When you ask performance marketers what they look for when acquiring users, one word will come up more often than any other: quality. But what defines user quality, how does it differ by region, and what does that say about the app install market?
Delving into the data from our most recent app install marketing survey yields a few interesting answers.
The Importance of Quality
When top app install marketers were asked how important various KPIs were with respect to evaluating campaign performance, user quality was their top response.
While level of service, install volume, price, and targeting were all considered moderately to very important, an astounding 79% of top advertisers regarded user quality as the “most important” KPI.
So what do advertisers mean by user quality? Simply put, it boils down to user retention and purchase behavior.
While user retention and purchase behavior were the top two quality indicators for advertisers across all regions, there were notable regional nuances:
Advertisers in North America were the only group to value in-app purchase behavior (82%) over user retention (74%), an indicator that marketers in this region expect a moderate level of churn and would rather monetize users quickly. Advertisers in APAC, meanwhile, were less concerned about in-app purchase behavior (67%) than their cohorts in other regions, an indication that the market here is more focused on long-term lifecycle nurturing.
Meanwhile, advertisers in EMEA were more interested in tutorial completion (44%) and session time (31%) than their counterparts, suggesting that marketers here are more concerned about the depth & quality of in-app behavior than they are with session frequency or early in-app purchase conversion.
Quality over Time
This sentiment hasn’t changed much over time, though there has been a bit more movement regarding tertiary indicators.
Three years ago, one in six advertisers considered social logins an indicator that users would be high quality, but that sentiment has fallen to a level that is now nearly meaningless.
Conversely, advertisers are now looking to positive user reviews as an indicator of quality more than ever before, a nod to the fierce competitiveness of the app stores and the relative difficulty of engaging users, much less converting them into public proponents.
It will be interesting to see if positive user reviews continue to grow in favor in 2018, or if it will plateau as a statistic only monitored by a minority.
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