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Doing more with less is certainly the motto of the year for app marketers. With the economic uncertainty still hanging over our heads, being nimble is crucial. For app businesses, one thing is clearer than ever before; the future belongs to the ones who make retention their north star. That’s how you set your app up for success, despite the odds.

In this blog, we cover three aspects that need to be your top priority this year; app retargeting, ad creative innovation, and demanding transparency.

App Retargeting through Thick and Thin:

The default reaction across businesses now might be to slash marketing budgets.

Yet, numerous examples show the long-term benefits of continuing marketing during a downturn. It’s more important now to be on top of mind, with consumers being wary of their spending. It can shine the spotlight on you with fewer competitors actively advertising.

🔹 Retarget Earlier, Retain for Longer: 

Retention is not a one-time event but a series of engagements. Most app marketers look at app retargeting as an afterthought, a final attempt to retain the lapsing users. This is a problem you don’t have to worry about if you start retargeting early.

It lays the right foundation for a long-lasting relationship with your users.

Retargeting ultimately helps you build an engaged user base, achieve increased LTV and drive higher revenue, all at a fraction of the UA budget. It’s a goldmine of opportunity that allows you to maximize value from your existing users.

🔹 Excel at Audience Segmentation:

A successful app retargeting plan starts with a solid audience segmentation strategy.
In programmatic advertising, RFM analysis is a good framework for segmenting users based on three important in-app behaviors; recency, frequency, and monetary value.

At a broad level, you can do segmentation based on:

– High-uplift Potential users: users who are highly engaged and can be nudged to spend more
– Frequent Spenders: users who are repeat purchasers and are willing to continue
– Leaky Buckets: fast-churning users

While investing in the first two segments maximizes your revenue, investing in the last one ensures that you aren’t wasting your UA budget.

To achieve this, you need to work with a programmatic partner with robust data science
models. For eg: The RevX platform can use its DS models to predict exactly which users are going to make a purchase/perform your ‘critical activity’ and bids accordingly. 

🔹 Personalization for the Win

With fewer competitors actively advertising, it’s never been easier to stand out with your communication. Once you have mastered your audience segmentation, you are ready to talk to your users one-to-one.

Ask yourself:

– What drives different user segments to engage with my app?
– Where is the user on the user journey mapping?
– What are the defining traits of each segment? (Behavior, values, wants, needs, etc.,)
– Use these motivations to drive a hyper-personalized messaging strategy.

For eg, a first-time purchaser is just browsing and is not ready to make a big purchase yet. The messaging can prompt the user to buy a low-value product, with exciting discounts.

Or for an engaged user who keeps backing out due to pricing issues (potentially), the messaging can highlight flexible pricing options. This gesture can go a long way.

Keep in mind: 

– A/B test messaging strategy for each segment to find the sweet spot.
– Remember to also adapt your messaging strategy as per the evolving market sentiments. It’s important to remind users of your unique value in different lights. Much needed in times when consumers are increasingly cautious about spending.

Ad Creative Innovation 

We said it in 2022 and we will say it in 2023; Ad creative innovation is your best bet in overcoming banner blindness.

Advertisers who are the first to market with new ad formats / creative direction see more conversions and a higher ROAS. In fact, studies show that users are more likely to remember an ad that is novel or unexpected.

🔹 Bet Big on New Ad Creative Formats

Advertising during an economic downturn might mean conservative ad budgets. It’s understandable that app marketers prefer to continue with the same ad formats that have worked so far.

But there are new opportunities to be seized. And programmatic advertising is the gateway to it.

Adopting new innovative formats like DCO, Hybrid Ads, and Playables helps you stay competitive. Especially with fewer players advertising, you can innovate your way to the top.

For eg, Hybrid Ads combine different static and rich media elements to create outstanding ad templates. With numerous combinations for each ad, you get an infinite number of ad formats for highly specific advertising goals.

– Without size or layout limits, Hybrid Ads can be optimized for any device and show inventory at just the right time, offering top reach and results.
– They provide easy access to innovative video inventory & audiences without spending on new video production.
– The results are improved engagement, higher click-through rates, increased conversions, and increased brand lift.

Closely monitor new formats that your industry pioneers are adopting and test the same. Or better yet, be the pioneer yourself. 

🔹 Creative Testing is the Game-changer

In a year where businesses are forced to be frugal, ad creative testing holds paramount importance. Further, with shifting consumer sentiments, it’s important to validate and tweak your messaging strategy. What resonated with users in 2022 might not in 2023.

– Creative testing reveals insights into how different user segments interact with different ads. For eg, hybrid/ rich media ads have multiple tracking links, enabling access to granular data on how users engage with your ad.

– With continual testing and optimization, you can ensure that each element of the ad is designed for high engagement.

– It also helps you shift focus to high-performing creatives. At the end of it, you can be sure that you are being strategic with your ad spending.

But creative testing is heavily resource-intensive. Research, conceptualization, development, testing, and finally optimizing; all of this takes a significant investment of time, expertise, and other resources.

What if we told you that it’s a pain you don’t have to endure?

Dynamic Creative Ads solve this with the power of user data, AI, and creative innovation.
These are AI-powered ads built from dynamic ad elements assembled on the go to create hyper-personalized ad experiences.

They are designed for conversion and show the right differentiated communication to each user.
It uses recommendation models to select each creative component (product image, copy, CTA, etc) based on its likelihood of driving conversions.

Demanding Transparency 

The digital advertising world may seem complex with all its intricacies. But that’s no reason not to demand transparency in advertising. Least of all, during an economic downturn where every dollar matters.

“It’s an easy way out when one prioritizes convenience over what’s right while selecting an advertising partner.
Mobile app marketing is dominated by black boxes, therefore we must embrace the power of transparency. And the first step is to demand impression-level reporting.

Not only does this let you compare multiple dimensions, but also, helps optimize campaigns toward finding and re-engaging your most valuable users. The platforms that provide you with transparency can eventually become strategic partners generating ROI for every marketing dollar spent!”

– Divya Bhargava, Business Head – International Markets

🔹 What can you do differently in 2023?

Ask the Right Questions: From inventory quality to data privacy and measurement, having transparency is crucial. It paints the full picture and enables you to make intelligent decisions.

Make a list of questions under aspects like:

– Inventory quality
– Audience intelligence
– Brand safety
– Data privacy
– Reporting and analytics

For eg: Whether the DSP is purchasing inventory from reputable SSPs?
How is lookalike modeling done for device ID-based user acquisition, and what true alternatives exist for iOS with SKAN in a privacy-first world? How is data being managed in the context of GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy laws?

Go Beyond the Vanity Metrics: 

Measure what matters for long-term growth. It might be worth looking at blended metrics
like ratio metrics (for eg: LTV/ CAC) to get better clarity in 2023. Not only will this aid decision-making but also show you a better picture of how your app is faring.

Incrementality Testing:

In the complex mobile landscape, it takes a range of touchpoints and channels to ultimately influence the desired action from the user.  This is why it’s vital to know exactly how each of your channels or campaigns is adding value. Broadening your vision beyond the last click and last view will shed light on possible under- or over-attribution of performance.

Incrementality testing is a crucial tool that provides you with this clarity. It helps measure the true impact of a particular channel/campaign on your business results. Ultimately, you have the clarity and confidence to eliminate wastage and focus on the real heroes of your marketing mix.

Closing Remarks

We live in especially confusing times. And moving in the dark is undoubtedly daunting.
But adaptation is the very spirit of marketers. Communicate your app’s unique value in the new context, where users are cautious of excessive spending.

It’s important to stay true to your business fundamentals while also being quick-footed.
Be strategic with your ad spending and also take advantage of the buyer’s market. Ultimately, every downturn brings with it sizable opportunities. The winners are the ones who are prepared to pivot.

“While optimizing ROI on marketing budgets is an ever-ongoing task, the tougher economic environment will further spurt the quest for improvement. Most of it won’t come from magic, but rather from hard work around the basics of performance marketing: efficient media-buying across channels, smart audience targeting, driving relevant messaging in a privacy-compliant way, and comprehensive brand differentiation.

Constant testing, iteration, benchmarking, and teaming up with the right partners – for technology, service, and creative innovation – can be a few ways to keep it up and outperform the wider market. When it comes to in-app advertising, both Android and iOS will, at least for this year, continue to provide a somewhat predictable environment, albeit with their own challenges in targeting, fraud prevention, and performance measurement.

Impact incrementally measurement could increasingly become an alternative to deterministic and probabilistic attribution, especially for marketers who decide to not rely on SKAN, and should hence be a readily available option in everybody’s toolbox.”

– Martje Abeldt

We understand your need to adapt quickly in these uncertain times.
With our tech and talent, we help you maximize value from your existing user base and drive more revenue.

Reach us at marketing@revx.io






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