'Downloads are obsolete' and other mobile-engagement trends

Marketers must quickly change their priorities from quantity to quality and get smarter about measuring performance, according to a trend report from Light Reaction.

'Downloads are obsolete' and other mobile-engagement trends

A high number of app downloads does not paint a picture of a successful mobile campaign. And a lower number of high-value conversions is better than a huge number of leads that don't convert.  

If marketers haven't already changed their priorities to adjust to the above truths, they should do so now, according to a new 'trendspotting' report from Light Reaction, a performance advertising business that is part of Xaxis.

Speaking to Campaign Asia-Pacific, Auke Boersma, APAC managing director for Light Reaction, said marketer should not be focused solely on new app installs, nor on acquiring cheaper new users.

"More important are metrics like ‘engagement ratio’, ‘ROI’ and ‘ARPU [average revenue per user]," said Boersma.

Generating new users at a lower price, who quickly become inactive, instantly results in negative ROI. "It is better to focus on quality new users, a high level of engagement with existing users and re-engaging with inactive users whom you already invested in to get them to download the app," he said.

Other priorities and trends mentioned in the report include a move to more effective 'click to cart' creative, better ability to predict consumer response based on data, redefining mobile to focus on the consumer mindset rather than devices, "protargeting" and enhanced measurement. 

Just as with app downloads, "protargeting" is a question of quality over quantity. Fewer leads who convert are worth more than a greater number of leads who do not convert. Marketers should focus on finding partners that the scale to reach a large range of consumer segments and the technical tools to measure outcomes accurately and usefully, the report stated.

On the redefinition of performance measurement, Boersma said the metrics have to match the audience, the message and the timing. Having only one metric per campaign, he said, can give an in-house trader or third-party vendor the ability to fully focus on optimising that metric. 

"Adding too many metrics into one campaign is like asking Usain Bolt to run a marathon and perform a triple backflip," he said. "Be good at one thing in a strategy, and one thing only. If you want more, set up different strategies.

Specifically, the report highlithed the following shifts in what advertisers should be looking for in campaign metrics:
  • From clicks to engagement
  • From cost per acquisition to average revenue per user 
  • From impressions to in-target audience
  • From app downloads to app engagement.

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