Q&A with ID5: InMobi

  • Posted by Alex Taylor
  • On Mar 17, 2022

In this issue of ID5’s Partner Q&A series, we sit down with InMobi‘s Senior Product Marketing Manager, Cecilia N’zaou to discuss all things mobile addressability, IDFA limitations, UnifID results, and more.

What is the series all about? The Q&A with ID5 series invites its publisher, advertiser, and platform partners to share their insights on the hot topics and big questions circulating the digital media industry today. Tune in each month for new editions featuring thought leaders and experts from across the space.

Read the full Q&A with InMobi below:

1) Tell us about yourself and InMobi, including its audience?

Hi, I’m Cecilia N’zaou and I’m the Senior Product Marketing Manager for InMobi SSP. My responsibility is to oversee all product marketing efforts and engagements for the over 20,000 mobile apps that monetize with InMobi. 

InMobi is a world-leading provider of marketing and monetization technologies reaching billions of consumers around the globe. With deep expertise and unique reach in mobile, it is the trusted and transparent technology partner for marketers, content creators and businesses of all kinds. InMobi’s mission is to power its customers’ growth by helping them engage their audiences and build meaningful connections.

2) How much of a concern is the deprecation of traditional identification methods such as 3rd party cookies and MAIDs for InMobi?

I wouldn’t say it’s a concern per se. Overall, we think these moves are steps in the right direction since they give users more control, and we are fully on board with building an ecosystem that prioritizes user privacy.  

The concern is around making sure that we and our mobile advertising stakeholders are building the right tools for this transition. Ultimately, we are making sure we are supporting our partners and customers to be fully ready to address the underlying issues (I.e. user privacy) while still ensuring that marketers and publishers can meet their advertising-related goals. This is why we are building solutions like on-device targeting and UnifID, to help our partners prepare.

3) What are some of the biggest challenges you’re seeing within mobile identity and addressability right now? Where are we on the identity journey?

Going forward, first-party data will be key for app publishers. Without the ability to target specific audiences, many advertisers have begun reallocating spend towards more addressable mediums. These changes have already had a direct impact on iOS app developers’ immediate revenue.

The problem is that right now, many publishers haven’t built first-party data strategies. Further, many simply lack the resources to build and get ready on time. 

This is especially the case for mobile app developers and publishers. Mobile is much more complex than the open web as a result of SDKs, app stores, etc. For app developers, the topic of identity and addressability is different than it is for web-first publishers. Further complicating matters is the fact that their focus historically has been on retention and UA, not identity. 

4) InMobi is a leader in the world of mobile advertising, empowering advertisers to have meaningful conversations with consumers. What steps have you taken to ensure that your brands continue to excel in the post-cookie and MAIDs era?

We engaged with our buyers on a number of fronts to help them adjust to the post-cookie, post-MAID era:

  • From a shorter-term perspective, we made it simpler for buyers to experiment on ID-less traffic, easier to target contextually-relevant apps through private marketplace deals and curated marketplaces, and optimize towards engagement metrics that are also leading indicators of good business outcomes.
  • We are also working to democratize the access of universal IDs on in-app supply so buyers can activate their first-party audiences at a higher scale.
  • We also initiated a series of awareness programs to help them navigate these changes using blog pieces, bite-sized video courses on InMobi University and multiple in-depth guides and playbooks.

5) IDFA limitations in-app and the absence of third-party cookies in Safari are making it difficult for advertisers to reach their audiences. What is your advice to advertisers in overcoming this challenge today?

It’s undeniable that the world is becoming more privacy-conscious each passing year. Advertisers will have to become more privacy conscious too, with various targeting and measurement options to be able to choose the right ones based on their marketing and business goals. 

On the plus side, these changes also provide advertisers with an incentive and opportunity to build up their first-party data capabilities. Consumers are happy to provide their personal information when buyers can provide a better service or user experience. And a direct connection with their consumers will help advertisers find an even greater return on their ad spends.

6) During your session at Identity 2022, it was said that mobile-first publishers remain unprepared for the changes imposed by Apple’s ATT release. What needs to be done to help publishers face those changes?

First and foremost, we need to do a much better job of educating publishers. It behooves all of us to make sure app developers understand the significance of the changes and how tactics, solutions and technologies can help. 

In particular there’s a lot more education needed in the market about how identifiers/identity solutions work and how they can provide publishers with benefits. To this end, the industry can come together to create solutions like UnifID that allow publishers to work with a variety of identity and addressability partners and vendors.

On the publisher side, I would encourage developers to conduct more tests and try out new tactics. Publishers should rely on their ad tech partner’s advice – and InMobi is leading the way in thinking about sustainable identity. We want to provide them with the help they need. 

Ultimately, I hope to see closer relationships between apps, their various partners and their audience, the end user. Some apps, especially games, are rethinking how they interact with their users, rethinking how they create and build better relationships across the board.

7) Your UnifID solution was created to simplify identity resolution. Do you have any results to share since its launch back in 2021?

Overall, we’ve been seeing great results from our publisher partners that have adopted UnifID, and I would really encourage others to adopt it – especially those looking to more effectively monetize their iOS audiences.

TextNow in particular has seen especially promising results. Since adopting UnifID in the second half of 2021, TextNow has seen a 73% increase in iOS fill rates and a 146% boost in eCPMs. On the eCPM front, TextNow has seen increases for both banners and native ad units since adopting UnifID. We’ll be publishing our case study with them soon, so keep an eye out for that to get the full picture.

8) What is your biggest focus for the year ahead as a platform, and what needs to be done to ensure the sustainable future of mobile advertising?

We’ve heavily focused on rolling out options that help our publishers partners monetize their ad inventory today. To that end, we will soon be pushing live our on-device targeting solution which helps make users more addressable while also ensuring no personal data ever leaves the device. Further, in the coming months, our full addressability solution suite for both advertisers and publishers will be live.

We’ll also be keeping a close eye on Android this year, especially in light of Google’s recent announcement that it will be introducing Privacy Sandbox to Android in a few years’ time. In 2022, we are also focused on giving feedback to Google on SDK Runtime and other components of their overall proposal, and we encourage all of our partners to do the same.