Mobile Games Blog


Growth opportunities for 2017 at Mobile Apps Unlocked

by Briana Billingham on May 4, 2017’s Mobile Apps Unlocked (MAU) event hit Vegas again for the third year in a row. This year’s event was held at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. Just as at past events, it certainly didn’t disappoint. Mobile growth leaders, media buyers and user acquisition specialists from around the globe came to share industry news, swap knowledge and share tips and tricks for user acquisition.

Yesterday, AppLovin’s own CRO, Mark Rosner, moderated a panel a titled “Growth Opportunities for 2017.” The panel focused on new opportunities for companies to maximize growth in 2017, and included industry experts such as Mark Braatz, GM & VP of Growth at TextNow, Chris Gaglia, Senior Director of Advertising at Phunware, Eric Ma, VP of User Acquisition at Scopely, and Thomas Pan, Rider Performance Marketing Lead at Uber.

AppLovin Mobile Apps Unlocked growth opportunities blog image

The panel discussed several emerging direct strategies for growth on mobile, including Apple’s App Store search ads, and paid opportunities on platforms like Pinterest and Snapchat. The speakers shared how their companies are testing and what level of success they are seeing on these new platforms in maximizing growth opportunities. For example, panelists all agreed that even though Apple search is fairly new, it shows promise, especially when leveraging it for cross-promotion–even if you’re paying for it. Uber’s Thomas Pan touched on Snapchat, saying that Uber is testing it out and trying to figure out where it fits in the funnel.

The speakers agreed that direct growth strategies are generally best to try before you dive into less direct opportunities, like TV. According to Pan, tracking TV is not impossible, and it can be part of your growth strategy, but it’s best to focus on the more direct efforts first and then layer in TV. TextNow’s Braatz agreed, but added that after you’ve been buying via programmatic and direct platforms, TV can be a good way to increase brand recognition and recent innovations in this sector have made it more trackable.

The panel also touched on how to combine various growth strategies for an event bigger impact. Phunware’s Chris Gaglia talked about the idea of location promotion combined with rewarded video to increase customer loyalty, something that Phunware is testing. He gave an interesting example where a user would get five points for watching a rewarded video for a taco brand, then five more for redeeming a coupon at the actual store. Scopely’s Eric Ma gave his take on playable ads, noting that they have a real potential to be combined with other types of promotion for 2-3x the results. He noted that because they are more engaging, and because they’re so interactive, they can be less targeted and capture a greater audience.

The panel closed out with the panelists sharing their thoughts on which companies are doing a great job growing their businesses in 2017. Ma brought up Color Switch, because they’re smart and innovative about how they target their users and use social influencers. Gaglia cited Amazon, saying they are dominating in digital to take a huge piece away from brick-and-mortar stores. Pan said that Google does really well at cross-promoting their products, and both Braatz and Rosner favored Wish, saying that they are great at keeping their users coming back and engaging on a regular basis.

2017 has brought several new platforms (or new developments on old platforms) that provide companies new opportunities for growth. We appreciate the opportunity the MAU conference gave us and other industry leaders to share and lean. We look forward to next year!

Briana Billingham is AppLovin’s global events manager.

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