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A Treasure-Trove of Mobile Takeaways from Singular’s UNIFY Conference: Part 1

Published: July 17, 2018

Author: Sophia Fen

I traveled to Napa Valley last month for the inaugural UNIFY conference put on by marketing analytics provider Singular. Yes, rough gig, I know – but someone had to do it and bring the takeaways back to the masses.

Source: Singular

First, a little context on the event. Per Singular, “the goal of UNIFY is to bring marketers together to engage in knowledge sharing, collaborate on solutions to current challenges in the industry, and to disrupt the norms of mobile marketing as we know it.” Presenting companies included LinkedIn, Lyft, Poshmark, Instacart, Yelp, Postmates, Grow.co, and many more big names in mobile. In other words, this was a big deal, and the notes that came out of it are straight from some of the biggest and most powerful movers in the mobile business.
For the purposes of keeping things digestible, I’m going to clump the takeaways into some major themes for today and tomorrow’s blog. None of the themes should surprise you – especially the first, given the event host – but there’s a ton of good stuff in there that can help shape what’s to come with your campaigns.

Attribution and Incrementality – Are You Spending Your Budget in the Right Places?

  • It’s becoming more and more important for companies to have web/desktop and mobile solutions such as cross-platform, multi-touch attribution solutions
  • Integrating an MMP (mobile measurement platform, a.k.a. attribution provider) and how that impacts attribution is a key in evolving from a web focus to a mobile one
  • Have a plan to measure true incrementality especially in retargeting (agencies like 3Q can help you create and execute a plan)
  • Sophisticated marketers are pushing toward fractional attribution, so do some research and see if it’s right for you. Even if you don’t go to that level, understand that last click is NOT the only sign of intent

Don’t Undervalue Paid Social – or Great Creative

Many app companies noted how more and more of their budget is going to paid social – which, along with ever-improving performance, doubles as a good testing ground for creative testing and optimization. (Hire a good designer – it’s worth it.)

  • Pinterest is often overlooked but is an interesting play into MAI (mobile app install)
  • Keyword targeting yields good results
  • Targeted Pinterest creative does really well for food delivery apps (and in general)
  • Creative can make or break your campaigns
  • If you have the resources, you can be very granular in targeting and creative. Match them together
  • Empower the creative team with data. Benchmark creative success against creative that had been performing well consistently
  • Keep creative fresh to prevent performance erosion
  • Don’t cut corners on creative to try to save money
  • Rapidly change and iterate creative (on social and everywhere else)
  • Prioritize vertical and square creative formats as they are prominent in channels like Snapchat and Instagram
  • Playables/interactive ad units should be part of your creative strategy now – they can drive up to twice the install rate as video
  • Even if you’re not in gaming (where having this type of unit is obvious), think about interactive ways to utilize these ad units, showcasing fun ways to use your app
  • Even though it’s more expensive, it’s translating into positive ROI for other apps out there
  • Vertical/portrait formats including video are increasingly important as it opens up more inventory and people hold their phone that way more often

Mobile Programmatic Is Coming to Play

  • Everything will be programmatic soon, including creative. Smart marketers are dynamically stitching creative together to avoid fatigue and optimize
  • Programmatic is transparent and scalable – this is obviously key on web, but now increasingly important in the mobile app space
  • DSPs provide more transparency than “walled gardens” (e.g. Google/Facebook)

It may be hard to believe, but there are plenty more things to share! Make sure to check out my post tomorrow where I’ll break down the rest of the takeaways from the event.

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