"Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Vadim Rogovskiy, CEO at Clickky.
For years, app installs were the ultimate metric for the mobile marketing industry. But as the market evolved, the importance of a mere click was buried beneath the weight of the constantly rising price of user acquisition.
As the cost per install continues to grow, the industry needs to focus on the most cost-effective tools that can target the right audience. Since attracting the right mobile users can become very expensive, it is important to use all the data at our disposal to identify the best users and optimize mobile advertising efforts accordingly.
This is where post-install data enters the scene, creating a whole new world of mobile marketing opportunities. The post-install event is an action that a user takes after they download an app. Post-install data can track in-app purchases, retention rates or when users typically reach certain levels of achievement. Matching these events with KPIs and assigning a value for each one helps marketers understand exactly how each event contributes to overall performance.
Post-install event tracking is the key to identifying which audience to target and which channels have the most potential for revenue generation.
Gathering post-install data on users also helps with future ad campaigns and allows marketers to focus on their high-converting audiences. Unfortunately, there are several obstacles that prevent the industry from using post-install data to its full potential.
Installs Still The Top Metric In Emerging Markets
Last year there was major growth in mobile data traffic, mostly due to emerging markets. The introduction of low-priced handsets has been crucial. In the years to come, emerging markets will play a major role in industry development. Yet they are still catching up with developed economies in terms of the availability of technology.
While attribution and conversion metrics dominate the global mobile industry, in emerging markets the cost per install is still the most widely used measurement of campaign effectiveness. As global best practices slowly penetrate emerging markets, vendors must develop solutions that will fully use post-install data.
Until the industry moves past its obsession with the install metric, it will continue to ignore the potential of post-install data.
Tools And Standards
There are currently no unified standards for what post-install data should be collected, nor widely recognized recommendations of what data to share and why. With a set of these rules, advertisers will get better services, while vendors will have a clear opportunity to develop specific tools.
We are in need of instruments that can help identify the app users who will generate the greatest revenue. Post-install data is the key to that, as it enables marketers to understand how their audience interacts with their apps.
In the diversified mobile industry, the best users and the metrics to track them are different for each vertical. Now there are tools focused on the metrics for a single vertical, such as games. Companies tend to work individually with each client to identify data for analysis and optimize ad campaigns accordingly.
Data Availability And Client Education
The main problem with post-install data is that clients generally do not share their statistics. This is particularly true of finance-oriented apps, where install data is highly guarded. Gambling and ecommerce apps also tend to keep their stats to themselves.
Client education might be a way to solve this issue. As the industry evolves, webinars and articles will help marketers keep up with current trends. Providing clients with successful case studies will help vendors share their experience and insights and improve communication.
The Need For Precise Targeting
In the end, it boils down to identifying and reaching the right audience. Post-install data helps to identify the audience with the most revenue-generating potential. To reach that audience, it must be targeted properly. That means app marketers must have precise targeting to get the right users.
While cost-effectiveness is at stake, the industry is going to pay closer attention to the development of targeting technology.
Currently, user data and location-based technologies enable marketers to reach their audience, anywhere and anytime. Mobile marketing has become more focused on the individual user with each passing year. Nevertheless, the process is a bit rocky. In the near term, the developed economies will explore new targeting technologies, while emerging markets will struggle to catch up with the global trend.
The Bottom Line
As the price of user acquisition continues to grow, user retention has taken the stage. Recently, the post-install event has become a crucial part of app performance measurement and a strong base for further app promotion.
Nevertheless, we will not witness the full-scale domination of post-install data until the industry develops the tools, upgrades its targeting technology and reaches the next level of partnership between different industry players.
There are still several steps to take, as the industry raises new demands, shifts to more progressive marketing goals and adjusts mobile ad campaigns accordingly.
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