Mobile Apps Unlocked Recap

The 4th annual Mobile Apps Unlocked Conference in Las Vegas came to an end and it’s clear that mobile app marketing is growing ever so quickly and is here to stay! Over a thousand leaders from top mobile brands, networks and agencies gathered for a two-day event, jam packed with learning and networking.

Some Mobile Takeaways

The first noticeable takeaway from this event was that there was a common theme of breaking down marketing silos across top brands, such as Jet.com. When vetting out new technology and tools Brands need to think whether they have the right audience in the room. Acquisition Marketers, Product Marketers, and both iOS and Android Engineers should all be collaborating together when creating your tech stack. They need to make sure to alleviate issues such as the overuse of SDKs or roadblocks on any front when collecting and transferring data across multiple databases. This methodology is something that we think more companies should aspire to.

Tactics that are tried and true were also reinforced at the event. The most obvious (and common) tactic discussed was optimizing beyond the install. Optimizing towards the install is a very old idea that we don’t need to elaborate on. All you need to know is that if you’re thinking this way – pivot your strategy!

Another tactic is audience segmentation and audience sharing. This is alive and very necessary in app marketing for both acquisition and engagement. mParticle released their P2P Audience Sharing that is bound to be a game changer. This platform allows data owners from one brand to build their audience and opt to share it with another brand. Once both brands accept each other audiences, they can then use them to give users interconnected experiences and improve customer satisfaction. Go check it out.

Let’s keep moving!

Apple and Google at Mobile Apps Unlock Conference

The mobile beasts have awoken and know the potential of the app space and are working tirelessly to capitalize on it. While good on paper, transparency is what advertisers need, but aren’t getting. At the conference questions around their lack of visibility to some of their new features weren’t answered, to the disappointment of many companies.

One such company was Apple. They recently began releasing new features in their Search Ads platform, though simple features like rolling up your data in one screen are not yet available. However, we have no doubt they’ll get there with time. Their most underdeveloped feature is the Search Popularity feature to project reach. The values assigned are indexed on a 1-100 scale, so there’s no way to estimate reach prior to launching. When addressed at the conference, they danced around the question, mentioning advertisers should keep their focus on other areas in their strategy and not to worry about volume. Regardless of volume, Apple is driving great quality installs. Proof of this is in AppsFlyer’s H2 2016 Performance Index. Apple comes in hot for their first time in the iOS rankings rating 1st in retention and 3rd in overall installs in Non-Gaming in North America. If you’re not running Apple Search Ads, you have some catching up to do.

Google, another company where advertisers wished they could get more answers from, continues to pump out new app inventory at a rapid pace. Native Ads in Play & new ad slots on the Home, Search and Watch page to Universal App Campaigns are just a few examples of Google’s new additions. All we need is the key to the black box. The lack of visibility into these different ad types leaves us clueless as to what is performing best. For years, we’ve asked Google for the ability to segment Google Play vs Google mWeb traffic on Search App Install Campaigns and haven’t gotten anywhere. It’s safe to say your brand traffic should all be mobile web since Google stopped serving brand ads in the Google Play Store to give users a better experience. But what about nonbrand? We asked this question at MAU, which was bumped to the top of the question cue from all of the “thumbs up” engagement in the crowd. Again, we’re told to “trust the algorithm”, but the lack of transparency makes advertisers hesitant to make big investments into the unknown. These challenges aside, Google continues to be a leader providing an endless pit of inventory ranking in the top 3 on AppsFlyer’s 2016 H2 Performance Index for both installs and retention. To finish off on the most exciting news Google released at the conference – a new product was announced that will be feed-based Dynamic Remarketing App campaigns. Can’t wait to test it out!

It’s exciting to see the conference continue to grow and I hope that next year’s content will get a little more in the weeds, as most attendees are looking for more than just high level information. Props to Adam Lovallo and the rest of the Grow.co team for putting on a fantastic conference – looking forward to next year!

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