Admob to stop publishing mobile web ads; try out ZestADZ Mobile Advertising

We heard the news a few days back that Admob is going to stop publishing mobile web ads. It would essentially mean that mobile web developers would need to use Adsense to publish ads on mobile.

While Adsense is a great platform, it is still a new platform on mobile.  We believe that there will be some difference  between how Admob worked (as a company, its API) and the support it gave developers vis-a-vis the new offering.

So here’s our offer – please try ZestADZ for monetizing your mobile website.  And why should you use us?

- Superb Self Service Platform

- Truly transparent / open in sharing the Campaign information, click prices, actual performances through reports and API.  See http://zestadz.com/static/publisher_api,  http://www.zestadz.com/static/approve_ads

- Wide sales reach, 220 people in over 12 countries. See the post of our upcoming blog about this information.

- Real time analytics – again – see the upcoming post about this.

- Superb customer support: We will be available over the phone or via email. We will always respond to your queries. If you violate our terms, we will not ban you and simply block your account depriving your hard earned money.

Preview of the new ZestADZ Dashboard – feedback required

In the last few weeks, the engineering team has been very busy rolling out exciting and innovative new products which will be rolled out in early 2011.

This features include a dashboard that will help advertisers and publishers, get deeper insight into their campaigns or mobile site traffic more easily.

The new dashboard
The new dashboard brings in big new changes. Firstly, it starts the integration of ZestADZ analytics into ZestADZ as a single product.

The dashboard brings several key metrics available immediately after a publisher or an advertiser has logged into zestadz. These metrics provide a snapshot of activity within a few key time periods.

All charts contain actual data instead of it being an icon that can be reviewed by looking at it more closely. The actual numbers are also displayed below the charts.


Comparisons with previous days and with other campaigns or mobile sites / apps.
One of the key new features is that this dashboard allows us to quick comparisions with previous days. When you select today / yesterday / last 7 days / last 30 days, automatically the current selected data is compared with its previous unit. So for example, if you select last 30 days data, automatically the previous 30 days is compared with the selected 30 days and an icon is used to show whether it is performing better or worse than before.

With the sites / campaigns appearing side by side, you can also measure their own units with each other easily. All of this without any additional navigation or clicks.

Customization
The new dashboard allows users to customize the view and save it as their preference. So, the next time you log in, you will see chart, exactly the waNew title goes herey you wanted to see it.

Near real time data
We’re will be launching the dashboard with near real time data available (this should be available across the board including the XML APIs) or at best with a delay of 1 hour.

Feedback – We’d love to hear from you.
The new dashboard will be available in your consoles as a beta release in the next few days. But before that please do send us your feedback to engineering@zestadz.com. Let us know – what you like, what you dislike about the new dashboard and how we can improve it to suit your requirements.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

ZestADZ Engineering Team

ZestADZ Announces the Launch of Windows Phone 7 SDK Beta

We are excited to announce the launch of Windows Phone 7 SDK Beta Program. With the this early release, Publishers/developers can monetize their upcoming Windows Phone 7 apps using ZestADZ.

Windows Phone 7 has been generating a lot of excitement in the tech community with its great interface, device partnerships and cumulative effort that Microsoft has been putting in. We are excited about it and we believe that Windows Phone 7 ecosystem will be very large and advertising will play a key role in enabling innovation.

ZestADZ aims to be at the forefront of this innovation and hence this SDK. This is our first release, there will be significant upgrades in the coming weeks to fully utilize the power of the new OS.

How to get started?

Download the Windows Phone 7 SDK to integrate and start serving ads.

Once the intergration is complete, please write to us with subject “Windows Phone 7 SDK Test” to support@zestadz.com so that we can set up some test campaigns for your app.

Please note that this is an early release and ZestADZ will continue to upgrades to this SDK in the near term.

1.5 years of high growth in South Africa Mobile Ad Market

With the FIFA World Cup, South Africa has got great global exposure. They did deliver the promise of world class venues for the games.  For us, South Africa is important for a different reason.

It has been a great 18+months of being in South Africa’s mobile advertising market. South Africa is one of the key markets in mobile advertising – specific reasons are the huge spends by advertisers presumably because they are also able to recoup the investments well through the services that they are selling to the users.

Key advertisers in South Africa are mobile content / VAS companies but we have been making some inroads into the brand advertising market in South Africa.

South Africa is a key market but we don’t yet have a team on the ground in South Africa and are primarily handling this business from our India centre.

So how much of traffic do we do in South Africa?. A little more than 200 million impressions per month and growing fast..here is a chart indicating the device market share on our network

Looking to advertise to mobile users in South Africa? Get in touch with us by emailing us at advertiser@zestadz.com. You can also create an account on ZestADZ, pay using your credit card, create and launch your campaign in a few minutes.

Minor usability enhancements have gone live today

We are happy to announce a number of minor ZestADZ enhancements that went live today. They are summarized below for your feedback:

Simpler Site and Navigation

The ZestADZ Website has been simplified with easier and simpler navigation for new and existing advertisers and publishers.


Section Home Pages

Users who have logged in will now see section pages which list available tools, simplifying navigation and overall usability of the site.


Drop Down Menu Navigation

The Navigation within the ZestADZ application now features drop down menus enabling you to move across the various elements of the site in a much more faster manner.


API Sections

ZestADZ users will now find dedicated API sections which explains available API, parameters and sample results. Users who have logged in will see dedicated sections showing their API Keys (which are required for API access) along with the API pages.


Campaign / Ad / Site or App Rejections

If your Campaign, Ad or Site is rejected, you will now be able to see the reason why it was rejected through a simple popup. Edit the rejected entity to have it reviewed by the ZestADZ team again.

Please send us your feedback to engineering [@] zestadz.com

ZestADZ announces the launch of Enhanced API for Mobile Publishers, Advertisers and Mediation Layers

ZestADZ announces the launch of enhanced API that will give full flexibility to advertisers, publishers and mediation layers, enabling them to do a number of key tasks such as ad approvals, extraction of reports etc through a simple HTTP based API.

Publishers or mediation layers will be able to completely automate tasks from within their systems using ZestADZ API  including

- Requesting for Ads
– Looking up the available ads by each country including their bid prices, approval (Updated with more detailed responses)
– Approving or rejecting the ads ( new )
– Accessing publisher reports to monitor performance
– Adjusting the traffic according to the demand / supply

Advertisers can do simple things such as

- Creation of campaigns / ads (new)
– Pausing campaigns / ads (new)
– Accessing campaign / ad reports (new)

Visit our Publisher API and Advertiser API pages for more information

Ad Approval Enhancements

We have rolled out some ad approval changes enabling publishers to view available ads country wise or for a list of selected countries instead of a global view of ads. This is essential as we grow because the listing of available ads has grown tremendously.

The changes are simple:  An additional “Search Country” button is available on the Approve Ads screen enabling publishers to select specific countries.

Select Countries by searching for them and selecting them from the drop down list. Remove any Country whose listing is not required.

Next step: Press “Done” when you have completed the selection. The Ad approval page will reload with the ads only within those selected Countries.

In this screen, you can make changes required in the Country selected filter without going to the previous screen. You can now “Approve” or “Reject” available ads.

As you can see, this whole process makes it a lot easier for publishers to Approve / Reject Ads.

Even though this is a small feature, it is a significant feature that publishers have been requesting and we’re happy to oblige. Send us your feedback at engineering [at] zestadz . com

Engineering Team – ZestADZ

ZestADZ Announces House Campaigns

ZestADZ announces the launch of house campaigns – a feature through which publishers can fill their unused inventory through their own campaigns.

How does it work?

Publishers can create their house campaigns by clicking on campaigns and “Start a campaign”. Simply select “This is a house campaign” checkbox while creating a campaign.


When are the ads delivered to my traffic?

You will as usual need to approve these campaigns if you have “manual approval” settings in place. After approval, the most targeted ad [external or house] will run on your inventory.

Can I block all external campaigns and run only house campaigns?

Our policies prohibit you from blocking all external ads. That means in order for you to be able to continue to use ZestADZ and house campaigns, you will need to approve both external and internal [house]  campaigns and ads.

What are the limitations on house campaigns?

Current limitations are set at 10 million ad impressions per month per publisher / organization. These restrictions are subject to revision in near future.

What is the cost of using the house campaigns feature?

House campaigns is a FREE feature. You can create and run house campaigns without any additional charges within the limitation of 10 million impressions per month.

Where can I get more information or send feedback?

Please visit our website http://zestadz.com OR write to support at support [at] zestadz.com OR call us  +1 (646)-546-5526

We hope that you like this feature. Please do send us your feedback.

Engineering team

ZestADZ.com

Mobile Advertising Bad Practices Exposed II

The last time we published a list of bad practices in the mobile advertising industry, it caused quite a flutter. The resulting consequences were bad for some companies indulging in such practices. Although, we won’t like to go into those details, here’s a round up of the Top 5 Mobile Advertising Bad Practices in 20o8.

#1 – Misleading (mostly porn) ads leading to unnecessary clicks

This is number one bad practice in mobile advertising still dominant amongst most players. Networks create a dummy porn Ad link which takes them to another page which contains several set of other actual ads. To add salt to the injury, these ads were put on adult inventory.

This practice stopped briefly after we posted the last blog entry but it has made a resurgent come back with a few smaller ad network players.

Here’s the AD screenshot taken just 3 days back.
Mobile advertising bad practices

Here’s what a user actually see’s when he clicks the ad

Mobile advertising bad practices
What is surprising is though most networks stopped this practice, several newer networks have adopted it including copying the exact ad text creative.

#2 – Advertisers getting charged for fraud clicks?

Although we’re not sure of this, there is a strong possibility that this could be happening because we’ve seen that several advertisers get very high CPA charges on a few networks. Though fraud clicks may not be the exact reason, but it could be one of them. Most advertisers don’t tend to use detailed tools to analyze their campaigns and therefore mobile ad networks can take advantage of them if they want to.  This highlights the importance of having detailed advertiser analytics – something that we will cover in another blog.

#3 – Taking user clicks directly to those pages which charge the user

Several forums were abuzz this year about another India based advertising network directly routing the users clicks to a page where they are billed for. When a user clicked on ads, content was downloaded (without the users’s permission), the money was deduced from his phone balance and a ‘thank you’ message was sent to (mock) the user! This is a classic case of misusing mobile advertising. The responsible advertiser or ad network must understand that such an event undermines the effectiveness of the medium and can have long term consequences. It is also the duty of advertising networks to check and advise an advertiser against it if he has put such a URL willingly or by mistake.

# 4- Auto Redirection to Landing Page

Another bad practice, this one by mobile publishers has come to my notice is auto redirecting the end user to an advertiser’s landing page. Recently when I was talking with a wap site publisher, he told me about this feature, some of his partner sites were using, wherein the site has a no. of ad links and if the user does not click on any of the links within a time frame, the publisher automatically takes the user to any 1 of the landing pages of the advertiser. I am not sure if such a thing is possible but if it is possible, then again advertisers and users are being taken for a ride.

#5 – Expired Ads

Some large players in the mobile ad business end up showing ads which have already expired but display “Nothing to show” when clicked. We’re not sure what is the reason why this is happening – it could be that the ads have already expired but not removed from some temp cache or it could be to create a false impression that there is inventory available where as it is not available.  This misleads publishers and leads users to a dead end.

Time to update the Mobile Marketing Association Code of Conduct?

I think it is high time that MMA take notice of such bad practices, updates its Code of Conduct, and inform all stakeholders in this ecosystem to avoid such practices.

Players in the mobile advertising ecosystem must behave responsibly otherwise the medium will loose its credibility with advertisers. Given the tough economic climate and recession in several countries, advertisers might start expecting the rates to be further commoditised or might just stop using this medium until credibility is re-established.
Publisher Team

http://www.zestadz.com

Top 10 Predictions for Mobile Marketing in 2008

As he new year unfolds, we are bracing ourselves for some exciting growth in the year ahead. Based on our knowledge of the market, we at mobile-worx have put together the top 10 predictions for Mobile Marketing in 2008 (for India). We have deliberately avoided putting specific numbers as they are debatable at this moment of time.

So here you go, the top 10 predictions for mobile marketing in 2008

– Mobile advertising in India will continue to grow at a good pace.

Social mobile marketing will be big in 08 – Keep watching this blog for more updates on this

– SMS will continue to generate substantial traffic. WAP traffic as always is underestimated but will continue to surge with more users expected to logon to the mobile Internet.

– Major web portals will unveil their mobile portals.

– Players like Vodafone could shakeout the mobile data business offering cheaper data access to consumers. Wireless data could get more affordable.

– Many innovative mobile VAS applications will be launched free of cost to the consumer powered through mobile advertising. Mobile publishers will begin to take mobile advertising as a serious alternative business model.

– More and more advertisers will begin to test mobile as a medium for marketing. Mobile will get acceptance as the third and more powerful medium than the web. Despite that, we don’t really expect to see drastic shift in the allocation of marketing budgets just yet.

– Premium rates for mobile content and mobile services will continue to drop.

– Several small and medium VAS players will move into mobile advertising