This is a guest post from Chaya Soggot, founder and chief executive of adtech firm, Woobi

Over the past decade the advertising industry has gone through quite the revolution. Traditional marketing channels, such as TV, Print and even websites, become less effective, yet are still considered a "must have". On the other hand, marketers are constantly on the lookout to be the first on the next big channel, one that will again redefine the rules of the advertising game.

Social networks too are becoming a mainstream channel for brand advertisers. The main effect these networks have, is that audiences have now transformed from being merely passive viewers, into real-time influencers, with well-heard voices. These audiences now have a real-time power on each and every campaign and initiative you run.

Consumer voices are also loudly heard when it comes to the way they are approached by the advertiser. Ad formats that seemed completely legit up until a few years ago (pop-up banners, full screen interstitials, etc.), are nowadays considered intrusive and disruptive, speeding up the distribution of ad-blockers. The type of ad, its placement and the overall advertising experience gets more important every day.

With the massive penetration of mobile, and the fact that we consume more and more content via personal devices, "Reaching" the consumers is no longer an issue. The primary battle a brand has to win – is that of the user’s ATTENTION, and that is a tough battle to triumph with an estimated average of 7,000 ads one is exposed to every day. Today it’s all about meeting your audiences exactly where they’re at, in the exact setting they want to be met, and to engage with them in such a positive manner that will create a meaningful experience.

Looking at the trends at AdvertisingWeek NY, it is clear that brand agencies are seeking new, innovative, user initiated, engaging channels to shift their efforts onto. With phrases like "real-time response to consumer needs", "Personalized ad experiences" and "Data driven deep engagement" flying around – it seems that many agencies would need to rethink their in-game strategy.                        

Gaming has seen a huge transformation in recent years. What was once considered as a niche teenage activity, has evolved into mainstream entertainment. Research now shows that adult women represent a greater portion of video game-player population, surpassing boys aged 17 or younger, and that nearly half of all video game players are women (Source: Entertainment Software Association).

Let’s dig deeper into the questions that lead to your KPIs:

The "Who" & The "Where"

There are nearly 2 Billion gamers worldwide(!), and over 3 Billion hours a week are spent gaming (twice the time spent streaming on Youtube, and 3 times that of Netflix for instance). By the end of this year, more than 80% of US smartphone users will game on their Devices, while 49% of these users are aged 18-49, and the other half evenly distributed between 18 & under, and senior citizens.

Basically, whoever your target audience is – one thing is without a doubt – you can will find them in games!

The "How"

Advertising shouldn’t just be about "not interrupting" anymore, advertising should be about creating value, and being fun.

In-game advertising provides a one-of-a-kind channel for brand advertisers who are looking for new, sizzling and engaging ways to reach their target audience. User quality amongst players is second to no other digital media channel, and the available data and user profiling within games – is a hugely valuable asset for advertisers. Such data goes far beyond Geo’s and Demographics, it enables behavioural analysis, preference and interest targeting, contextual targeting and much more.

In-game advertising, when carried out as a native component within the actual game-loops, allows brand advertisers to engage with players, become a part of the gaming experience, and create deeper brand affinity. No other mobile channel captivates the user’s attention in such an engaging manner which helps brands utilise this channel in a way that will truly benefit the user and create a valuable positive campaign impact.

The "When"

Timing is, indeed, everything, especially when it comes to advertising within games.

Except for maybe the Super-Bowl half-time ads, gaming is pretty much the only medium today in which users are not only welcoming towards user-initiated (rewarded) ads, but are seeking to engage with them. However – the "when" factor has a huge impact on their overall ad-experience. Our ability to track each user’s playing patterns, taught us that just as different users play different games for different psychological reasons, their in-game engagement preferences differ as well. Some play the competitive game, some use gaming as a social activity whilst others use it as a pass-time activity. Their in-game behavior tells us a lot about their optimal mindset for ad-engagement, allowing brand advertisers to personally address each user within his own optimal setting, and capitalize on the perfect timing to maximize campaign impact. This enables brands to create true brand advocates, through individual personalized targeting of content, timing and mindset. 

We have recently launched a unique programmatic in-game video SSP’s, that removes the barrier of entry for brand advertisers who are looking to meet their exact target audiences at the optimal time and mindset for engagement. This SSP enables advertisers to benefit from lower funnel targeting – yet on a huge global scale, offering native in-game ad-units, with the comfort of using any existing campaign management platform, and the precise audience targeting enabled by data partners.

The in-game ecosystem is developing rapidly. This is one of the most favorite pass time activities across all demographics, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. This channel isn't only massive, fun and fresh, it's also highly effective for brand advertisers. Adding our targeting tools, the highest viewability rates and the confidence of third party verification tools, we are proud to present the most advanced in-game video advertising platform.