No, this blog post isn’t about the Four Seasons’ hit from 1975.
The highlight of the evening was a fantastic panel discussion with five of the mobile app world’s biggies:
- Manish Chandra – Founder and CEO of Poshmark
- Peter Morelli– VP of Engineering for Lyft
- Nikhil Raj– Cofounder Comp Genome and Venture Partner at Commerce Ventures. Previously VP of Advertising Technology, Walmart eComm
- Alessandra Sales– Director of Marketing for Smule
- Manu Sharma– VP Growth and Data Science for Shopkick
The topics ranged over many of the critical topics of app marketing, from new ways to drive quality installs to how creating engagement after the install is becoming a major focus for sophisticated app marketers in most every vertical.
A few of the key takeaways:
Data-Driven Marketing: We’ve seen it reflected in our user logs, where customers spend more time and conduct more analysis, month over month over month. But as our panelists spoke, you can hear the incredible depth of their focus on customer data of all types in driving strategic and tactical optimization. These folks are the industry’s best and brightest, so perhaps there should be no surprise here. But the breadth and depth of their ability to discuss data-driven insights speaks very well for both the present and future of our industry.
Deeply Understanding Customers: While many companies in our space are only now reflecting the importance of ongoing app user and customer relationships in their marketing, these leaders were clearly thinking a lot about how to extend and perpetuate rich customer relationships. And a key element of such relationships comes from understand users better – both holistically and as individuals. What most struck me as a listener was in how consumer understanding is evolving from a focus on specific user actions to one in which a great deal of energy is spent aggregating those actions and reflecting on their meaning.
Personalization: Understanding users and reflecting that in marketing efforts needs to take place on both a holistic and an individual level. Rich user insights can help shape our overall approaches, while individual-level learnings help us personalize and customize programs and communications.
Right Place/Time/Message: It’s the world’s most overused cliché, but the idea of knowing when, how, and how often to communicate with users makes a big difference in our ability to foster ongoing and profitable user relationships.
If I may make a personal observation, what most impressed me was the collective focus on earning and being worthy of user trust. That the approach of these leading marketers isn’t to figure out how much marketing we can get away with but rather how much creates the sort of genuine connections that are essential for the long-term vitality of an app business.
While that may sound a bit elementary, consider for a moment how few PC-centric companies walk the talk of this principle in all of their actions. Do clothing retailers, for example, really think people want two emails a day during the holidays?