App Marketing

Audience segmentation: Why it matters, and how our new tool changes the game

James Haslam
Content Manager

You've heard about Adjust's Audience Builder, right? It's this new segmentation tool of ours, ring a bell? Well, if not, we're here to tell you what it's all about. In this post we'll look at the value of audience segmentation, retargeting, and the incredible new benefits of Audience Builder.

Of all the audience segmentation tools on the market, Audience Builder is one of the best, bundled in with a group of new features just released on the Adjust platform. With it, building segments and reaching users has never been easier, and we’ve included special features to make the entire process near-frictionless.

Audience Builder unlocks incredible potential, from improving your retargeting to significantly improving where campaign dollars are spent. But how does it work in the real world, and what’s the real potential of segmentation and retargeting? In this article, we’re going to show you just that, from the real value of segmentation, retargeting, to the benefits of the new Audience Builder tool.

What makes audience segmentation so important?

No user is the same. Location, revenue generated, or events triggered - these are just a few of many typical differentiators that make each install unique. As such, each potential user needs to be advertised to differently with varying messaging and promotion. A highly active paying user in Japan will need to be catered to differently than a casual, non-paying user in the US - there’s no one-size-fits-all to mobile marketing.

App user segmentation provides the ability to group users around a shared trait. These traits are common identifiers, like those listed above, as well as others specific to mobile marketing, such as device, browser, OS, and more. By putting individuals together by one (or more) different theme, you can target (and retarget) users more effectively, with messaging based on that element. This strategy allows marketers to effectively reach different kinds of users, and with a higher chance of conversion.

How does segmentation combine with retargeting?

Retargeting is one of the best means of reaching the most valuable users. This is because:

  • Returning users don’t have to be convinced in the same way new users do. Users can drop off for any reason, but are more likely to be convinced to return even if the experience isn’t so fresh - it’s your offer that could be.
  • When it comes to improving revenue, it’s much easier to identify the users who spend the most, as the data is already owned. It’s just a question of specifically targeting the users with great incentives or convincing creatives.

Unfortunately, this also means that retargeting is an expensive business. Retargeting partners are aware of the value of the users they find, and have to create incredibly complex processes in order to reach them (or even attempt to). As the cost of retargeting is much higher, establishing segments on your own (using Adjust’s platform), and going after them, becomes paramount to reducing cost while still getting the best results.

Combined with segmentation, retargeting reaches your potentially most valuable users or focuses attention on the users who look like they could be great to have, but who haven’t been optimized for in the best way. Using segments also means that you can shape your campaigns to improve effectiveness on smaller groups, as opposed to large-scale, single-message advertising.

Audience segmentation examples: What can you do?

Retargeting campaigns take many different forms, depending on the KPIs. The most important metric has to do with getting users to return, but others, like increasing revenue in-app, improving session time, or driving social engagement, are also important. Depending on vertical, there’s a lot of metrics, targets, and different success factors which you should be aware of. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Typical segments for all verticals

Segmenting by time period is often the most popular, and through this you can look at day of install, time last seen, total time spent (both user and per session). Revenue is the other most looked at, including number of revenue events, first and last revenue event, and total spend. Device, country, language are also very useful common identifiers.


As E-commerce apps are based on revenue, it’s important to look at how users purchase, or where, as much it is to know what they buy, and how much they spend. Examples of potentially powerful user groupings vary from the source material - i.e. which campaigns have improved purchasing to successful promotions.


Gaming perhaps has some of the most diverse segmentation possibilities of all verticals. Not many other types of application group by ‘leveling up’ or ‘achievements unlocked’, but these are some of the most common in gaming, and help gauge user’s progress throughout the game. While these are very useful to create compelling advertising, you could build other segments on device type (do newer vs. older devices have increased conversions due to better performance, for instance), time per session/user, and also revenue based on in-game items.


Like e-commerce, revenue events tend to be the focus of Travel apps, but because such events are often at a larger scale, but occur less often, the information you find is slightly different. Speaking of frequency, grouping users who travel often could mean a better focus on rewards, or timed incentives, or a reminder that such users may not have traveled in a while (if they’ve left the app for some time.) Critically, grouping by geo-location can be extra powerful, by letting you figure out which users in certain locations like to travel, and where they often prefer to go.

Where does Audience Builder fit in?

So, you’ve decided on your group, focused in on the segments you want to retarget, but what next? With Audience Builder, you simply create your segment and send it to the partners you’d like.

Isn’t that what I can already do?

Sort of, but it’s not as easy, and it misses out the key benefits of Audience Builder. From privacy and data protection, to ease of use, Audience Builder brings a lot to the table that makes targeting, and segmentation, incredibly easy.

  • Audience Builder keeps all your data in your hands. Rather than sharing entire datasets with partners (which is the traditional method of retargeting) you can select the users you want to target, and only pass those segments on.
  • It helps keep multiple partners away from the same users. One partner per group (or spliced segment) means no cannibalization of your budget, which results in a more effective spend.
  • It works cross-channel. if you have multiple apps within our dashboard you can repeat the process with all of them. Also, you can profile your best and most loyal users and target them with messaging around your new app. Forget using trial and error to find the most valuable users with a new launch, you already have them from the start.
  • You can forget about downloading multiple CSVs to then upload them somewhere else. With Audience Builder, that’s long gone. The tool creates a dynamic link which you can send to partners instead, saving time, energy and (potentially) confusion over multiple files.
  • There’s no limit on the number of segments you can create. Not only are the links dynamic, but so are the segments. Every time the URL is called, the users included will refresh according to the conditions applied to the segment. This is great for finding out whether users still meet the criteria.
  • Audience Builder is incredibly useful for running highly-targeted conversion campaigns. Use cases like sending in-app messaging, exclusion targeting, cross-promotion, or push notifications are much more effective when using a real-time solution.
  • It’s privacy compliant and completely in line with European law. Your data is safe in more ways than one with Audience Builder.

We have a wealth of information for you to check out. From our interview with our CTO Paul Müller, to four use cases from our clients, you can find out much more about what Audience Builder can do.