New Boss in Town

New Boss in Town

The Chinese government has inserted itself into online game development as a result of content concerns – more moral than political.  It inserted itself by the creation of an approval committee called the Online Games Ethics Committee (OGEC), which started with outright rejections of nine of the first twenty applications and the return of the other eleven to developers for specified revisions.  New boss in town.  No new games of been released since March, a damper on a hot market that thrives on a combination of classic standards and excitement around new releases.

Most affected is the biggest game developer, Tencent, one of China’s big three tech companies.  Its stock is down 48.3% from its January high.  But don’t cry for Tencent, they are connected, things will likely turn back in their favor.  Source: VentureBeat

Programmatic Ad Spending Continues to Surge

Programmatic Ad Spending Growth H117-H118

As the graph shows, worldwide growth for programmatic spending is moving at a fast pace.  Naturally, a country like India will grow faster than the rest because it started at such a low point.  But the surprise is that, given its prior strength, US growth is as strong as it is relative to the other leaders.  Also noticeable is that China did not make it into the top five.

Anne Frisbie, senior vice president of global programmatic in North America at InMobi, observed, “Brands are more willing to commit more dollars programmatically and not just for remnant inventory.” Source: Mediapost

China: Inflation Moderated in November

China Inflation - Nov-18

Inflation in China receded for the first time in the six months since June.  The shift is attributed to a decline in both food and non-food inflation.  Both gained, but not as much as expectations.  The pressure that six month of increases may have caused has been dissipated by November’s reduction making it appear that trade tensions have been absorbed for now.  Source: Trading Economics; National Bureau of Statistics, China

Lessons from the East – Part Two: Marketing

Chinese Advice - marketing

In case, you are a self-assured American business person, here’s an example of how the world is flipping.  The following is an excerpt that provides advice and counsel to the US (and world’s) businesses on the five, company-building things that need to be done for success in the modern world from the Chinese point of view.

Focus on Word-of-Mouth Advocacy  – In a social media environment, incorporating the power of influencers to stoke word-of-mouth is a required plank of a marketing plan

Capitalize on Mobile Videos – Parallel to the social media trend is the mobile video trend.  Long form video with informative content adds dimension to a brand beyond the 30-second ad.  It too needs to be central to a modern marketing strategy.

Live Stream – Maybe the most personal of all digital marketing strategies, live streaming, puts the immediacy of a current event in a customer’s hand.  The obvious is an athlete live streaming during a game, but even a company can ask its socially conscious people at a trade show to live stream the event for customers who are not there.

Become Green and Eco-Friendly – Another undeniable trend is the consumer demand for more healthy food and environmental sustainability.  Aliening those interests in your product and its marketing is a positive.

Stay Flexible – All good marketing requires flexibility, but digital marketing and the trend elements mentioned here, demand flexibility.  The same goes for the product side of business management.

Source: Pan Daily

The Move In-House Continues Unabated

In-House Buyers

A total 65% of the programmatic buyers will do so from either a total or partial in-house agency in 2019, according to research by IAB.   That translates to $55 billion of the $84 billion in expected digital ad spend for the year.

Zenith Research’s Benoit Cacheux, global head of digital and innovation, notes that “Advertisers are spending more carefully while they invest in infrastructure.”  Clearly, moving programmatic buying in-house is the main way that’s being done.  Our view is that the best approach is a combination of in-house and outside agency that gets the best of both worlds – company control with a third-party view of the world.  Source:

Lessons from the East – Part One: Business Practices

Chinese Advice

In case, you’re a self-assured American business person, here’s an example of how the world is flipping.  The following is an excerpt that provides advice and counsel to the US (and world’s) businesses on the five, company-building things that need to be done for success in the modern world from the Chinese point of view.

Be Globally Available  – Jack Ma travelled the world talking to governments and conferences to build Alibaba’s world presence.

Value Customer Suggestions – Xiaomi (the online phone giant) executives spend significant amounts of their time reviewing customer comments and some have influenced redesigns.

Personalize with Geo Targeting – The combination of broad brand strategies with hyper-local targeting

Make Information Partnerships – Companies should establish formal partnerships with other companies on a data level – best for parallel, but not competitive companies.

Stay Brave and Bold – The fastest way to lose in business is to stop innovating, to stop re-inventing your business from products to production to distribution and marketing.

Source: Pan Daily

In-App Ad Spend to Increase 300% Plus by 2021

Mobile In-App Adv

Future in-app advertising is bright according to data from PR Daily.  The number of app downloads is expected to rise substantially by 2021 and advertising spend projections reflect an acknowledgement that people are spending increasing time on their mobile devises relative to all other advertising media.  Advertising is expected to follow the audience as it should.  Sources: AdAge; PR Daily

China’s PMI is Steady, but Weakening, for Now

Manufacturing PMI November-18

Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group, speaking about the Index for November notes that “China’s economy was weak, but did not show significant signs of deterioration.”  The weakness is attributed to the trade tensions with the US while the lack of overall deterioration may be an overhang from prior strength. December’s numbers will likely reflect continuing trade pressure and new events that would not have been factored into November.  Source: Markit Economics.

Two Ways to Go: Pre-Roll or In-App

Video Ads in China

China ’s mobile video ad market is booming because of the penetration of smartphones in the market that goes back to the lack of internet infrastructure 10 or 15 years ago.  When China decided to re-enter the wider world it was easier to put up cell towers than string wire. Result: the balance of desktop and mobile is different there than in the West.  That history is the predicate for the current boom.  Chinese folks live on their phones and advertisers have to reach them where they are.  And it turns out that video is a compelling message delivery system.

There are two ways to go with video; pre-roll or in-app.  Pre-roll forces the viewing and has the benefits of reaching more people while in-app requires the user to opt-in, which means fewer viewers, but since they have chosen to view, more return on investment.  Pick your poison.   Source: MarTech

The Near-Term Future of Mobile Header Bidding is Now

Heading Bidding Growth

Mike Chowla, Director of Product Management at PubMatic understates the case when he says, “In-app header bidding technology development is poised to continue into and throughout 2019, incorporating the benefits of server-to-server functionality to minimize the current SDK drawbacks.”  The data showing the disparity in recent growth between mobile and desktop header bidding suggests that there is a clear strategy emerging among marketers.  The recognition of mobile and in-app advertising in particular, suggests that it is the palce to be as we move into the next year.  App Developer Magazine