Optimizing Media Mix in App Marketing: A Q&A on Growth Strategy

In the advertising ecosystem, app marketers struggle to find the right media mix to accelerate growth.

Choosing the most effective channels, keeping pace with changing user behaviors, and harnessing the power of technology are vital components of a robust growth strategy.

In an age dominated by mobile devices and technological advancements, app marketers must step out of conventional boundaries and explore new horizons. A one-size-fits-all approach may no longer suffice. By understanding the nuances of mobile advertising, leveraging AI through the right partners with considerable reach, and using data to lead the way, marketers can truly harness the potential of their media mix. As we navigate through this dynamic digital age, embracing change and staying informed will be the cornerstones of growth and success.

This Q&A with Andrey Kazakov, VP of Demand & Non-Gaming at AppLovin, delves into understanding how app marketers can think beyond the traditional channel mix for non-gaming apps, the undeniable significance of mobile in performance marketing, and the revolutionary role of AI in shaping the future of mobile advertising.

Yakira Young: How should app marketers be thinking about their media mix when planning their growth strategy? 

Andrey Kazakov: Channel composition delivers a desired combination of new users at a certain performance metric. For instance, that could be ROAS, CPP, or CPE, whatever is needed to align with the advertiser’s business goal. Regarding planning, it is also worth considering ramp-up timing, as for every new channel, it will take some time to learn and produce the desired amount of growth. Oftentimes, this can take several weeks to a month to reach performance at scale. When it comes to looking at new channels to add, it is about the reach that partner provides and the technology they give you to do so. That’s why it is advisable to find a partner that is using AI.

AI changes how advertisers can connect to their ideal clients in a big way, as it brings new levels of efficiency and can target the exact users businesses want. When that capability meets unrivaled scale, that combination is what really makes a great partner to be added to an advertiser’s media mix.

YY: Are specific industry trends in user behavior making mobile a must-have for performance marketing today?

AK: Mobile is where most goods and services are consumed today, and so a mobile user acquisition strategy is an especially good way to grow any consumer business. As many growth strategies are based on cooperation with major social platforms, diversifying by finding and scaling partners outside of this channel creates a competitive advantage.

YY: What KPIs should app marketers consider when measuring the success of mobile in their channel mix?

AK: Again, It is all about performance at scale, where performance can be defined as a ROAS metric, CPP, CPE, or anything that describes the business goal best. Scale is about the volume of users a channel can generate that also meets that channel’s performance criteria. 

YY: How can mobile complement other UA channels like social media or search?

AK: While the reach of social and high-intent advertising is ample, limiting an advertiser’s growth strategy to only these partners limits business growth. That happens for several reasons. One is missing out on additional opportunities to put the advertiser’s offering in front of users while they are using other apps outside of social, as mobile users use a variety of apps, and having them interact with an advertiser’s offering through other channels is very beneficial. The second reason is that partners using AI drive user selection with their own unique data sets informing it. That unique user data describes unique user transactions and interactions, which is what advertisers will need to drive effective growth.

YY: What role does AI play in mobile advertising for non-gaming apps, and how can marketers effectively identify and reach their target audience?

AK: AI plays a key role in making mobile growth efforts, especially when it is combined with the meaningful reach a growth partner can provide. Data about how users interact with ads and transact as a result of those ads is produced because of that abundant reach, and AI plays a key role in selecting those users, which will make the best customers for the advertiser’s business.

In addition to delivering performance at scale, costs to start using a new partner are much lower now, as creative production is aided on AppLovin’s side using AI, and requirements to train the model are much less as it takes fewer datasets these days to start succeeding.

YY: What misconceptions do app marketers commonly have when considering mobile advertising?

AK: One of the key misconceptions is that working with several social and search partners covers the market. There are more than 2bn devices that AppLovin reaches, and it puts users in front of new offerings and leverages data that defines a massive amount of users’ unique behaviors. With a partner like AppLovin, advertisers can get significant additional scale at their performance requirements when expanding their social and search portfolio.

YY: What is the simplest way marketers can test mobile as part of their UA campaigns?

AK: Mobile is meant to be the major part of any consumer business’s growth strategy. Working with a partner like AppLovin delivers massive audience reach and allows your budget to ramp campaign performance quickly while greatly reducing costs. These partnerships should also gives advertisers access to creative assets that depict their products in the best way possible as it is an evergreen process the best partners take responsibility alongside the client.

YY: Can you share examples of apps that successfully diversified their channel mix to include mobile?

AK: Absolutely. One of the apps that worked with our AppDiscovery solution, SmartNews, hit their KPIs at the beginning of 2022 and profitably grew their ad spend by 45%. Another, BIGO Tech, leveraged event-optimized campaigns to lift installs in the U.S. by 40% MoM, increase D1 retention rate, and enhance D7 ROAS by 50%+. And Kikoff used AppDiscovery’s performance CTV campaigns to meet down-funnel performance goals at their ideal install price, hitting 3x more on install rate and decreasing CPE by almost 30%.