App Strategies to Navigate the Downturn: Expert Insights

Irreversible privacy changes, evolving measurement landscape, and the economic downturn. Three things app marketers wish they could stop thinking about! In the current economic climate, being nimble is the need of the hour. Rethinking your app marketing approach is inevitable. Here are some expert insights to help you take the right steps.

RevX recently participated in a panel discussion at the MGS Berlin, a leading platform for the mobile industry. Divya Bhargava, our Business Head - International Markets, moderated the panel discussion on Managing the Downturn: App Strategies to Capture Opportunities.

We were joined by a great set of panelists: Anthea Müller, Director - Business Development and Marketing, Upday, Bruna Borges de Oliveira, Head - Performance Digital Marketing, Mercado Libre, Christian Eckhardt, CEO - Customlytics, Christoph Hitchen, Head of Marketing, Doktor.de

Image highlighting the panelists at the MGS Berlin

Here are the main takeaways.

1) Programmatic advertising continues to give best-in-class ROI 

As shared by Anthea, “With Facebook, we see CPIs like six euros and for programmatic below one. There might be a notion that with programmatic you get users with poor retention.
Well, there are platforms that give you users that are gone after four weeks because they only do advertisements and gaming apps. And then after four weeks, they delete the app again.

But after testing with different DSPs, we have been getting really good and qualitative users that stay for months at such minimal CPIs!
So I think our shift towards programmatic has worked very well for us”.

2) Tailor your messaging strategy as per the customer journey

Insights from Anthea:

We craft our communication according to three phases: awareness phase, trust phase, and then conversion phase.

For awareness ads, we use both online and offline channels like billboards. The awareness ads are designed to create a strong brand recall. As we progress to the trust phase, we do influencer marketing (YouTube influencers), user-generated content (UGC), editorials, and so on. For us, UGC on Tiktok has worked very well.

For the conversion phase, the focus is simply on converting. Conversion ads communicate the value we add to the users’ everyday life.
For eg: you are the most informed person in the room when you download our news app.

3) Educate, empower, and highlight that you are privacy-compliant 

Insights from Christoph:

The digitalization of medicine and the idea of seeking a doctor digitally are unfamiliar concepts in Germany. This is why we focus on warming up the audience first and educating them about the need for telemedicine.

Also, GDPR is a huge topic in Germany. So we have to reiterate the fact that our app is certified by the regulatory board that does security audits.
This also helps us assure people that it's not some disappearing act.

From a personalization standpoint, we create different creatives and messaging for different use cases. For example, For someone who has moved to another city and can not find a doctor, we have specific messaging around their pain point with an emphasis on the best solution for them.

4) Navigating an Evolving Landscape: What should marketers stop doing, continue doing, and start doing?


Stop doing:

“Advertisers must stop blindly trusting and comparing figures that you increasingly can not really trust anymore. When you compare the CPI from Google which was modeled with the CPI from Facebook which is modeled as well, you are left with results that are not comparable anymore.

The solution is to look for the actual conversion elements on the funnel if you can still track them, which is the case with hard currency. Hard currency is set impressions that you can track on your site and events like sessions being initialized and orders being placed.” - Christian

“In today’s changing measurement landscape, if you still believe in your data at face value, you are doing something wrong. Take a step back and re-evaluate if you are tracking the correct way.” - Bruna 

Continue doing:

Continue to invest in online marketing. The world is here on online marketing and will continue to exist and thrive. At the same time, adapt fast to the ever-evolving landscape and be mindful of its implications on your advertising goals.” - Christian

It’s vital to look at retention rates and follow the customer through their whole customer lifetime. A lot of brands go wrong here. From our talks with our MMP, we see that a lot of their customers don't understand the cohorts and retention features because they're too complicated.

But it's important that you look at the data and develop an understanding of this system because that's the core. You cannot just get the user and then forget about it, especially when you spend so much money on acquiring them.” - Anthea

Start doing:

Businesses should start looking beyond traditional performance or online marketing. Look at the areas that are relevant for the business like customer loyalty. I recommend stepping into the shoes of the customer and looking at other steps in the customer funnel. Finally, consider how you would like to communicate with them and then act on it.” - Christian 

“Start tracking the micro conversions that give you insight into which user segments will stay longer term. These are important users who need to be nourished and engaged with.” 

- Christoph

“Start testing creatives extensively. Today, you have access to trends and insights across platforms. Develop a holistic understanding of what people are looking at while also keeping an eye on competitor activities.”

“Leverage these insights to build more engaging creatives that are in touch with the times. Also, continue investing in videos as they are a top-performing ad format. However, be mindful of how you want to present your brand’s narrative through videos.” - Bruna

“UGC content can really move the needle for your business by boosting your trustability. We have tried it on Tiktok and Google and want to start doing it programmatically as well.”  - Anthea

Closing note

While the current mobile marketing landscape can seem uncertain, the fundamental business truths will remain the same. Your app needs to bring in quality users who contribute to sustainable revenue growth.

We hope the above insights help you allocate your resources in the most useful ways.

See how RevX can help your app keep up with the times: https://www.revx.io/

Shreelaxmi

Shreelaxmi takes care of all things content at RevX. A creative at heart, Shree is passionate about the ever-evolving digital space and what that means for businesses and customers.