Ahead of the Mobile Marketing Masterclass events in Amsterdam, London, and New York, we had a chat with some of our partners for the events to discuss their involvement and the state of the industry
What trends are you seeing at the moment?
Tamar Polak, customer success team leader Nordics at AppsFlyer: 2019 was a milestone year for data privacy and transparency, as many big tech players introduced features that give consumers more control over how and when their data is collected and used. To capitalise on the positive impact this has on consumers, we can expect brands, marketers and developers to increasingly look beyond their traditional martech stack to inform their 2020 campaigns and business objectives with anonymised data throughout the customer journey. Measurement will return to the priority list as the insight that truly matters and can offer this ideal balance between valuable insight and an utmost respect for privacy.
Dominiek van Esse, MD at MobPro: We see more app marketers taking matters into their own hands and in-housing their app marketing efforts with the use of app growth professionals. A great trend as it allows for more integration with paid and owned media and ensures knowledge and insights are absorbed within the organisation.
Magith Noohukhan, evangelist at Braze: As devices allow for deeper personalisation, brands should aim to target their audience segments at the right time, in the right context, and on the right channel. That means providing users with messages relevant to them by capturing their preferences in real-time to deliver the best experience possible. Knowing when your users are engaging with your brand is also vital for determining when to engage. During office hours, it’s highly unlikely your users would check the Gmail promotions tab, but perhaps they would engage with a push during a lunch break. As a brand, you should have a tool that predicts the optimal time to engage with any one person and also which channels they prefer. Providing these relevant experiences will be table stakes in the coming years as any device we hold in our hands is quickly becoming more and more sophisticated.
Gilad Bechar, CEO & founder of Moburst: I think with the massive influx of new apps being developed and added to app stores daily. App Store Optimisation (ASO) has – and will continue to – become more important than ever. The same holds true for smart targeting in the media space too, especially when you consider the huge amounts of media from advertisers all around the globe competing for consumers’ attention. As a result, what I like to call ‘thumb-stopping creative’, among other things, has truly become more important than ever.
And what are the current challenges?
TP: The biggest challenge in the space will continue to be transparency. It will take marketers demanding full transparency from their partners, investment in new AI and machine learning technologies, a switch to smarter KPIs and a commitment to recording and reporting fraudulent activity at each level of conversion to properly tackle the scourge of ad fraud and secure the industry’s long-term health.
DvE: Using first party user data to enrich marketing efforts. Especially now that third party data usage is becoming more of a challenge, leveraging one’s own data is more important than ever. Yet we see a lot of app owners and marketers struggle preparing their data stack.
MN: Even though we’re attached to our mobile phones more than our other devices, it comes with a challenge, which is attention span. A survey taken in 2019 shows that 25 per cent of the apps were accessed only once after they were downloaded. It’s imperative for brands to provide a better onboarding experience from the very beginning and to deliver a seamless connected experience immediately after that. Having that birds-eye view of customer behaviour is now crucial— from when they download to when they abandon your app, and everything else in between. Brands can use that data to engage with lapsed users on multiple channels to get them back on board. Think about it: there were 2.47m apps on the Google play store and 1.8m on the Apple app store as of October 2019. How is your brand going to stand out?
GB: To put it simply ‘saturation’ and ‘fatigue’. Nowadays consumers are being constantly introduced to new apps and platforms, not to mention bombarded by a wave of advertisements that undoubtedly come with them. Essentially, there’s a lot of noise out there which makes standing out from the crowd harder than we’ve ever witnessed before.
Plus, we’re talking about a rapidly changing industry here where what worked to perfection only two years ago isn’t relevant anymore and consumers are tired of seeing the same thing repackaged over and over. You absolutely need to innovative if you want to succeed. As the saying goes, ‘don’t let yesterday take up too much of today’. I think that’s pretty sound advice.
What will you focus on at the event? And why?
TP: We will focus on presenting our predictions and latest trends, opportunities and challenges for mobile marketers in 2020. The mobile app economy is showing no signs of slowing down, as consumers are expected to spend a staggering $90bn in the app stores alone in 2019. Growth remains robust at 20 per cent year-over-year, according to App Annie. As the global leader in mobile attribution and marketing analytics, AppsFlyer has the largest data set in the market, measuring dozens of billions of installs in 2019. This scale gives us a unique view of the trends shaping the app marketing space.
DvE: We will share our insights and tips and tricks on how to grow your app through both paid and owned media.
MN: Every time we connect with a brand, we try and understand how they currently engage with their customers, the challenges they face, and what their goals are for the months and years ahead. This helps us to understand where they stand and how we can help them humanise their brand’s communications at scale. The format unique to Masterclass allows us to do exactly that.
GB: The big things we’re going to be focusing on will be both how to maximise your app store listings and getting users really excited about your product, which as I mentioned earlier are among the biggest challenges that mobile marketers face. These are things we specialise in at Moburst, have a great deal of experience doing, and have a lot of practical strategies and tactics you can put into action right away. But that’s all I’m going to say for now. If you want more, then you better make it to class. How’s that for a tease?
Predictions for 2020?
TP: Apps this year will need to contend with the dual pressures of increasing cost per impressions (CPIs) and the reality that most app users don’t make in-app purchases. While current data might suggest in-app ads will be the dominant approach to boosting revenue – with downloads of gaming apps that rely primarily on in-app advertising surging 150 pe rcent – we can expect the industry to pivot towards a hybrid model that aims to drive revenue through both in-app ads and purchases. Retargeting will also be key – generating additional revenue from existing paying users is crucial given the relatively low numbers of these users.
Subscriptions will be another important source of revenue in 2020. While this is model is currently prominent within streaming, dating and health & fitness apps, the largest increase in subscription revenue this year will come from gaming, following the launch of Google Stadia and Apple Arcade.
DvE: Further consolidation product and marketing to integrate owned and paid media optimisations. Moving from being blindsided by the lowest cost per install to focusing on incremental value of performance campaigns. Reactivating dormant users is an essential element of app marketing plans in 2020. In-housing and working together with experts who join the team to ensure the entire organisation learns and integrates more lies at the heart of app growth.
MN: Personalisation and relevance will play a massive role in 2020. We live in a crowded, connected world where millions of brands are trying to engage with their customers in every way possible. Devices and platforms are constantly evolving and there are multiple channels to engage with customers. On the other side, customer preferences and behaviours are changing at a faster pace than ever. This puts brands under pressure to create a seamless connected customer experience that works together with desktop, mobile, and beyond. As I mentioned earlier, knowing when to engage, the context for each experience, and having the ability to update the changing preferences of customers in real-time while respecting their privacy— all of these components factors into brands providing a world-class, personalised experience for their users to drive long-term results.
GB: People-based attribution (PBA) will be taking on a bigger role in how we as mobile marketers formulate our messaging strategies. With people using multiple devices to get online, gaining cross-channel visibility of consumer behaviour will really become the only true way to gain any real insight.
On the creative front, I’m excited to see how augmented reality will be used. As we know hardware manufacturers are already integrating those capabilities into their devices, so it’s just a matter of time before we’re seeing that technology being incorporated into campaigns on a regular basis.