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Trulia exec: Mobile makes up 30pc of traffic

October 1, 2012

Trulia's Android app

With a significant portion of traffic coming from mobile devices, real estate site Trulia is using mobile advertising to not only drive downloads, but also acquire loyal users, according to a company executive.

In the past year, Trulia has run mobile advertising campaigns across various operating systems. Trulia is working with TapSense on its advertising and acquisition efforts.

“Trulia’s focus is on finding the highest quality users and then keeping those users,” said Avantika Prabhakara, senior manager of mobile marketing at Trulia, San Francisco.

“A lot of people looking for homes go to open houses every Sunday — it is a very mobile experience and they want real-time information on the properties that they visit,” she said.

List on mobile
Trulia has apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle Fire devices in addition to a mobile site.

The ad campaigns to drive downloads are running across both iOS and Android operating systems to target a wide group of smartphone users.

Trulia is using the mobile ads to let users download the company’s app directly from ad units. When users tap on the ads, a landing page from the appropriate app store appears, where consumers can then download the app straight to their mobile device.

Using click-to-download ads to drive downloads can be effective for brands. However, Trulia wants to take the tactic another step forward by adding loyalty to the mix.

In addition to tracking the number of app downloads, Trulia is able to see how often consumers use apps, for example. This can be used to measure leads and registrations.

Trulia’s app uses a device’s GPS to find the nearby open houses, houses for sale and recently-sold houses. The app can also be set up with notifications to let consumers know when listings meet their exact criteria.

Besides listings, Trulia’s app also lets consumers ask real estate-related questions that are answered by experts.

The Trulia iPad app

App promotion
Discovery remains one of the biggest challenges for apps. In many cases, just getting a consumer to download an app is not enough – instead marketers need to find ways to drive repeat traffic to the apps.

According to Gregory Kennedy, cofounder of TapSense, San Francisco, it can also be difficult for marketers to buy inventory across multiple ad networks. Part of increasing the number of loyal app downloads comes from personalization, which social media can help with.

With the launch of the iPhone 5, TapSense is rolling out new ad formats that specifically focus on social media. For example, ads can integrate Facebook to show how many users “Like” the app. Additionally, users can share content directly from the app.

Although the results are preliminary and do not include campaigns from Trulia, these types of ads can be three to five times more effective at converting, per Mr. Kennedy. This shows how social media is increasingly impacting how consumers interact with content on their mobile devices.

“[For Trulia] it is an acquisition strategy to drive downloads and get users for the app, which is hard to do in a ROI-positive way – no one has good access to all ad inventory,” Mr. Kennedy said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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