An App Marketer’s Guide to Run ROI-Driven Campaigns in India

For app marketers, breaking into a new market can be challenging. Consumer habits and decisions differ across countries, and it’s important for marketers to be well aware of trends and adapt with a localised strategy before running campaigns.

This is especially true for an emerging market like India, where m-commerce and mobile wallet apps capture a majority of ad spend in the country — contrary to the popular gaming and entertainment verticals in other markets. Top online retailers in India are witnessing close to 60-80% of revenue driven by mobile and have shifted focus to a mobile first strategy for user acquisition.

While the digital ad spend trajectory in India definitely looks positive, it does not come without its set of challenges. When the rubber hits the road we tend to see that actual results are not always aligned with customer expectations — given the complexity of user level targeting combined with challenges of acquisition and retention. This requires brands to funnel a larger portion of ad spend into post- install marketing. Keeping this in mind, we’ve come up with a list of key ingredients to run ROI-driven app marketing campaigns in the second largest smartphone market in the world.

In-App Event Optimization

Looking beyond the install, advertisers are transitioning to a performance-based model that demands higher focus on the app ads product to deliver quality users at scale.

Optimizing for an in-app event, such as tutorial completion, registration, add to cart or purchase, should be the ultimate goal of a campaign rather than just driving installs. It allows you to establish a framework for measuring ROI. According to a report by Apsalar, 84% of marketers are measuring campaign performance primarily based on revenue and not just installs.

Defining KPIs by Channel

Many marketers ignore a crucial link in the chain: user quality and LTV varies with the source of traffic. For successful user acquisition, finding the right price point for each channel and setting benchmarks accordingly is paramount. For example, using a 100 player segment to determine retention rates would be inefficient, or to peg payouts for a guaranteed 30-day retention rate period is not ideal.

This can be a contradicting point for ad networks who are reluctant to bear 100% of the risk over actions they have very little to no influence over. Imagine occupying a retail space and paying rent for it depending on the sales generated — intended app usage can always vary from actual usage.

It is important to note that an ad network can optimize towards a conversion action but cannot completely anticipate or influence a purchase decision. For instance, factors like intent, stock of products, delivery times of product are key factors that influence transactions in an e-commerce campaign.

Don’t Ignore Attribution

Without clear measurement tools and a sound strategy, advertisers struggle to effectively determine the value of their campaign. This is where the popular tracking and attribution tools like Appsflyer, Tune, Apsalar come into play. With a simple SDK integration, advertisers can utilize dashboards to pinpoint media sources that deliver higher ROAS for their campaigns and budget ad dollars by source of traffic.

In-app analytics also helps analyse how users interact with an app and fetch audience level data to aid optimisation efforts for a better user experience. By paying attention to common conversion and exit paths of a user’s session app marketers can improve targeting, engagement and in turn boost ROI

Win Back Those Lost Users

Given an average 12% of users return back to an app within 7 days, finding the right customers and retaining them are vital for every app marketer. Devising effective re-engagement strategies to fight churn and segmenting audiences according to in-app behavior helps target users effectively and influence a purchase decision. Personalized messaging coupled with dynamic creative optimization can boost conversion rates across devices and eventually drive an uplift in ROI.


In a crowded market, the need for a customized app marketing strategy to acquire a massive user base that generates significant purchase activity is necessary to show positive ROI- a need, more enhanced in markets like India as app marketers adapt to local customer behavior and trends. Many apps enter with a big bang but struggle to understand the best approach to ROI-driven sustainability and post-install life. The above strategies and approach can guide app marketers to approach the campaigns with a holistic view and make maximum impact with optimal budgets.