The decision to scale up is considered to be among the key factors of a successful product launch. However, it is only true when the timing is right. It is estimated that 90% of startups fail, 10% fail until the end of the 1st year, 70% — in the next 2–5 years. Together with Zorka.Agency, let’s have a closer look at MrSpeedy, a courier delivery service, and how a well planned scaling-up strategy can benefit a business.
In 2018, MrSpeedy – one of the companies that operated by the global crowdsourced delivery service Dostavista – became a new competitor on the market of courier delivery in the Philippines. The company offers a courier delivery service of nearly any goods, which are delivered from point A to point B by motorbike or car. As the name suggests, the main advantages you get to enjoy when placing an order with MrSpeedy are fast delivery and affordables prices.
The app for iOS was released on 8 December 2018. Then the Android app became available on 14 February 2019. The app is now also available on HUAWEI AppGallery. Currently, the app’s user base is 1+ million users.
At first, MrSpeedy’s course of development was quite typical for many startups which have just entered the market. Its audience grew organically, mainly thanks to word-of-mouth. As a result, it gave MrSpeedy enough time to test the application for quality assurance and to build a strong product development team.
As the service developed, the MrSpeedy team realised that they needed to expand and boost their further growth. In 2020 they decided to focus their marketing strategy on paid user acquisition. Before the launch of the advertising campaigns, the client’s marketing objectives were the following:
MrSpeedy is a relatively new service, and its team didn’t run any full-scale UA campaigns until 2020. Therefore, we decided to promote the app via the most popular sources first: Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
Also, we’ve added Appnext, an OEM traffic source, to the list. This platform has been gaining popularity over the last few years. It had a really important feature that made us consider working with this source. Unlike in-app traffic sources, Appnext doesn’t necessarily require any extensive data about the app’s users. This allows advertising campaigns to be run for new products as well.
As for Google Ads, we decided to focus on running video advertising campaigns. To be specific, YouTube was chosen as the primary platform. Traditionally, YouTube performed better for app advertising across Google’s largest properties including Search, Google Play, YouTube, Discover on Google Search, and the Google Display Network. The official MrSpeedy YouTube channel was created specifically for this purpose, and all the advertising content was then uploaded there for testing. In the campaign settings, the optimisation model aligned with the target in-app action – making the first order.
However, the Zorka.Agency team was not launching the advertising campaigns on their own. At the same time, the in-house MrSpeedy media buying team was working on that. The teams divided their responsibilities evenly. To be exact, Zorka.Agency was promoting the Android app whereas the client’s team was focused solely on the app for iOS users.
As for this traffic source, there was no division based on the operating system. The advertising campaigns for Android and iOS versions were run by both Zorka.Agency specialists and MrSpeedy’s in-house team.
Following all the common practices of advertising on Facebook, the first test ads were videos and static creatives targeting Look-alike audiences. Also, the ad campaign was optimised for a targeted action. By that time the Facebook SDK had already gathered enough statistics.
It is generally assumed that video ads perform much better than static image ads. But that wasn’t the case with MrSpeedy. Surprisingly, it was the other way around. The groups of static ads with broad targeting (men and women aged 18-44) performed quite well. In the course of several months we couldn’t believe our eyes. We kept testing the Look-alike segment, but such ad campaigns were never profitable in the end.
Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) – is an advertising channel, which is provided by the smartphone manufacturers themselves. Xiaomi, Oppo, VIVO, Samsung, Apple were among the first manufacturers to understand that nowadays people trust their smartphones as their best friends, and won’t let go of their mobile devices for a single minute. OEM advertising can look like recommendations and appear in default apps.
Appnext is a recommendation platform for mobile devices and mobile apps. At the moment, 60,000+ apps are integrated into the platform, both from third-party developers and the smartphone manufacturers. It is thanks to the latter that Appnext was able to create a completely new ecosystem of interaction with the target audience. It was based on the Appnext Timeline technology which analises behavioral data and predicts the type of app users are likely to launch next.
Ad campaigns on OEM are optimised by working with ad placements (disabling platforms that don’t meet the KPIs; adding new ones for testing; grouping effective ad platforms into a separate ad campaign, etc.). Also, you can optimise your bidding strategy.
However, there are some obvious disadvantages of this platform. Namely, creativity is highly limited. In most cases the ad is just the app’s icon which users can see in the recommendation bar. Also, Appnext doesn’t support advertising campaigns for iOS devices.
In the first three months of running the ad campaign (May-August 2020) we were still figuring out the right ad campaign settings and the most effective creative concept. In the end, we managed to achieve the following results:
The paid user acquisition campaign for MrSpeedy was launched at the same time as the Philippines reported a growing number of new COVID-19 cases. Apparently, that influenced the overall advertising performance in the end. The MrSpeedy promotional strategy undoubtedly benefited from the situation: the product was able to continue its development organically and, additionally, received a significant boost from the ad campaigns.
In response to the growing number of positive cases in the region, the creative concepts were also redesigned. The promotional materials focused on the safety measures made to ensure safe delivery, and the video and static ads featured couriers wearing face masks.
Once we successfully launched advertising campaigns with conventional traffic sources, new ones were gradually added to the list. For example, the iOS app was promoted with Apple Search Ads, and in-app networks were used for the Android app.
Here are the performance results of the ad campaigns launched in 2020:
The performance data proves that not only did we manage to scale up the successful results of the first three months advertising, but also the acquired audience was primarily the target audience of the service. It is clear due to the high CR into the first order and the number of repeat orders made by new users. On average, each of them made about 9 additional orders since their first one. Moneywise, the CPA rate for each placed order with the MrSpeedy app was $0.79, and that is a really pleasant figure for any advertiser.
On August 30th, Dostavista announced that it has changed its name to Borzo. This way its businesses in eight different countries are united under a single brand. As part of its growth strategy, Borzo also raised 35 million dollars (29.95 million euros).
How to avoid mistakes while scaling your startup, read in the article: The seven deadly sins of a growth marketing strategist, or how to make a startup die