Competition is heating up in the app stores — and the battle for user attention is fierce. As a result, user acquisition is advancing rapidly and becoming increasingly sophisticated, according to a survey of 35 mobile app marketers across a wide range of app categories and included senior UA contacts at Viber, Gett, PikPok, InnoGames, Ada Health, and Free2Move. Together, Appsumer and Mobile Groove pooled data to identify five key themes that point to a discipline that is maturing rapidly.

They are challenges that look set to dominate the user acquisition agenda for the year ahead as they are felt by publishers across all app categories. For instance, research revealed concerns about the quality (and quantity) of data they must harness to engage high-value audiences, with ad network partnering and planning under increasing scrutiny. With those concerns in mind, plans to bring UA in-house are accelerating.  

But the changes sweeping the UA front go beyond data concerns and are impacting strategy. Key metrics are shifting toward optimizing ROAS and LTV, as UA marketers realize engagement and retention are an important part of making the most of your user acquisition dollars. The findings dovetail with what other researchers across the wider industry have found that reveal the shift to “in-housing” is no longer just about programmatic buying and cost efficiencies. In-housing is much more the lynchpin in an overarching strategy to take back ownership of the customer journey, and all the data that goes with it.

Last but certainly not least, UA marketers are assessing the role and the potential exploitation of artificial intelligence (AI). Explore these trends along with in-depth interviews to dive deeper into the opportunities and obstacles app marketers face in the full report.