Evaluate Marketing Campaigns

Determine the payback period and establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for specific campaigns to improve marketing performance.

Identify the payback period for better marketing performance

Evaluating marketing campaigns is a significant task that every mobile development studio faces. This question is essential in the new era of privacy when it is becoming more and more difficult to attribute users to the source correctly.

KPIs of marketing campaigns can be divided into 2 stages:

1. Project-level performance

2. User acquisition campaign performance

Project level performance

We should define KPIs on a project level, taking into account both paid and organic users. The most important is to determine the desired payback period. Large projects with good live ops, monetization expertise, and financial capabilities can take over a year for marketing investments to return. Small projects, on the contrary, want to make a profit as quickly as possible, preferably in a week, such as hyper casual games.

You need to use P&L and cohort calendar revenue forecasts to determine the payback period. You will be able to compare different options for user acquisition payback and understand what payback period correlates with your financial state and monetization performance.

P&L Statement In-App (UA) Gross

It is very important not to rely only on the project-level performance, taking into account all users. Mobile apps can attract big amount of organic users, and sometimes marketers/user acquisition managers can hide big marketing budget losses behind general projects KPI.

User acquisition campaign performance

We should define KPIs for ad campaign performance.

For this, we need to define the payback period. The simplest and less risky way is to define the payback period for the project as a whole as suggested above. Then, even with user acquisition mistakes, organic users will most likely cover them and you will reach the desired result. However, if your project has been live for a long time, then you can gradually increase the payback period and monitor how your user acquisition will scale using the new KPI.

Once you define the payback period, you need to understand how to set KPIs for specific campaigns, especially when it is impossible to 100% attribute users from advertising campaigns. Our tool Target Metrics Calculator can help you.

Option 1. In case you work with SKAd iOS and are limited to receiving events, you can determine the effective cost of your target event which depends on the revenue forecasts, and use this cost per event to determine the campaign performance.

Option 2. If you work with advertising networks and you can get a user ID/fingerprint, you can follow a regular path and determine an effective ROAS by the days from the first one to the desired payback day.

Target Metrics Calculator Table

Overall, you always need to set two KPIs when you want to control and scale your user acquisition without significant losses: 1. Payback at a project level with all organic and paid users. 2. Target metrics at a campaign level.

When working with forecasts, it is important to keep in mind that the revenue prediction is based on actual data. None of the predictive models can take into account factors such as your future app content, monetization events, live ops, or support quality. Your team should know how to manage and operate a product in the long run to achieve your payback period.