Candid Observations About App Marketing in India

By John Koetsier December 7, 2015

Last week I had the good fortune of visiting one of the world’s most dynamic and fast-growing app markets – India. App marketing in India is truly noteworthy. For those of you who aren’t aware, India is truly an extraordinary app market, one with fast-growing smartphone penetration and usage.

Mobile apps represent the primary method by which most people connect in the country, and India’s extremely active startup community is leveraging this strong growth opportunity with an unprecedented level of app activity.

Singular is the leader in providing unified marketing and ROI analytics services for enterprise app marketers in India. Over the past year, we have seen enormous changes in the issues and strategies that mobile marketers are using for app marketing in India to drive extraordinary growth on their businesses.

More Insight Means Competitive Advantage for Mobile Apps

I believe that part of our success in mobile India is that we share a profound interest in ensuring that maximum insight can be leveraged for data-driven marketing. In the intensely competitive Indian market, companies need to identify competitive advantage wherever they can.

A big part of successful app marketing in India is creating an architected customer experience that takes the user to the app store, drives an install, and then keeps users engaged and transacting over the long haul. You can’t maximize business potential in such a competitive landscape with partial information, which is why we do everything in our power to provide the richest possible insight.

Things like enabling long-term customer analysis with better data retention policies, and deeper cohort analysis so you can analyze your users based upon any action and for virtually any time period. These are the sorts of ideas that are currently driving app marketing in India.

Mobile App Trends That Are a Bellwether for the World

Mobile markets like India offer not only amazing business growth opportunities in themselves, but also represent a bellwether for what will soon happen in markets like the US, that are somewhat less mobile-driven today, but are rapidly catching up. Here are some of the big mobile trends that I see for the coming year in India and in other markets worldwide.

Better Matters with Mobile App Marketing and Analytics

A big portion of our business growth comes from brands that get started with basic app measurement tools, but whose needs quickly outgrow cookie-cutter analysis and short time windows. Better matters when you need to understand LTV across your user base and your current platform only allows limited analysis. Better matters when your focus is on more than just raw install counts but rather are concerned with the quality of users you attract.

Better matters for app marketing in India. Better matters when you want to create precision audiences and messaging to drive more engagement and revenue from users. That’s why we built a more advanced attribution solution; so that we could enable genuine analysis so that marketers could identify and capitalize on more business opportunities.

Mobile Application Marketing: From UA to Quality UA

As in many markets, app marketing in India is fast shifting its focus from driving the most installs possible to a greater focus on quality installs. This is not to say that big Android app install numbers don’t matter but rather that the future will be won by those companies that identify the programs and partners that attract app users that stick around, engage and transact.

Getting those insights is what mobile app attribution is all about. As I mentioned above, we also see more companies trading up to app attribution solutions that enable them to conduct long-term analysis and better understand their audiences with richer cohort reporting. Ours is definitely a category in which better matters. An install’s true value is in the extent to which it helps you drive your business goals. Lots of installs matter, but the longevity of the user relationships arguably matters even more.

More Growth Means More Partners

We see more companies building broader lists of media partners as a way to drive additional scale. They’re getting choosier about which partners they work with as well, based upon a more in-depth analysis of user quality. Larger vendor lists mean that the need for attribution deduplication is getting even greater.

It also means that having a single SDK that can provide data to a growing number of vendors is also a strong asset. It can increase speed to market and ensure that your app performance stays strong. That’s why Singular works with virtually all media vendors worldwide, from the largest partners including Facebook to vertical and regional networks that provide specialized audiences for particular apps and categories.

User Decay is a Hot Topic

The words “user decay” may not be in every conversation yet, but the best app marketers are getting more proactive in the ways that they understand the user lifecycle and what drives it. Uninstalls are a big part of this, but so too are apps that gather metaphorical dust on the back screens of a phone. Instead of viewing customer lifecycle passively, marketers are testing and experimenting with ways to improve the length of time and level of engagement that they garner from users. After all, no one wants to lose an install in 20 minutes.

Retargeting is Set to Explode

This point could almost be combined with the previous one, but it is important enough to warrant a discussion all on its own. Given that the industry is now more focused on install quality, many apps are taking proactive steps to make the most of every customer or user relationship. Once brands have attracted users, they are now implementing strategies and campaigns designed to monetize and strengthen those customer relationships over time. Instead of passively watching users decay, they are proactively partnering with media companies to target groups of users to drive incremental events. Some examples:

  • Cart Abandons: This is the most obvious one. Why let a sale drift away when you can target abandoners with specific messages to bring them back
  • App Cross-Marketing: The great users of one app are naturally a great prospect base for a related app.
  • Heavy User Activation: Since your most loyal customers have a demonstrated willingness to transact in app, why not judiciously target those specific individuals to drive an incremental action?
  • Lapsed User Reactivation: More and more data show that driving multiple launches in the early hours and days of a new install’s app relationship are among the best ways to ensure a profitable long-term relationship.

If you boil down all of these developments, what we are seeing is a rapid advancement in the degree of pinpoint sophistication app marketers are using to reach, engage, and monetize customers. App marketers are truly at the forefront of technology, and we at Singular are proud to be part of the technological changes that are making many of these changes possible.

Thank You India!

I would also like to extend my thanks to all those clients, partners and other business professionals that I met with over the past week. Your hospitality was remarkable, and I am so proud that my company is so active in this amazing app market!

Note: This blog post was published first on the Apsalar blog, prior to Apsalar’s merger with Singular. Learn more about our united company at

Singular enables data-oriented marketers to connect, measure, and optimize siloed marketing data, giving them the most vital insights they need to drive ROI. The unified analytics platform tracks over $7 billion in digital marketing spend to revenue and lifetime value across industries including commerce, travel, gaming, entertainment and on-demand services.For more information, click here.

If you’d like to learn more or see a demo of the Singular unified analytics platform, get in touch.

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