Missing a trick

Mobile Marketing talks to Daniel Angel, chief commercial officer at Tamoco, about the role that location can play in helping publishers to grow their apps. 
The app world is hugely competitive, and app developers of all shapes and sizes use every trick in the book both to drive new app downloads, and then to engage and re-engage their app users post install.

Well, almost every trick, because according to Daniel Angel, chief commercial officer at Tamoco, there’s one tool that many app developers overlook: location. So how can location help the app developer?

“There are a couple of ways,” says Angel. “If you look at engagement and retention, there’s a lot you can do to personalise the user experience, based on where they are right now, or the places they have previously visited, and the behaviours they have exhibited.”

As a simple example of how this can work, Angel settles on a travel app, and a user in New York who visited the Empire State Building yesterday. “Based on the observed, anonymised behaviour of all the users of that app who have visited New York, we may know that there’s a high propensity for people who visit the Empire State Building to also visit the Museum of Modern Art, so the app can put that forward as a suggestion,” he explains. “There are lots more subtle ways this can work, but this example serves to illustrate the point.”

Another example is of a fashion brand that has an app and identifies that a user of that app is currently in one of its physical stores. “This could trigger a push notification to remind the app user that they were shopping in the app a few days ago and left a few items in an abandoned cart. Now they’re in store, why not complete the purchase and take them home today?”

Undertsanding your users
Location is unique in that it can provide key insights into how users behave in the offline world. Understanding real-world user behaviour can have positive effects across the user life cycle. One example is when it comes to driving downloads. Overlaying existing user data such as usage or lifetime value with location-based behaviour can help to identify valuable user segments.

Once understood, these segments can be used to identify the users that are more valuable to your app business. For example, knowing that your highest-paying users tend to visit gyms. This knowledge can be used to encourage other gym users to download the app, optimising the acquisition process.

A better kind of monetisation
As Angel explains it, this type of intelligent location targeting opens the door to a smarter kind of monetisation, one that is more respectful of the app users and less reliant on serving them ads to make money.

“The way we operate, the data monetisation happens in the background,” he says. “For the publisher, that means there’s no detrimental effect on the app experience. I think we’ve all experienced using apps that have tapped into some plug-and-play monetisation service that hasn’t been properly integrated and, as a result, you get pop-ups you can’t close and a very unsatisfactory experience overall. It’s a sure-fire way to lose users quickly.”

Not that Tamoco is anti-advertising per se. “On the contrary,” says Angel. “We aggregate and anonymise the data we see and provide trends to our publisher partners around how people are behaving on a macro level. This sort of information is extremely valuable to our partners, and if they want to monetise that way, they get much higher CPMs than they would through traditional in-app advertising.

Privacy toolkit
Underpinning all this activity is a commitment to data privacy. “Our Privacy SDK ensures that our data monetisation offering complies with all existing regulations,” says Angel. “In fact, we go a lot further than we need to in order to improve the experience, both for our publishers and for the people who use their apps.

“We have created an SDK that gives the publishers an easy way to manage user preferences, so at the point of data collection we go beyond simply asking the user if they will allow their location to be shared or not. We provide an interface where the user is shown what the data is used for, so that they can opt in and out of different preferences, such as research, ad personalisation or data analysis.

“This level of functionality enables our publisher partners to be completely transparent with their users in a way that allows them to manage the consent options, and it also gives the users much greater control of their data and preferences.”

In addition to this more granular approach to consent, Tamoco also matches the information in the Privacy SDK with the brand’s identifiers in their own systems, so that if a user opts out of emails in the app, but subsequently opts back in to them on the brand’s website, the preference can be synched across the brand’s multiple digital touchpoints.

“Publishers can access this data any time,” explains Angel. “So if a user enquires about the publisher using their data without their permission, the brand can run an audit to simply identify when the consumer opted in.”

On top of all this, integration is quick and easy, typically taking place within a day. “We have two SDKs, one to add location intelligence and one to enable privacy,” says Angel. “The location SDK is four lines of code and our team will help with the integration to get the publisher up and running quickly. Once you add location into the publisher toolkit, more often than not, the results speak for themselves.”

This article first appeared in the February 2019 print edition of Mobile Marketing. You can read the complete issue online here.