In this article, we wanted to look at how the marketing promotion of a product gets started. If you want to understand where to begin, you need to first understand at what stage you are and what the input data is. We’re going to look at three common situations that arise after a test purchase.
So, each app has its own life cycle. Usually, when an app has just been developed, it’s uploaded to the store and tested on a limited audience. This is the soft launch stage.
At this stage, the task of marketing is simply to attract a small number of users to get relevant product metrics. At these early stages, we generally recommend that app developers buy traffic on their own, because the quality of that traffic is largely unaffected by how you set up your ad campaign. Creatives don't have much of an impact on metrics either. The only thing we recommend at this stage is to use various approach mechanics in your ad creatives. This will reduce the margin of error that can come from choosing the wrong mechanic to show the game.
Test buying can lead tothree main outcomes.
In the first case, you bought traffic and see that your main indicators are very low. For example, you got an ROAS of 0.3. That is, for every dollar invested, you get only $0.30 back.
Naturally, scaling such a product doesn’t make sense, and all that’s needed is to further refine the monetization within the product, looking for ways to make money on users. It’s possible to play around with the appearance of a paywall if it’s a subscription app. If you have a game, then more complex monetization mechanics can help. Here, it’s important to take into account both the portrait of the target audience and the features of the product and gameplay.
Monetization should be natural, and future payments should be predictable. That is, we need to build a model that’s predictable. In the first week, the user may bring 30 cents, but in 30-90-180 days, the user will still bring us enough money to pay for themselves. The trick lies in the fact that it’s very difficult to build such a long-term predictive model at the start of a new product, and we want to understand at the first stages of launch if the traffic is “good,” or if we should change something in our product.
In any case, with such a low ROAS (or rather predicted ROAS), we need to focus on working on the product itself, and not on marketing it.
The second situation is more positive. In it, we get an ROAS of about 1. This means that we are making our money back, but at the same time cannot scale buys. Why? Because as the volume grows, the metrics will get worse. What does this say? This suggests that in this situation it’s possible (and necessary!) to work with the indicators of the marketing funnel. This is exactly the point at which you need to make an effort.
You can work on producing better-performing creatives or change the purchasing settings. You can try to optimize geo, optimize some interests, or work with look-a-like audiences. Options also depend on the network where the buys take place. So, if your ROAS is in the range of 0.8-1, it’s necessary to work on the marketing funnel. We’ll definitely tell you more about how to do this later.
This is the stage where we did a test, and it turned out that our ROAS was higher than 1.2-1.3. Excellent! This basically means that we can continue to buy traffic right here and now without doing anything else. At the end of the day, it doesn’t even matter to us what makes us profit, be it creatives or a successful ad campaign. The only important thing is this: as long as we have money, we must spend it in order to earn as much as possible. But in strategic terms, understanding the situation is necessary for returning the same high indicators in the future.
Such situations are extremely rare, but they do occur. This is actually what we are striving for at the second stage, where we are trying to tighten the funnel in order to get sufficient indicators to scale buys. This is the moment when you need to run, test a huge number of creatives, connect new channels, etc.
In the future, we will talk in more detail about each of the stages and why it is or isn’t necessary to configure a campaign in different grids and at different product life cycles. We’ll also talk about why it’s necessary to organize the production of creatives for different products and for different stages.
In the next article, we’ll talk about what to do after the first buy at the soft launch stage, such as what the important KPIs are, how we need to refine the UA, and how we need to work with creatives.
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