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How to implement cross-promotion for your app portfolio

Cross-promotion seems to be on every app marketer’s mind in 2022. Though still a new concept in mobile performance marketing, cross-promotion is becoming vital for the mobile ad industry — and it’s more necessary than ever with current challenges like SKADnetwork constraints, IDFA deprecation, and M&As that turn partners into competitors.


Today, let’s go in-depth on the 3 methods of cross-promotion available in the market, their pros and cons, and how Adikteev’s smart cross-promotion approach can best catapult your business objectives towards success.

Method #1: Build your own Cross-Promotion platform

How it works:

An option for larger developers is in-house built cross-promotion platforms. Developers must create a proprietary infrastructure dedicated to retargeting and cross-promotion, which involves components such as automatic data analysis and machine learning.

Cartoon image of two people. The man is standing next to a large white board with a number of figures and the woman is sitting at a desk in front of a laptop.


Investing in this system allows app marketers to leverage proprietary data and models to predict user behavior without sharing information with an outside party or paying for platform fees. You will also have full control over placements.


Interviews with some of top gaming companies globally yielded a varied opinion on the effectiveness and scale of their existing in-house cross-promotion capabilities. Some made the point that these are legacy systems that are costly to develop and maintain resources for, and updates and new features must be continually planned and budgeted for. This is a huge IT project that could be counterproductive if it’s not embedded in your core business goals. Additionally, monetization might not be achievable in-house, versus catering to external demand sources who pay to display their ads.

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In-house cross-promotion is good for app developers who already have concrete experience building an adtech infrastructure. This is advantageous for big corporations, especially in terms of legal constraints and data protection. However, this method is not advisable for smaller organizations without prior proficiency in adtech science.


Method #2: Mediation Cross-Promotion

How it works:

Through a mediation platform, you will be equipped with an existing SDK that helps app owners monetize their inventory by filling multiple sources in competition with other demands. To cross promote, developers can use their own bids to challenge others in the mediation layer — this way, they could use the same available catalog.

Several cartoon people standing in front of an ad space on a phone with bidding paddles in their hands. Behind the phone is another phone featuring a gaming app


By plugging into this means, companies can easily leverage existing ad units by going through the waterfall and using left over inventory. This is easy to implement by setting a waterfall priority and reviewing present ad units. Another plus is that it has little to no platform fees, especially since SSPs often offer this as a complementary service. Lastly, this method may create competition among ads with a network effect, and therefore increase CPMs.


The lack of predictive intelligence may limit scale and not reach every user because of the fact that it is only an add-on and not a dedicated solution. It also relies on manual user segmentation, which means that user lists cannot be updated in real time. For apps that monetize through in-app purchases, such limitations make it impossible for them to show their ad to the correct and valuable users. On the other hand, exposing tier 1 clients to ads at the wrong moment might also influence them to churn and install another app.

Mediation also faces the same problem as in-house cross-promotion: some of the top mobile gaming companies interviewed are also unhappy with this approach. While easy to set up and no technical work is needed, you’ll be limited to a certain inventory. The lack of custom placements and formats puts you at risk of showcasing your brand in the same manner as your competitor ads.

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This method will work for companies lacking an existing in-house framework or the means to build one. Although it’s a convenient solution for app developers looking for an easy and less expensive cross-promotion solution, it will not work if you don’t show ads to your whole user base.

Method #3: Adikteev Cross-Promotion

How it works:

Cross-promotion with Adikteev, the most advanced remarketing platform today, promises sophisticated user churn predictive technology and app recommendations powered by machine learning. Our algorithm predicts which app in the portfolio the user is likely to enjoy, and your advertisements run in dedicated placements to avoid existing mediation. User churn models determine which users are likely to churn and when, ensuring that your ads are shown to the right user at the right time.

Small user icons in red, yellow and green are leaving one cartoon phone and going towards another to represent cross-promotion


Adikteev’s predictive intelligence provides data related to user churn, and affinity scoring — a specific highlight neither in-house nor mediation solutions possess. Full control of placements, including flexibility, is also guaranteed, as it doesn’t go through mediation, and therefore no cannibalization will occur. An interesting high point for this plan is built-in incrementality measurement. Our ad format optimization gives advertisers the ability to do more with less technical work. Moreover, scale range is broader at Adikteev, which would allow marketers to reach every user at any point in their life cycle, regardless of the type of app.


Adikteev’s solution does require an SDK integration and data sharing. However since the SDK is only dedicated to cross promotion, it’s much lighter than a regular SDK. For app developers already running retargeting with a managed DSP, enabling postbacks shouldn’t be a big concern as it allows Adikteev to create dynamic cohorts. 

Although running cross-promotion in-house will avoid information exchange with a third party, the amount of work and time it takes to build an interior mechanism is far greater and slower. On the other hand, current mediation systems on the market today may not require an SDK, but this minute SDK task is only an initial investment that will reimburse you with better performance.

Why Adikteev?

By leveraging Adikteev’s best in-class predictive capabilities combined with a ready-made and easily-deployed architecture, you can get the best of both worlds — full control, transparency, and low cost deployment of cross promotion campaigns at scale. Our ability to identify about-to-churn users and target them with recommended ads from your portfolio of apps offers more than what both in-house solutions and mediation platforms can do. Connect with us to learn more about how we can help boost the portfolio-level LTV of your app audience.