How We Navigated The Pandemic (and iOS 14.5) To Grow Our Client’s Mobile Business

By Nadine Santana | May 24, 2021

Nadine Santana is Digital Account Director at Camelot Communications, driving performance and user growth for various app advertisers. After 12+ years of experience in interactive advertising, Nadine has a remarkable track record of achievements, consistently meeting and exceeding quarterly sales goals. Always ahead of the evolving mobile advertising space, Nadine confidently manages client relationships and improves account results at Camelot Communications. 

Learn more about Mobile Hero Nadine.

Strategizing in the mobile universe is evolving at a break-neck pace and continues to accelerate with the industry’s new changes. Between the impacts of the pandemic and now iOS 14.5, marketers must find a new way to navigate the space and still drive proven success. As agency partners here at Camelot, we take our role as our clients’ trusted source of information to the next level as we stray into unchartered territories. Unfortunately, no case studies exist to help guide us through these changes. Instead, we must lean into the research at hand, news articles, instincts from years of experience, and our trusted partners in the ad space. Over the past year, I’ve learned four key tips on how I have grown and expanded various clients’ apps as a strategic consultant. 

Lean on Your Team

Now more than ever, I heavily lean on our team experts. With the constant changes we face around the iOS 14.5 roll out and the impacts we expect to face, our resident mobile/martech experts have been vital players in client discussions. We proactively guide our clients on setting up and preparing for SKAN—everything from setting up the correct integrations to working with analytics teams on how to best align to the new reporting (or lack thereof) we expect to see. 

In addition, we began to implement test campaigns from day one of the iOS 14.5 rollout to ensure the pipes are aligned and to get an early sense of data. With new changes and updates to Apple’s iOS 14.5, Camelot’s mobile team has been essential in deciphering the who, what, and where of it all—allowing us to communicate with clients appropriately.  

Move Upper Funnel Marketing Strategies

Another factor that has come front and center in our mobile strategy is finding new ways to drive impact. Most of the clients I work with are pure direct response advertisers. When it comes to performance, clients expect us to achieve more stringent targets than other channels. We must show proven performance from a direct click to conversion, which limits the tactics we can deploy. 

With users evolving their interactions with devices and media, our strategy has also grown and shifted. We are branching out to reach users in different ways, focusing on more mid-upper funnel plays to engage new eyeballs and lift our client’s business impact. We are also exploring strategies to capture the attention of second screeners by aligning with our offline media buys to create synergy across multiple platforms. These new initiatives yield a direct correlation to increased performance.

Throw Seasonality Out the Window

Seasonality is something that needs to be redefined, at least for the short term. Looking at year-over-year (YoY) metrics gives us an inflated view of what to expect. A year ago, we were at the onset of a worldwide pandemic, and now we are in the beginning stages of returning to normal. What does that mean for advertisers as they look to YoY stats to create business goals? It’s simple. You have to be nimble

Start to maximize momentum when it occurs and drives orders while they are hot—you never know what the next phase will be after the post-pandemic norm. Right now, people are starting to gather with family and friends they haven’t seen in a year. They are moving about and no longer as dialed into mobile devices. Eventually, some offices will start to reopen, and people will fall back to commuter routines while other offices remain closed, keeping people in a work-from-home routine. As advertisers, we must be nimble to pivot with the changes and strategically determine how to move about an evolving new norm.

Dive Deeper with Message Testing 

One of the most significant areas advertisers leaned into over the past year is messaging and audiences. Unfortunately, messaging is a tricky path to navigate given users’ heightened sensitivity. Plus, finding the right tone to engage your customer base without coming across as advantageous requires a delicate balance. 

In the early days, deploying a supportive and helpful tone was the theme du jour, but that isn’t the case anymore. Across several of our partners, we found this sort of messaging expired quickly. For example, early on in the pandemic, we discovered that users wanted to find an escape rather than be constantly reminded of the reality around us. This led to discussions of sensitivity—would it “look” bad to have a creative showing a group of people in close quarters, interacting when we are told to stay at home, isolated, with no large gatherings? Of course, no one wants to make the wrong move. Navigating such dialogue was new territory for a lot of us. So we rolled out numerous creative testing to see what resonated best, how we could shift the tone and find a happy middle ground. We relied on platform nuances and best practices to help guide these tests. In addition, we deployed creative testing across our larger platforms (Liftoff being a key partner for this!) to provide us data and insights to better arm the creative teams on the best messaging and tone to tune into our target audiences.

Many of these practices came about because of the pandemic. Now we take the practical learnings and weave them into our playbooks as tried and true wins. The mobile space is constantly evolving, and as marketers, it is our job to evolve to keep clients in the game.

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