Mobile Marketing Uncracked Unpanel


Last week, Apsalar and our great partner Glispa hosted a presentation and “unpanel” focused on the best strategies and tactics for driving mobile app growth. We thought we’d provide a little instant replay here for those that couldn’t attend. More than 70 brands registered for this SF event. So a big thank you to all that attended. Speakers from Apsalar (VP Marketing Jim Nichols) and Glispa (US GM Nancy Do Roberts) were joined by two true app industry experts – each from a very different segment of the market:

Jessica Grant – Lead User Acquisition Manager, Zynga
Dan Schulman – Head of SEM, Viator

Jessica and Dan are well-known for their smarts and candor, and we were fortunate to have them as integral participants in our event. Thank you both so much!

We called this event an “unpanel” because our format incorporated something a little different. Instead of having on-stage speakers and an audience, we turned everyone into a participant, so we could all benefit from the discussions and ideas of everyone.  The content portion of the event focused on five key themes we think warrant the attention of app leaders and UA specialists in particular:

1. The big “shift” in marketer thinking, from a focus on installs at any cost to a push for outstanding user quality.

As we have discussed in this blog on several occasions, user quality is a concept that encompasses a lot of characteristics that make a user valuable to an app business. All installs are not the same, and high quality users are those that represent the most value to an app business. Some measures of app user quality include:

1. High Revenue and ARPU
2. High engagement rates
3. Strong user retention and persistence
4. Low uninstall rates

Based on our thousands of discussions with industry stakeholder over the past year, we’ve witnessed a sea change in that now marketers are far less focused on vanity install counts and more on ensuring that the users they attract are of significant value to the business. Installs still matter – a lot – but there is a strong sense that it’s quality installs that we all need to be driving.

app user quality unreveal

app user quality reveal

Glispa echoed this by saying that they have focused significant time and attention optimizing programs to post-install metrics like registrations and purchases. Nancy spoke authoritatively on how clients expect and value media partners that can deliver users of extraordinary quality.

2. Best new formats and channels for UA

Apsalar and Glispa reviewed data on the channels and creative formats that are really gaining traction in the marketplace. Four of the key areas of growth discussed were:

The 218% increase in video-driven installs, year over year.
The 225% increase we’ve seen in cross-marketing programs and spend.
The 200% increase in installs driven by so-called native ad formats.
The continued strength (+20%) in installs driven by incentivized download programs.

Incentivized is always a hot topic for discussion because the category has a checkered reputation. Few doubt its ability to generate scads of installs, lickety-split, but many wonder openly about

growing channels

whether any of those installs are quality installs. Our panel of speakers focused on the need to think more granularly about incentivized installs, and the very real need to choose your partners and programs wisely for best results. In the right circumstances and with the right partners,  it can be an effective tool. But vigilance is essential.

3. The rise of the app marketing experts

On this particular trend, there was lots of agreement. Both the panel and the room seemed united in the thinking that app marketing really is different from other types of marketing, and the industry values in-category experience. The continued growth in the number of unfilled app marketing roles globally is proof of this.

hot and not

While many in the industry have “migrated” from other arenas of digital, there was widespread acceptance of the idea that app marketing has many unique characteristics that must be understood and mastered if a marketer is to be effective.

4. The importance of retention rates and uninstalls

We focused significant attention on these two critical measures. Apsalar shared its first benchmark figures for uninstall rates, as well as other research pointing to the growing role of remarketing in-app promotion plans:


user retention

5. Growing importance of publisher/partner transparency

Discussion highlighted how most brands are now sharing more information with their partners to improve media precision and optimization efforts.  Both buy and sell side pointed out how information sharing is an increasing important and expected characteristic of a media relationship.


At the conclusion of our event, we broke into smaller discussion groups focused on the most important trends we highlighted. This provided an opportunity for everyone to discuss and share what they are seeing in their categories, and where they think the market is headed. These sorts of free form discussions can be absolutely invaluable, and we were fortunate to have a group of attendees that was so erudite and willing to share.

Again, we would like to thank all of the attendees for a great event. And a special thanks to Dan, Jessica and the Glispa team for being great partners! here are just a few pictures from this great event!

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