Digital Turbine’s Secret Sauce: Reaching New Users at Scale

Jun 13, 2019
By: Marissa Camilli

Scott Tomkins, Digital Turbine’s GM of US, recently sat down for an intimate chat (in front of an audience of 200 guests) at MAUVegas with Mike Brooks, SVP of Revenue for the weather forecasting app, WeatherBug, to discuss the opportunities available to app developers from pre-loading.

Describing pre-loading as his “Secret sauce”, Brooks has an interesting insight into the channel, having previously worked with Digital Turbine as a network partner selling pre-loaded inventory at Verizon and now, representing WeatherBug actively buying that same inventory. With such a clear view of the opportunity from a vendor’s and a buyer’s perception, Tomkins was quick to highlight that they couldn’t hope for a better testimonial.

“I would challenge most people out there that have sold some sort of inventory,” says Tomkins. “If they had their own app how many of them would buy their old inventory to promote their app? It’s a very unique perspective.”

Why WeatherBug Invests in Pre-Loaded Apps

Brooks explained there were multiple reasons why preloading works for WeatherBug but first and foremost was the opportunity to deliver a positive return-on-investment (ROI).

Typically WeatherBug can expect to see a positive ROI from any pre-loading campaign in around 5 months. While other channels might generate user engagement a little faster than this, they are also more susceptible to fraud. Brooks knows exactly what he gets in return for his investment in pre-loading and when this is likely to deliver an ROI.

Further Reading: Are You Losing 21 Percent of Your Ad Budget to Fraud?

Eyeballs and Engagement

In what is an incredibly competitive market, the WeatherBug app is primarily monetized by advertising. This means that eyeballs on the app is one of the most important metrics to Brooks.

Pre-loading the app on new devices means that it is ready and available to use from the moment a smartphone is unboxed and powered-up. This gives WeatherBug a competitive edge over other weather apps who might have to rely on users finding them in the Google Play Store or other marketing channels.

Targeting Everyday Consumers

This approach is a particularly powerful route to capture engagement from the vast majority of smartphone users who typically don’t visit app stores and download new apps to their devices.

“For the general consumer, I look at my mother and father,” says Tomkins. “If you go and tell them to go search on the app store, they don’t know what you are talking about. They use whatever news app or weather app is sitting on their device. I think what a lot of people forget is that is the majority of the consumers out there.”

Further Reading: App Usage through the Ages – Targeting Older, More Lucrative Users

Large Scale Opportunities

Being able to create opportunities at scale is also incredibly important to Brooks.

“We are 30 people as an entire business unit, 22 are engineers,” says Brooks. “So it’s eight people across the business and that includes things like finance and account management. So when we think about user acquisition and we think about how we are going to grow, it has to be a few large partners, who we can determine who are ROI positive and who we can invest on the long haul with.”

Having the ability to invest in a campaign, knowing that it will deliver a positive ROI, and then focus on other areas of business is vitally important to many app development companies where resources might be equally stretched. 

“One of the reasons why I like pre-loads is it allows us to focus,” says Brooks. “We know it’s a positive distribution channel for us, we know its ROI positive, we know there’s a ton of scale and we also know we have a ton of other work to do.”

Pour Some Secret Sauce on Your Next App Marketing Campaign

To learn more about how pre-loading can help you drive engagement at scale, protect your marketing budget from fraud and successfully deliver a positive return-on-investment, speak with one of our pre-loading experts today.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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