At the outset, I have a question to ask advertisers. How much of your marketing budget do you spend in driving app downloads? And, how much of it is driven towards engaging with those who already have the app?
The fact is that current mobile advertising technology vendors are focused on driving app downloads for marketers. There is very little or no focus on re-engaging with users who have already downloaded and used the advertiser’s mobile app. Hence, most hard-earned app downloads result in a one-time usage at best and in the eventual uninstalling of the app.
The current mobile retargeting scenario
The diagram below illustrates the various challenges in effectively re-engaging with the existing mobile web or app user base:
Android Mobile Web: Android mobile web users can be targeted using cookies and messaged. But usually the inventory pool available on Android mobile that can support cookie based targeting is very limited. Most publishers do not support cookie based buying on their Android mobile web inventory as user based targeting is a new frontier in mobile ad-tech. Also in most geos, 50% of the mobile inventory is inside apps and cookie based targeting is not possible on this in-app inventory
iOS Mobile Web: 98% of the iOS users use Safari browser for accessing mobile websites. Third party cookies are blocked on Safari browser and hence user targeting becomes tough. Privacy compliant solutions for iOS Mobile Web user targeting are still in early stages of development.
Android Mobile App: Cookies do not work inside apps and hence the user targeting in Android apps is usually via a device id called Android_ID. However, this id is not privacy compliant as the user cannot opt out of this Android_ID based messaging.Google is introducing a new Android Advertising id that solves this privacy issue by allowing users to disable access to this id. However, this new id is still in very early stages of adoption across the mobile ecosystem.
iOS Mobile App: Cookies do not work inside apps and hence the user targeting in iOS apps is via a device id called IDFA (ID For Advertisers). This id is user privacy compliant as the user can disable access to this id. However, the IDFA is still not widely adopted in the complex mobile advertising landscape
Focusing of re-engagement of users
At present, most mobile advertising technology vendors are focused on driving app downloads for marketers. There is very little or no focus on how to re-engage with the users who have already come to the advertisers’ mobile website or have downloaded and used the mobile app. This leads to marketers reporting large numbers in user churn. The hard earned app downloads result in a one-time app usage and eventually the user uninstalling the advertiser’s app.
Authored by: Shiju Mathew, Mobile Product Manager with Vizury.