Top Takeaways From AppBoy’s LTR Summit

By John Koetsier May 3, 2017

At Singular, our goal is to help grow the app industry by participating in key mobile strategy discussions wherever they occur. Last week Singular attended AppBoy’s Long-Term Relationship Conference, where mobile marketing strategy and product leaders gathered to discuss the future of mobile marketing and user communication. The event focused on today’s rapidly evolving mobile app marketing stack and featured talks with innovators at companies like Lyft, Ibotta, OkCupid and Wallapop (all Singular customers!). Here are top mobile marketing strategy takeaways from the event:

1. An inflection point for “buy vs. build”

OkCupid historically built most of its mobile app analytics services in-house. Yet things have changed in recent years as the team has started to hook more third-party services into their mobile app marketing stack. “For most our history we felt we were ahead of the curve, but many of these components have rapidly advanced over the years,” said Mike Cirello, Software Architect at OkCupid, who mentioned mParticle, Looker, Amplitude, and AppBoy as some third-party tools used by his team. Cirello’s sentiment echoed that of several speakers who reported that their mobile app marketing teams are using more third-party vendors to achieve efficiency gains in areas like data management, data processing, product experimentation and customer support.

For Lyft, the decision to build or buy components of its mobile app marketing stack largely comes down to speed. As Milan Thakor, Lyft’s Passenger Engagement Lead, said:

“We need to know [the third party] moves really quickly and will build faster than us, and that their vision is aligned with ours.”

2. The danger of disconnected data feeds

In recent years there’s been an exponential increase in the number of mobile marketing data feeds inside organizations, said Michael Katz, Founder of mParticle. Marketers, meanwhile, have quickly learned that siloed data can lead to poor user experiences. For instance, if mobile app customer data is not connected to marketing automation, a user who submits a complaint because of an incorrect order might still get emailed with new deals prior to the complaint being resolved. Or an iOS or Android app user visiting a city might receive location-specific offers in that city even after they’ve departed. It’s clear how those two experiences could frustrate app users. To avoid such messaging mishaps, companies must ensure that their marketing tools effectively communicate with their customer data.

3. Optimizing for downstream events

Bait and switch ads might drive high iOS and Android app ad click rates, but they don’t pay off in the long run, said Rich Donahue, Ibotta’s SVP of Marketing. Instead, Ibotta optimizes its ads and messaging for downstream events, including testing 97 different onboarding flows in its Android or iOS app. In addition, Ibotta runs cross-channel messaging tests that leverage interconnected analytics systems — for instance, tests to determine how paid ads affect the open rates of emails and push notifications.

The Wallapop business, a mobile marketplace for secondhand goods, is similarly focused on optimizing its user acquisition and re-engagement for key actions in its app. Users of Wallapop who haven’t opened a conversation with a seller in the first 7 days after registration are much more likely to drop off, said Nicolás Herrero, Wallapop’s Lead Data Scientist. Such mobile app strategy findings have led to Wallapop building campaigns around custom events and triggering messages if a user hasn’t performed a certain action within a given period of time.

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