Yesterday was our Mobile App Marketing Summit, which brought together representatives from a wide variety of global brands with key thought leaders from the mobile marketing world and beyond to explore and discuss the challenges and opportunities that exist in tackling the app ecosystem.
Time spent online in-app now dominates across devices, and with the native features that apps offer to users, brands who successfully navigate this space can see huge levels of engagement and fantastic results. But it’s not as easy as simple putting together a basic app that replicates your website – if you want your target audience to truly connect with your app, you need to consider its lasting utility, and use tactics like app store optimisation and push notifications to build and retain users.
If you weren't able to make it to the Summit, you missed out on some fantastic guidance from leading industry figures, but you can still access some of the gems of wisdom here, with our top 10 quotes from the day.
“You’d be happy to say to your mate ‘Have you seen the Shotgun app’. You’re not going to say ‘Have you seen this Direct Line app’.”
Kerry Chilvers, brand director, Direct Line
Our day was kicked off by Kerry Chilvers, brand director from Direct Line, who walked us through how the brand launched its Shotgun app, aimed at reducing road accidents in young drivers. Chilvers explains how creating a successful app meant looking beyond the brand’s core business model and taking risks in terms of design and marketing.
“You need to think about the app as the glue of your business. It’s a very effective way of connecting your physical stores with your digital presence”
Orly Schwartzman, business development manager, App Annie
App Annie’s Orly Schwartzman provided us with an excellent overview of the app market as it stands today, and how it’s set to keep expanding. With the number of mobile devices around the globe expected to jump from 3bn to 6bn in the next three years, time spent in app and revenues from apps are also expected to more than double by 2020. The native features on offer in apps mean that they will take an ever-greater role in joining together different digital and physical marketing channels.
“You may lose 80 per cent of those who download your app, but 80 per cent of your business could still come from those 20 per cent who remain”
Abbe Waddington, regional sales manager for EMEA, Leanplum
Speaking in our panel debate, Abbe Waddington from Leanplum addressed the issue of churn in app marketing, and whether brands need to be concerned over the high number of apps that are used once or twice then abandoned. Abbe pointed out that while this is an issue, there are methods like onboarding to help solve it, and that customers who do remain regular app users tend to have much higher long-term value for firms.
“If you don’t have granular data available on the level you need, you can’t make a game a success”
Kerem Alemdar, user acquisition manager, Gram Games
Games have proved to be some of the most successful apps on the market, and games developers have fine-tuned how they approach targeting, user acquisition and onboarding. Kerem Alemdar from Gram Games explained how the company iterated a variety of approaches to user acquisition, using its most successful title as a testing ground and paying close attention to the smallest changes in response rates.
“You need to speak the language of your users. You need to pick the right tone, and adapt to cultural context.”
Emmanuel Carraud, CEO, AppChocolate
AppChocolate’s wide range of apps spans a global audience, and CEO Emmanuel Carraud spoke about the in-depth data that apps can provide, and how they enable you to tailor your content on an individual level to ensure that you are maximising your downloads, engagement and retention rates.
“The job of the digital marketer in the mobile era has become really, really tough. Everything’s become more transactional, more difficult. It’s a very noisy ecosystem, so how do we make our app stand out from the crowd?”
Colin Howes, regional sales manager for EMEA, Leanplum
Mobile marketing platform Leanplum specialises in engaging users, and Colin Howes from the firm spoke about how something as simple as the humble emoji can transform the way you communicate with your audience, not only boosting open rates for push notifications but building a stronger brand that users can relate to, and transcending language barriers.
“Bots won’t ever fully replace apps, but there are certain use cases where they are better. There are so many barriers when it comes to using an app; you have to find it, download it, etc, and with a bot you can just talk to it and there you go.”
Joe Meindl, marketing manager, Swell
Swell’s social voting app saw an explosion in users after the company embraced the power of chatbots, and marketing manager Joe Meindl discussed how this new format can help brands tap into new audiences that are seeking instantaneous experiences, and how those people can then be converted from casual users into brand advocates.
“Marketers say they avoid mobile because there’s no way to measure the success of a campaign, but 49 per cent of them aren’t even bothering to track ROI with the tools that are available.”
Simon Baptist, director of business development for EMEA, Tune
Tune’s Simon Baptist ran through some of the myths and preconceptions that still plague the mobile marketing industry, and how brands can take simple steps to build an app marketing strategy that provides huge returns and remains flexible enough to adapt to the ever-evolving market and new challenges that emerge.
“Word of mouth is incredibly important, that fear of missing out. An ambassador program is great for getting people to talk about a service, and it’s great for building localised networks.”
Jack Collier, European marketing director, Circle
For Circle’s money transfer app to succeed, the company needed to build networks of users who would regularly employ it to send cash back and forth to each other. Jack Collier talked about how the firm used a focus on user experience and satisfaction to develop brand ambassadors, who then helped kickstart a referral engine that took the app to new heights.
“From a brand safety point of view, from a user engagement point of view, and from a user intent point of view, apps are much better.”
Andy Chandler, vice president for EMEA, Tapjoy
Tapjoy’s Andy Chandler explored how the digital marketing industry has changed since the introduction of the app, and how the format provides brands with an opportunity to bypass some of the most common fears and challenges that are associated with online advertising, from brand safety concerns to having a consistent cross-device view of your customer and their journey.