Anatoly Dehtiar, RU and CIS Partnerships Lead at ironSource Aura, spoke at Out of the Box Russia alongside experts from AppsFlyer. Here’s the breakdown of his talk and what we learned about user acquisition diversification in the Russian market.
Breaking down traditional user acquisition channels
Let's start with a brief overview of the traditional performance channels user acquisition managers use today:
- Google and Facebook are certainly the largest channels in any marketer’s tool box
- MyTarget is a leading local player in Russia
- TikTok is a fast-rising star
- If you’re promoting a gaming app, chances are you’re using at least one of the ‘triopoly’ SDK networks: ironSource, Unity, and Applovin
Though it’s likely savvy marketers are familiar with these platforms, it’s important to highlight the main reasons why these channels became so popular. First, there’s the enormous scale they offer - these platforms can reach almost any mobile user on the planet, and still fit your target audience. In addition, most of these platforms offer self-service, which is convenient, flexible, and puts marketers in control, especially when it comes to budget management. And, perhaps most importantly, these platforms can reach users during what we call “intent-based moments” - moments when users are ready to engage with your app, allowing marketers to quickly evaluate the user quality.
However, for every advantage, there are also disadvantages. For example, because these channels are popular, competition can be extremely high and therefore difficult to achieve scale cost-effectively - with so many apps looking to acquire the same users, getting the right users’ attention is a challenge on any kind of budget.
Diversifying your UA strategy with on-device channels
So, the big question is: how do you reap the benefits of traditional UA channels and still overcome the challenges? The answer is diversification. Finding channels that make up for the drawbacks of others is key for building out a comprehensive UA strategy.
In addition to the traditional channels mentioned above, there are many other types of performance media sources that can deliver quality users at scale - one being, on-device channels that distribute apps through OEM and carrier partnerships.
Though there are some misconceptions about OEM and carrier channels, such as it being a primarily brand awareness channel with high barriers to entry, on-device channels have come a long way in the last few years and are very different than you might remember them.
To explain, let’s walk through an actual user flow here. Picture two potential customers, who are located in different cities in Russia and represent different user segments. These two people walk into a Samsung store looking to purchase a new device.
Our first buyer is a young female who lives in Perm, whose previous smartphone finally died - she decided to purchase the Galaxy A11 model, which is a relatively budget friendly device. Our second buyer is an older man, a Moscovite, who decided to spoil himself with a new flagship Galaxy S10 for his birthday.
It’s obvious that our two imaginary buyers belong to very different target audiences. Because of that, the on-device channel would need to show them different app recommendation experiences, just like any other marketing channel would. To continue with the example, the young woman, who has opted to inform the device her age and gender, would receive app suggestions based on her potential interests, such as streaming services, games, and food delivery apps. Meanwhile, the older man might receive app recommendations for banking apps, investment apps, or audiobooks.
The device onboarding process, seen in the photo above, is a completely voluntary process that new device owners go through the moment they activate their new phones. During this process, they’ll activate multiple settings, and also be recommended apps they might be interested in installing. Because the users actively choose the apps they’re interested in, there is a good amount of intent. Additionally, since this is one of the first interactions the user is having with their device, it’s likely that the apps they install in those first few hours will last throughout the lifetime of the device - ultimately increasing quality and LTV for advertisers.
This sort of technology is already available via ironSource Aura, which through partnerships with leading carriers and OEMs around the world, is able to showcase apps directly on devices. This makes ironSource Aura a performance-based user acquisition channel like any other.
In Russia alone, Aura operates on over 50% of all Android devices sold in the local market, meaning every second Android user interacts with the Aura onboarding experience. Want to get your app on those device? Get in touch to learn more about running a UA campaign with us.