Worrying About Navigating the Recession? 4 Marketing Insights That Will Drive Growth

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By Paul Wright, Managing Director, AppsFlyer UK, FR, ME & Turkey

The signs are pretty clear, COVID-19 has tipped Britain into its first recession in over a decade. As brands begin to rebuild for the ‘new normal’ and reclaim lost ad spend, they must now adapt their marketing strategy to navigate new challenges.

At a time when brands are still taking a hit to their marketing budgets or possibly just starting to recover from cuts, it is more important than ever they minimize costs and tap into innovation and creativity to drive growth. But this can feel overwhelming when your budget is limited – how to start, where to begin?

A great example is Snapchat, which has debuted its first brand-facing campaign – using innovation and creativity to draw advertisers’ attention to its ad products. The Snapchat campaign was created in-house with a limited budget, with the innovative decision to target marketers directly for the first time in a B2B campaign. Snapchat’s parent company experienced a tough quarter in which brands cut spend because of COVID-19 restrictions; attracting new business by drawing attention to its advertising products is a crucial tactic as it looks to reclaim some lost ad spend.

Here are my top four tips to help app marketers navigate their brands through the recession:

Tapping into owned channels

We all know that a decent marketing plan involves a blend of earned, owned and paid channels. While it’s tempting to use paid media from the get-go, many marketers have such tight budgets that this just isn’t an option.

Frankly, if you haven’t any budget whatsoever, then your only choice is to capitalise on your imagination and creativity to win. If you’re faced with this challenge due to the recession, it’s a smart move to make the most of your brand’s owned channels first, minimising marketing costs and driving growth and retention goals. Adopting this zero-budget marketing strategy allows marketers to rely on innovation and creativity, and to leverage their brand’s unique assets.

Retargeting existing users to drive revenue

Retaining existing users is crucial even in usual circumstances. With poor retention rates, intense competition, and rising user acquisition costs, re-engaging with existing app users has become a key component of an app marketer’s toolbox. But throw a pandemic and recession into the equation, and customer loyalty takes on an even more vital function.

Brands can adjust their marketing strategy to avert focus from engaging new users and instead increase the potential to re-engage existing users to drive growth and retention goals. Recent data shows that retargeting is on the rise – with 30% of apps now running retargeting campaigns to establish a loyal user base. The research found that retargeting campaigns create a significant performance uplift, as it drives more ad revenue thanks to more ad views, which in turn increases the likelihood of making in-app purchases.

Prioritising ad budgets 

It’s best not to ‘go dark’ by freezing ad spend entirely; brands that do risk being forgotten as competitors take over. Instead, app marketers need to use existing data and tools to extract rich insights from their ad campaigns – allowing them to learn what works best, optimise future campaigns and ensure budgets are spent most efficiently as they navigate the recession.

Work that inbox

App marketers shouldn’t underestimate the power of email marketing. eMarketer found that 83% prefer email for communication, far and away from the top choice over text, SMS, messaging apps and social apps. We also know that the vast majority of emails are opened on mobile devices, making this an attractive channel for directing customers to your app store. As for content, why not use your email marketing to share product updates, offer discounts, announce upcoming events and, of course, encourage engaged users to install your app for improved user experience and conversion.

This year has been full of surprises and unknowns, and to navigate it, brands must think long-term. These four steps will help you achieve marketing’s absolutely critical function; creating organic demand and turning a web visitor into an engaged, loyal app user, despite a recession.


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