Fiksu on Successful Mobile App Advertising – How To Optimize An App Promotion Campaign Around Your KPIs

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In his role as Regional Manager of EMEA, Benjamin Hansz oversees campaigns for mobile app user acquisition platform Fiksu’s growing portfolio of  clients. Ben was instrumental in establishing Fiksu’s EMEA office based in London, expanding their media inventory partnerships, and growing their the company’s foothold in the region. This summer we had the honor to hear him talk at the App Promotion Summit in London. He gave a great presentation about how to optimize an app promotion campaign around your key performance indicators, covering how to navigate the sea of different traffic sources and also touching on areas such as facebook app advertising.  We are pleased to announce that now we’re able to share audio recordings of the talk as well as transcription.   The presentation covered the following areas:

  •  Finding The Best Performing Traffic Sources – Navigating 200 Mobile Ad Networks Across The Globe
  •  The Growing Opportunities Using Social Ad Units
  •  Targeting Loyal Users Based On Your KPIs – How To Target Those Most Likely To Monetise – At Scale

Here’s the audio of the “SUCCESSFUL MOBILE APP ADVERTISING” talk here:

The “SUCCESSFUL MOBILE APP ADVERTISING” is available below on slideshare:

‘Successful mobile app advertising’ – How to optimize an app promotion campaign around your key performance indicators – Benjamin Hansz – #APS2013 from App Promotion Summit Conference

Here’s the full text of the talk:

Benjamin Hansz: Good morning. I’m Benjamin Hans from Fiksu and yes I’m going to talk about how to optimize an app promotion campaign around your KPIs. Bit of a spoiler alert. It’s three easy steps. It’s diversify. Test and then commit. But we’ll get into that with a bit more detail. So to put it into context Fiksu is an optimization layer that sits over the whole mobile ecosystem. So we plug into the different networks out there, the different traffic sources and we try to optimize that around KPIs. The reason why…the insight that we have here is we’ve run thousands of campaigns for hundreds of clients. So we do this a lot and we’ve seen a lot of mistakes being made and we see the best way to do things. Each app is unique so each needs its own approach especially in different market places. So this is a general guideline about how you can do this. So now about finding the best traffic sources. This is the Lumascape?, as we’ve seen a million times. There’s millions of apps in the app store. Thousands are being added every week and also there’s 200 plus different traffic sources out there. Different networks, different ways to get between yourself and your customer. Now that’s a bit daunting and it’s getting more complex especially as things like Amazon and Windows come into play. So that’s good news and bad news. The good news is you are spoiled for choice. The bad news is, how do you pick the right source of traffic for you. Quality is the key and the closer to the source you can get the better. In our experience we’ve seen that out of the 200 plus networks there’s really 50 core networks that are providing the source of traffic. These go from networks incentivized, non incentivized. Social networks like Facebook, RTB, etc.

I think it was yesterday or Monday VentureBeat put out an article about their top ten index of the best networks out there. Added to the list this year was Facebook of course and what was kicked off that list was iAd. So it’s always changing and over the years every six months or so kind of who the network du jour so to speak is not the same as it was six months ago or a year ago. Facebook wasn’t even around from a mobile app standpoint a year ago and suddenly as of January it really started kicking off. Moreover there’s a number of different types of traffic out there. We have the incentivized networks which is where a user gets a reward for downloading the app. Considered to have very low loyalty. You don’t get much return usage from there but the scale is huge and the cost is chest. Non incentive networks those are the banners that you see in your apps or on mobile websites. Then you have the RTB exchanges and this is a really interesting source of traffic that came up about a year ago it really started developing. And this is remnant inventory from larger campaigns where you’re able to bid on an impression basis within milliseconds and especially for games it’s very very effective and the loyalty is usually quite strong there.

Then we have social as we know. Facebook. Twitter is also coming along as well. And then you have direct relationships with publishers. So big ones like The Weather Channel or in the states you have Pandora as a music service. What’s interesting about that is, optimizing is all about rarifying your traffic sources so setting up as many campaigns as you can on one source. Differentiating as much as you can inside that one source really helps you see where you’re getting the results from. It’s looking past the download and going and seeing who is actually becoming a user and out of those users who is actually paying. So Pandora’s a great example. On Pandora you can do some demographic differentiation but then also on the genre of music we’ve run a number of campaigns there where you’re actually optimizing around the genre. So what’s important about that is in executing your campaign remember where your KPIs are is that you’re looking for users. That’s the most important thing. And there’s more to it than that though. Not only are you getting users but you’re also getting data for your company. Data you can feed back into your organization to either strengthen your next marketing campaign or to even go into your product road map and product innovation. So this is effectively an outline approach about how exactly to diversify. I’m sorry, how to manage around your KPIs.

So the first one is to diversify. It’s quite tempting to say, right now Facebook, everyone loves Facebook. It’s so hot right now as they say. And it’d be easy just to throw all your money there. But there’s two things about that. One is that ill change. Again, six months ago it wasn’t really a factor now it’s huge. By Christmas time, January it will be different. Going back to that top ten list by VentureBeat. This time last year iAd was a great source of traffic and one of the top three really and now it’s being kicked out. There’s reasons for that. Why it’s not the preferred network of choice. But it’s important to note that this will change. What’s also important to notice that, yes Facebook is great but it might not be the best source of traffic for your app. So it’s best to cast a wide net and to diversify. Also by diversifying you’re able to avoid saturation. Each traffic source only has limited audience and you want to make sure that your audience is continually refreshed. On Facebook we’ve noticed that with every two weeks you need to refresh creative just because it saturates that quickly. On the incentivized networks you also see that it saturates quickly as well. So if you spread throughout the different sources you’re able to avoid that saturation as well. And speaking of diversifying and casting a wide net this is really where I guess it’s important not to make assumptions. Again Facebook is great, you can get a low CPI. Again it might not be the best one for you. Secondly when executing campaign just looking at a bigger picture as well. Don’t make assumptions. Let the data lead you. So by casting this wide net you’re able to troll as much data from as many different sources as possible and you’re able to hone in and focus on where performance is coming. And again it’s important to look past the down…I mean a download is one thing but it’s more you want the return user. You want the users that are actually adding to your ROI.

So keeping an open mind about this. Just one word about incent. You know it’s mainly used for rank bursts because again it’s huge volume at low cost. But also at times if you look past just the download and you look at the net of what you’re getting in terms of users you can actually sometimes get a lower cost per returning user on an incentivized network. First off you have to measure that. Secondly you have to be open to actually try it. A number of clients come to us and say, you know what? It’s worthless I don’t want to try incent. And it’s really important just to, you know what? Give it a week or two. And also the cost is so low it’s actually, it’s worth it. And again you’re getting not just the users but you’re also getting the data that you can feed back. So testing all the different types of sources is important and it does come down to measuring everything. Measure whatever you can, however you can. With mobile campaigns it’s quite easy. You get the download, you track users and from there on, on the back end you can see what their behavior is like inside your app. One…going back to the iAd not really being one of the top ten anymore. One of the issues with that is they don’t allow for the attribution. And attribution is key as well because without that you can’t measure. And traditionally iAd has not allowed for attribution and therefore it’s not good enough anymore to say, example it should be good traffic, it’s on premium published etc. If you don’t know, you don’t know. So the idea is to measure everything as you go along. And keeping your KPIs in mind as you do this. I hope you would allow, as Mick said, you kind of get out the bad ones and you focus on the good ones.

So further to the commitment; targeting users based on your KPIs is basically the crux of all this, what I’m saying in the sense that by casting this wide net, by collecting the data, by analyzing and finding out where your users are coming from that is the key. It’s looking past the download. And once you come up with this. So we’ve diversified, we’ve tested. You need to commit. You need to commit to this plan of actually going out there and breaking a few eggs to make an omelet. You really need to commit to spending the money, gathering the data, crunching that and then changing and evolving your acquisition plan accordingly. And in this case unfortunately dollars equal data. You need to spend money in order to get this data; which does take a bit of courage at times. Especially if it’s a new app and you have no benchmarks about what your cost per returning user is. Again you can say, I can get a download for a dollar. But what’s your cost per returning user? How many times do you need to have someone download your app before they actually come back as a return user? And then also what is their purchasing behavior once they’re inside your app?

So that takes a while and you need to play a long game. You need to have a longer, bigger picture in mind here. So keeping that in mind, looking past just the download and going into cost per returning user, lifetime value, etc. Gathering this data and casting the widest net is the best way to go about it. So that was just a brief overview. Running out of time but it goes without saying that social is kind of what’s hot now. Facebook is driving great volumes at great costs but again, it’s important…let’s understand that but let’s look at the quality of what you’re getting out of that. And by drilling down on those KPIs you’re sure to evolve a great campaign acquisition which will benefit your business. That’s it. Thanks.

Thanks to Ben for the great presentation – you can find more coverage of App Promotion Summit here