How Gaming Apps Can Solve The Cross-Promo Guessing Game

By Margot Miller, Brand Content Manager, Adikteev

Apple’s ATT framework continues to make user acquisition and retention campaigns more difficult to deploy, track and measure. In light of this, app marketers must find new avenues for maintaining an engaged audience. The number of available advertising IDs on iOS (IDFAs) is decreasing, and Apple’s native tracking and attribution solution, the SKAdNetwork, has serious limitations for app marketing campaigns.

Cross-promotion has proven to be a highly efficient way to retain users at the portfolio level, especially for gaming apps. But the challenge is accurately targeting the right users at the right time with the right app from the portfolio – without cannibalizing monetization of the inventory.

The cross-promotion guessing game

The conventional approach to cross-promotion deploys campaigns on an app marketer’s unsold inventory to promote other portfolio titles. But if not launched at the exact right time, cross-promotion can inadvertently destroy the monetization value of that inventory.

If targeted too soon, users from the first app may download another before they’ve reached their full lifetime value (LTV) potential in the first – or before they are ready to start a new app.

If targeted too late, users may not be interested at all and may have already downloaded a competitor’s app. On top of this timing challenge, it’s a guessing game to determine which destination app would be best for each user.

Machine learning hones better answers for smarter cross-promotion

New technologies are using machine learning to eliminate this guessing game, applying predictive analytics to give better answers to the who, what and how for effective cross-promotion:

  1. Identifying the right cross-promotion targets: The predictive capabilities of best-in-class tools can predict the likelihood that a user will churn with an average of 90% accuracy. This accurate targeting creates a solid foundation for the cross-promotion campaign.
  2. Matching those targets with cross-promotion offers: Harnessing the data an app marketer has about that user, the predictive tools automatically recommend one or more apps from the portfolio.
  3. Connecting those matches with effective ad placements: Dedicated ad placements allow app publishers to run their cross-promotion ads without interfering with the monetization of their own inventory.

Reengage users without relying on advertising IDs

Maximizing user-level LTV through performance retargeting will continue to be profitable for the percentage of users who opt-in to share their user data. However, as users increasingly opt out of sharing advertising IDs on iOS, it’s impossible to recognize them and encourage them to return to the app.

Keeping valuable users within the app ecosystem becomes more important than ever given this data scarcity. By maximizing user LTV at the app-portfolio level through cross-promotion, app marketers can continue to reengage their users and keep them within the world of their apps – without the need for device IDs.

Build out a forward-thinking retention strategy

Using cross-promotion to maximize LTV at the portfolio level, instead of the individual app level, will be the essential strategy for app marketers in 2022 and beyond. The same technique can also make for a solid user-retention strategy. But success will depend on app marketers’ ability to better predict the when and what for cross-promotions — and get smarter about running those cross-promotions while maintaining the value of their own inventory.



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