Writing your iOS apps in Swift?

Writing your iOS apps in Swift?

After 4 years of development, Apple released the Swift programming language in 2014 to replace its 30+ year old counterpart, Objective-C. Since then, it has only gained in popularity while Objective-C’s has precipitously declined.

Image courtesy of TIOBE

Image courtesy of TIOBE

Initially sitting side-by-side with Objective-C, Swift is fast becoming the primary language for developing native iOS/OS apps. Its rapid promotion is primarily due to Apple open-sourcing the language in 2015.

Apple’s decision has resulted in another benefit: its scope of application is rapidly evolving. For example, IBM has been instrumental in developing Swift language for server-side programming.

Why is Swift gaining popularity?

The Swift language is cleaner, safer and faster.

It’s easier to read and write because of its no-fuss syntax. The cleaner syntax also translates into fewer coding errors. And unlike Objective-C, it can generate compiler errors as you code because of optional types.

All of the above creates a more accessible, learnable language. Consequently, adoption by current and future developers is all but guaranteed.

For a more detailed overview of Swift’s advantages over Objective-C, check out this article from clearview.

Why is a Swift SDK important?

An SDK written solely in Swift is cleaner, safer and faster.

Other ad networks use bridging headers that allow Swift code to sit on top of Objective-C. Necessary when it was first released, the additional code now adds unnecessary density to apps written in Swift.

That density creates a more cumbersome and less stable SDK. If you are using ad networks as part of your app’s monetization strategy, those issues will transfer to your app and compromise your user experience.

Adcash is the first network to create a Swift SDK

Adcash is cleaner, safer and faster than comparable networks.

We invest resources to improve our current infrastructure as we position ourselves for the road ahead. Swift’s increasing adoption at all levels and Apple’s release of Swift 3.0 are signals that should not be ignored.

We’re not. Are you?

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

What is RTB and why it is important

What is RTB and why it is important

Programmatic advertising has averaged 71% year over year growth from 2012 to ‘16 and is expected to grow another 31% in 2017. Real-time bidding, or RTB technologies, have been the primary vehicle for programmatic’s growth.

So, why is programmatic important? You have probably used programmatic methods to buy or sell traffic, directly or indirectly…

…and RTB? It is the primary programmatic method employed and will likely continue to be so in the near future.

This leads us to our first point: programmatic advertising is not synonymous with RTB. Instead, programmatic is the process of using software and algorithms to trade data-rich media while RTB is one method of execution.

What is RTB? Your no-nonsense overview

RTB is the trading of traffic on a per-impression basis in a second-price auction format via ad exchanges. A second-price auction format is where the highest and clearing bid are different.

Therefore, although the highest bidder wins, the second highest bid plus one cent is paid. The rationale for this format is that it prevents the highest bidder from overpaying for the impression.

There are multiple ad exchanges and publishers offer their traffic from one exchange to another until it is sold; this is called a waterfall. The position of each exchange in the waterfall depends on its expected return.

The process is mediated by supply- and demand-side platforms (SSP/DSPs) that represent publishers and advertisers, respectively. From request to an ad being served, the process happens within milliseconds:

The publisher benefits from RTB because no impression is left unsold. In fact, RTB has mostly been used to sell remnant traffic, which is leftover traffic from direct deals. However, it’s increasingly used to sell premium traffic.

Meanwhile, the advertiser benefits from the massive amount of inexpensive, data-rich traffic made available by these exchanges. Benefits aside, real-time bidding has not been without controversy.

RTB: a work in progress

The primary issue with programmatic RTB is its lack of transparency. Often described as a black box, advertisers are concerned about price manipulation and ad placement.

The recent Youtube debacle, where big brand ads were placed next to extremist videos, exemplifies what is at stake when there is little to no transparency. But, advertisers are not completely devoid of fault.

There is consensus within the industry that advertisers have been prioritizing quantity over quality. Because of this, brands, advertisers and media buyers have been willing to operate in the dark.

Publishers are not free from risk either: many use Google’s ad server, which gives priority to their ad exchange. Additionally, real-time demand isn’t taken into account because waterfall ranking is based on estimated return.

Thus, the publisher isn’t guaranteed the highest price for an impression. Nonetheless, there is demand for greater transparency from both parties and versions, e.g. private RTB marketplaces, are gaining popularity, which will increase accessibility.

So, why is RTB important?

As mentioned above, RTB is the primary programmatic method employed and will continue to be so…at least in the near future. Why? It is by far the most accessible method for publishers of all sizes.

Other methods, such as programmatic direct and header bidding, require a scale and resources that present smaller publishers with impossibly high barriers to entry. Likewise, accessibility has improved for advertisers.

Specifically, they have greater access to impressions and at lower prices due to the sheer amount of supply and lower cost of acquisition. However, RTB is also important for a larger reason.

Programmatic RTB has changed the expectations of how media will be primarily traded in the future, be it through RTB or other methods. This not only applies to digital media, but non-digital as well.

Consequently, this calls every party to learn a new language and way of thinking to ensure that they are getting what they expect. After all programmatic, in all its forms, is already happening: are you doing what’s necessary in this brave new world?


Whether you are or aren’t, it never hurts to do more research, check out Adcash RTB below!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

A beginner’s guide to CPM, CPC and CPA campaign options

A beginner’s guide to CPM, CPC and CPA campaign options

CPM, CPC, CPA…on and on, and so on. If ad tech is anything, it is an alphabet soup of epic proportions. The concepts behind the campaign acronyms are simple, but integrating them into your ad strategy isn’t.

 

However, to succeed in maximizing the return on investment of your ad spend, you must know how to use these campaign options in an integrated fashion. After all, each has its strengths and weaknesses.

 

The acronyms represent a common language of exchange for you and the publisher/s displaying your campaigns. Collectively known as payout options, they determine when you pay the publisher.

A journey through the ad tech alphabet

The first and oldest payout option is CPM, also known as Cost Per Mille. What is Mille? It is Latin for 1,000; therefore, you pay per 1,000 impressions.

 

Its primary drawback? That it is impression-based.

 

It is all but impossible to attribute performance to a specific campaign; even the most sophisticated attribution models are educated guesses. That said, it is the least expensive option because of its imprecision. Advertisers often use CPM campaigns to increase and maintain brand awareness.

 

What if you want more actionable campaigns?

 

The CPC, or Cost Per Click, option is the first iteration of what are known as performance-based models. Performance models provide advertisers with greater budget oversight and attribution.

 

With CPC campaigns, advertisers pay for a click and even attribute a conversion to said click. The issue? You can’t control for multiple clicks from the same user and attribution is difficult if the conversion doesn’t immediately follow a click.

 

Enter the CPA payout models, or Cost Per Action, of which there are many. Whether it be registration, installation, sale or other action, advertisers do not pay unless a user performs the action.

 

These payout options result in a more equal exchange between publisher and advertiser because the publisher must be more strategic when placing the ad space. Otherwise, he or she will waste an impression.

The CPA option is stronger…but possesses drawbacks as well

With CPM, publishers can place ad space below the fold and therefore only visible through scrolling: the publisher can potentially get paid for an impression that was technically served, but never seen.

 

While the standard is moving toward in-screen CPMs, the most surefire way to ensure that you’re getting what you expect is to opt for CPA payout options. The same goes for accidental clicks from CPC campaigns.

 

CPA campaigns are protected because a user not only has to click an ad, but perform a specific action. Consequently, it is to the publisher’s benefit to provide visible ad space to qualified traffic.

 

But it isn’t without its drawbacks and CPA campaigns should be used in concert with the other: they run the risk of not providing the same level of traffic as the others due to the level of commitment they require from the publisher.

Hey, it’s your funnel but it all flows one way

The payout types you use and when you use them will depend on a number of factors: not the least is the part of your funnel you’re targeting. However complex your conversion path, the aim is the same; take multiple leads in and convert as many as you can:

campaign options

Spread the word, but precisely: start with CPM

For the top funnel, the most cost efficient payout option is CPM. Think of CPM campaigns as windshield campaigns; you pay a kid to run stick flyers underneath the windshield wipers of cars.

 

But, CPM campaigns are better because digital ad serving platforms allow you to tell the kid which vehicle to target. Just bear in mind that the more specific you are, the less traffic you will have.

 

Instead of targeting 2015 BMWs parked in a specific lot, target late model luxury vehicles parked in store lots within a specified area. Remember: it’s not just about payout type, but how you target.

Test and optimize your sales path: use CPC

Once you’re happy with your brand awareness and able to correlate a rise in website visits with your CPM campaigns, it’s time to address the middle of the funnel by implementing CPC campaigns.

 

These campaigns are great for deepening user engagement because you are only paying for clicks, the implication being that users who click are curious and interested in what you are offering.

 

Tip: effectively structure your click path and you will reap the most from CPC campaigns. Specifically, your ad should redirect to a landing page that either converts or sends them elsewhere.

 

Track each stage and identify where bottlenecks are within your path to purchase: CPC campaigns are not only a good way to target for conversions, they’re also a good way to test your campaigns.

Pay for your outcome: use CPA campaigns

Once tested and optimized, use CPA campaigns to target the bottom funnel because you are asking users to perform a specific action: they must be ready to convert or you just wasted everyone’s time.

 

Remember: you can use multiple CPA options to drive specific outcomes. For example, if you provide a service that has a longer path to purchase, you might not want to ask for the sale immediately.

 

Instead, start with a registration, such as for a newsletter registration. Don’t get caught up with making an immediate sale, today’s buyers will likely make many micro conversions before they convert.

The tighter the weave, the stronger your ad strategy

Plotting your funnel stages and tying your payout options accordingly will give you the greatest budget efficiency and effect. The above is merely an example of how to arrange your payout options.

 

Real funnels are more dynamic and never straight forward. Therefore, you may combine payout options at specific funnel stages or substitute one for another. The only way to know what works best is to test.

 

Nonetheless, you need to weave all payout options into your ad strategy and weave them tightly. Follow the ABCs and you will lead your customers along the path to purchase and convert.


Sound off, let the community members know how you use campaign options!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

Adcash is COPPA compliant, no ifs, ands or buts

Adcash is COPPA compliant, no ifs, ands or buts

From our stance against adblockers, you probably noticed that we are committed to free access to content. We have demonstrated that commitment by doggedly fighting ad fraud and maintaining high standards.

But there’s more to do; we also need to promote a safe digital environment for children. We’re proud to say that we’re doing our part: Adcash is 100% compliant with COPPA.

Short for the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, its aim is to prevent marketer overreach. It does this by limiting the information that digital properties can collect from children under a specific age without parental consent.

COPPA: Who, where and what is subject?

Any website, app or service provider knowingly collecting personal information from children under the age of 13 is subject to COPPA so long as they are headquartered or targeting traffic in the U.S.

Such wording provides its enforcement body global jurisdiction. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (see enforcement body) fined Singapore’s InMobi $950K for secretly gathering data from children-targeted apps.

The act’s scope not only includes requested information, such as the child’s name, but the data that persistent identifiers, such as cookies and other forms of passive tracking collect.

COPPA: Compliance comes down to one thing

COPPA is a pretty technical piece of legislation but it boils down to one thing: the parent’s right to determine what is in the best interest of his or her child.

In this case? It is the parents’ right to decide when and how much information digital properties can collect from their children.

It logically follows that properties targeted toward or otherwise collecting data from children must disclose this. They must also verify that it is the parent, not the child, who is providing consent.

COPPA: it’s not just about the law but what’s right

Whether you are acting as a business or citizen, it is in your best interest to comply with sensible laws. Otherwise, you open yourself to business- or life-altering liability.

However, just because you do what is legal doesn’t mean what you do is ethical. After all, following the law is just good sense…business or otherwise. No, your decision must be based as much on ethics as it is legality.

Collectively, it is our responsibility to ensure that children can safely play in and explore their environments. We need every member to make that happen: you can count us among those who are.


The content within this post does not constitute legal advice. For COPPA specifics, follow this link and consult with legal counsel for questions of compliance.

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

Understand these 5 app trends and stay ahead

Understand these 5 app trends and stay ahead

Smartphone subscribers were expected to comprise 46% of the global population by the end of 2016 according to Forrester. The market opportunities will decrease quickly, but those who understand the trends will stay ahead.

2017 is not so much about new as it is about the increasing intimacy of our relationships with smartphones. This will only continue as mobile payments, wearables and AR/VR technology become more accessible and adopted.

But it’s not the trends that are important, it’s the core truth they are grounded in. The question to ask is, what do the trends tell you about how users are engaging with their phones and what they expect from it? Now on to the trends…

Trend 1: App stores will remain the hub of app discovery but…

Google is beginning to roll out Instant Apps to a limited number of users, opening an additional channel for app discovery. Instant Apps are the sample toothbrushes that you get from the dentist of the app world.

You don’t have to install the app to use it and when close it, the app is gone. Consequently, none of the device’s storage has to be sacrificed to test an app or for one that won’t be used often, e.g. booking app.

How will this bode for the future of app development, especially the small- and mid-cap apps built to drive income? On one hand, Android users will be able to find suggested apps to go with their Google search.

On the other hand, you will be investing a lot of resources in creating an app that isn’t truly able to be monetized just for the opportunity to entice the user to download the full version while still running the risk of losing them within 90 days.

Trend 2: Aggregation apps will become increasingly popular

How many blog posts do you think are produced each day? If you guessed around 2 million, you’d be right. That’s just blog posts and doesn’t take into account other forms of content such as infographics, videos and social media.

With brands entering the content fray and technology providing users the means to efficiently create all forms of content, user eyeballs will become evermore saturated with content. The solution? Aggregator apps.

These apps satisfy the two requirements of apps: to make users’ lives easier and to entertain them. And they are getting better at what is fast becoming a third requirement: other- and self-personalization.

Get these three requirements right and you might just provide enough incentive for the user to download and keep your app. How do you accomplish the third? Use data for the former and provide tools and features for users to accomplish the latter.

Trend 3: Churn baby churn

Churn will continue to be a problem for app developers as 80% of users continue to leave apps within the first 90 days. The margin for error is even tighter considering that the majority of in-app time is spent within a small number of apps.

How can app developers/publishers beat the average? The Localytics research referenced above indicates that rich push notifications and in-app messaging are essential to encouraging engagement…and they must be personalized.

See those couples and groups of friends physically occupying the same space but with their noses firmly placed in-screen? The digital world will not only enhance the real, but it will replace many aspects of it.

But users are still humans with human needs…we will expect the same from the digital world. In this case, we will expect that our devices and apps know us to such a degree that they will even be able to predict our wants and desires.

Trend 4: Your app is only as good as your data and segmentation

Enter data: 2.5 quintillion bytes of it are created. Daily. How many zeroes are in a quintillion? 18. Simply put: that’s a lot of data. Money may make the world go ‘round but data makes the money go ‘round.

Luckily for you, your app is the perfect data-capture solution: users willingly hand over data for access to your app. This provides you a unique opportunity to personalize the in-app experience.

The trick for you will be collecting data in a non-threatening way. Specifically, the permissions you request need to be relevant to the in-app experience. It’ll be the difference between your user feeling taken care of or interrogated…

…no one likes to feel interrogated. Back to the data; you’re getting a lot of it and you will need to segment it to make any sense of it. Only through effective segmentation will you be able to realistically provide a personalized experience.

Trend 5: Be one with the platform and use discretion

Remember those rich push notifications we covered in Trend 3; why are they more likely to encourage engagement than a textual notification? The technology. The technology we use shapes our expectations.

After all, if your users were accessing your app through a feature-phone, their expectations would be different. Let’s consider how to work with the current technology while drawing from what worked in the past.

The record-breaking pre-registration numbers for the Nokia 3310 are not just the result of nostalgia, they are the result of something else: design. Its elegance lies in its purpose-built simplicity, complexity produced anxiety.

Hint: it’s not complexity that users expect. Ask why rich push notifications engage users? Answer this and you’ll get to the core truth of the technology; then you can ask how you can implement it into other app facets?

So, what core truth are these app trends grounded in?

There’s no question that you have your work cut out for you; you face greater competition and other external pressures in capturing and maintaining users for your app. Luckily, the opportunities have never been greater.

Be aware of what is happening, yes; but dig deeper to understand where each year’s trends are grounded in. In fact, review the trends of the past few years and you’ll see that they are all grounded in one core truth.

So, what is the core truth of these 5 trends? The smartphone is a dynamic device that is more an executive assistant than phone. They become our extensions due to their knowledge of us and how they use that knowledge…to give us what we want before we even know it.


Sound off, let the community members know where you see the app trends pointing and start a discussion!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

The butterfly that flapped: the Amazon crash

The butterfly that flapped: the Amazon crash

254 minutes: that’s how long the internet was thrown into chaos. Crashed websites and apps, broken links and images were all strewn across the globe because of one server. In this interconnected world we find ourselves in today, that’s all it takes…a delicate world indeed. 

One butterfly, one server: the Amazon crash

A butterfly flaps its wings and a hurricane slams into a coast on the other side of the world…if a butterfly can do this, surely one of the largest servers in the Amazon Web Services roster can…and boy did the S3 server flap its wings. It sent multiple hurricanes to every corner of the world wide web. 

While we weren’t directly affected, the S3 server hosts 1 percent of the world’s top 1 million sites and the world in which it inhabits is a web after all. Consequently, our publishers and advertisers whose websites and assets were hosted on S3 were. Below is a brief overview of how the Amazon crash affected Adcash.

  • Publisher websites went down, resulting in supply disruption
  • Advertiser landing pages went down, resulting in campaign disruption
  • 3rd-party tracking services went down, resulting in reporting disruption

In short, a lot of things went down. But today’s a new day: the S3 section of the web is repaired and everything in the world wide web is right again. Thank you for hanging tough and keeping a cool head, now let’s get back to what we’re here for: making money. Until the next crash…


Sound off; let the community know how the Amazon cloud meltdown impacted you and add to the discussion!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

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