What is user acquisition?
User acquisition – or UA – is the process of driving users to a digital product often through paid advertising. Specifically, customer acquisition is the end-to-end practice of identifying a target audience, concepting a message, producing a creative asset, deploying the assets to marketing channels (often ad networks), measuring the results, and optimizing and iterating over time.
User Acquisition is multidisciplinary and requires a diverse set of skills and teams. Successful UA requires artists and designers for creative ideation and development, analysts and data scientists for predictive analytics, and marketing practitioners/operationalists operating ad channels and business relationships – all for the purpose of driving customer growth.
To understand marketing profitability, growth marketers implement systems to track user lifetime value (LTV) and customer acquisition cost (CAC). The ability to arbitrage CAC against LTV over a time is the core of acquiring new customers in a profitable, ROI positive manner. Growth marketers call this measurement return on ad spend (ROAS).
ROAS is calculated as typically calculated: Cohort User Value / Cost of Acquiring Cohort
Return on ad Spend is represented as a percentage, with 100% meaning an ad dollars is completely recuperated and any incremental user value is profit.
In the context of mobile app user acquisition there are specific advertising channels and standardized measurement infrastructure which are critical to app user growth.
Common categories of traffic for games marketing include social ads (Facebook, instagram, TikTok, Snap), rewarded video ads (ironSource, Applovin, Unity) and search ads (Apple Search, Google search). Finding the channel mix and creative messaging which pairs with targeting criteria across advertising networks is critical to drive profitable customer growth through user acquisition.
Given the complexity of using user acquisition to grow your mobile or web3 game it is critical to have an industry leading growth marketing team and robust growth marketing analytics platform to ensure you’re maximizing the impact of every ad dollar you spend.