How Has App Marketing Changed in the Last 2 Years?


Mobile devices have continued to develop at a rapid-fire pace ever since the first iPhone was released nearly a decade ago. With new features like Apple Pay and Siri voice recognition, our phones have also become our wallets and personal assistants, turning into the essential item we’d never dream of leaving home without.

As smartphones become ever-more advanced, mobile marketers have had to keep up with new strategies.

We recently decided to update and revamp our Beginner’s Guide to App Marketing ebook to ensure that it stays as fresh and up-to-date on all the latest app marketing best practices as it was when it was first published two years ago.

While many elements of app marketing from two years ago still ring true, we’ve found plenty of new techniques and tools we’ve needed to add. In this post we’re detailing what’s stayed the same and what has changed over the past 2 years in the rapidly evolving world of app marketing.

What Hasn’t Changed With App Marketing

App marketing, at it’s core, is still about getting new app users and keeping them. App marketers continue to utilize mobile ad networks and app store optimization to acquire new users.

Engagement continues to be a primary focus for apps, using push, in-app messages, and relevant emails to nurture existing users towards a conversion. Push is still an incredibly powerful feature for engaging with latent users, fostering engagement with announcements of feature updates, special sales, coupon promotions, and more.

In-app messages have earned their permanent place in the app marketer’s tool shed as well. With more customizable copy and styling, in-app messages allow for more granular interaction with users. Since in-app messages occur while a user is already in the app, they can be great for encouraging specific in-app actions.

However, in the fast paced world of mobile, there’s new discoveries as well. Two years might as well be two decades when it comes to the changes in mobile marketing.

What Has Changed

Focus on Personalization

Personalization has grown in recent years to become the key focus of app marketing. With marketing becoming increasingly more relationship-driven across all mediums, apps have begun to work harder to ensure that app content is personalized for individual users based on their historical behaviors and preferences.

Apps have continued to incorporate personalization into push and in-app campaigns, while also finding new ways to deliver tailored content through methods such as app inboxes.

As marketing automation continues to grow, apps are able to create highly targeted campaigns that automatically place users into pre-crafted buckets, providing customized nurture streams that promise better engagement and more conversions.

Predictive Insights and Better Retention

Another major milestone in recent app marketing history is the development of predictive marketing. Predictive marketing allows brands to predict which users are likely to convert or churn in the future. Apps can then take action to proactively encourage or discourage certain user actions.

For example, an app might send an in-app message with a special discount to users who have been marked as likely to convert, with the offer helping to nudge users closer to the conversion action.

Users who have been marked as likely to churn can be placed in well-crafted nurture campaigns that can help usher them away from the churn ledge and back towards engagement.

More Mediums to Interact and Remarket With

With Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all offering app ad formats, apps have a multitude of ways to reach out to audiences on social networks.

In addition to more advanced app ad placements, apps have also grown in sophistication by incorporating remarketing into their acquisition and engagement campaigns.

Remarketing allows apps to promote products or other conversion actions to users outside of the app, providing the perfect point of interaction with users who have opted out of push notifications.

LTV and Retention Over Acquisition

Acquiring new users is still a prime focus for apps, but with age comes maturity, and marketers have learned that there’s more to finding and keeping great users than mere download stats. App marketers have become better at using their analytics to track where their most valuable users are streaming in from and doubling down on the best acquisition sources.

Want to learn more about what’s new in app marketing? Get your copy of  our new and updated Beginner’s Guide to App Marketing ebook!

Download the Beginner's Guide to App Marketing by Localytics