One of the companies helping advertisers reach into the continually expanding world of mobile is CrossInstall, one of AdColony’s premier performance advertising partners. The San Francisco-based team has built a reputation for customer service, innovative solutions to the ever-changing mobile industry, and tapping into the evolving tastes of mobile users.
We asked the team at CrossInstall for a bit more information on how they got started, how they’re embracing new technologies and their thoughts on the mobile industry in general.
Why did CrossInstall enter the mobile space in the first place?
Most of CrossInstall’s founders worked at Super Rewards where they collaborated with game developers on the Facebook platform. Timing was the key as developers were moving toward mobile. The million dollar question, at that time, was: how do we get users on mobile?
The world our founders knew from desktop games was easily transferable to the mobile ecosystem in terms of methodology and user base. The company quickly grew year over year, capitalizing on the rapid expansion of the mobile environment.
What services does CrossInstall provide to mobile publishers and/or advertisers?
CrossInstall helps worldwide advertisers, representing a number of industries, reach their mobile acquisition and brand awareness goals through interactive ads.
We provide interactive and immersive full-screen experiences to engage pre-qualified users and ads designed and revised by in-house experts (at no additional costs). These ads track interaction rates creating a data-driven creative optimization process that provides valuable user insights. Our account managers are available to guide our clients 24/7/365. You can leverage playables capitalizing on our strong relationships with a number of partner platforms. Our clients have industry expertise and quality, at their fingertips, for results-oriented ads.
All our clients benefit from our Mobile Demand-Side platform that buys premium In-App inventory, a device profile database comprised of over 1 billion unique device profiles per week, and our proprietary bidding technology with predictive modeling.
CrossInstall also recently launched our Opportunity Forecast Tool (OFT), a first-of-its-kind solution that enables advertisers to instantly see where adjusting their CPI (cost-per-install) by small amounts will lead to large-scale increases in conversions on an overall campaign level, geographic level, or publisher level. It provides advertisers with increased spend transparency, empowered forecasting, and increased conversions.
How has CrossIntal grown alongside mobile? How was your 2017?
One of the aspects that is most impressive for us, as a bootstrapped company, is that we’ve grown our headcount 49% this year (8 people two years ago to 40+ this year) and also just moved into our brand new office (with amazing views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge). We have worked with over 90% of the top grossing gaming publishers and renowned brands. We are a profitable bootstrapped company, and we are very proud of this.
How does CrossInstall make life easier for mobile publishers and advertisers?
The app ecosystem is immensely overcrowded making it difficult for advertisers to access audiences overwhelmed by noise. CrossInstall helps mobile advertisers deliver a personalized, interactive message to pinpoint hard to reach audiences. Our custom-built and data-optimized playable ads and performance-based bidder make us the secret weapon for the top grossing apps and renowned brands.
Why is it important for publishers and/or advertisers to utilize services such as CrossInstall?
In today’s world, a successful advertiser’s role is multifaceted – entertainer, engager, and fulfiller of wants and needs. The advertisers with the best return on investment (ROI) know that a user-centric approach requires a multi-prong strategy. Both data and creative become important in reaching your consumer. All aspects of our creative optimization and interactive ad process are data-driven and user-oriented. You want to have every tool in your arsenal to capture users’ attention, which begins with dynamic and engaging ads.
With a similar data-driven approach regarding the visual process, you can see whether users respond better to an experience where the Call to Action (CTA) is served in 10 versus 30 seconds, a quiz with an easier or harder mode, and whether the audience prefers a product carousel or product grid layout. The end product is an interactive ad that is optimized, and you know throughout the process exactly which parts of your ad are working and which parts are not. Even better, you can even use this data to improve the experience for users who already have downloaded your app.
It’s a win-win for advertisers and consumers. It’s no longer just about showing someone an ad, and advertisers must now take into account how to engage the individual. Static ads don’t fit the form or function of the page – which means they don’t fit with the way consumers take in information. Consumers expect an ad that is seamless, engaging, intuitive, and an experience.
What is the number one example of your tools/services enabling mobile publisher and/or advertiser success?
Our clients will tell you that they trust us to ensure their success because of our unique, data-driven creative iteration approach. We designed our technology specifically to help advertisers succeed in the complex, user-driven app ecosystem. Ad performance is dynamically optimized, as we test different ad variables. For example, we worked with Glu to achieve CTA effectiveness 10% greater than the industry average and LTVs 43% greater than the industry standard. We also ensured highly engaged users with 85% retained by the third tap.
To ensure optimal ad conversions and streamline the user journey throughout the ad, CrossInstall tracks interaction rates and makes changes accordingly. These changes can include aspects like serving the CTA more or less quickly, placing the tutorial in different locations, or increasing and decreasing the amount of text. Everything in the ad we change is backed up by data to ensure ad optimizations move in the right direction and achieve KPI goals. Not only can we figure out which combination of variables leads to highest conversion, but also highest post-install quality.
As mobile has embraced programmatic advertising on both the supply and demand side, how has CrossInstall taken advantage of new opportunities?
We’ve extended our business, in three ways, to encompass brand advertisers and Playable Partnerships and open previously closed ad networks.
First, today’s top-grossing brands want to maximize their advertising budgets by supplementing traditional media campaigns with an interactive mobile strategy to track and maximize brand awareness and engagement. This provides a key opportunity for CrossInstall to build our Brand Sales line of business, within wide-ranging industries, to help these advertisers achieve their goals.
Based on advanced technological capabilities, brand advertisers can use a mobile strategy to plan exactly how and when potential users engage with their content. They can use geo-targeting so people can find the nearest location, increase brand awareness, increase knowledge about specific items, drive sign-ups for a special promotion, or drive app downloads. Combining traditional media and CrossInstall’s new interactive forms of advertising creates a power couple for brand advertisers.
Second, listening closely to client feedback helps us keep ahead of the rapidly evolving industry. Based on consistent advertiser requests to leverage CI playables on other networks, we created our Playable Partnerships program. Through this program, CrossInstall has partnered closely with specific ad networks and platforms in an effort to allow mutual clients to cast a wider inventory net with their CI playables.
For a bit of context – historically, advertisers could only use their CI playable directly with us via our DSP and exchanges (which is extremely valuable as it allows us to collect interaction data and optimize the creative). Now advertisers can use the optimized creatives we make for them directly with these Playable Partners with whom we have relationships (including AdColony, which we’re very excited about). There’s minimal work required from the advertiser, and it’s a great way to take advantage of the ever-expanding partnership between CrossInstall and AdColony.
Furthermore, programmatic created an opportunity for the transformation of closed ad networks into exchanges. We were one of the first to capitalize on this major shift in the mobile landscape. We’ve expanded our reach beyond the traditional ad networks by integrating with newer exchanges that have recently opened up their inventory, like AdColony, Unity, AppLovin, etc. We have access to a large majority of the rewarded and non-rewarded inventory available as programmatic inventory continues to expand.
What would you say to developers and publishers still on the fence about playable ad units in general?
For advertisers, playables are a great way to pre-qualify user interest before ever asking a user to download the game. Users already understand the app’s core functionality, and advertisers know right away whether users are going to enjoy key aspects of the gameplay. This enables advertisers to receive more high-quality users and maximize conversions.
For publishers, playables drive high conversions which lead to high eCPMs. This is why we are seeing publishers buying in across the board. Publishers are excited about playable ads because they work — the results are proven.
Where do you see mobile heading in the short term (2-3 years) and long-term (5 years and longer)?
In the short term, mobile will become even more ubiquitous. Even though it seems like everyone is currently on mobile, the advancing technology ensures our day-to-day lives will only continue to become more entangled in these opportunities. Fraud will also be a huge focus for the industry. In turn, this will create a more collaborative industry focusing on extinguishing bad actors as fraudsters become more slick.
Within the next few years, the industry will shed light on the fraud situation as it comes out into the open and is subsequently stamped out. Lastly, anything that is not yet programmatic on mobile will become programmatic as its dominance continues as a way to transact on ads. There will be very few players left outside of programmatic.
In the long term, users will become more incentivized to interact empowering their control over their privacy, ad experience, and the economy — in ways that benefit the entire ad ecosystem. It’s difficult to say where blockchain will go, but it is certain it will change the mobile industry. The standard centralized companies will fall by the wayside and become decentralized inviting the user and other players to become more involved in the ecosystem.
What industry trend or development are you most excited about in the near-term, and why?
CrossInstall is excited to move toward a more transparent mobile ad industry. While the proliferation of ad fraud is extremely harmful, it will inspire industry collaboration, like never before. It will redefine key player relationships sparking partners and competitors, alike, to collaborate for a mutually beneficial purpose.
Advertisers will begin by asking questions of both themselves and their vendors to ensure transparency. Rapid technological updates leave no room for outdated practices to defend against fraud. Ensuring transparency falls to not just vendors or advertisers, but all of us. This will move the industry forward in ways beyond imagination.
Staying in touch with CrossInstall
CrossInstall covers the social media bases you’d expect with an active Facebook page, a lively Twitter, @CrossInstall, and an official LinkedIn that actively showcases the company’s growth. The company regularly publishes content to their blog on a wide range of topics, from their newest team members to the latest development in mobile fraud prevention.
In addition, a number of CrossInstall’s talented team are active on Twitter:
- Jeff Marshall, Co-founder, and CEO — @marshalljeff
- Bobby McFarland, Co-founder, and President) — @bobby_mcfarland
- Chris Yorro, VP of Sales & Agency Development — @chrisyorro
- Victor Perez, Director, Performance Sales — @victorperez0313
- Melanie Feldman, Account Executive – Brand & Agency — @melzfeld
Join the Conversation
Ready to join the playables mobile revolution with CrossInstall and AdColony? Tweet us at @AdColony. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.
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