Human Demand, a DSP and data management platform serving the mobile market exclusively, has launched a retargeting platform to help app developers re-engage users.
Launched 18 months ago, the company has focused on giving mobile app developers control over and transparency into their customer acquisition campaigns on smartphones and tablets. About five months ago, Human Demand, began testing retargeting campaigns with existing customers to see if they could increase app usage and loyalty among app installs. The company says they are seeing engagement rates 2.5 to 3 times higher than standard un-targeted campaigns among their customers.
Howie Schwartz, CEO and Founder of Human Demand, says, “Where desktop retargeting campaigns typically focus on shopping cart abandonment and moving users toward funnel completion,” says Schwartz, “Our re-engagement platform is more about customer relationship management.”
One of the key aspects Human Demand focused on is privacy. “It is important to look at privacy first for mobile,” says Schwartz. Human Demand is certified by global privacy management solutions provider TRUSTe. TRUSTe delivers data privacy management across Human Demand’s mobile ad buying platform, and all ads served by Human Demand allow consumers to opt-out directly from the ad units.
App developers can run retargeting campaigns on Android and iOS devices, included tablets, through Human Demand by securely uploading a set of users’ fully-encoded device IDs to the Human Demand platform. The platform then “listens” for those IDs on the dozen or so ad exchanges Human Demand works with. When a match is made, the developer’s retargeting ad is served to the user.
Human Demand started looking at retargeting as a way to help developers recoup the cost of acquisition. “One of the biggest challenges for app developers is that loyalty rates, or stick rates, are often really poor,” says Schwartz. “Developers are spending money on acquisition, but those installs aren’t turning into loyal users — they haven’t monetized the user effectively.” Developers of freemium model apps have been particularly keen on the retargeting campaigns to support their acquisition efforts. Noting that it’s easier to re-engage an existing customer than acquire a new user, Schwartz says, “We’re trying to solve this disconnect.”
Developers can further target users based on their history. “Segmentation is one of the most interesting parts for me in building a re-engagement campaign,” says Schwartz. “We’re starting to see more sophisticated use cases.” Developers can segment their highest value users, known as “whales”, to increase loyalty and keep them engaged with their apps. Or they can identify users on the cusp of becoming “whales” and target them with a campaign to move them up the usage chain.
Campaigns are typically run in short bursts — even as short as a weekend. One developer of a fighting game has been running short-term campaigns to segments of users who have reached a certain level in the game with ads that have “Rematch” as the call-to-action. Another casual game featured their top pet characters in ads with “We miss you” as a call-to-action to re-connect with former heavy users.
While gaming has been a key category for Human Demand, they are seeing traction in travel, finance, retail and utilities like task managers. The company expects to see more innovation outside of games. As an example, Schwartz says, a travel app developer can re-target a user looking at beach locations with creative that speaks to that search activity on the app.