Adjust’s Tom Tran – Data is Better Than Gut Instinct

Data is king, and its power is growing. In 2019, data plays an important role in marketing decisions around the world, and often requires powerful automated solutions to be leveraged effectively. One such solution is Adjust’s Audience Builder, which helps marketers drive retargeting campaigns without relying on third parties.

Tapjoy recently met with Adjust Senior Sales Engineer Tom Tran to discuss Audience Builder and the importance of data to mobile marketers.

 

What We Learned:

  • The most successful marketers today back up their insights with data, not gut instinct.
  • As the average CPI goes up across the board, automated solutions are becoming crucial tools for effective buying.
  • Since marketers have more access to data than ever before, managing and consolidating it into useful forms will become a major trend.

 

Hi, Tom. Can you start by telling us about yourself and your role within Adjust?

My name is Tom Tran and I’m currently a Senior Sales Engineer at Adjust. My goal is to help our clients navigate the mobile marketing landscape and establish the most secure and effective ways to find, target and measure their mobile users. Before Adjust, I spent about 10 years at both large and established media companies as well as more agile marketing technology companies.

 

How has the marketing industry changed over the past ten years? What’s remained the same?

For me, the biggest change in marketing now versus 2010 is the role data plays in marketing decisions and budgets. Marketers today have an unquenchable thirst for data to drive their decisions. No longer do the most sophisticated marketers rely on their gut instinct and look at bottom-line numbers such as clicks or total installs to analyze their performance. The best and most successful marketers I see tend to have a need to back all results with data. They have business intelligence tools and data scientists that look at advanced analytics such as ROAS, retention and engagement to determine the value of their marketing dollars.

That said, marketers’ ultimate goals remain the same: Engage and retain users.

 

Can you tell us about Adjust’s Audience Builder and how it works?

Adjust’s Audience Builder was built to help marketers leverage their own data to drive their retargeting efforts without sacrificing control of their data to third parties.

With Audience Builder, marketers are able to create segments of users, or audiences, based on characteristics such as events, time of install, revenue generated, or time spent in app, and then send those audiences to their preferred network partners such as Tapjoy, to retarget their desired users. This opens up a much larger opportunity for marketers to re-engage their existing users as they are not limited to channels that offer their own audience segmentation.

 

How are automated solutions like Audience Builder changing the role of advertisers in 2019?

Tools like Audience Builder allow marketers to be a lot more strategic with their marketing efforts. As the price of CPIs go up across the board, effective buying becomes critical. Performance marketers have to be more strategic with where and how they spend their marketing budgets. For example, our studies have shown that acquiring a returning lapsed user is more cost effective than acquiring a new user.

With Audience Builder, marketers are able to identify those lapsed users or users that drive the bulk of their revenue or purchases and re-engage them to bring them back into the app. Marketers can also create exclusion lists to prevent marketing dollars being inefficiently used on showing ads to users who are already engaged with the app.

Ultimately, marketers equipped with the right tools to efficiently and effectively target their users are going to have the upper hand in the marketplace than those marketers using a spray and pray approach.

 

Advertisers and marketers keep hearing that data is king, but what are some of the steps that marketers need to take to make sure their data reigns supreme?

The first step in any successful mobile strategy is to gather and organize your data. That means getting a mobile measurement partner in place and set it up correctly from the start.

Then, it’s time to make sure that the data is sent to your backend, and you have the tools in place to visualize, understand, and act on the data.

Finally, demand transparency from all the partners that you work with along the chain. The more transparency the better – that’s why we advocate our clients work with partners such as Tapjoy who are able to provide full clarity from start to finish. This, unfortunately, is not the standard across the industry, so it’s up to the marketer to find out which partners are willing to work with them in this way and in a manner that helps them achieve their goals.

 

What would you say is the biggest industry trend (or trends) within the mobile advertising space right now? Where do you see it headed in the next few years?

Fraud continues to be a hot topic. As budgets go up, so do instances of fraud. So the job of policing and regulating app installs and in-app fraud is a never-ending battle that will continue to attract headlines as mobile budgets continue to grow.

From a mobile analytics perspective, marketers have more data at their hands than ever before. But this overload of data can be a huge challenge, as marketers need to work with a growing number of tools, platforms and dashboards. Consolidating data and channels will be key to increasing efficiency, and we’ll see this becoming a big focus throughout the next few years.

 

What’s something that excites you about mobile marketing in 2019, whether it involves Adjust or the broader ecosystem?

As a fan of data-driven decision making, I’m excited to see where and how high-level data analysis takes mobile marketing next. I’m interested to see if mobile marketing will follow a similar path to the finance industry where stocks and funds are being bought by machines and algorithms rather than people behind a computer screen.

Automation of these tasks will mean that marketers no longer have to do the heavy lifting to see where they can optimize.

 

Are there any people in mobile whose work or achievements you admire?

There are too many to list, but I admire and look up to innovators that change the way we think about what’s possible with mobile devices. The team at Niantic defined the entire genre of augmented reality and changed people’s ideas of what a mobile game can be. Meditation apps such as Headspace turn mobile devices — which are generally seen as a source of distraction and stress — into tools that help you relax and improve your mental health. There’s a lot of potential for continued growth in this industry as people learn more about the value of maintaining mental health in addition to their physical health.

Tapjoy would like to thank Tom Tran for taking the time to join us. For more insights from our Mobile Champions, check out our interview with Susan Borst, VP of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

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