Managing advertising campaigns that are successful and cost-effective has long challenged organisations, especially with the continual emergence of new advertising outlets. One of the core advertising platforms in the technology space is Apple Search Ads.
With the launch of Apple Search Ads in 2016, Redbox Mobile saw an opportunity to improve the visibility of our clients’ Apps in the App Store as they looked to benefit from this new ad placement. Redbox developed and drew on expert domain knowledge to manage advertising campaigns on behalf of its clients. With the high levels of performance that we were able to provide to our customers, Redbox didn’t want to make this expertise a service that was only accessible to the few but something that could support many.
Redbox therefore took the decision to create the Blackbox Platform, one of the first automated platforms of its kind in 2018. The focus of this product was to simplify both the process of campaign creation but also minimise some of the more time-consuming aspects of managing the advertising campaigns within the Apple Search Ads user interface (UI), as well as integrating the domain expertise we had spent years learning. Redbox was not just at a point where it was learning how to maximise the value that could be derived from Apple Search Ads, but also discovering where the areas of opportunity were and how we could diversify to support App developers at all stages of maturity.
As the appetite for self-serve platforms grew, Redbox saw that the Blackbox Platform was an ideal candidate to support App developers who wanted more downloads for their iOS App, but didn’t know where to start with Apple Search Ads and didn’t have the big budgets required by agencies.
Three goals were identified that needed to be met in order to support these developers. First, the campaign creation and management should be easy. Automating the keyword research as well as the bid and budget management across different countries answered this goal. The automation processes put in place helped Redbox to start to achieve the second goal of outperforming campaigns managed within the Apple Search Ads UI. In addition to the automation processes, how the platform organised campaigns enabled Redbox to directly pass on Apple Search Ads best practices to give the Apps the best possible starts.
Finally, Redbox recognised that while it is important for every client running a campaign to understand how well the campaign is performing, it was particularly important for self-serve users since they would not have an Account Manager providing insights into the data. The focus was to build data visualisation that allows easy identification of patterns in the data but also supported exploration of the data.
The three goals Redbox identified with its Minimum Viable Product have continued to shape the Redbox Platform’s Product Roadmap, with each iteration of the platform aiming to better deliver those goals.
In 2020, we rebranded to the Redbox Platform and re-developed the bidding and budget algorithms to go through a learning phase prior to optimisation. Natural Language Processing was added to the keyword generation service as were a number of new sources. Initial results from testing showed what Redbox had always thought to be true, that Apple Search Ads campaigns are only ever as good as the keywords you are bidding on.
The importance of clearly communicating results to our users, particularly our self-serve users, is always front of mind. In the last year alone, Redbox has added six new interactive data visualisations that range from comparison tools to combinations of Apple Search Ads data and MMP data to increased granularity of the data with one click.
The most recent stage in Redbox’s journey is to be recognised as an Apple Search Ads Partner. The domain knowledge developed by Redbox employees over the last four and half years Apple Search Ads has been live and the experience of dealing with many different clients, each with unique problems to solve, has ultimately led to where the Redbox Platform is today; shaping how we answer our three goals. Reflecting on how far we have come from when our first campaign went live to now, fills us with excitement for the next chapters in our timeline.
Redbox Mobile is a mobile app performance company specialising in organic and paid search. If you’d like to know more, please fill in our contact form.