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Creating a positive return on apps: No longer just a rich man’s game

It has long been accepted by companies that having an app with similar functionality to the website is the way forward. But in an app-based world, how are advertisers to know whether people will download their app and use it, whether the app will help them to deliver more business or retain business, and most importantly if the amount paid for the development will translate to a positive return on investment (ROI)?

App tracking historically
There are many app tracking tools that have been on the market for the past 2-5 years, which allow you to understand the technical functionality of your app (such as speed reports, crash reports, etc), as well as install and app engagement reports to indicate how much interest and usage your app is receiving. The main players in this space have been AppsFlyer, Adjust and Google Firebase. But knowing how well your app was built from a technical perspective doesn’t show you whether people are using it and knowing how many people install and use the app does not help you increase the awareness of the app to gain interest across a larger reach of potential users.

Up until recently, many of these app tracking platforms did not provide enough insight for you to make more informed decisions around advertising your app, to increasing installs and usability, and most of the time advertisers would have to create a generic targeting campaign and hope for the best. Alternatively, advertisers could invest heavily in a paid app tracking solution that provided more granular targeting insight, but they rarely proved to be cost-effective from our experience here at All Response Media. But not anymore…

App monetisation
On 26th/27th June, Google ran the annual AMEA App Summit, which was attended by a few representatives from All Response Media. The summit was heavily focused on app development, tracking and monetisation. The main products that were highlighted were Google Firebase for app analytics and AdMob for app advertising. There have been some interesting updates that may change the way we work with apps, here are just a few:

Firebase

  • App predictions
    • Predicting people who will churn, people who will spend in the app, people who will share the app
  • App audiences
    • Demographic and user-level audiences collected through Google Analytics and sent to Firebase, to target a more relevant group of users or potential customers
  • Remote Config
    • Automate audience targeting (similar to A/B testing) or automate in-app usability testing (similar to multivariate testing)
  • App messaging
    • Send messages to app users via email or when they are using the app to promote offers, give usage tips and generally increase retention of the app

AdMob

  • Safety features
    • Stop bots from acting like they are high-value apps for you to target, only target high value verified apps to increase conversion rate
  • Firebase Integration
    • Push predictions and audiences into AdMob from Firebase to use in targeting

Ultimately, a mix of understanding your current app traffic through Firebase, using this data to increase converting installs and retention, will help you to generate a profit on your app in a cost-efficient way and will help to create a positive ROI for both the apps and the business as a whole.

All Response Media viewpoint
We are always striving to use better technology to granularise the targeting we use for media campaigns, with the intention to improve overall KPIs. We feel that using some advanced user-level technology for reporting and targeting which is also free to use, such as Firebase, is a fantastic way for companies with an app to test the water with low budgets and still see a positive ROI. At the very least, if you are a business who has already invested a lot of money in developing a new app, then it is worth talking to All Response Media about the best ways to track your app activity and understand whether there is the potential to grow (using predictions) by investing further into media.

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