A recap of the App Growth Summit (AGS) NY session on how to diversify your user acquisition media mix.
We recently participated in the AGS NY panel “Mixing it up: How Diversifying Your Media Mix and Acquisition Channel Usage is More Important Than Ever!” The original idea was to discuss mobile marketing KPIs and strategies for budget allocation across all marketing channels… but looking at the highlights, most of the focus was between Programmatic and TikTok.
With IDFA & GAID going away, networks merging to create new monsters of inventory supply, and a return of "old school" advertising strategies to become New School again, many advertisers had to change their tactics for testing new channels.
Since user profiling is getting trickier by the week, the appeal of traditional user graphs has been replaced. App marketers are now evaluating partners and marketing channels in terms of:
Early on, the panel agreed that previously popular channels like Facebook and Snap Ads had not adapted to SKAN as well as they’d hoped. So the rest of the session was pretty much focused on Programmatic advertising and TikTok ads. Jampp’s Andrew Whiteside and Smadex’s Michelle Web were naturally advocates for programmatic advertising, while Solène Shwartz of Mammoth Media and Vincent Eterlet of FuboTV shared the benefits of TikTok ads. Jacinta Mathis of Wagmo expertly moderated the discussion. Find all the insights below!
Whether you are an advertiser testing TikTok ads or programmatic app marketing, you can find the panel’s key considerations for testing new channels below.
Two very popular questions when advertisers start testing performance marketing are:
Performance campaigns take time and money to ramp up. Machine learning is faster than human learning, but it’s still learning.
When you’re buying on dynamic CPM with machine learning, the algorithm is processing a lot of data signals (yes, even post-IDFA). You can invest more budget over a shorter period, or invest less media budget and take longer to get there—the key is to keep your investments aligned with your growth goals. As Vincent put it: "The amount shouldn’t be capped, we are flexible but we do have fixed milestones, every 3-6 weeks. Is the optimization going in the right direction? If not, we’ll cap it." Different factors come into play such as the size of the user base, the type of campaign (User Acquisition vs App Retargeting), the key event they’re optimizing for, and the growth team’s risk tolerance.
Vincent mentioned how FuboTV had initially looked at free trial, subscription, and first payment for KPIs as that’s how the brand was monetizing. After a while, they came to the conclusion that the key was retention. “Getting a first payment is awesome, but getting 12-24 payments is better.” This shifted their approach to User Acquisition (UA) and testing new channels: when they’re doing UA, they look at the CPI, first trial, first payment, essentially the top of the funnel, but they are looking at those events to try to predict retention.
While they use different analyses, one of the things they’ve found is that the more that the user is interacting with the app and triggering in-app events, the more likely they are to stick. “Those in-app events become bundles that allow us to predict the retention of those potential users from those channels. So any event for us is an important KPI.”
When testing new channels, they usually start by looking at proxy metrics, i.e. a succession of events they analyze while the campaign is ramping up and then shift to the “real metrics” once the campaign gets going. That said, they do set certain checkpoints for the proxy metrics to make sure they’re going in the right direction.
Advertisers understand that choosing the right partners matters more than ever. There’s a few things to evaluate or ask about before launching a SKAN campaign such as:
For all of the above, but specifically for SKAN campaigns, it’s important to check with the community. Jacinta Mathis of Wagmo mentioned how she never tests a new channel before running it with her group chat of growth queens. Be it a group chat, industry rankings, or case studies, it pays to check how potential growth partners are doing for other companies in the space.
We are so excited to be participating in in-person events once again. Big thanks to the AGS team for hosting another great event and to Jacinta Mathis for moderating the chat ❤️! We hope these takeaways were useful, stay tuned for more insights!