Ad TrendsGuest Expert

You Didn’t Know That About Utility Offers: Interview with David Long

what you don't know about utilities

We brought you something very exclusive today! 

Meet our special guest, David Long — a media buyer with extensive experience in running ad campaigns.

Today, he will share his insights about Utility offers — and reveal some unexpected truths about marketing principles, creatives, and strategies.

This article is the first part of our awesome collaboration with David — don’t miss out on the second one on our YouTube channel!


About our Guest

David Long runs Temujin Media — a niche little marketing consultancy based just outside London specializing in rapid market growth and new channel discovery. This was formed off the back of David’s ten years of contractual work with some of the biggest consumer tech companies. 

Temujin were early adopters of native and content marketing and saw some big success in the way they delivered that out to the Utility audience. And this led David to adopt Push as a format with huge potential. As David said, Push notifications make up about half of his traffic.

On Marketing Fundamentals: Verticals Don’t Matter?


David, we decided to focus on Utilities in this interview. But what do you think? Can you apply similar principles to different verticals?

David: Well, I think certainly, yeah, the same principles apply. There may be slightly different nuances in how you become relatable — but the fundamental reasons for an ad work the same way:

You find something that relates to the material, and then you put that in front of users. You want to generate intrigue and be inquisitive, but at the same time, you want to be reassuring to people.

It’s all a psychological game, in my opinion, and I think that logic applies across any industry. You’ve just got to change it and adapt it slightly to fit in with each. For example, I’ve run dating ads, and currently, I run health apps — and the fundamental principles of marketing remain the same.

Here are statistics of some David’s top Push campaigns at PropellerAds (for the 7-day period):

CampaignImpressionsClicks
Antivirus_android_US23 314 724487 678
Antivirus_android_GB6 688 932154 780

On Campaigns Optimization: How to Run Utility Campaigns Properly?

So, let’s speak about the little nuances that matter the most. What’s your approach towards finding a new Utility offer?

David: That’s a big question! It depends on where your starting point is. For example, you have no historical data on the product: you don’t know if the product is a success in itself or if the flow works. This, of course, requires a particular approach. And I’ve done that, too.

However, most media buyers prefer testing products that are already working. The thing is that it doesn’t make sense to test out ads or colors and different variations of the landing page if the flow itself doesn’t convert correctly. 

We brought you something very exclusive today!  Meet our special guest, David Long — a media buyer with extensive experience in running ad campaigns. Today, he will share his insights about Utility offers — and reveal some unexpected truths about marketing principles, creatives, and strategies. This article is the first part of our awesome collaboration

So, we’re relying a lot here on the existing flow that already performs well. This is why it is important to choose the right advertising partner to ensure that the process is taken care of. If you did that, then you would want to try out a couple of different ad variations just to see your flow.

However, you don’t want to get involved in testing out lots of different aspects at the same time because you want to know which metric to focus on.


— And what metrics are usually based on when you optimize your campaigns? Like CPA, the percentage of unique users, and CPM.

David: This basically varies from offer to offer. You obviously focus on the overall CPA goal first. However, you don’t want to spend $500 to decide that it didn’t do a couple of sales! 

We brought you something very exclusive today!  Meet our special guest, David Long — a media buyer with extensive experience in running ad campaigns. Today, he will share his insights about Utility offers — and reveal some unexpected truths about marketing principles, creatives, and strategies. This article is the first part of our awesome collaboration

First, it’s about finding out from the advertiser what the conversion points are: a lead or download, a page view — or any type of interaction that the model offers. If a conversion price is high enough, it would be nice to have at least two conversions after a $500 spending.

Besides, for a more thorough optimization, my advice is to have a postback at the earliest possible stage — to optimize on lower budgets.


— And when you are running an offer — how do you test it?

David: Normally, we adopt a two or three-day testing phase and then look at optimizing at that point. Certainly, we would start out by just working with one particular country. Usually, it is the US for us: it is a good benchmark to get the rest of the English-speaking countries working successfully.

We brought you something very exclusive today!  Meet our special guest, David Long — a media buyer with extensive experience in running ad campaigns. Today, he will share his insights about Utility offers — and reveal some unexpected truths about marketing principles, creatives, and strategies. This article is the first part of our awesome collaboration

Then, we come up with a few different ad variations and let that run for a few days before deciding on how to optimize. And that optimization would start either with the creative or with the flow.  We look at both aspects to identify where we could make slight changes to increase CTR. 

Also, continually evolving and adding new campaigns is a way in itself to do the testing.


On Spy Tools: Are They Needed?

— Do you use spy tools? Maybe some recommendations?

David: Yeah, we use that. Speaking about Push ads, Adplexity is our main tool here.

However, I personally and many of my team members prefer looking at ads that are already out there. In fact, ads that you see through a site are much better valued than ads that you see in an advertising team. This way, you see how they work and interact with the site: I think it just builds up a better notion. 

We brought you something very exclusive today!  Meet our special guest, David Long — a media buyer with extensive experience in running ad campaigns. Today, he will share his insights about Utility offers — and reveal some unexpected truths about marketing principles, creatives, and strategies. This article is the first part of our awesome collaboration

So, the main spy tool is actually doing your own research and constantly being a part of that process.


On PropellerAds: Our Team is More Than Our Features?

— David, could you please share your thoughts on PropellerAds as a multisource network? What do you like the most about it?

David: You know what, I’m going to ask this question differently. I hope it’s okay. What makes you really different is your team. I work with four, five, or six of your guys now, and each of them, to be fair, has been dedicated and always exceeded expectations.

They work around the clock. It feels like it is not just their job; we are in a real partnership. And this is something that’s really resonated with me, and actually, how I’ve built my business is based around those relationships. 

I think the one thing Propeller has over any other network at the moment for me is we’re almost like the same working team. This is certainly a unique point.

On this positive note, we want to remind you that we will be happy to partner with you, too! Maybe you are the next guest of our interview, why not?

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