How to Sell Integrated Sponsorships to Monetize Mobile Apps at Launch

How do publishers monetize the launch of their mobile applications leveraging existing online properties? That is a question that keeps many publishers on their toes.
As a publisher, you understand a large part of your future success lies in the digital world, which transcends beyond online to mobile and soon to tablets and other appliances.

Monetization of your content is important today and will help make the business case internally of “why?” and “why now?” when introducing new digital mediums for your brand.

Components of App Strategy

A successful launch for your mobile applications involves primarily three components:

1. The right product/content fit
2. A clear distribution and marketing plan for your new application
3. A monetization strategy for short-term and long-term

From our experience in working with hundreds of major media brands worldwide, a successful monetization strategy at launch is to sell an exclusive integrated sponsorship across mobile and online.

The sponsor – your advertising client – would receive a high share of voice in the mobile applications.

More importantly, at launch the sponsor will benefit from the marketing campaign you are going to be running to drive adoption of your mobile applications.

At launch, your marketing campaign will likely involve a combination of house inventory for television/radio spots, print ads, online banners and social media outlets from which you will be promoting your new mobile Apps to your existing ecosystem of consumers and subscribers.

For your launch sponsor, wherever the applications are mentioned, they would be mentioned as well (“Brought to you by…”).

Pricing Sponsorships

To price your launch sponsorship, take the market value of the entire house inventory you plan to use to market the applications – TV, radio, print, online – and then discount it 20-40 percent.

The key here is to not put a price on the mobile inventory – which does not yet exist– as it is difficult to predict how many users and impressions you will serve over the course of the launch period, which we recommend for 100 days or three months.

Post-launch period, you should now have plenty of metrics on how the applications performed in terms of downloads, active users, user ratings, page views, ad impressions served and click-through-rates, which will then feed a more long-term pricing strategy for your mobile inventory.

Many publishers have succeeded in driving profitable revenue at launch of their mobile applications leveraging this strategy.

We have seen that it is important to not give away the launch sponsorship opportunity for free and to keep the price of publishers’ mobile inventory at a premium level post-launch.