5 Ways to Transform Your Mobile Marketing Department into a Profit Center

By Trace Ronning | October 6, 2015

Mobile marketing is unlike any other form of marketing. Despite its explosive growth and limitless potential, few companies have developed a revenue growth strategy around mobile. Several brands have reported seeing more than 50% of their traffic come from a mobile device, but mobile is still far from the biggest priority for a majority of brands.

As of July 2015, people are consuming 51% of their daily media on a mobile device but only 8% of total ad spend in the US was spent on mobile in 2014, meaning two things:

  1. Most brands find it challenging to figure out how to make mobile a sustainable user acquisition and engagement channel
  2. There is an opportunity for brands to grow their businesses through mobile user acquisition

Traditionally, the largest share of mobile ad spend was focused on mobile games, but recently we are seeing more and more success in mobile acquisition performance of non-gaming apps. Verticals such as travel, e-commerce, business productivity, and dating are increasingly fueling their growth through sophisticated mobile marketing strategies. The brands that are thriving through mobile marketing have focused on generating incremental revenue and user growth with a foundation built in the following five areas:

1) Measure & Optimize the Right KPIs

There are a lot of metrics to analyze in mobile app marketing and it’s tempting to want to optimize for all of them at once. While many metrics signal about the health of a cohort, there are only few, unique to each business, that are directly tied to revenue. Those are the metrics that need to be optimized in order to create a foundation for incremental investment in mobile acquisition channel.

Marketers need to focus less on metrics like cost per install (CPI), and more on generating quality users likely to become paying customers. By scaling acquisition channels that generate quality users and using mobile re-engagement strategies to convert installs into customers, mobile marketers can turn ad spend into profit.


2) Track Attribution Sources

Not all installs are created equal. Mobile marketers need a mobile measurement partner (MMP) such as Adjust, Tune, Apsalar, or Kochava in place as early as possible so they can track post-install actions a user takes that are tied to their life-time value. This lets marketers know which source of installs or pockets of inventory are driving profits, helping them make smarter decisions about where to either increase marketing investment or pause.

It’s best to never launch any mobile campaigns without an attribution SDK in place. ROI-focused marketers know what they need to get out of campaign spend, and attribution tracking makes that optimization possible.

3) Choose the Right User Acquisition Strategy for Your Business Model

Every business model is different, and it’s up to marketers to play to the strengths of their product to move users through the funnel.

A subscription-based app may find that downloads come easily, but paying subscribers (a KPI) do not. In this case, mobile retargeting may play a big role in converting installs into subscriptions. Marketers of apps that don’t immediately monetize need to spread their budget across the funnel more than others. The key to choosing the right user acquisition strategy is understanding the product and the buyer journey, then appropriately spending and engaging at the stages where users make purchasing decisions.

4) Treat iOS and Android Differently

Users of Android and Apple devices are different, so marketers can’t make assumptions when running campaigns on either operating system. Just because an app install ad performs well on Android doesn’t mean it’s going to perform as well on iOS. For example, you may notice that top of the funnel is more efficient on Android, but iOS is more efficient at the bottom.

As with everything else in the funnel, test and optimize each variable in both Android and iOS to make informed marketing spend decisions that drive user growth.

5) Invest in Your Mobile Marketing Team

Mobile marketers are being called upon to be both creative artists and data-driven analysts to generate growth. Analysis, marketers, designers and data engineers need to come together in order to    launch, track and scale campaigns effectively.. While data engineering provides foundation for tracking and attribution infrastructure, analytics drives micro and macro reporting and insights, so that the marketers can focus on improving targeting, bidding strategy, creative and testing new platforms and partners.
Mobile marketing is a quickly-evolving space, and the responsibilities of the department are growing just as quickly as the industry is. Most of all, mobile marketing teams are being counted on to drive mobile revenue, not just sales leads or app installs. These are the new rules of mobile marketing, and with the right foundation in place, marketers will have no trouble rising to the ever-evolving challenge of creating revenue.


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