Dynamic Retargeting for App Success: Q&A with Alex Pham

By Diksha Sahni | May 15th, 2017

The importance of user retention and lifetime value (LTV) have been much stressed upon for modern day app marketers. App marketers realise that for a holistic view on customer acquisition and app success, mobile retargeting is increasingly becoming an invaluable part of their efforts to maximise value.

Advertisers looking to use retargeting solutions have a lot to thank technology for improving the way campaigns can now run. Dynamic retargeting is one such way that advertisers can reach their audiences in better ways than before for app marketing success.

We sat down with Alex Pham, Director of Platform Solutions at AppLift to get an insight into why advertisers should be using dynamic retargeting for app marketing success:

Q: Can you briefly explain to us what is mobile retargeting, and specifically dynamic retargeting?

The idea of mobile retargeting ties into re-engaging with specific segment of users you have — who are interacting at different degrees with your mobile app.

This is the concept of displaying a customized message to your user base via various channels e.g email, push notifications, app-to-app retargeting with the purpose of pushing them down your funnel and make them perform certain actions.

The dynamic aspect of retargeting is two-sided.

It can be at the audience level: segmenting your audiences is made in a dynamic manner based on where your users are moving along the different steps of your funnel (e.g Open, Viewed Item, Add To Cart, Purchase in the case of an e-commerce app).

It can also be at the creative level, where you will customize the advertisement or the message to the end user depending on their past behavior (items added to cart, trips searched but not completed, etc). Further development can be done if you are building algorithms, which recommend a product intelligently or display a list of items a user might be likely to purchase.

Q: When should advertisers make the switch from UA to retargeting?

A solid understanding of the above mentioned user funnel is important before starting a retargeting campaign. Marketers are aware of their main KPIs when it comes to user acquisition and engagement — it can be monetization or engagement. Ask yourself certain questions: "Do I want to increase my number of subscriptions or drive additional sales? Do I want to get my users more engaged and make them use my app longer? Do I want to reach out to a specific category of users and offer them a discount?"

As you can imagine, the use cases related to retargeting are endless and have to be fit perfectly with your overall marketing strategy.

There is no proper switch to be made from UA to retargeting. In fact, it should be pretty natural for marketers to care about the post-install activity of their users and therefore build a strong CRM strategy.

My personal recommendation would be to start retargeting campaigns from day one. We are all aware that around 80% of the app users are likely churned after 7 days so reaching out to them as early as possible and understanding their intent is key to lower that KPI.

Q: What are the key benefits of dynamic ads for mobile marketers?

The main benefit of dynamic ads is simply the level of customization and the tailored message you can build that would fit a certain segment of users. Mobile marketers want to treat every user individually at best, and engage with them so they become more receptive to their brand.

The design aspect of the creative ad is also very crucial. Building interactions within your ad using touch, accelerometer or even augmented reality represents innovations that increase user engagement and likelihood to perform actions. It’s a performance game so mobile marketers would benefit in demonstrating creativity and continuously A/B test what works and what doesn’t.

Last but not least, a cross-product recommendation system can be embedded within your dynamic ads and from there, give you extra insights into what your segments of users have in common.

Q: How can advertisers make the most out of dynamic retargeting campaigns?

The first thing to do would be to cooperate with a strong ad-tech partner which has such capabilities. Secondly, an efficient data onboarding system is necessary to maximize the effectiveness of dynamic retargeting ads. The more you share with your partners in terms of user behaviour, the more they can use these information to build the right ads for your audiences. Make sure your data streams are set up securely and with the right level of information. Track your main KPIs and build a closed feedback-loop with your partners to ease the optimization on their side.

Q: How do you see dynamic ads evolving in the future?

Native customization of the creative to the publisher environment would certainly be a game-changer for dynamic ads. We have seen how well native advertising performs so combining relevancy and design is a natural next step.

In the same direction, I also believe there is an opportunity to build dynamic video ads for re-engagement.

I also think the rewarding aspect is just at its beginning. We will see more and more mobile marketers offering specific discounts, items or promotions directly into the ad — through the use of deferred deep-linking — to increase the efficiency of retargeting campaigns.

Q: And finally, share with us your one secret tip for running smarter dynamic retargeting campaigns?

Funnel, it’s all about the funnel! ;)

Diksha Sahni
Diksha is a Content Marketing Manager at AppLift and is based out of our Bangalore office. When she is not behind her computer writing, you can find her binge watching her favorite movies, finding her happy place at a dance studio, and checking off places on her bucket list.

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