Optimizing for External & Internal Influences

Mobile Marketing - Member Content

Dave Bell, Co-founder and CEO of Gummicube, looks at the external and internal influences affecting the mobile marketing landscape.

As mobile developers and marketers, we can’t control the externalities that affect our campaigns, but we can adapt to them. As the adage goes, the only thing that stays constant in life is change. This equally applies to the mobile marketing landscape.

Uncertain times are brewing, and many mobile-first businesses are looking to find ways to adapt to changing internal and external conditions. Economic swings, cost cuts, and seasonal shifts are all factors that could contribute to a major marketing change.

The Externalities of App Store Optimization
Gearing up for changes whether they are internal or external, planned or unplanned, is part of what makes App Store Optimization (ASO) such an adaptable mobile marketing strategy by nature. The processes of metadata, creative and paid optimization allow developers and marketers to remain discoverable despite changes.

Budget, search trends, business plans and marketing goals can all bring on changes in strategy. Some are external influences that may not have been foreseen or planned for. A great example of this type of change is the latest Roe v. Wade ruling, which caused many apps in the period tracking category to be deleted by current users – citing fears of data collection.

In this scenario, period tracking app developers did either one of two things. For one, certain apps had to scale back on paid marketing efforts to avoid negative pushback from users if they were collecting data while they adjust their API. On the other hand, many period tracking app developers worked to eliminate data storage and 3rd party data sales altogether before the ruling even took place.

External trends have a tremendous effect on app performance not only on an individual level but on broader, categorical levels. To illustrate, fluctuations in the stock market may cause the general sentiment of investing to go down, causing investment app interest to go down as well. If not at the categorical level, the feature level may also be impacted.

What can be done to mitigate the effects of the external environment? What types of internal and external changes are there, and can they be addressed with ASO?

Solve the Internal Change Through Iteration
Depending on the internal change at hand, scaling an app toward growth requires continuous changes to strategy. Many mobile marketers and developers often find it difficult to incorporate new features or different target strategies in a way that improves the quality of your store presence. For instance, if the developers of a finance app decide to rebrand, will this change be dramatic or impactful enough for their users? How can it keep its float with current users?

The introduction of Custom Product Pages (CPP) on iOS shows us how powerful even a slight change could be in capturing a specific audience segment. This is why so many mobile marketers find it market worthwhile to invest in targeted strategies. However, not all app developers have the bandwidth to manage multiple campaigns, so what can be done?

Iteration allows developers and mobile marketers to adapt to changing search trends and new targeting strategies by making conscious changes to their metadata and creative assets. These changes could be brought on by a new feature update, rebrand, a new or additional target audience and other changes to internal strategy.

ASO technology helps us better distinguish what creative and metadata adjustments will yield the most effective results. True mobile data empowers us to find improved modes of organically growing despite internal changes, all while also testing its effectiveness.

The External Environment with Seasonality
Iteration can be used to combat both internal and external trends, but seasonality helps us mitigate the effects of external changes by adapting with them. Contrary to the name, seasonal updates don’t have to be recurring at a given time period by nature. They could be simple app updates, adapting positioning based on search trends, or seasonal events like 4th of July or Election Day.

Namely, if a retail app developer wanted to adapt to search behaviors following Black Friday sales, then they would have to adjust their creatives and metadata accordingly to capture it. This is different than iteration as iteration changes on a recurring basis and is not usually triggered by an external event. Seasonality, on the other hand, solely relies on maintaining relevance.

Having a strategy to adapt to change whether iterative or seasonal is imperative to every mobile marketer and developer. Changes to budget may require you to do a lot more with a lot less, or a rebrand might cause you to switch gears altogether. Whatever the changes you face as a company or as a marketer, having a game plan and understanding your user base is the first step toward an ASO strategy that harmoniously changes with them.

About the Author
Dave Bell is Co-founder and CEO of Gummicube. Gummicube is a global leader in App Store Optimization with more than 12 years of experience optimizing and marketing apps. We offer the leading enterprise ASO technology and agency services, providing support to clients around the world. Our company is trusted by thousands of enterprise brands and leading startups including Microsoft, LinkedIn, Bethesda, SWEAT, GrubHub, McAfee and many others.