Understand the shifts that are redefining app marketing to set yourself up for success in the new era of app marketing.
It’s hard to believe that Apple’s App Store launched a little over 10 years ago with 500 apps. Today, consumers have more than 2 million apps to choose from in both the App Store and Google Play. Clearly, app marketers have their work cut out for them to stand out in such a crowded field.
We’ve entered not just the second decade of app marketing, but a whole new era, with a fresh set of trends to comprehend and rules to play by if you want to hit your numbers in 2019.
Despite the seemingly endless options that consumers have when it comes to app selection, most time is spent in just a handful of them. In fact, according to an IAB research study in 2017, U.S. consumers tend to open just over five apps per day.
So how do you tackle app marketing in this environment?
The researchers behind our Kenshoo Apps marketing solution have identified three key trends that you’ll need to stay on top of in 2019 to succeed as an app marketer:
App Marketing Trend #1 – Focus on lifetime value (LTV) rather than simple downloads
It can be tempting to make downloads your focus. Of course, you want your app installed on as many devices as possible. But acquiring those installs usually costs money. Is it being spent on acquiring the right customers who will give you a return in the end?
Let’s look at the facts:
- 80% of all app users churn within three months
- The top 20% of companies are nearly twice as likely to focus on LTV versus more traditional last-touch metrics such as conversions and ROI
- It can cost five times more to attract a new customer than to generate a sale from an existing one
It may seem counter-intuitive, but you’re better off down the road if you build your strategy around keeping a customer over the long term than you are by focusing on acquiring customers in the short term. Since the vast majority of apps are free, you’ll need to make sure that the customers you do acquire align with your monetization strategy.
Who are the customers that are most attractive to your advertisers? Which ones come back to your app again and again? Who are the ones likely to make in-app purchases? Digging into your data and understanding your customers’ needs will help you answer these questions and focus your app marketing efforts on the most valuable prospects.
The most successful modern app marketers understand that the install is just a hunting license. The real monetization is in driving actual post-install usage and the promotion of recurring microtransactions.
App Marketing Trend #2 – Use machine learning and AI to supercharge your marketing automation programs
Advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are now impacting every industry, including advertising.
Marketers are always strapped for time and should be assigned the most time-intensive, repetitive tasks to computers in order so they can focus on the more important things like strategy and creativity that humans are best equipped to handle. Computers can analyze big data in seconds what it might take days or weeks for someone armed with a folder of spreadsheets to do.
As app marketing gets more and more competitive, turn to technology to create richer audience profiles and program optimization driven by demographics, purchase history, on-site behavior, search behavior and more.
Some of the ways that digital marketing technology with AI and machine learning can specifically help you include:
- Faster decision-making by parsing the ever-increasing piles of data marketers have at their disposal and surfacing the right insights much more quickly than you’d be able to on your own
- Better ad targeting based on a more complete user profile, helping you direct your app marketing to those users who are most likely to be highly engaged or make in-app purchases
- Dynamic ad creation that tailors copy, images, and calls to action to deliver personalized ads that are most likely to appeal to your best customers
While machine learning and AI can help you make better, faster decisions, these advances are still no replacement for the human touch. Think of them as complements to your team versus replacements. There’s still no substitution for the human perspective needed for great creative craftsmanship.
App Marketing Trend #3 – Make app store search advertising the priority of your media plan
There are more ways and more places to search nowadays than ever, and app marketers must take advantage of the diversity of options in order to appear wherever potential customers may be looking. Search has turned into a discovery engine, enabling users to go beyond the specifics of their search query to see related items on the periphery. And this is how many new apps are discovered.
App users typically rely on the search function within the app stores to find and discover new apps, which makes the use of search ads within this channel a no brainer. In fact, 65% of App Store downloads are made as a result of a search, and Apple Search Ads convert on average at a rate of 50%.
In the next era of app marketing, advertisers have to up their game and take advantage of all the learnings and best practices that marketers have begun to apply more broadly across the digital sphere. This is where the Kenshoo Apps marketing solution can help take your campaigns to the next level, and capitalize on the trends driving this highly competitive marketplace.