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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

Tumblr Disrupts the Social-Mobile Marketing Dichotomy

Finalist in Mobile Campaign

About this entry

The realm of digital marketing as we know it is a realm of duality. On one side is the world of mobile and on the other, the world of social. These channels are regarded in separate, but the two are inextricably linked. Now, as we continue progressing toward a mobile-first society, the extent of their connection is undeniable.

At its core, mobile is inherently social, and social inherently mobile. So why do we, as marketers, continue holding them apart in a divided duopoly? In a word, why don't we have our cake and eat it too?

Certainly, each channel has its own strengths and each comes with unique considerations for marketers looking to make an impact. But, accepting the status quo neglects the opportunity to bridge the two worlds in a whole new way.

When we think about fusing social and mobile, we want to look beyond complementary digital strategies and multi-channel campaigns – approaches which ultimately reinforce the polarity.

It's time to disrupt the industry that's been disrupting all the rest. Why couldn't we launch one campaign that unites the best of both worlds?

As both a social platform and a mobile app, Tumblr is the embodiment of this new frontier. When they sought a way to convert new app users at the nexus of social and mobile, Tumblr joined forces with Taptica. With a winning combination of data, technology, and insight, the team fundamentally disrupted the status quo of the social-mobile dichotomy and scored massive international acquisition at scale.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

The team kicked off their campaign by identifying new users that best matched Tumblr's core audience demographics. This base layer of targeting focused on age, gender, location, interests, and standard mobile usage habits to intelligently reach the individuals most likely to love and use the Tumblr app. But, to take things beyond a simple mobile-centric strategy, the team also expanded into the key area that sets social campaigns apart – precision.

The bread and butter of Taptica's ability to target high lifetime value (LTV) mobile users is their in-house Data-Management Platform. Taptica's proprietary DMP drives international audience insights on a micro-behavioral level, by compiling global user data based on IDFA (Apple Identifier for Advertisers) and GAID (Google Advertising ID) lists. With over 17,000 campaigns as data source, Taptica's DMP is comprised of more than 220 million user profiles with 100+ data points each. And, built to collect data as it transacts, the DMP is able to continually build on its core database to enable more intelligent machine-learning automations over time.

The detailed user behavior data within Taptica's DMP allowed the team to sharpen their targeting, messaging, engagement, and optimization strategies with laser precision. With the ability to directly target potential bloggers based on infinite combinations of critical quality parameters and relevance indicators from across the mobile and social ecosystems, the team struck gold with the best of both worlds, effectively mirroring the exclusive inner workings of social precision alongside the massive scale and ubiquity of mobile.

As a badged Facebook and Instagram Marketing Partner, Taptica is intimately familiar with the impact of social's pinpoint user targeting. But, as a leading global mobile advertising platform, they also know that the sheer scale and omnipresence of in-app and mobile web channels can go toe-to-toe with even the best of the social ecosystem. That's why the mobile channel component was a perfect match for the campaign vessel, while the social targeting component was the ideal fit for their optimization groundwork. By bringing these two pieces together with the right combination of historical data and programmatic efficiency, Tumblr's comprehensive mobile strategy seamlessly bridged the strongest components of social and mobile with a single data-driven campaign.

And, because Taptica is present in more than 15 countries globally, the extent of this data was staggering, with in-depth insights into a full range of international audiences to match each of Tumblr's nine key markets for this campaign.

"Social networking is a huge vertical on mobile, so our DMP was loaded with rich behavioral data that we could leverage to reach the best new users for Tumblr," explains Ruth Manielevitch, Taptica's Director of Client Success.

"We always say, 'supply is global, demand is local.' Our global footprint gives us the unique ability to collect massive sets of data within our DMP and custom tailor the relevant insights at a foundational level. And, with support teams on the ground around the world, we can seamlessly localize our mobile strategy to support the needs of local cultures in any region."


For a social app on mobile, it's important to create a cohesive experience that bridges the two channels for bigger, better, anytime engagement. Seeking a way to let this same guiding principle shine through their digital marketing initiatives, Tumblr and Taptica destroyed the status quo to forge an all new path customized for their mobile-social audience.

By combining the mass scale unique to mobile and the pinpoint precision unique to social, the team effectively coalesced the best each one has to offer, driving unprecedented results and outperforming 2 of the top 5 global social advertising platforms run in tandem in terms of downstream retention.

During Q4 2017…

- Taptica's in-app and mobile web ads received over 625 million engagement actions, driving up to 18,500 new installs every single day

- User quality exceeded expectations, with an 18% increase over Tumblr's organic acquisition averages and an 80% increase over organic Day 7 Retention benchmarks

- Taptica was able to effectively scale campaigns while maintaining a low cost per install, with an overall 500% increase in daily spend and a CPI 82% below target.

"Taptica is an amazing partner. We challenged them with an insane goal of spending quickly while maintaining quality and keeping the cost down – and they absolutely crushed it. Taptica was one of our lowest CPI and highest quality channels. Always knowledgeable and accommodating, I never once doubted their ability to deliver. I look forward to running more campaigns together." - Grace Low, Audience Development Lead at Tumblr.


Video for Tumblr Disrupts the Social-Mobile Marketing Dichotomy

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Taptica, Tumblr


Entry Credits