Navin Madhavan
Dec 30, 2021

Opinion: Retarget, remarket, retain — the three horseman of India’s app marketing journey

As brands continue to evaluate how they can drive maximum value for their consumers, remarketing has become a welcome strategy, explains the author

Opinion: Retarget, remarket, retain — the three horseman of India’s app marketing journey
All marketers know that user acquisition is only the first step in the long journey to pin down an ever-shifting audience. Because if 2020 has taught us anything, it is that things can change in a blink. This particularly applies to the mobile ecosystem which is addressing many changes head-on.
Being one of the largest addressable markets in the world, the demand and supply of mobile apps has increased tremendously; after the pandemic contributed to the lift in online activities and ads.
The average number of app advertisers grew over 20% across categories, particularly in key verticals like shopping, e-commerce, finance, and entertainment, across Asian markets. 
The fallback from this is the inevitable dip in the share-of-voice each app used to enjoy – we are dealing with plummeting retention rates today. Retention proved to be the biggest obstacle for an app-run business to keep their newly acquired users from eyeing a competitor app. The more the market picked up the steam, the more app retention rates started to drop — Appsflyer’s state of app marketing report notes a mere 4.83% as the average retention rate that an app in India enjoys within its first week of being downloaded. Because, remarketing is no longer reserved for purely consumer brands, it’s reach has touched most sectors. The same Appsflyer report found that by November of 2020 itself, one in every five Indian advertisers were using retargeted campaigns. And that number is on the rise. 
With these emerging trends in play, remarketing is now occupying a bigger chunk of the app marketing budget than what it previously did.
Era of hyperlocal and language-based personalisation
Among the mobile trends that emerged this year, hyperlocal and language-based personalization stood out particularly across most segments. Mobile ads are now perfectly tailored to reach not only the right audience, but also in the right language and format. Marketing in the native language has quickly caught on resulting in a wave of ads featuring regional content for curated audiences across both Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. 
From e-commerce to entertainment brands, mobile ads are no longer focused on just the product, they speak directly to the consumer and address them in a language they identify most with – building a sense of familiarity and boosting brand recall. Some of the major remarketing campaigns this year dug into this very trend. 
It doesn’t end there. Remarketing itself has become more of a focused effort that can be leveraged alongside targeting strategies like appographic targeting, location-based, and IP-address targeting to help fuel enhanced personalisation. This way, the remarketed ads reach a higher-intent user, dropping timely discounts based on locational intelligence and across multiple touchpoints, bridging the online and offline marketing experience.
India is gaming more than ever
Gaming was probably one of the biggest gainers in the post-pandemic digital boom. A report by InMobi found that the mobile gaming is going to reach as many as 44% of all Indian smartphones by 2022. Gaming is clearly here to stay. Now what’s interesting is that much of the impressive growth in remarketing campaigns saw significant contribution from none other than gaming apps. 
The year saw an uptick in gaming campaigns, especially through the second quarter of year, led by the IPL season. Remarketing budgets as a result, swelled by an amazing 140% during this period. Even when the seasonal hype tapered off, the budgets have levelled to a steady growing pace month-on-month. Micro-segments like real-money games along with steady growing ones like casual games are the driving force behind much of this growth. 
The remarketing checklist for marketers 
Brands can ensure the success of their remarketing campaign by leveraging first, second, and third party data for audience segmentation and accordingly optimising bids for high engagement or LTV users. They should also aim to personalize ads based on user interest and behavior and facilitate higher conversions with deep linking support.
As brands continue to evaluate how they can drive maximum value for their consumers, remarketing has become a welcome strategy. Be it reaching that ‘incremental’ revenue gap or engaging lapsed users, remarketing is an ace game for marketers.
The author is VP and GM - growth platforms, InMobi


Campaign India

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