% the previous year. In 2021, as more restrictions eased, over 80 percent of Canadian consumers had shopped both in-store and on the web. But the demand for a mobile ready option to shop remained as Canadians were shopping roughly equal amounts offline, as well as online that year.

For advertisers, this is a great opportunity to find the elusive consumer in the apps they love. Recent changes to mobile and data privacy laws have changed exactly just how much information advertisers can get from a consumer’s phone. Which is why being present in the apps that consumers opt-in to give their personal information to is crucial for brands to accurately target consumers with advertisements that are relevant to who they are, what they enjoy, and where they are. In addition, modern in-app advertising can even present in-app advertisements in real-time during that crucial in-store or at home shopping moment.

Today, trust is everything to consumers. Recent privacy debacles on social media have even made in-app ads more trusted than the ads seen on social media networks. A Nielsen report indicated that 45% of adults aged 18-34 and 53% of adults 35-49 rated claims made in advertisements on mobile apps and websites (excluding social media) as either “somewhat trustworthy” or “very trustworthy.” Whereas social media advertising had 39% of adults aged 18-34 and 43% of adults aged 35-49 claiming that their ads were either “somewhat trustworthy” or “very trustworthy.” And another 32% of adults aged 18-34 and 29% of adults aged 35-49 rated social media ads as “untrustworthy” or “very untrustworthy” when compared to 21% and 15% who said the same about in-app and website ads.

The time for brands to jump start or continue to increase mobile in-app advertising is now. The mobile economy is just getting started and meeting consumers in-app can only further help to increase a brands value and ensure that it endures any future disruption while winning in this new mobile first era of advertising.


Carlos Guevara is the Marketing Manager at APEX Mobile Media and was the host of the podcast "In Search of Good Data." He has also helped various organizations in the private and non-profit sector to become more customer-centric with the use of enriched data and modern marketing and advertising strategies.



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