Insights from the Next 10: Liftoff

January 07, 2021

Tags: DSPs, Industry Perspectives, 2021

MoPub and Liftoff - The Next 10
Natalie Breitbach
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MoPub recently celebrated 10 years, and as part of our anniversary festivities, we honored 10 clients and partners on our Next 10 list. The Next 10 celebrates companies driving forward the future of mobile apps and mobile advertising for the next 10 years (and beyond). In this interview series, we continue to hear from some of our “Next 10” honorees. Today we have Dennis Mink, Vice President, Marketing at Liftoff.
MoPub: Liftoff was a forerunner in developing programmatic for mobile app user acquisition. How did you help marketers across verticals understand the value of programmatic? 

Dennis: Liftoff has always been laser-focused on performance at scale. In the early days, marketers knew they needed social and search but were often missing out on reaching users who were spending hours in other apps. The power of programmatic is that it allows marketers to reach pockets of users who they might otherwise be missing. Together with social and search, programmatic offers a new and different source of inventory on mobile devices.

MoPub: You work with a diverse portfolio of clients and buy across verticals, regions, and ad formats. When it comes to ad formats, any recommendations? Should marketers embrace all formats or do specific ones, such as native ads, work best for certain campaigns? 

Dennis: It's important to have a well-rounded creative portfolio. Video, native interstitials, and even the maligned banner format should be included in mobile ad campaigns to optimize for success. Interactives (or playables) can also drive considerable downstream value, but may not be as relevant for some verticals. 

Of all these formats, video is becoming increasingly important to campaign success. If a marketer must prioritize one format, video ads would be the one to invest in. Consider hiring an internal motion designer or partner with a third party to bolster your video portfolio.

MoPub: From your expertise, what metrics should mobile app marketers think about when formulating their KPIs? Is it important to look beyond the install? 

Dennis: When setting KPIs, it is crucial to consider the stage of your business and your goals. It's no longer just about the install. For apps in the initial growth stage, it's common practice to measure return on ad spend (ROAS) based on revenue generated within the first 7 days after the user installs the app (D7 ROAS). This metric provides an early indicator of campaign performance and offers better profitability insights than CPI.

For more advanced marketers, customer lifetime value (LTV) is an extremely useful estimate for determining whether your campaigns will succeed. LTV is a measure of a user’s lifetime spend on your products/services, and is typically the quickest method to predicting profitability. However, there are a number of different ways to calculate LTV, all of which require a treasure trove of data, and choosing the best method is not always an easy decision.

MoPub: What’s top of mind for you as we look towards the next 10 years — or at least 2021? What are you particularly excited (or concerned) about?

Dennis: 2020 taught us that we are resilient and can get through just about anything. While we can expect more uncertainty in 2021, the entire industry has demonstrated an incredible ability to thrive under uncertain circumstances. With the impending changes coming from Apple (and likely Google), and an increased focus on user privacy in general, optimizing for non-personalized traffic will be key this year. 

We are discovering surprising benefits by adding non-personalized traffic to our customers’ existing campaigns. As a wholly new and underutilized cohort, LAT users are both cheaper to acquire and, in most cases, equally engaged. Given our early tests, we are cautiously optimistic about iOS14.

MoPub: Can you share any data or insights that might help app publishers plan for success this year?

A: We recently released our 2020 Mobile App Trends Report, combining Liftoff data with app market intelligence, user engagement, and retention metrics providing a more holistic view of the key trends driving performance in app marketing. While the past 10 months will likely be remembered as the most disruptive and demanding in our modern times, the outcome was an explosion of mobile activity and interaction like nothing we’ve ever seen, while providing a preview of what’s to come as we move into 2021 and continue to live and work from home.

 

From Liftoff: Liftoff is a complete mobile app marketing platform that helps companies acquire and retain high quality app users at scale. We use unbiased ML to find all the best users for your app, creative tech to deliver the most engaging ad experience and a unique cost per revenue model to optimize for your LTV goals. 

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