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Acronym Finder for App Marketers (I): From API to LTV

First time I joined the mobile industry, I felt kind of lost with so many acronyms around. When running UA CPI campaigns, we needed to calculate the CTR and CR. Don’t forget about ASO. Also, we needed to check the CPM of FAN and make sure our networks were COPPA compliant. And, of course, attend to MWC, GDC and CC. Crazy for a freshman, right? So what I want to do with this post is to briefly summarize the most important acronyms all mobile app marketers have to daily use. Let’s dive in:  

API. Application Programing Interface. According to Wikipedia, “is a set of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building application software. In general terms, it’s a set of clearly defined methods of communication between various software components.” For all non techies as myself, it’s the entrance door of a system that allows machines to communicate to each other. Why should you know that? Because machines need to talk to each other all the time and for almost everything; they need to be connected: apps with ad-networks, ad-networks with mediation tool, attribution systems with agencies, payments methods with apps, reporting with ad-networks, and a lot of unthinkable applications.

ASO. App Store Optimization. As very well explained my colleague Ido Schoone in the post “Exploring the App Store Optimization”, ASO is all those techniques used to make people discover and download our app organically. For that, we need to take into account a lot of several factors, including icon, localizations, descriptions texts, keywords, titles, etc. All to ensure our app gets visibility and incentivizes the user to install it.

ARPDAU. Average Revenue per Daily Active User. It is the average of how much revenue our app is making per every user per day. Let’s say that one day our app has 1000 daily active users, meaning, users who interact with the app at least once a day. With them, we are making 100$ with advertising and 200$ with in-app purchases that specific day. So, our ARPDAU would be Revenue / DAU. In this example, it would be: (200+100)/1000=0,30$. This important metric gives us the data of how much money we make per day per user.

APK. Android Application Package. Used by the Android operating system, it’s the file where the software package is included. In other words, it is the code file for Android.

AU. Active Users. It is how many users have been interacting with my app in a specific period of time. In Google terms, “the number of unique users who initiated sessions on your app”. Most common metrics are Daily Active Users, Weekly Active Users and Monthly Active Users.

CC. Casual Connect. One of the most important events of the casual mobile gaming industry. This year, CC was celebrated in Kiev; in Asia (Singapore) and US (Seattle).  This is one of the most important event for all the mobile gaming industry, where all the main agents of the industry have presence. In total, during this Conference, more than 7000 people every year can learn from more than 650 lectures. It included interesting talks and lectures, a bunch pitch&match meetings, and a lot about networking.

CPC. Cost Per Click. It is one of the three main business model in the mobile ad industry. The advertising is charged just when the user clicks on the ad. Let’s say you have an ad and it’s shown 10,000 times but no one clicks on it. With this model, you are charged nothing. But, if your ad gests 1,000 clicks, and your CPC is 0,3$, you will have to pay 0,3*1,000= 300$.

CPI. Cost Per Install. The second main business model in the ad industry and the most used one from the advertiser perspective. The advertiser only pays when the user installs the app. So let’s say we are promoting our app.  Since we don’t want to asume the risk of the conversion, we only want to pay every time the user installs my app, no matter how many clicks or impressions are needed, we use this model for running UA campaigns, so advertisers can make sure they only will pay when getting a conversion. The ad-network Chartboost has this great Insights section where you can check CPI across countries and game genres.

CPM. Cost Per Mille (meaning cost per 1,000 impressions). Other of the main business model in the mobile ad industry. Most used from the publishing perspective, it is the cost we are being paid for showing 1,000 ads in our apps. Let’s say we, as publishers, have an app, so every time we show 1,000 ads we received a certain amount of money, that would vary depending on performance, operating system, region and format. For instance, in US for showing 1,000 videos we can be paid 20$ in iOS. In Mexico, Android, 1$ for showing 1,000 videos.

COPPA. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. This rule, enacted by the US Congress in 1998, applies to mobile apps directed to children under 13 that collect, use, or disclose personal information from children. When working with mobile ad agencies, you can talk about  if you have an app directed to children and want to prevent your ad- network from collecting personal information and also to shows  

CR. Conversion Rate. It is the average number of a determined conversion, that may vary. In the mobile industry, it is used to see: 1) how many users converts from non-paying to paying users; and 2) how many installs are coming from a number of clicks. Conversion rates are calculated by simply taking the number of conversions and dividing that by the number of total ad clicks that can be tracked to a conversion during the same time period. For example, if you have 50 conversions from 1,000 clicks, your conversion rate would be 5%, since 50/1,000 = 5%.

CTR. Click Through Ratio. It is the ratio of users who click on a specific button. In mobile marketing, you always have to check two conversions. First you need to know how many users clicks on your ad (CTR) and, second, from all these users, how many of them finally download the app (CR). Let’s say you are running an user acquisition campaign through Facebook ads and you have a CTR of 2%. What does that really mean? It means that every 100 shown ads, 2 of those ads are clicked. It is considered the first conversion in the advertising process and it is always a good sign to check the health of your creatives or the target focus of your ad. The lower it is, the poorest your creatives are or the worst the target is. It is calculated dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions. So, if we have 10,000 impressions and 50 clicks, our CR would be 50/10,000*100=0,5%. This is a very bad rate and could mean 1) you are not showing the ads to the right people (and that’s why they don’t click on the ad) or 2) your creatives are very poor and you need to change them.

DSP. Demand Side Platform. In the past, in the digital advertising industry, every time you wanted to buy ads, this was a costly and unreliable process made by human salespeople. But DSP appears and made the process easier. So, what does it mean? A DSP is a computer-based platform that automates media buying across multiple sources, often used by advertisers and agencies to help them buy display, video, mobile and search ads. How does it work? It’s complex and we’ll explain in a future post. For now, just take it’s a platform where advertisers can buy ads.

FAN. Facebook Audience Network. As an ad-network, it is the way developers and publishers can monetize their apps with ads shown from the 4 million advertisers of Facebook.

GDC. Global Developer Conference. Celebrated in San Francisco, the GDC is an event designed to inform and educate game industry professionals on online multiplayer games, mobile and next generation game technologies. This is one of the biggest gaming event you can attend.

GP. Google Play. The main Android app store.

IDFA. Identifier for Advertising. IDFA is somewhat analogous to an advertising cookie, in that it enables an advertiser to understand that a user of a particular phone has taken an action like a click or an app install. This allows us to track the user behaviour and, therefore, create powerful customer profiles and understand their audiences, in addition to measuring the relative performance of different media vendors. Here, you’re told how to find your IDFA.

IO. Insertion order. This is one kind of document that needs to be signed between the advertiser and the ad-network when running any kind of user- acquisition campaign. It usually includes the details of the campaign the advertiser wants to run, including start and end date, name of the product, budget, caps, invoice details, tracking system, etc.

FR. Fill Rate. It is how many impressions an ad-network is showing divided by the number of requests. If my app is requesting 10,000 ads and the ad-network can only show 5,000, the FR is 50%. If you don’t want to lose money, your FR needs to be as high as possible.

LTV. Lifetime Value. It’s the most important metric of any kind of app. It means how much money we are making per every user within the whole time the user engages with my app. This metric is key in order to understand how much money we are able to make and, even more important, how much we can invest in marketing order to scale the business. Calculating the LTV is complex and there are several ways to do it. We’ll talk about this in the future. In the meantime, if you are interested in LTV, you can check this KissMetric infographic.

Stay tuned for the next ones!!

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