Adam McAllister is performance marketing director at WorldRemit, a pioneer in digitalising international money transfers and an early participant in Accenture and Google’s App Transformation Programme.
For the vast majority of our customers, mobile comes first. WorldRemit is a leading international money transfer platform with millions of users worldwide — largely people working overseas who send financial support digitally to their families back home. Over the past decade, we’ve seen an increasing number of these transactions take place via our app.
Today, as much as 70% of our new customer acquisition comes through the app, and those users have a considerably higher lifetime value than those using the web. This makes our app an integral part of our business — and critical for growth.
But the digital landscape is changing, not least with new expectations and regulations around privacy. We wanted to exceed customer demands for data protection and deliver better experiences while ensuring we have a deep understanding of where our marketing spend is most effective. This means future-proofing our app measurement for a privacy-first web.
Understanding sources of growth on a privacy-first web
We had a hunch that our app campaigns were doing well, but we couldn’t interpret the data sufficiently in terms of funnel performance and ROI. This was either through a lack of features through our mobile measurement partner (MMP), a third-party tool used to understand app marketing performance, or incorrect implementation.
There were also bigger changes to contend with in the mobile marketing landscape, such as Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework and the phasing out of third-party cookies. These developments meant we had a lack of visibility on where customers were coming from and the channels driving growth.
We switched to a new MMP at the start of 2022 and at the same time began working with Google and Accenture Song to transform our app strategy. The aim: to upskill the team, establish best practices, and build a resilient and scalable approach to app measurement.
The programme took approximately 12 weeks, from the basics to advanced interrogation of our set-up — finishing with “nailing and scaling” our findings. Key areas of focus included:
Assessing what can and can’t be measured
Our goal was to improve and use the data we had to best predict the attribution sources of unknown users. Accenture helped us understand what can and can't be measured across operating systems, and documented that for us in a playbook.
Following this project, we’ve employed an approach where we split our data into two areas: “known users”, where we could attribute downloads and other app campaign KPIs to specific sources, and “unknown users”, where privacy changes meant measurement was limited.
Focusing on first-party data
We explored how we could build relationships with our customers and maximise consent to enrich our first-party data. This focused on user experience, with recommendations on ensuring the timing, language, and format of privacy notices were clear and user-friendly. We also established a single source of truth via AppsFlyer to ensure everyone in the business could make decisions from a unified data set.
A focus on scaling learnings across the business
We were very clear that we wanted actionable, scenario-specific guidance, not a high-level strategy that would end up on the shelf. Weekly progress checks allowed us to focus on the precise needs of the business. You have to work on it, learn, and build over time. It’s a series of steps — not a sprint.
Our learnings from the 12-week programme were used to create a playbook that is now used to teach and guide teams and individuals on how to approach measurement in a privacy-first world.
We were very clear that we wanted actionable guidance, not a high-level strategy that would end up on the shelf.
Something we’re really proud of is opt-in rates are as high as 60% — well over the industry average of 20% to 30%. For us, trust in our product is an important factor.
We employ messaging explaining what the user would be sharing and how this data is used by the business — for example, analytics, personalisation, and marketing use cases. Google and Accenture gave us recommendations on optimising consent requests, ensuring we set people's expectations correctly and providing relevant information.
We also have a much clearer view of which channels and marketing activities are driving growth — and a better understanding of customer journeys. The programme and successful onboarding of our new MMP helped improve the level of attribution for users coming in from iOS from 30% to nearly 100%, with a much higher degree of confidence in the data.
On a privacy-first web, the quality of measurement comes down to the strength of your first-party data. Provide customers with value, and you get value back in the form of more opt-ins, richer data, and ultimately better attribution. This has enabled us to unlock more investment for our app campaigns — with the knowledge that media spend is being used where it’s most effective. Far from privacy changes creating a barrier, for WorldRemit they have proved a spark for growth.
For more information about the Google App Transformation Programme, please contact your Google representative.