Overview of mobile apps marketing and trends in Southeast Asia

Mobile app has been the centre of innovation in the recent years. With the ever-growing market and modern technologies coming up, it is tough to stay relevant and competitive. With the largest market penetration and flexibility, mobile devices prove to be the best device to be targeted by businesses. While all these statements are true, it should be noted that moving to mobile is not something new for a company especially in 2018. Based on eMarketer, mobile ad costs in Southeast Asia (SEA) is poised to double in the next five years from 2017 to 2021, in part due to heavy mobile investments across the region. This will surpass $2.20 billion US dollars and totaled to nearly 69% of digital ad expenditures by 2021.

If marketers want to get decent engagement from mobile, then they needs to step up their application and provide a unique user experience. We have provided with top industry trends that ruled our region in 2017 and how these will impact marketers in this year ahead.


Revenues increased, but so is media cost

From the observation on the cost of media, specifically cost per install (CPI), in Southeast Asia has increase 50% year by year. With effectiveness of the marketers in the monetization, optimization and measurement have given an impact to the revenue per user (ARPU) that has risen by 60% year over year. It indicates that the increased revenue trend will continue in 2018 as advertisers benefit from increased costs by emphasizing on ad monetization as publishers, creating an additional revenue stream.


Cat-and-mouse game of ad fraud continues

Ad fraud is a type of scam in which the perpetrator fools advertisers into paying for something that is worthless to them, such as fake traffic, fake leads or misrepresented and ineffective ad placement. There are many type of ad fraud that can be detect such as Click fraud, search ad fraud, ad stacking and many more. According to AppsFlyer report, they revealed advertisers lost between US$2.2 – $2.6 billion to app install fraud in 2017, with one in ten non-organic installs in 2017 being fraudulent. A new type of fraud has appeared which is calling DeviceID Reset Fraud. DeviceID Reset Fraud is a type of click, install and engagement fraud where criminals click on real ads, install the actual apps, and engage with the apps, often for quite some time.


Marketing budgets used to boost app discovery

The fact that mobile apps are relatively easier to create than computer apps, as well as their considerable lower price has translated into a growing industry which produces every year more and more with over 2 million apps in the iOS App Store and 3.5 million apps in Google Play. In SEA, non-organic installs increased 145% between 2015 and 2017 but the share of organic installs declined 11% within the same time frame. Thus by the increasing app in both of the application, marketers are increasing advertising spend because they are getting better results. As marketers become more sophisticated in their use of data, they will increase effectiveness of their mobile marketing campaigns — which will lead to increased and optimized UA spend.


Facebook’s position far from being challenged

A heavy investment in automation that shown by Facebook has become a domination that will continue in 2018. When it comes to Facebook advertising, the hype is real. Creating an eye-catching, interesting advertisement is the easiest way to do this, but not all Facebook ads are the same. In April 2017 more than 5 million businesses were advertising on Facebook each month. That is way up from the 3 million monthly advertisers it had in March 2016. Google’s piece in the app install pie has increased by almost 50% in 2017 compared to 2016. The search giant has made significant strides in their mobile app suite, and the results are showing.

Overall, Facebook and Google offer superior quality and scale but at a cost. To optimise cost efficiencies, marketers are increasingly utilising a wider range of media sources to supplement Facebook and Google.