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Q&A with Lifesum’s Senior Performance Marketing Manager Irina Dan

Industry experts like Irina Dan have shaped the mobile marketing world as we know it. She has had a remarkable career at Criteo and Google and is now serving as the Senior Performance Marketing Manager at Lifesum. She shared how she navigates trends and challenges in app marketing, why health apps are turning to retargeting, and how Adikteev continually commits to excellence.


Watch the video here:

What do you do and how did you get into app marketing?

I got the opportunity to dive into app marketing four years ago when I was a part of Criteo’s go-to market team as a product specialist. Before that, I had been working for over eight years in account management, in international expansion consulting and sales roles at Google and Criteo. In the middle of the pandemic, I became an app marketing consultant for health and fitness apps. I was inspired by their impact on people’s lives in such difficult times and also by their growth potential. 

What has the experience been like as a woman in the app marketing world?

At Lifesum, I’m lucky to be surrounded by a fair share of talented women— not only in the marketing team, but also in product, engineering, and business intelligence teams. However, when I go to marketing or tech events, I get reminded that women still make up a small percentage in this sector. I believe it’s crucial to have a balanced workforce when it comes to sharing ideas and leadership.

An old but famous example comes to my mind. When Apple released its health app, which could track a great variety of health metrics, they left out period tracking which is one of the most important aspects in women’s health. While this particular issue has been fixed, years later women are still not involved enough in decision-making and are stuck at the middle level. 

What are the some main trends you’ve noticed across all your roles and apps you’ve worked with?

First is app localization and the second one would be an increased focus on owned media. 

When I say app localization, I’m referring to adapting the app’s written and visual content to different cultural norms, measurement systems, currencies, and local payment methods. This allows the best apps to remain competitive in global markets. For example at Lifesum, we provide balanced meal plans for people who live in different parts of the world to align with their culinary preferences and traditions. 

The second one, owned media, represents all the content that the brand or company controls, like newsletters, push notifications, blogs… you name it. It helps grow an organic relationship with potential and existing clients. It is cost-effective and it is finally an investment in first-party data collection, which is becoming the holy grail of advertising.

Retargeting is a new trend for health and fitness apps. Why do you think adoption has taken so long?

I think apps with a subscription model were a more difficult case for retargeting compared to the free apps with in-app purchases. For instance with e-commerce or gaming apps, retargeting can be more efficient because users are eligible to make multiple purchases. Subscription apps generally allow for one transaction per user for a given time period, resulting in maybe a smaller pool of retargetable users or limited prediction capabilities. So, that’s why the adoption has been delayed a little bit.

What are the challenges in health and fitness apps that retargeting can help solve?

Health and fitness apps experience a huge peak of performance in the last week of December and the first weeks of January — for obvious reasons, because people are generally more motivated to adopt healthy eating and exercise habits. But as time goes by, they lose focus on their New Year’s resolutions, like we all do. And here, retargeting can help increase retention or reacquire churn users and maximize user lifetime value.

What led Lifesum to start retargeting?

We were already doing some retargeting activities with other channels because we value the users who installed the app and use it in its free version. But at Lifesum, we never stop from trying new strategies. We were impressed by the positive feedback we’ve heard about Adikteev. And here we are today! Doing retargeting with Adikteev helps us capitalize on our user acquisition investment and also consolidate our presence in some big European markets.

Where have you seen the best retargeting results?

As expected, we’ve seen the best retargeting results in large markets that have a fair share of Android users and also in countries where Lifesum is the leading nutrition app.

How has it been working with Adikteev?

A delight, to say the least. From sales to account management to design, Adikteev’s people are interested in understanding our business objectives and regularly propose creative approaches to improve the campaign results. 

Where do you see our partnership going in the future?

Well, short-term, I’m really looking forward to the most important season for our industry and collaborating with Adikteev to get the most out of it. But we’ve also identified long-term opportunities to scale the retargeting results. Overall, I believe we have an exciting partnership to enjoy in the future.