iAd Workbench: Better Than Ever


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The latest update for the Apple's mobile ad network.

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iAd Workbench: Better Than Ever

  1. 1. IAD WORKBENCH: BETTER THAN EVER May 6, 2014 Art Dogtiev, Head of Branded Content http://comboap.com
  2. 2. Mobile Marketing Agency Among the many mobile ad platforms that exist, one stands out as the “gold standard” – and, for a very good reason – it is owned by Apple. We’re talking about iAd, which debuted in 2010. iAd is a rebrand of Quattro Wireless, which was acquired by the tech giant in January of the same year. The driving concept of iAd is simple, yet complex. iAd was envisioned as a way for iOS app developers to make a profit on free apps. At the time of launch, there was a common issue with all mobile ad networks that impeded their effectiveness, which iAd was set to solve: App users were forced to leave the app after clicking on a banner. Apple solved this problem for devs with an elegant feature that allowed users to return to the app easily after viewing a static or video ad in-app.    Car companies were among the first to launch ad campaigns via the iAd platform. (The Honda Leaf video ad as the first ad launched using the iAd platform.) Fast forward to June 2013: Apple makes a drastic shift that repurposes iAd to support the (then) brand new iTunes Radio service. The original idea of iAd as a method for devs to earn revenue via advertising in free apps didn’t work. It happens. Even with companies as successful as Apple.
  3. 3. Mobile Marketing Agency June 12, 2013: Apple launched a major enhancement for the iAd platform called “Workbench.”    Much like the famous 1984 advertising campaign in which Apple touted theirs were “computers for the rest of us,” the iAd Workbench is intended to be the mobile ad platform for “the rest of us.” Easy to use, intuitive – bearing all the hallmarks of Apple’s trademark “simplicity as sophistication.” (Another famous Apple advertising campaign, from the late 70s.)    Initially, iAd campaigns were projected to budget around a few thousand dollars, minimum. Workbench, however, had minimal budgets starting as low as $50. The essence of Workbench is that developers can target who they want, when they want – using a manual or automatic mode to run their campaigns. (On a screenshot below you can even see some skeuomorphism elements in the Workbench interface just like it was in iOS 6.) Obviously, the power of a platform lies in the huge pool of data tied to the iOS apps Apple has at its’ disposal. Workbench
  4. 4. Mobile Marketing Agency As of now it seems like iAd goes in two directions, simultaneously – to support iTunes radio and the recent block of Bloom.fm from iAd speaks to how serious the effort is to continue improving the platform for iOS app promotion. ! !     The most notable update to Workbench, introduced by Apple this April, is that the platform has opened its’ doors to more than just app developers. Apple realized that many developers simply can’t allocate time to and/or don’t have the expertise needed to run an effective app marketing campaign.    Yes – it’s possible to automate certain aspects of an ad campaign and power it with sophisticated data, but the platform -itself- does not replace professional marketing experience.    The biggest change to iAd Workbench is, simply put, you don’t need to have an Apple Developer account to be able to use the platform. The Latest Updates
  5. 5. Mobile Marketing Agency All you need is your regular Apple ID and you can set up an account. Meaning: Marketing professionals can now create ad hoc campaigns for clients, without the client needing to give them access to their dev account (a move, which at best, requires an immense amount of trust in your marketing team). Improvement number two: You can promote any product or service from Workbench – not just iOS apps. There are 23 categories available to choose from – simply input the logo, URL and you can promote your brand in iOS apps using the power and might of Apple’s solicited user data pool. Think of it as Facebook Mobile App Install Ads for Apple. Obviously, there are several noticeable differences between FMAIA and Workbench – most notably – reach. (Nobody on this planet can beat Facebook’s billion user advertising base.) Facebook also runs ads in a single app and Apple runs ads in thousands of different apps. The third improvement allows video clips to be used in advertising. This brings the power of short video ads into the platform, increasing the effectiveness and attractiveness of Workbench for advertisers. These improvements all combine to place iAd Workbench into position to really become relevant as a tool both for developers and advertisers. Will it flourish? It remains to be seen. ! Art Dogtiev, Head of Branded Content