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Mobile performance marketing KPIs guide: WeQ


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September 11, 2018 | 6 min read

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Over the last decade, the rise and rise of mobile marketing has been unmistakable. So how can companies develop KPIs for mobile to deliver the best business results, help drive user acquisition and engagement at a global scale, and set clear goals and success metrics that will define the quality of their campaigns?

KPIs that matter

KPIs that matter

It can be a challenging task. Below, we share our tips for setting the right mobile marketing KPIs.

1. Set Your Priorities Straight

As a starting point, ask yourself: what does success look like to you? Consider your goal, is it brand awareness or engaging users? Increasing volume or expanding reach? While it would be great to have it all, it’s not realistic, nor productive. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people fail to prioritize their KPIs. The best results are accomplished when efforts and budgets are focused on the goals that can be concretely achieved. It’s all about finding the mix that works for your brand and is tailored to your efforts. Following that, you can align campaign messaging and targeting tactics with your chosen strategy, to maximize your ROI.

2. Consider the Bigger Picture: Where Does Your Business Sit?

Whether you are an advertiser, agency, or app developer within the ad tech ecosystem, there are multiple criteria to consider that will determine what KPIs to track, which include:

  • Vertical
  • Market
  • OS
  • Budget
  • Lifecycle
  • Monetization mechanism
  • Seasonality

We’ve created the graph below to illustrate how these criteria can impact your goals. Place your app in the matrix and according to where it stands, use it to help you navigate your decision-making process. For instance: which vertical do you operate in? Are you an indie newcomer who has just launched, or is your brand already established?

Parameters to set KPIs

3. Think Vertical-Specific

Don’t compare your benchmark metrics with other verticals because factors like audience behavior, platform and geolocation can all play into the performance metrics. For example, unlike gaming apps, where there is a strong emphasis placed on daily engagement of the app; the success of travel apps is measured in retention of loyal users who book consistently over a period of time and generate positive ratings. See the graph below for a visual orientation.

What goals are your focus?

Based on our experience working with distinguished app publishers across travel, m-commerce and gaming, here are three concrete examples of KPIs tracked (and successfully achieved):


In order to grow in the competitive Korean market, our client needed to grow their customer base in a short period of time, including during the Korean holiday season. Key to the success of this user acquisition campaign was driving users to the app that showed good retention for in-app usage from the beginning. In order to predict long-term value, the time to “first booking” per user was considered as well.

KPIs included:

  • Hotel / Flight / Rental car search
  • First booking

Results delivered:

  • 56K users during 4-month period (May to August)
  • 45K Search events during 4-month period
  • 5% First booking rate


Our client is a mobile shopping platform, offering the latest fashion, home and lifestyle pieces for men, women, and children at discounted retail prices in the competitive Middle Eastern market. The objective of the campaign was to target relevant audiences and optimize traffic towards high product page views and in-app purchases. Also, ROI was optimized by delivering a large percentage of users making first-time purchases.

KPIs included:

  • Product page views
  • First purchase

Results delivered:

  • 22K users acquired in a 3-month period in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait
  • 30% of the users shopped in the first week


We work with renowned clients in the casual gaming vertical, with a focus on acquiring and monetizing new users for their well-established and well-exposed apps in the US market on Android and iOS.

KPIs included:

  • Day 2 retention rate
  • Day 4 return on advertiser spend
  • Day 30 return on advertiser spend

Results delivered:

  • 150K users from May to July 2018
  • Day 30 return on advertiser spend of 27%

4. Work Closely and Transparently

Work closely with mobile advertising partners who can offer bespoke solutions and a tailored consultancy approach, as during the course of the campaign, they will help you analyze data and optimize results towards your KPIs.

Attribution analytics solutions are often combined or interchanged, which leads to discrepancies and confusion. In terms of data, ensure that everyone involved in the campaign is looking at the same metrics: whether you are the client, the agency running the campaigns; or the publisher showing the ads; transparency is key. The more post-install data you can share with your trusted mobile advertising partners, the faster they can better target and acquire the right users. Access to data and transparent communications between brands and acquisition partners are a winning combination for any successful user acquisition strategy.

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