eMarketer predicts that Global digital ad spend will hit $333 billion in 2019, and is expected to rise by 15% for 2020.
While advertising budgets are growing, marketing expenditures are expected to shift toward MarTech, with “marketing efficiency” being listed as the #1 top-of-mind focus for CMOs worldwide. In short – CMOs want better understanding of how those billions are being spent, what’s working, what’s not, and how to optimize the marketing efforts.
Marketers are tasked with providing transparency to their efforts and expenditures; not only for the purpose of accounting for the costs, but for assessing performance and optimizing campaigns. There are so many different ways one can measure the success of a marketing campaign, or compare the value of one parameter to another. Whether the bottom line is new users, loyalty of existing ones, number of purchases, revenue or even retention, you don’t want to bounce around analytics tools to get the answers you need.
The beauty of cohort and retention reports is that you can get the answers to most of your performance questions by simply slicing and dicing the data the right way.
This is true for marketers, product managers and UA managers across the entire mobile industry; whether analyzing the performance of a Black Friday sale or assessing how many cab bookings were inspired by a special offer, most of the answers are available in a single dashboard.
This article will take a look at use cases by vertical, to demonstrate a few different ways to approach data analysis with AppsFlyer’s Cohort Report.
Example #1: Assessing the success of a multi-regional remarketing campaign
Shopping app campaigns can be localized to a specific region to provide the most personalized experience for the user; for example, a weekend-themed shopping campaign may run in the US on a Friday afternoon, but in Egypt it would run on a Thursday.
If regions share a language or the campaign is not event-centric, they may be activated across multiple regions simultaneously. This is often the case for remaketing campaigns, which aim to drive users back to the app and down the funnel.
Remarketing campaigns for shopping may include KPIs such as number of users who made a purchase in the app, purchase revenue, or percentage of re-engaged users. Cohort reports can provide multi-dimensional analysis of remarketing campaigns, to provide a full view of user behavior, KPIs and success metrics.
Example: A shopping app that ran a remarketing campaign across multiple English-speaking countries. The UA manager wants to find out how many of the users targeted with this campaign actually completed a purchase.
For the first step, we’re grouping by country to assess which region the campaign was most successful in.
Of the 14,000 or so total users who re-engaged with the app after the campaign, roughly 80% were in the United States (11,269). The US users also made the most purchases (264 on the day of install).
If there were KPIs in regards to each country (e.g. “minimum of X reengaged users from Australia”), those can be assessed here as well.
Let’s switch the view to Sum.
This view shows us an interesting detail: while the US is still the leader by far in number of downloads and revenue, Canada and Australia have switched places. Canada has about half the number of engagements that Australia does, but users have spent far more money.
If we tick the Per user box, we’ll see that this holds true: Canadian remarketed users have spent more, per user, than Australian users. While Australia delivered in quantity, it didn’t deliver so much in revenue.
By looking at the same data set from a couple of different angles, we managed to successfully assess several different KPIs.
Example #2: Assessing the ROI of media sources for ad revenue
Gaming apps have two main streams of revenue – in-app purchases and ad revenue (“renting out” ad space to other apps). Ad revenue refers to ads that are displayed at the top or bottom of a game or between levels; those ads are a critical source of income for gaming apps, and particularly for hyper-casual games.
Cohort reports can provide insights on all revenue streams, both in-app and ad revenue.
We can answer questions such as, “Which media source drove the most in-app purchases?” or “Which campaign drove the highest revenue per user in Mexico?” and so on.
Example: A hyper-casual game that has a revenue stream from ads. The PPC manager needs to gather metrics on which media sources are driving ad revenue.
The Ad Revenue report provides a full view of the ROI of acquiring new users when utilizing ad revenue.
For example, the PPC manager spent $88,593.88 on advertising on Media Source 1, acquiring over 586k users. These users are clicking on ads in the app, earning some revenue.
But it’s a slow, steady incline.
Media Source 2, on the other hand, was significantly cheaper for user acquisition and is bringing in more revenue from ads. In fact, by Day 7 post-install, Media Source 2 is much closer to breaking even than Media Source 1.
If we switch the view to Chart, we can see Media Source 2’s break even point occurs around Day 12, whereas Media Source 1 is still far from it. Even zooming out to 120 days shows that Media Source 1 is still performing at a loss.
Example #3: Assessing retention according to an in-app event
Apps that provide an on-demand service, such as ride-hailing or food delivery, often have success KPIs that relate to in-app events. Downloads are a critical component, of course, but actually using the service is far more indicative of the success of the conversion and retention.
Cohort’s “sister” report, retention, provides marketers with insight on the app’s ability to maintain an active user-base. It also gives an overarching view from engagement to use, indicating which media sources drive more engaged users over time.
Example: A taxi booking app. The marketing manager wants to assess the success of a campaign based on how many new users booked a cab after downloading the app.
Looking forward all the way to Day 10 post-install, Media Source 2 still has a higher retention rate in absolute numbers.
Had the marketing manager only analyzed the number of downloads, it would appear that Media Source 1 was the clear winner here.
Analyzing user behavior on install day and over time, however, provided a clearer image as to the retention success of the campaign per media source. Media Source 2 brought in less traffic, but more high-value users.
The story has more than two sides
No matter which vertical you’re in, you can use Cohort and Retention Reports to answer your KPI questions. Knowing what to look for and how to look at it, are key to digesting the extensive data displayed on these reports.
Moving forward, cohort analysis can help determine the KPIs of future campaigns, as well as set your organization’s benchmark for campaign success.