Mobile Industry Exposed #3: adjust – “RTB and remarketing are the trends of 2014”


We are pleased to present the third instalment of our Mobile Industry Exposed interview series, which has so far seen us talk with key mobile industry players from games market research firm Newzoo and mobile marketing platform Swrve.


We caught up with Christian Henschel, CEO of adjust, a mobile attribution and analytics company that provides app marketers with a comprehensive business intelligence platform.
Christian is the CEO and co-founder of adjust, an internationally leading mobile app tracking and analytics company. Christian has been involved in the digital arena with major media companies for over 12 years. Prior to adjust, Christian worked for several years in the management team of Madvertise, one of largest mobile ad networks in Europe, where he was responsible for Partner Development, AdOperations, Marketing and PR.
Read below for Christian’s insights on tracking, fraud, real-time bidding, retargeting and Asian markets.

  1. What are the reasons and industry developments behind your rebrand from adeven to adjust?adjust was always a product by adeven – the company decided to update the name to reflect the advancing technology we are most excited to further develop and focus our vision on building one product, under one name, driving performance in attribution and analytics for mobile apps.
  2. What interesting trends and developments are you seeing right now in mobile advertising and mobile in general?We can see that RTB and remarketing are the trends of 2014. RTB’s potential for highly targeted remarketing campaigns is one of the strongest drivers for growth in this market segment.
  3. As far as the Asian mobile apps market is concerned, what do you feel are the challenges and specificities of this market?After over a year operating our company’s business in Asia, we experienced first hand growth not only in China, but also other Asian/Pacific countries such as Japan and Korea. The biggest challenge most Western companies face when doing business in Asia is that you can’t have only one going to market strategy. Each territory has it’s own language, culture and business ethic. Markets such as Japan require local presence and long term investments. Other markets are more open and can be built and managed from a distance (abroad).The advantage of an internationally growing brand like adjust, is that building trust, reputation, high quality and being compliant with regulations are very important. This gives adjust a huge advantage in markets such as Japan where the same mentality and work ethic exists. We have received positive responses doing business in Asia, also with China, that are in huge favour of German engineering and quality.
  4. What advice would you give mobile advertisers in terms of best practices for running campaigns, and in general? Define KPIs for success. Measure. Optimize. (Rinse and repeat)
  5. How do you feel mobile retargeting can benefit mobile game developers?For gaming clients the most interesting aspect of re-engagement and re-targeting is raising the LTV of their paying users. Being able to only target users, who have already purchased IAPs and trying to get them to spend more in the same or a new app can be a lot more profitable than simply adding more new users.The same goes for being able to offer users, that already have your app installed special offers through ads that deep link them into your app without the detour through the store. All in all, re-marketing is a very powerful tool many gaming publishers have yet to fully discover.
  6. Now Apple has excluded the use of the IDFA by third party analytics companies without user consent or knowledge, how do you feel about probabilistic attribution developments for retargeting, and cross-platform retargeting?The IDFA wasn’t meant to stalk users over different apps or store geo-location profiles by companies trading that make money selling the data to advertisers. We welcome the clarification by Apple. So using the IDFA to retarget your users, if they haven’t opted-out of targeted ads, is perfectly fine and should be the only way to do it. Other methods will end up violating the users wishes for privacy.
  7. Fraud on mobile is a hot topic advertisers are worried about. Which solutions are you offering in this area?We are currently working with many of our partners to help them combat fraud, specifically the more sophisticated kind of simulated installs. In those cases there will actually be “real” installs of the app and sometimes even the necessary in-app event triggered to earn affiliate revenue. Since we are able to see the long-term usage of an app we can help determine publishers that drive this kind of traffic and get them excluded from the partner’s inventory. There are many more small details that we track that help identifying possible fraudulent traffic. It’s still a bit early to say, but we might offer a more commoditized version of this service in the future.
  8. How do you think mobile advertising will look in a few months, and a year from now? What are the main challenges ahead?I think one of the biggest challenges is still the standardization of the industry. Agreeing on common metrics to measure campaigns and their success is necessary to truly enable our industry. The other big challenge ahead is the education of the market and the app publishers. App marketing is a very different thing from traditional online marketing. So there are many things that need to be understood and learned in order to run successful campaigns.Given that those things are solvable, we see the future in a much more smarter market that will more and more move away from simple download purchase towards smart user acquisition and effective re-marketing campaigns. Whoever can master the learning curve the fastest will come out ahead in the multibillion dollar industry.

Thank you to Christian for his time. The next Mobile Industry Exposed interview will be published in two weeks’ time!