The ad tracking issue with Apple's ATT (App Tracking Transparency) has had a major impact on the way traditional app marketing is done. Since the iOS14 update in 2021, new measurement evaluation and KPI design are required instead of traditional ad delivery and measurement methods.
OPT Inc. proposes new data-based application promotions in the advertising industry as it undergoes this major period of change.
In this interview, we spoke with Mr. Kiuchi and Mr. Kawazoe of OPT, Inc. in detail about their proposals and advertising operations based on data.ai's analysis data.
Team Manager, Sales Department 4, Sales Division 1, OPT Inc.
Mr. Taiichi Kiuchi
Sales Department 4, Sales Division 1, OPT Inc.
Mr. Riku Kawazoe
Comprehensive support for digital marketing, including listing ads and app ads - this is a strength unique to OPT, Inc.
-First introduce yourself by telling us about the company you work for, your department, and your position.
Kiuchi: My name is Taichi Kiuchi, Team Manager, Sales Department 4, Sales Division 1, OPT Inc. I am in charge of sales, focusing on customers in the entertainment industry.
I work in the department dedicated to app marketing and have consistently been involved in app marketing since I joined OPT Inc. Currently, I am in charge of clients in the entertainment industry.
I am engaged in quality management in app marketing, covering strategic planning and implementation of full-funnel advertising operations, creative direction, etc. I have worked on app promotions in various industries as well as in the entertainment industry.
Kawazoe: I am Riku Kawazoe, also at Sales Department 4, Sales Division 1,OPT Inc. As an ad operations consultant, I deal with customers regarding ad operations for various media and propose measures to improve advertising operations.
-What is your role in your current position and what is the mission of your team?
Kiuchi: Our mission is to provide value-added services to our clients in the area of app promotion by offering "strengths," "solutions," and "technology" that only OPT Inc. can provide.
Kawazoe: I place importance on how we can increase results through direct ads, how we can understand issues from our clients' perspective and propose solutions to solve them, and how we can foster a relationship of trust with our clients as partners as a result, in order to contribute to the growth of our clients' businesses.
I also believe that our mission is to create new "strengths" for OPT Inc. in app ads, and to propose specific solutions that only OPT Inc. can provide.
-Could you please elaborate on the strengths and characteristics of OPT Inc. among the advertising agencies in Japan?
Kiuchi: We want to be a company that accompanies our clients' business growth. For this reason, we only have people in our firm who can face our clients' business challenges thoroughly. Thanks to this conviction, our clients do indeed very often assess OPT as a partner that accompanies them along with their business.
Kawazoe: In addition to our strength in personnel, we are also said to be particularly strong in listing ads.
This is because, while the advertising industry is also experiencing increasing automation of operations, we are being evaluated by our clients, as each member of our team relies not only on technology, but rather understands media algorithms and proposes ad strategies and distribution that are best suited to the client's needs, based on the client's issues.
For example UAC, which is important for app ads, is a medium with a particularly strong machine learning component, with specifications that allow ads to be delivered automatically. However, our specialty is to deliver ads with the appropriate ad approach by reverse engineering this machine learning.
-What strengths of OPT Inc. are particularly sought after by clients in the entertainment industry and apps?
Kiuchi: Measurement evaluation and associated KPI design. The background to this is the dizzying changes in the measurement environment centered on SKANand the shift to multi-channel Web-to-App. In this environment, it has become difficult to evaluate and run ads with LTV in mind.
As the measurement environment becomes increasingly complex, it is necessary to create such an environment in which effectiveness can be measured accurately. OPT Inc. provides support not only in ad serving, but also in KPI design and strategy planning.
As measuring ads effectiveness grows in complexity, marketers spirit to challenge grows in the entertainment industry
-What changes are you seeing in your clients' businesses through the shift to mobile, the growth of the app market, the importance of data analysis in business, and the Covid pandemic?
Kiuchi: With the automation of media and the development of AI, I feel that customers are more willing to take on new challenges in the post-Covid era. We are seeing an increase in the number of customers requesting initiatives that have no precedent.
For example, in the case of app ads, there is currently no correct answer as to how to evaluate ads effectiveness as the data environment, as data environment for predicting ad effectiveness has changed. This is why each company has the opportunity to consider its own policies, such as how to set KPIs.
Rather than companies simply giving up on advertising, we are seeing a growing competitiveness in that more companies are actively trying out new designs and set-ups.
While some companies in the industry are experiencing a downward trend in performance, the entertainment industry has seen a tailwind of demand for stay-at-home entertainment, which I believe may have increased the competitiveness needed to take on new challenges. In fact, we have had many inquiries from companies in the entertainment industry.
Additionally, others are increasingly asking what agencies can do as media automation and AI develop.
Kawazoe: We are certainly feeling the changes caused by the evolution of AI. As our clients' internal organizations become more automated and AI-oriented, I think they are now able to focus more on the issues they need to focus on, such as designing measurements like SKAN.
It is because of the advance of AI that there is a need for people who can think of strategies based more on clients' issues and needs and consumers' purchasing behavior. We intend to assist and accompany our clients in this area.
Now that Covid has transitioned to Class 5, there is an expanding need for the recruitment, transportation, and tourism industries, and more companies are developing apps for CX and DX purposes, so we would like to support companies in those industries as well.
data.ai enables instant research and analysis of competitor ad volume, creative and other data that was previously difficult to see.
-What were the challenges your company faced before implementing data.ai, and what was the background behind the implementation of data.ai?
Kiuchi: The information that our clients want to know the most is the trends and information about their competitors. Before introducing data.ai, we had to formulate strategies based solely on the knowledge we had accumulated through dealing with a wide range of clients.
Especially, the handling of information about advertisers by media companies has become more stringent in recent years. In the past, it was possible to find out how much companies in the same industry were spending on ads and what their CPA figures were, but recently such information has become unobtainable.
Information is a weapon in marketing, and without data.ai, our level of service as an agency would have been diminished.
-When you receive inquiries from your app customers, what are their biggest concerns or what are the areas in which they rely on your company?
Kiuchi: We receive many requests to allocate budgets and include measures for promotions at the time of creating excitement, such as anniversary celebrations and events. In such cases, we are often asked their competitors’ promotions.
Since trends in the external environment surrounding the company, such as the number of downloads, revenue, and DAUs of competitor’s companies, are information that cannot be obtained by our client, OPT conducts market research and competitive analysis, and uses this as reference information when proposing measures to clients.
data.ai in particular is very useful in that it allows us to research and analyze what our competitors were doing during periods of growth in app downloads, which in turn allows us to formulate hypotheses, issues, suggestions, ideas, and proposals.
-How does data.ai contribute to your work, results and mission?
Kiuchi: For example, some of our clients prefer to choose an agency with a wealth of knowledge and information on competitors, and the fact that we have expanded the range of proposals we can present to our clients, such as proposals for measures that utilize data.ai, is a great advantage for us.
In everyday work, data.ai is also used to match targeting for media distribution. For example, in the case of a puzzle application, if we set "puzzle x similar title" for similar targeting, we would end up with a huge number of segments. Therefore, by checking the duplicate usage data in data.ai and selecting appropriate keywords, we can make a proposal that goes one step further.
Kawazoe: The fact that data.ai allows us to see the amount of ad placements and creativity of our competitors is also a big help. Our clients are not always aware of the status of their competitors' ad placements, so we often have to do our own research.
By using data.ai, we can see how much our competitors are increasing their ad placements and what kind of creative is driving growth, allowing us to make suggestions such as, "This target audience may prefer creative with this axis of appeal".
data.ai provides value that we appreciate, not only in terms of media operations, but also in terms of creative, target audience, and ad budget setting.
Furthermore, data.ai's IQ classifications, which give an idea of the size of the market, as well as data on the volume of ad placements and downloads, are also helpful when making proposals to not only our existing clients, but to our new clients as well.
data.ai has successfully reduced CPI by 14% and increased CVs by 20%.
-How exactly do you use data.ai in your daily work?
Kawazoe: In solving our clients' marketing issues, we first use data.ai for market research. In particular, we use data.ai to research the amount of advertisements being placed by client’s competitors and their creative (appeal axis), and then use the information we obtain to develop proposals.
Also, we use data.ai for keyword selection for ASA and ASO. The keywords you enter in the Google search window may be different from the keywords you search for in the app store, and the keywords may be limited.
We also use data.ai to make suggestions about companies to benchmark, especially in the gaming industry, where some of our clients have trouble knowing who their competitors are.
-Can you tell us specifically about the selection process for ASA's keyword selection?
Kawazoe: Using ASA's affinity feature, we can determine competitive information, so we first determine where our competitors are, and then use data.ai to research their keywords.
As well as covering the name of the competitor's app for keywords with a named search, we further analyze data on how our app and the competitor's app are searched for and downloaded from organic sources, then add those keywords to our distribution.
As for these general keywords, if you only include keywords you thought up yourself, there will be quite a few omissions. We would therefore like to know what keywords are specifically searched for in ASA on data.ai.
-What quantitative improvements have you seen from using data.ai?
Kawazoe: In some cases, we saw a 14% reduction in CPI and a 20% increase in CVs, showing a numerical improvement by ensuring keyword coverage.
Adding keywords and partial match queries generally makes keyword coverage more comprehensive. We feel this is important in maintaining the quality of the account and contributes to further improvement.
-How has data.ai helped you in terms of operational efficiency and man-hour reduction?
Kawazoe: Without data.ai, it would be necessary to look at IR documents one by one to see the number of downloads and other data, which is very time-consuming.
Especially for enterprise companies, it is sometimes difficult to tell from IR which apps are generating revenue. Being able to check how much revenue is being generated from a single app per OS at once with data.ai is a major contributor to operational efficiency.
The man-hours required for investigation have been greatly reduced because of such thoroughgoing visualization even for small-scale applications. Another useful feature is the ability to monitor on a time axis. Once set, the data is updated daily, so you can keep track of the latest information in real time.
Combining ads management page and data.ai to deliver the added value that only "people" can provide.
-What kind of feedback have you actually received from clients after using data.ai so far?
Kawazoe: The value added to clients that can be provided based on the information on the management page is becoming limited.
It is important for us, as an advertising agency, to be able to make client proposals from a high perspective, exceeding their expectations..
Thanks to data.ai, we have been able to offer proposals that combine data from data.ai with advertisers' results, which has enabled us to offer added value such as operational proposals that were previously invisible to customers alone.
-How do you plan to use data.ai in the future?
Kawazoe: Now that Apple's ASA is a growing market, app store images and metadata in the ASC are becoming more important.
We hope to utilize data.ai to check competitors' past store images and ASOs and make proposals that will lead to business growth for our clients in various industries and sectors.
-Please give us a final word.
Kiuchi: Our strength lies in comprehensive digital marketing support across the web and apps. We have experience in supporting various types of app advertising. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about measuring ads effect or operational quality.