A Breakdown of Mobile App Marketing

Ordering food, checking your account balance, making a grocery list or bidding on a Copart vehicle – these are all normal day-to-day activities that can now be done with just the tap of a finger through a mobile app.  Whether you’re a marketer or consumer, it’s almost impossible to get through a business day without using at least one.

With the help of social channels like YouTube and Instagram, new apps don’t have to be discovered directly through an app store like Google Play anymore. Marketers are making their apps stand out in other ways by utilizing mobile app marketing to their advantage.

Mobile app marketing focuses on the promotion of your app, and even more importantly, the engagement and retention of users who have already downloaded your app as well. Applied the right way, your mobile app marketing campaign could cause a tremendous increase in user acquisition and retention.

Like any marketing campaign, there are several parameters to consider when discussing who will use your product or service, where to find the users, how to cater to them, etc. You may come across some new acronyms and terminology while developing your mobile app that can assist you in establishing those parameters as well. Here are some acronyms you can start including in your vocabulary:


Life Time Value (LTV) shows the worth of a user to your app, according to mobile advertising platform Aarki. User LTV is a driving factor for the app’s marketing budget because it helps estimate the cost of acquiring that user. LTV can be broken down into three categories:

  • Monetization — the users’ contribution to the app’s revenue in terms of ad impressions, subscriptions, etc.
  • Retention — the level of engagement a user has with the app or the frequency of app usage.
  • Virality — the additional audience that the user will refer to the app


A Software Development Kit (SDK) is made up of lines of code written by a third-party and adds powerful new features to your digital platforms. According to mobile marketing firm Braze, a SDK often includes sample code, support documentation, library files, debugging tools, one or more APIs and other useful resources. Ideally, an SDK should fundamentally improve the performance of your app, website or other digital platform in a meaningful way or provide solutions to development obstacles that would otherwise have been difficult to create in-house.


Cost per Install (CPI) is a type of CPA (Cost per Acquisition) model. Based on Tubemogul, a publisher running a Cost Per Install campaign runs ads to promote the installation of their app. The publisher is then charged a fixed cost only when the app is installed. To calculate the CPI, total expenditure on ads to drive app installs is divided by total number of installs generated by the ads. This shows where conversion rates are high and targets the ad appropriately to the correct audience.


Conversion Rate (CVR) is the percentage of users who saw an app install ad, clicked on it and converted through some pre-specified action. According to Ironsource, CVR tells app advertisers how many users their ad converted. A CVR of 0 would mean that nobody saw the prompt, visited the site or used the app and delivered any sort of tangible value. A CVR of 100 means that everyone that was exposed to it moved through the funnel to completion.


A Cohort is a group of users who have a common attribute over a specific period. Cohort analysis is the process of analyzing user behavioral data by segmenting them into specific groups. According to CleverTap, a Cohort could be all users who have downloaded your app between January and March of 2018 or all users who signed up for a trial account within the last three days. Instead of looking at thousands (or millions) of users as a single list of people, you would break them up into easily identifiable Cohorts in order to figure out how best to engage with each group.


App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of optimizing mobile apps to rank higher in an app store’s search results. The higher your app ranks in an app store’s search results, the more visible it is to potential customers. That increased visibility can translate into more traffic directed to your app’s page in the app store. According to Techcrunch, “63% of apps are discovered through app store searches.” The goal of ASO is to drive more traffic to your app’s page in the app store, so searchers can take a specific action — downloading your app!


How are you effectively using these metrics to measure your mobile app’s marketing? Comment and share your findings!

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