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Golfshot leverages Facebook to drive downloads for new freemium app

Golfshot, a GPS-based course management, scoring and golf instruction application, leveraged Facebook to support a new freemium business model, resulting in more than one million downloads.

App developer Shotzoom had seen success with several golf-focused paid apps, but the introduction of its free-to-download Golfshot app for iOS and Android presented a new challenge, and it needed to develop a profitable mobile marketing strategy for thenew business model. A partnership with mobile marketing platform, Fiksu, resulted in an app marketing strategy that scaled user base cost effectively across 50 countries.

?For any app, Facebook should be part of your app marketing mix - it gives you great control and the ability to reach very specific audiences,? said Jim Thomas, product marketing manager, Fiksu, Boston.

?The more surprising finding was the ability to scale using large numbers of well-targeted segments including demographics, geography, lookalike audiences, and interest targeting. On one level it's not surprising to people familiar with Facebook, but it's something that is probably less apparent to marketers new to app advertising."

?You essentially build hundreds of small market segments and in total they become a much bigger whole,? he said.

Teeing off
During the initial launch, Fiksu and Shotzoom quickly determined that Facebook, with its market-leading reach and ability to segment audiences precisely, would be the cornerstone of Shotzoom?s acquisition strategy.

Other sources were added into the mix to supplement volume. Shotzoom?s objective was to scale its business at a blended CPI of $1 between organic and paid app installs.

After an initial test period, the app quickly ramped up, achieving over 4,500 non-incentivized conversions per day and a top 5 category rank.

But download volume alone does not equate to a successful marketing strategy.

Keeping score
GolfShot monetizes via annual subscriptions for additional features and training tools. That meant success depended on tying marketing spend to in-app revenue.

Shotzoom used Fiksu?s SDK, which provides mobile measurement for Facebook, as well as a wide range of other sources. It enables monitoring of LTV events such as purchases and registrations and relates that data back to marketing tactics.

A winning combination
After seeing initial success with Facebook mobile app ads, Shotzoom?s campaigns began to exhibit performance fatigue.

Fiksu?s programmatic tools for Facebook helped Shotzoom overcome this challenge through

Microtargeting, automated creative testing, interests, l ookalike audience and automated bidding and budgeting.

Because its business is seasonal, Shotzoom was an early user of Facebook?s retargeting capability. Shotzoom used Facebook retargeting to re-engage with specific segments that had been inactive, and remind them to come back to the app.

?Another surprise was that retargeting was effective even towards the latter part of the summer season, since golf is very seasonal in much of the world. Shotzoom experimented with retargeting late in the summer to see if they could encourage some late-season usage and found it was very effective,? Mr. Thomas said.

Working with a pro
Shotzoom was able to rapidly grow its user base while maintaining CPI within target levels. CPIs were below $3 and overall cost per download was under its $1 goal. In addition, the trial registration rate was over 50 percent.

?One key learning is that there is a variety of tools marketers can take advantage of,? Mr. Thomas said.

?Shotzoom has a great philosophy on testing: they've basically said ?we'll try anything if we think it will get better results.? Since there are so many tools in the Facebook toolbox, it may take experimentation to figure out which tools are most effective.?

?Shotzoom found several specific tools that generated strong results, then scaled their usage of those up using Fiksu automation technology. The conclusion is to try a variety of techniques, find out what works, and use technology tools to scale it, he said.?

 Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York