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Home Depot’s Redbeacon escalates app marketing to drive mobile business

August 6, 2013

Redbeacon connects homeowners with home services providers

Home Depot’s Redbeacon is supporting its mission of matching homeowners with service providers via a comprehensive strategy to get the brand’s mobile application into as many hands as possible.

The home repair giant  acquired Redbeacon in the beginning of 2012 and since then has brought a bigger mobile focus to the service, launching an Android app late last year and integrating mobile payments earlier this year. As Redbeacon looks to expand mobile as a profitable channel for user acquisition, supporting its app is playing a key role.

“With increasingly fierce competition in the app stores, even well-funded apps such as Redbeacon that have the backing of large brands like Home Depot face the enormous challenge of being discovered by consumers and sustaining that user engagement,” said Chris Shuptrine, senior director of client development at Fiksu, Boston.

“Mobile app marketers need to have a laser-like focus on targeting, acquiring and retaining loyal users – those who take a specific desired action, such as an in-app purchase, or in the case of Redbeacon, a request for connection with a handyman, plumber, et cetera for a particular home service project,” he said.

“It’s these loyal users who become repeat customers, word-of-mouth advocates and deliver real, ongoing ROI.”

Redbeacon began working with Fiksu to boost its app marketing strategy after doing it alone proved difficult and time consuming.

Driving downloads
The Redbeacon app connects qualified pros with job requests from homeowners.

Redbeacon launched its iPhone app in 2009 and had a hard time reaching the kind of scale it wanted for the app.

To address the challenge, the home services marketplace partnered with Fiksu to fine-tune its app acquisition strategy to drive downloads, reduce acquisition costs and enable geotargeting.

Redbeacon is focused on driving app downloads to scale up service

As a result, Redbeacon has been able to quickly scale up its marketing program and deliver ads across ad networks, real-time bidding exchanges and other traffic sources. This helped increase the number of downloads for its app, with the average monthly install volume increasing by a factor of ten.

Additionally, when Redbeacon launched the Android version of its app in the fall of 2012, it was able to drive more than 15 times the amount of downloads in the first month than it saw with its iPhone app.

Another challenge Redbeacon faced was managing different acquisition costs across different channels and overall acquisition costs that were higher than where the company wanted them to be.

Maximizing valuable users
Redbeacon has also been able to find more consistent and affordable sources of installs since it began working with Fiksu, helping to lower its overall cost per install by 74 percent.

By optimizing based on cost-per-job request, Redbeacon has been able to maximize the number of valuable users relative to total downloads and thereby boost its overall return-on-investment.

Since Redbeacon began working with Fiksu, its cost-per-click has improved by 59 percent with the CPC in mobile now less than half of the CPC in desktop search marketing.

Redbeacon has also been able to enhance its ability to geotarget ads to focus on acquiring users in the 14 metropolitan areas where the service is available.

Going forward, Redbeacon plans to test new networks, such as Facebook and Pandora.

“Redbeacon, in particular, faced three major challenges related to app promotion – scale, cost-effective optimization across networks and geography,” Mr. Shuptrine said.

“Using Fiksu’s programmatic mobile app marketing platform, Redbeacon was able to overcome these challenges: it cut CPI by 74 percent and drove more than ten times the volume of monthly downloads than they had previously,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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