Measuring anything, anywhere — welcome to the age of the mobile-first consumer

Where’s your phone?

If you’re like most people, it’s probably not too far away — in fact, it’s most likely comfortably within arm’s reach. And you might have just breathed a sigh of relief.

That’s the power of mobile devices in a nutshell. Over the past 20 years, companies have undertaken the challenge of shifting from legacy “offline” operations to becoming digital-first.

Beyond that, businesses are further reinventing themselves for a world where the always-on consumer has become a reality, thanks to the ubiquity of mobile devices.

No matter where you are in your digital transformation journey, investing in your holistic measurement and mobile experience strategy should be a priority. In this blog post, we’ll cover the rise of the mobile-first consumer and why a mobile measurement partner (MMP) is more valuable than ever, particularly given the end of life of Adobe Mobile Services at the end of the year.

The value of mobile measurement

A recent joint report from Adobe and AppsFlyer found that mobile has become an integral part of the consumer lifecycle, with more than 40% of total consumers engaging with companies through mobile devices.

It’s clear that nowadays, in order to succeed, businesses must adapt to meet customers where they already are: on their mobile devices.

The good news is it seems that many businesses are doing just that.

According to research from Statista, mobile advertising spending is projected to reach a record of US$327.1 billion worldwide this year alone, marking an increase of 17.2% compared to 2021. The total amount is projected to add up to a whopping US$399.6 billion by 2024.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated this upward trend, as people became increasingly reliant on mobile devices to meet their everyday needs. This fast-tracked digital transformation has put mobile apps front and center when it comes to brand marketing strategy.

The immense popularity of mobile apps coupled with highly accelerated digital transformation has led to intensifying competition. And with over 4 million apps in the App Store and Google Play, capturing consumers’ attention and driving them to install your app is no easy feat.

Driving purely organic installs and engagement at scale is simply not a viable strategy for most businesses. That’s why app owners are realizing that marketing-driven or paid activity plays an increasingly important role in the mix, which puts mobile measurement at the heart of a marketer’s tech stack.

Without an MMP, marketers lack holistic visibility into their performance, which leads to uninformed decisions and, ultimately, significant overspending, missed opportunities, and a surge in fraudulent ad activities.

Let’s take a closer look at how leading businesses are leveraging holistic measurement and deep linking technology to boost their mobile user acquisition, engagement, and retention.

Pizza Hut creates a seamless customer journey with deep linking

Global food and beverage giant Pizza Hut noticed that its most profitable customers were ordering through its mobile app and that a significant amount of mobile orders were being attributed to its “Hut Rewards” loyalty program.

With this in mind, the company decided to implement a strategy to convert traditional offline customers into engaged app users.

Using QR codes for in-store displays, direct mailers, and pizza delivery boxes powered by AppsFlyer’s deep linking technology, Pizza Hut was able to deliver a seamless, contextual user experience from QR code scanning to the app — across every platform and device.

This holistic measurement approach revealed that mobile app customers who activated the QR code proved to have a higher average rate of engagement and a higher per-user order volume than those who did not.

Aside from the immediate benefits, this tactic paid off in the long run as well, as customers who integrated the Pizza Hut app into their purchasing routines grew to be more loyal than customers who did not.

Macy’s drives mobile adoption for loyalty program members

The marketing team at iconic retailer Macy’s observed that, despite many customers being loyalty program members, most were not making purchases through their mobile app. This realization prompted the team to implement an enticing strategy that would help scale mobile app adoption, increase engagement, and boost conversion.

Taking into account the strong performance of owned media channels — including email, web, push, and direct mail — they needed to make sure that their paid media wasn’t cannibalizing their organic traffic, ensuring that investment would be revenue positive.

Attribution data from AppsFlyer gave Macy's an omnichannel view of its campaign performance, revealing that paid search outperformed display by a significant margin.

Armed with this finding, the team honed in on paid spend on search and social as key areas of optimization in their quest to improve mobile adoption and engagement.

By leveraging deep linking technology from AppsFlyer, Macy’s was able to connect the dots when it came to owned media channels, measuring campaign performance down to specific desired user outcomes, such as loyalty program signups, adding items to cart, purchases made, and more.

This level of granularity equipped the Macy’s team with the data they needed to optimize their top-of-funnel strategy accordingly — to great effect.

Year over year, Macy’s realized a 30% increase in total sessions and a 68% increase in purchases. This resulted in a 55% increase in total mobile revenue, including a 100% uplift of revenue per install and a 20% increase in revenue per session.

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Rosetta Stone boosts user acquisition and reengagement with audience segmentation

An early adopter of digital solutions, Rosetta Stone has offered aspiring language learners a mobile app for nearly a decade.

As a result, the brand was facing a unique challenge, as many users had downloaded its app in the past but had not engaged with it in years, including users who still had the app downloaded on their mobile devices and those who had downloaded the app but had since uninstalled it.

Both segments represented a large audience of potentially high-quality app users.

With Apple Search Ads being their most effective user acquisition channel, Rosetta Stone realized they could benefit from the ability to set a custom acquisition window and separate re-engagement from reattribution — that is users who still had the app installed but were not actively using it versus users who once used the app but had since uninstalled it.

AppsFlyer’s customer reacquisition windows made it possible for the Rosetta Stone team to deploy a highly effective remarketing strategy by defining and separating new users from existing users.

By setting the reacquisition window to 12 months, the length of an app subscription, the team could retarget users they knew had not used the product for at least a year with customized messaging that would drive them back to the app.

Their bet that dormant users could convert back into high-value, active users paid off. Remarketing via Apple Search Ads with AppsFlyer led to a 39% higher ROI than comparable new users, which lowered the overall cost per install on Apple Search Ads by 18% month over month while contributing to an average customer LTV increase of 10%.

“AppsFlyer custom reacquisition windows and reengagement dashboards helped us make Apple Search Ads one of our highest performing channels for both new user acquisition and returning user reengagement.”

-Caitlin Romig, Former Director of Consumer Marketing, Rosetta Stone

Adobe Mobile Services end of life — what it means for you

You’ve likely already heard that Adobe Mobile Services and its included features will no longer be supported effective December 31, 2022.

Put simply, this means that the capabilities and tools that were previously available through Adobe Mobile Services will now be available through a combination of Adobe Experience Cloud solutions and Adobe Exchange Partners.

As the only MMP with the Adobe Premier Exchange Partner rank, AppsFlyer is stepping up to ease the transition for Adobe customers.

AppsFlyer provides holistic measurement and insights that businesses need to measure the real impact of their marketing campaigns and forge new paths toward achieving their mobile goals.

With complete visibility into paid, owned, offline, and in-app data across mobile, web, and CTV from the AppsFlyer product offering, Adobe customers can make sure they get the full picture of which media sources and channels deliver the most profitable users and drive the highest lifetime value.

Despite the expected sunset of Adobe Mobile Services, Adobe customers don’t need to compromise on enabling engaging experiences that drive success on mobile.

Together, Adobe and AppsFlyer are powering savvy enterprises with the tools they need to drive predictable app growth and deliver exceptional experiences while protecting consumer privacy.

To learn more about how your business can boost mobile user acquisition, engagement, and retention with Adobe and AppsFlyer, check out this one-pager.

Vincent Low is the global director of cloud and technology alliances at AppsFlyer, where he is responsible for building strategic technology partnerships across the martech ecosystem that fuel mutual growth. A veteran in digital transformation and the mobile space, Low has launched direct-to-consumer services and strategies for notable organizations such as Samsung Electronics and Viacom (Paramount).