Retargeting is a beast of its own, requiring different strategies and creatives than normal user acquisition campaigns. We sit down with Adikteev COO Kate Lovejoy and Upptic Creative Director Ava Savitsky to discuss retargeting at large, the similarities and differences between UA and retargeting, useful tools, and future trends.
Creatives in Retargeting and User Acquisition
Adikteev & Upptic
- Xander: Upptic and Adikteev are providing an exclusive retargeting offer for Upptic users. This will give people the most powerful retargeting on the market for a great price.
Kate Lovejoy & Adikteev
- Kate: Adikteev is a mobile growth engine focused on in-app retargeting with gaming expertise. Adikteev helps drive and sustain user growth after install.
- Kate: Adikteev combines machine learning with in-house creatives built by a world-class team.
- Kate: As well as being U.S. Managing Director, I’ve taken on a new role at Adikteev, building out Adikteev’s performance division.
- Kate: One of Adikteev’s biggest differentiators is our ability to deep dive with our clients into their data.
- Warren: User acquisition to retargeting is not 1:1. If you’re good at UA, you might think you can do retargeting, but there are differences in creatives and performance.
What is retargeting?
- Kate: In a nutshell, retargeting is everything that happens after install.
- Kate: We work with partners to define an audience of users and serve creatives to them.
- Kate: Our expertise is getting the right ad to the right user at the right time.
- Kate: We look to do one of three things in retargeting: 1) activate a new installer. 2) Retain users. 3) Upselling users.
User acquisition vs. retargeting
- Kate: There are two important things to keep in mind for retargeting KPIs: Cohorts are different. Day 0 in UA is typically the install. In retargeting it can be any number of things: The time of the click, the time of the impression, or the time of the re-engagement.
- Kate: Incrementality is super important in retargeting – less so in UA. We want to make sure we’re not cannibalizing organic activity.
- Kate: Our methodology at Adikteev is 100% verifiable. I’m super proud of that. We don’t make any assumptions that other methodologies might.
Creatives in UA vs. retargeting
- Kate: In UA, accurate depictions of the gaming experience are incredibly important because you’re targeting prospective users. In retargeting, you’re targeting people who have already played the game, so this is less important than a brand reminder or FOMO. Creative units can be lighter instead of super high-fidelity.
- Ava: Retargeting is definitely more about the gentle nudge to keep everything top of mind. Less is more with retargeting. It’s a good opportunity to promote new game content or offers as well. Video is definitely good if you’re promoting new content.
- Ava: UGC creatives are raw – over-the-shoulder video of people playing the game. Creatives are less polished overall in UA. Also seeing neat things with live-action and AI happening right now.
- Warren: We also see more time being resourced for channel-specific creatives in UA.
- Kate: We do see similar overall macro trends. But we focus more on when in the user journey the ad will be shown to the user to make sure they will care about the ad. Using all ad formats, to ensure you can get an ad wherever a targeted user is, is also more important vs. UA where you might just use the highest-performing ad type.
- Kate: Static ads are particularly important because they’re often the only thing that’s available on weather apps – which many people check several times a day.
- Ava: In UA you get more experimental and switch up the messaging, but in retargeting consistent messaging seems a lot more important.
- Kate: Clients that provide both special offers and evergreen creatives have the best results with their retargeting.
Channel-specific creatives in UA vs. retargeting
- Warren: With channel-specific creative you can create an ad that looks like real content and will capture prospective users better. It’s less disruptive (especially if you consider rewarded video in games).
- Ava: Attention span to keep in mind as well. We encourage different lengths of creatives. We’ve even seen success with 7-second creatives.
- Kate: We definitely see differences on a client-by-client or even creative-by-creative basis.
- Warren: The best-performing creatives are not always the best looking ones. Clients are sometimes surprised to see what’s working best.
- Kate: It’s never the shiniest creatives that perform the best.
- Ava: We don’t necessarily see major differences in performance by platform. Creatives on Android do as well as on iOS.
- Warren: We’re also seeing that what works on small devices, like mobile, work on large screens, like PC.
- Kate: We also don’t see much difference in performance on Android vs. iOS. When you’re going for such a niche audience, the user behavior is the same regardless of the device they’re on.
Retargeting in a post-ATT world
- Kate: We don’t rely on SKAdNetwork, so our partners work with us to have a really clean, deterministic view for iOS. We only go after users who share their device ID and we see pretty similar performance to pre-ATT and we’re able to measure the same way.
- Kate: Not retargeting on iOS in a post-ATT world is a missed opportunity – and one that can allow your competitors to get ahead of you.
- Xander: We see huge opportunities on the UA side on iOS as well. It’s self-evident.
- Warren: We are seeing decreased cost of inventory on iOS, which is the first we’ve ever seen in the industry.
Emerging trends and technologies
- Kate: One thing I’m really excited about here is churn prediction. We recently released a new tool that organizes users into buckets based on low, medium, or high likelihood that they’ll churn.
- Kate: The scoring is all specific for each app we work with and we do a pre-launch analysis before we even get started.
- Kate: I’m super interested in AI and we’ve been experimenting with it. We want tools that will allow us to build multiple versions of creatives quickly. We have also been using translation tools – we see a small lift in running creatives in native languages.
- Kate: We can use this tech to make designers more powerful, but I don’t think AI is going to take any jobs.
- Ava: AI is just another tool in the toolkit, like Photoshop has been. It allows us to do a lot of production really quickly. Our team is really having a lot of fun with AI tools as well. We’ve also been seeing good results.
- Ava: Not everything AI puts out is pretty. Some of it is off-putting. But it does grab people’s attention.
- Warren: There’s an interesting trend we’ve been exploring where we’re using creatives built by marketers for more than just getting people to install the game. It was born a bit out of our web3 initiatives, where there is more complexity and hand-holding in onboarding players.