This is Part 2 of our interview with Howie Schwartz, CEO of HumanDemand.com. If you haven’t read part 1 you can find it here.
Me: Wow, so that sounds really cool. It sounds a little bit more akin to what an affiliate would be used to coming from traditional web based advertising.
So let’s say I’m an affiliate looking to get into mobile advertising – What would a typical campaign look like using HumanDemand.com as a mobile affiliate?
Howie: Sure, the first thing is that you’ll find a mobile offer. I’d encourage people to use www.offermobi.com as I was one of the co-founders and chairman of the company. Haha, so I suggest you check out what OfferMobi has.
Very similar to running a desktop campaign you start by working with your affiliate network. You pull your tracking links and pull your creative. Then you go to HumanDemand.com and create an account. It’s a self serve platform. You’ll start by adding a campaign, add a destination URL, and you add your banner creative.
You’ll see that we have the ability to append tokens to the end of your destination URL. So you can pass a lot of very important attributes about your traffic (thinks like the carrier or the location or the specific app or site you’re running on).
And then what you’ll do is really the difference between working on mobile versus working on the desktop. You’ll start to look at things like carrier – is this campaign limited by specific carrier because of billing reasons, etc. Or does this support wifi – yes or no? You’ll also look at the devices and the operating systems. Is this an app offer or a CPI campaign that’s only Android? You’ll decide things like It’s Android, it runs on these operating systems and it doesn’t run on these 5 devices. Or it’s an iOS campaign and it’s just for iPad.
Then that’s it and you launch your campaign.
You’ll see in near real time exactly how traffic is flowing and exactly how your offers are backing out. You can see, again, that key placement level per app, per site, per device exactly what you’re backing into and what that effective cost per install is. Then you optimize and control your bidding price. It’s real time bidding so your bidding impression by impression directly there in the interface.
Me: Very cool. It sounds like you’ve really simplified things with your platform. It sounds great
Howie: Yeah we tried to make it wizard based. So when you’re creating a campaign it walks you through these steps. The reporting is broken out too, so you can see how you’re doing on a carrier or device level.
You get some really interesting insights when you work with transparent data. You should run a test campaign to collect some data. Then optimize. Then scale after you optimize. So when you run a test campaign you’ll see, for example, that wifi is doing OK, Verizon is doing well, and you’re just not doing well with AT&T as a carrier. Since you have that data you can just choose to stop running on AT&T
Then let’s say you’re only running on Android and you notice that, hey, these 10 devices are doing awesome and these 8 devices are bombing. Then with a click of the mouse you’d click on those devices and stop serving ads to those devices. You can do the same thing with placements. You can see which apps are backing out for you.
Because there’s a lot more transparency there’s a lot more leverage than most any other platform.
Me: Transparency is key, for sure. You mentioned that maybe AT&T as a carrier isn’t doing so well with a particular campaign. Are you finding, in the mobile ad space, that the demographics vary by carrier drastically?
Howie: Dramatically. There’s a pretty big difference between carrier and wifi, specific devices, tablet versus phones, etc.
But what you’ll find though is not that AT&T won’t work for you at all, it’s that they don’t work for a specific campaign or group of campaigns.
Me. OK. So we’ve kind of gone over the 20,000 foot view here. As an insider – are there any sort of “ninja” mobile advertising tips that you could share with affiliates. You know, as the “platform” owner and all that. OR have you seen affiliates do interesting things with your platform that you hadn’t really considered before.?
Howie: Yeah – that’s a great question. I think there are a few things. 1 of them we just covered on carrier. I think that’s been really interesting to me. The drastic performance difference between carriers is something to consider.
The other really interesting thing is creative testing. We’ve found that the affiliates that are having the strongest performance are the one’s that are testing new banner creative. And in our platform it’s super simple. You basically just upload a banner with a click.
The other tip on that is not to start a campaign with 100 banners. Let’s say you have multiple banner sizes. Let’s say there are 4 banner sizes you’re working with. If you loaded 5, 6 pieces of creative and there’s 20 or 30 banners that’s great. Then you want to optimize down from there. If you’re starting with 100 banners then you have to collect a lot more data. You’ll have to spend a lot on media before start to see which banners are working.
The other kind of “ninja” tip is that the affiliates I see doing really well are looking at carrier optimization, uploading 15,20,30 banners, removing banners that don’t work, and then uploading new banners. I think that’s probably one of the biggest tips. It’s not just about removing banners that don’t work but trying new banners too. It’s critical to focus on your banner creative.
You could run 100 banners but it’s more expensive to collect enough data and takes longer. We’re finding that the affiliates doing the best start smaller and constantly test new creative.
Another tip is to think international… We see a lot of success with affiliates running outside of the U.S. There are interesting things that we see run in Mexico all the time. There are interesting things that run in various parts of Europe. We saw an affiliate run something in Russia recently that was interesting. This is really a global market. I think a lot of affiliates in general are US centric. So the other tip is to not be afraid to test international traffic.
Me. Very good tips, thank you. Well… you know what everyone wants to know, right? What kind of money are affiliates making on mobile these days?
Howie: We’re seeing affiliates who are doing 4 and 5 figures per month consistently. There are larger companies that are doing 6 figures. I don’t see any individual affiliates doing 6 figures yet, but we’ve definitely seen high 4, low 5 figures on mobile per month.
The opportunity is there. You have to be willing to test.
Me: Awesome. Is there anything else you wanted to cover?
Howie: I think the main thing is if you’re not doing mobile you really need to test it. It’s practically a requirement today. Mobile affiliates who maybe ran a campaign a year or two years ago that didn’t have success – they need to come back. There are a lot more offers and tools now to help them make their campaigns a success.
If you haven’t started mobile yet, you’re crazy.
Me: Yeah I couldn’t agree more – so much has changed. Thanks again Howie. I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me.
Howie: Awesome – thank you man!