The Weather Company on Testing Creative Across Audiences
Helene Trompeter got her start at Digital Advertising in Atlanta nine years ago.
Helene’s passion for digital shines in her current role as the head of U.S. media at The Weather Company, an IBM Business. She leads paid and organic media promoting the company’s profile of mobile apps and websites, which includes supporting The Weather Channel, Weather Underground and Storm Radar. She’s happy to share her best advice as an app marketer below.
Above all else, your data provides the best advice out there. Performance data is relevant to your category, your audience and are available in real-time. It’s your best starting point to strategize. I look at industry trends in order to test, but I always start with what I know.
Technology evolves, your audience evolves, and so does “what works.” For that reason, I apply an 80/20 rule in planning when possible, running 80% of budget toward historical performers, and 20% toward testing.
Performance is a balancing act between quality growth, engagement, consumer satisfaction and financial obligations. With UA, we look at CPI, CVR and Retention. First and foremost is CPI, but we also need to make sure that the efficient users we’re bringing in are staying and engaging. We don’t run incentivized media because of this. We make sure our 30-day retention rates of paid installs are on-par with our organic numbers. We also optimize towards CVR, as rates can hurt app store rankings.
Creative is just as critical to evaluate as your bids, audiences, day-parts and networks.
It’s important to remember that not all creative is created equal. Creative copy and images may perform very differently depending on users’ demographics, operating systems and interests. Ex., Carousels strongly outperform video ads for us on Android, but iOS users better identify with our video.
There are a few general best practices within UA, for example: a clear CTA increases installs, animated ads drive more engagement than static ads, and ads that truly showcase the benefits of the app to the user tend to be top performers. But outside those nuances, it’s hard to pass a best practice from app to app, or even audience to audience. This is why testing is so important to test! Dynamic creative templates make it easy to mix and match hundreds of creative variations in order to test quickly without creating a heavy-lift internally.
The more integrations and collaboration you have, the more opportunity you create. Think outside your box, outside your “job description” and outside what is “possible.” The best quality work I’ve been a part of tends to come from either cross-department brainstorms or inquiring about technological integration possibilities.
A quality user is a consumer who has really built that daily habit and is actively engaging with the multiple features your app offers. The highest quality user craves and raves about your app!
The Last Word
It’s easy to get lost in the daily shuffle, scrambling to meet deliverables that just seem to keep piling on. Try to take 15 minutes a day dedicated to “professional reading.” Keep your creative juices flowing while you learn what’s trending in the industry, how company X succeeded, what other divisions of your company are working on, or even what’s happening with technology in your own city. Never stop learning.