Food for Thought – Some Key Industry Trends for 2016 (Post 1 of 4)


Apsalar recently hosted a Google Partner event  where we discussed some of the key trends we are seeing in the mobile app industry, and we thought we’d share some highlights here. We love the opportunity to work with media and agency partners on events because we each bring unique perspectives to the industry that have tremendous value. Today we are going to be talking about “Remaking the Rules.” How the leading app marketers are getting better results in 2016 by changing the app marketing game.

We work with many of the largest app publishers in the world, helping them drive better marketing results and richer user understanding. All this insight into our industry helps us deliver a unique perspective on the key trends in our industry, both in the US and around the world.

As we all know, our industry is growing at an amazing pace. According to eMarketer, install spending is going to break $6Billion this year.


Extracting that kind of growth from an already large category requires strategy and nimble thinking. And as we reviewed the developments we see taking place in 2016, we’ve identified several key themes.

  1. The industry is evolving from a focus on installs to brand relationships. User quality and combating user decay have become the industry’s mantras.
  2. Top apps moving to bigger ad deals with large partners, encompassing more weeks and more dollars
  3. CPI display is still king, but brands are testing and implementing more channels, ad formats, buying formats
  4. User retention metrics, uninstall rates, and growth in fraudulent activity warrant your attention
  5. Marketers are focused on proactively improving post-install engagement with strong investments in mobile marketing automation and remarketing

I want to start at the beginning of that list by focusing on the strategic change that we see in marketer strategy and tactics in 2016.

  1. The industry is evolving from a focus on installs to brand relationships. User quality and combatting user decay have become the industry’s mantras.

We see it in the trades, with so many stories about how app marketers are placing such emphasis on what users do after an install. Fundamentally, this is about a shift in thinking.

As an industry, we are moving from a focus on an event – the install – to one in which the user is at the center of everything we do. Now, this may sound elementary, but it’s a critical distinction. Our world has been transformed – and rightly so – to one in which a user’s relationship with a brand is central.

apsalar event trackingApsalar Relationship Measurement

As marketers, we certainly still care about installs, but we’re also increasingly focused on the app launches and the actions people take. On the purchases that they make, and on how they continue to use and transact with an app over time. The most vivid way that we see this trend at Apsalar is in how people use our platform to understand their businesses. We measure interest by what metrics they study. How much time they spend studying them.

And all that has changed a lot. Now most marketers have revenue or return on ad spend KPIs first and foremost. And we’ve learned that great install figures and don’t necessarily mean great revenue.

metrics apsalar

What matters to today’s marketer is user quality and controlling user decay. And it’s changing the face of app marketing. There’s lots of evidence that our interest in the whole customer is increasing. We see it in the massive number of job openings for marketing data analysts, especially app marketing data analysts.We see it in the big increase in time that our clients are spending doing analysis. And in how many more in-app event types they are trying to measure.

We mentioned five key takeaways at the beginning. But if you can only remember one, this is it. The change in focus to the holistic user. Many of the other changes emanate right from that.

Tomorrow: Changes in the Way Marketers are Spending

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