Italy is known for many things — and after TUNE’s event in Milan earlier this month, it should be known for its mobile opportunity.
Mobile ad spend will surpass $100 billion annually this year, and it’s time the performance and affiliate marketing industry shone some light on Italy.
Why? Well, it’s ranked fifth for ad spend in Europe, only behind the UK, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. With a whopping $775 million predicted to be spent in 2016 and $1 billion in 2017 on ad spend, advertisers are missing out if they aren’t designating some of those dollars to Italy.
TUNE hosted the event in Italy’s fashion capital (see photos below) to soak up the feelings about mobile, and of course eat some of the world’s most famous pasta, drink macchiatos and Jinseng coffee — my new favourite thing.
Here’s what we learned.
Italy Loves Mobile, and We Can Prove It
With a population of 60 million and a mobile growth rate of 130% in 2015, it’s obvious Italy is a contender for mobile, and the industry should take note of the opportunity.
Most of the people we spoke with can see the mobile opportunity, but assumed Italians spend around 70% of their time in Facebook, Twitter, and other social apps. The perception is that this leaves a small opportunity for them, which is why they haven’t made the shift to investing in mobile advertising in Italy. This may be why mobile performance marketing hasn’t reached its full potential.
Are Italian traffic partners (anyone sending traffic to advertisers; agencies, networks, etc) waiting for a sign?
The Signs Are There — Here’s Where to Invest in Mobile
According to TUNE data, 77% of Italian mobile app users spend their time in games and only 7% of their time in social apps. The ARPU (average revenue per user) in the mobile game segment in Italy is really good. At $28.70 per user, it shows that users don’t just engage and play, they aren’t scared to spend if they like what they see. So knowing where the users are, how can we target them with ads?
In working for a company like HasOffers by TUNE, with clients all over the world, we are able to see where trends start and follow them.
In terms of which trends we’ve seen take on adaptations of their country’s needs, the top three relevant for Italy are:
- Native advertising
- Video advertising
- Mobile lead-gen
Italian Traffic Partners Are Getting Creative
Italy is doing their part to help the advertise get in front of the right users. A lot of traffic partners in Italy prefer to call themselves agencies. They’re not just offering traffic, they’re providing other services such as mobile ad creation. It’s great to see traffic partners do more to attract, engage and convert more mobile users. This is great as it helps to build stronger relationships with clients, drive higher quality users and also prevent intrusive ads, leading to users using ad-blockers.
According to a report from ZenithOptimedia, Italian users love videos. This is great news for mobile advertisers and traffic partners looking to engage with the Italian consumers. It’s also an opportunity for local traffic partners to work closer with mobile advertisers, by bringing in their other services to consult and create the right video ad-types, strengthening those relationships and leading to better quality users for the clients and in turn increased payouts and budgets — win-win-win!
Over the last six to nine months, mobile lead gen has become part of most conversations with my European clients. I think this comes from a combination of lead gen becoming more transparent, especially on mobile, the capabilities of mobile automation/programmatic buying, along with selling being massively important. (HasOffers’ partnership with PX.com, gives clients exactly this, offering an all-in-one affiliate and lead gen solution.)
Having spent time on the ground in Milan, the growth of Italy’s mobile industry could be compared with Leicester City winning the Premier League this year — No one would have guessed it, but given the right leadership, investment, and the right tools they were able to go out and deliver.
The buzz and excitement is very much in the Italian air. I’m very excited about the Italian mobile performance market and our experience with countries having experienced this mobile boom is something we can use to help guide partners to achieving their full expectations and help make Italy, 2016’s most popular new mobile country in Europe.
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Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.