Advertising Strategies and Lessons


The Mobile App Install Marketplace Matures As Brands Use Data For Effective Targeting

August 13, 2019 Sarah Cavill

mobile apps

In the beginning, there were apps for everything. Many of the apps had limited purposes and were not at all aligned with sales or marketing objectives. Those days are (mostly) gone.

Apps are much more sophisticated and user-friendly now, offering the seamless integration of technology and real life that should have always been their intention. As a result, apps are presenting increased opportunities for marketers. By leveraging consumer data, marketers can drive app installs in a much more targeted manner, which ultimately leads to in-app actions likes purchases, upsells and customer engagement.

Big Data Can Benefit Marketers When Scaling App Installs And Consumer Bases

As mobile use increases, demand for apps grow. In Q1 2019, app installs were up 11.6% year over year, with heavy growth in a mix of evolving verticals including retail, travel and utilities. (Gaming continues to lead the app install sector.) The benefits of data-driven, targeted app installs is a scaled customer base with more sticking power, brand loyalty and overall interest in the brand.

"By using big data more efficiently, we’ve been able to not only expand outside of traditional media segments, but increase distribution to key customers and markets.” said Rob Maniaci, Internal Performance Media Manager for DMS Performance Ad MarketTM. “Shifting technical resources and focus into mobile app growth allows us to maintain and often surpass advertisers’ KPI goals. Users are constantly on mobile apps, meaning our brands are constantly on mobile screens and constantly in-front of valuable eyeballs,”

Investing heavily in app installs can lead to high-value users, which is better for app growth and related KPI goals in the long run. Post-install data is also beneficial for further targeting and can be used for in-app messaging, understanding a customer’s lifetime value, assembling first-party data profiles and evaluating return on ad spend (ROAS).

Retargeting May Be Key To App Customer Engagement And Retention

App abandonment is at 21% after one use, down from 25% in 2015, which is an improvement, but still leaves a lot of users on the table who might be enticed to stay given the right incentive.

Once a customer installs an app, the goal of a marketer should be creating opportunities for in-app actions that drive engagement and retention. Many brands set aside significant budgets for app retargeting, hoping to avoid the disengaged customer or deleted app. Retargeting can include personalized ads encouraging app use or reminders to convert. App engagement incentives can include discounts, promotions, frictionless transaction options and meaningful updates that enhance user experience (UX).

In-App Activity Can Build First-Party Data Sets And Brand Loyalty

install download app mobile

Once an app is installed, the actions taken in-app, which can include purchases and registrations, are another source for collecting first-party data which can offer opportunities for learning more about consumers, converting sales or creating brand loyalty. Offering discounts or rewards programs for in-app purchases and creating seamless buying experiences can create brand loyalty. The Starbucks app is a good example of how effective tying app usage to in-store purchases and loyalty programs can be.

Apps are a market segment offering a variety of unique opportunities for brands interested in creating additional revenue streams and scaling customer acquisitions. For data junkies, app installs offer a chance to learn more about consumers through data collection in-app use tracking. Whether scaling app installs or boosting app use, a strategic approach helps app marketers in line with the growing app retention trends.

Reimagining Your Digital Marketing Win? 

From building email subscription lists to growing app install volume, Digital Media Solutions helps brands scale with cost-effective performance marketing solutions. Through dynamic people-based marketing campaigns based on the unique KPIs of each advertiser, DMS deploys diverse digital channels to help advertisers present branded opportunities to custom-targeted audiences.


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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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