Why Mobile Marketers Are Talking About Incrementality (Again)

September 5, 2023

When it comes to mobile performance marketing and user acquisition (UA), there are many KPIs to track. The popularity of some rise and fall along with changes in the mobile advertising ecosystem. A few years ago, everyone was talking about retention as a way to make the most of the dollars marketers put into acquiring new users. Today, as UA budgets shrink and marketers are under demand to justify their spending, incrementality is at the center of everyone’s attention.

But there’s more to the story. The disruption to deterministic attribution caused by App Tracking Transparency (ATT) and SKAdNetwork (SKAN) forces marketers to re-evaluate how they track results. When users who don’t share their IDFA are labeled organic installs, marketers have a tougher time understanding the actual impacts of their campaigns.

In this post, we will explore questions surrounding incrementality, including how to calculate it and why it’s essential to UA marketers’ understanding of campaign success.

What is incrementality?

Incrementality is a key metric that helps mobile app marketers understand how their campaigns are performing — but, historically, it’s also been elusive and hard to measure. Even the word “incrementality” obscures its own meaning. Generally, incrementality refers to growth directly attributed to campaigns or other marketing efforts and helps marketers differentiate between organic growth and that which is driven by paid strategies. When budgets are tight, marketers often focus more closely on the incremental impact of campaigns to justify spending.

How to calculate incrementality?

Incrementality is calculated using a simple equation.

(Test Conversion Rate – Control Conversion Rate) / (Control Conversion Rate) x 100 = Incrementality

The goal is to measure the impact of an advertising campaign by comparing the results of a group exposed to the campaign to a control group that is not exposed to that campaign. By plugging the number of installs into the equation, marketers can understand the impact — or lift — their ads have on their installs.

Why is measuring incrementality important?

As we have already discussed, incrementality helps marketers understand how campaigns are performing — but the benefits of understanding incrementality are far-reaching. Perhaps the most important of its advantages is the insights it provides that allow marketers to tweak and optimize campaigns. “For example,” according to The Business of Apps, “when working on a CPA basis, the incentive for DSPs is set on reaching users that are lower down the conversion funnel, and therefore more likely to interact with an ad. As a consequence, users outside of that stage might not be leveraged to the fullest 👎. When having campaign lift as a KPI, however, growth partners focus on generating incremental revenue no matter the stage of the funnel.”

Do paid installs impact organic installs?

When we ran an incrementality test for a client, we found that turning off our paid campaigns impacted the number of organic installs as well. This is not necessarily a surprise.

Testing incrementality.

There is also a phenomenon known as organic lift. ​​Increases in organic installs are often caused by various factors, such as delayed conversions, referrals, etc. As we mentioned above, installs labeled as organic can also be misattributed. Incrementality testing reveals these factors.

If you want to learn more about the incremental results FeedMob has achieved for its clients, reach out to learn more.

Posted: September 5, 2023

Category: Mobile Insights Blog, Mobile Performance Strategies

Tags: incrementality, organic uplift, ua

FeedMob Team

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