Since 2008 when it first emerged, the app economy has evolved to include some of the biggest brands in the world - and one thing these successful app-based businesses all have in common is a strong marketing strategy. Just look at the marketing spend from some top brands across industries:
- Bumble spent over $60 million in Q4 2021 alone
- Lyft’s marketing and selling expenses exceeded $411 million for all of 2021
- Dog-walking service app Wag! spent over $10 million on marketing in 2021, a drastic increase from $3 million in 2020
As marketing channels continue to be dynamic and evolve with consumer behavior trends and industry shifts, app businesses must adapt to stay up to date and ahead of the competition. New platforms, features, and placements, like TikTok and Instagram Reels, are emerging constantly - it’s up to the CMO to design an internal structure for finding opportunities for scaling on existing and new channels, all while managing your budgets as efficiently as possible.
Unified app marketing is the best way to tick off these boxes. Like the name suggests, a unified app marketing strategy aggregates all UA campaigns across channels into a single platform. Here, I’m discussing three benefits of this strategy for app CMOs, including what I’ve seen work to drive growth for app businesses and manage ad spend as effectively as possible.
1. Improve team collaboration, engagement, and communication
App marketing teams can consist of many roles, including:
- UA managers
- Ad operations
- Creative designers (internal or external)
However, in many app-based businesses, each team is often siloed - they’re doing their roles then handing it off to the next person in the chain. The creative designers, for example, build the creative then send along to the UA managers for deployment. They then look to the ad operations team for adjustments before it’s handed off to the analysts for reviewing performance. The creative team never learns about how their ads performed or have any insight beyond their initial responsibility.
But no matter the size of your marketing squad, unifying them gives everyone transparent access to data and closes the loop between creatives and optimization. Often, an aspect of your role as CMO is building an ideal team structure - enhancing collaboration and communication is part of this, as is giving all teams access to a single dashboard. For more tips on improving your creative team, check out this piece my colleague Dan Greenberg wrote about growing ironSource’s creative studio and hiring, creating an efficient structure, and optimizing our work culture.
Unifying your marketing team gives everyone transparent access to data and closes the loop between creatives and optimization.
A unified marketing approach can also promote greater engagement internally because team members feel more involved and invested in the success of campaigns. Going back to our earlier example, when you let the creative team get insights into how their ads performed from the analysts, they’ll likely strive to improve and start building an internal database of best practices as they make changes and track the results. When your team and processes improve over time, you become more efficient, too. You spend less time managing each team as their own silo and more time scaling the business and focusing on higher-level operations.
2. Shorten the learning curve and improve efficiency
For many app CMOs, a key goal is achieving and sustaining growth across new and existing channels. But a major challenge to this is the operational overhead and knowledge it takes to run successful cross-channel campaigns. Each channel behaves differently, and your team is responsible for replicating success on each one, while adapting the strategy to suit its unique behavior. The more UA campaigns that your organization is running, the more the team needs to track, adjust, and optimize - that takes a lot of manpower.
The learning curve can also be steep when you’re expanding into new channels that your team has never run on before. Your marketing team should use the same platform to monitor campaigns so they’re all viewing performance within the same context. If your growth manager is only looking at campaigns on one channel without any point of comparison, they’re missing out on opportunities to apply learnings from other platforms and make optimizations. Giving them a view of campaign performance across channels lets them analyze performance more quickly and easily. And improving your team’s efficiency makes your role as CMO easier, too - you’ll be able to extract the insights you need about channel growth in a clearer and faster way.
3. Spot trends and themes more quickly and easily
When running large-scale marketing campaigns, there’s a lot of information your team is looking at to draw correlations and spot opportunities. There’s data from sources like your MMP, the channels themselves, and your own BI systems. Currently, many marketing teams use separate platforms for aggregating each metric, like LTV predictive platforms that require users to pull data from each channel to get a result. It all gets even more complicated the more channels you’re on. For your team, they need to crunch the numbers on each platform and analyze increasingly more data. And for you as CMO, it’s then more difficult to spot the high-level trends and make the correlations that are essential to your role.
By unifying your campaigns - and their data - into one platform, it’s a lot easier for both you and your entire team to extract insights and connect the dots that expose trends. Part of your role is ‘decoding’ the creatives - essentially adding meta data that enriches your analysis and helps you trace the origins of the ad. So including labels for information like which team created the asset and the marketing theme, then consolidating this onto a single platform can help you better organize campaigns and get a clearer birds-eye view of what’s working.
Consolidating the meta data of your creatives onto a single platform can help you better organize campaigns and get a clearer birds-eye view of what’s working.
Managing, optimizing, and extracting insights all becomes more efficient when cross-channel campaigns are aggregated into one place, and this usually leads to better performance.
Managing the future of app marketing
Unifying your app marketing is key to staying agile and dynamic as the mobile advertising industry continues to shift. That's why when building ironSource Luna, we considered the needs of all teams involved in app marketing - from creative production to managing cross-channel campaigns. With a single platform that allows your team to create, monitor, manage, and optimize campaigns across channels, you can make more accurate and impactful decisions that drive your app’s growth forward and reduce wasted spend.
Analyzing further, we understood that different team members look at the same data through different angles. This is how we came up with Luna Views, which lets CMOs and their teams customize their own dashboards, so they can visualize their most important metrics with greater ease and clarity. While most dashboards are built for the UA managers and operations teams, this is customizable for everyone, including the creative teams. Improving accessibility and efficiency for your team while making it easier for you to extract high-level insights leads to better performance you can sustain and scale over time. Going forward, bringing all of your app marketing channels onto a single platform should be the new normal - it benefits your team, your own role, and your organization as a whole.