Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Maximising the age of impact through performance marketing

By Ben Jeger, VP EMEA at Moloco

The advertising industry is truly in a new age. Boards and execs at brands expect to see demonstrable results from every investment. Mobile app marketing is no different, with marketers looking for new ways to improve return on ad spend (ROAS) for in-app campaigns.

Our recent research together with Ipsos shows that over two thirds (68%) of UK marketers have increased their mobile ads marketing budget from 2022. The growth in budgets clearly indicates that brands are seeing the value from their investments. However, it also means budgets will face increased scrutiny, particularly during periods of economic uncertainty where brands can no longer pursue growth at all costs. This has a huge impact on marketers, who must optimise strategies to attract valuable users and keep costs down. 

So, how can mobile marketers make the most of these increased budgets and deliver meaningful outcomes? In this article, we explore how marketers can achieve this through performance-led campaigns.

Driving the shift to performance

The shift to performance is certainly not a new phenomenon. Mobile app marketers are well aware that this is the secret to big tech’s indisputable success in advertising. The likes of Google, Meta and Amazon have set a precedent here, having led the way in the move away from brand marketing. These advertising giants realised the potential of performance marketing and its unmistakable power to drive revenue, user acquisition and profit – and mobile marketers have taken note.

Having consistent results such as measurable and impactful ROAS – which underpins the success of many global performance marketing budgets – is a core part of any campaign. As its name suggests, performance marketing is inherently focused on achieving measurable results and outcomes, with ROAS being at the heart of this strategy.

What we’re seeing now is mobile marketers following in the steps of the ad behemoths. They are increasingly shifting budgets from brand to performance to ensure they navigate current challenges and also drive long-term growth. In fact, our research shows that two-thirds (68.6%) of UK marketers believe performance marketing is the key to profitability during times of economic uncertainty, and over half (58%) of UK marketers see it as an effective strategy for driving revenue growth.

The shift to performance is well underway, and it is certainly notable. This form of marketing brings the potential to establish a virtuous cycle of success when implemented effectively, which is where machine learning (ML) comes in.

Machine learning is pivotal

To fully realise the benefits of a performance marketing approach, mobile app advertisers should look to advanced ML. ML is quickly becoming a linchpin to marketers, tackling challenges such as precise user targeting amid limited data, managing cost efficiency and developing engaging ad creatives that maintain brand identity.

ML can also analyse patterns and predict outcomes, making it ideal for targeting accuracy even with sparse data, and driving efficiency by automating decision-making. It can help in producing impactful ads by identifying elements that resonate with specific audiences.

Many are already leveraging this tech, with over a third (37%) of mobile app marketers in the UK selecting ML/AI technology as the most important factor in delivering effective performance marketing campaigns. Enabling mobile marketers to tap into user insights to automatically optimise campaigns in real-time, ML has an important part to play. Businesses should approach this with an open mindset, continuously testing and iterating to improve results that can ultimately create a tangible business advantage and drive impact for organisations.

Performance will continue to encroach on brand spend  

So, what does the future look like? Mobile marketers will still invest in brand spend, but we believe we’ll continue to see a continued shift to performance as marketers scale spend to prioritise acquisition, conversion, and re-engagement campaigns that are directly attributable to top-line revenue and bottom-line ROAS.

Juggling marketing budgets can be a challenging balancing act, where budgets must distribute resources across multiple campaigns and platforms. But the power of performance marketing is a clear game-changer that will continue to unfold across the industry, impacting campaigns globally for the foreseeable future.