Published on February 19, 2014
ComboApp California Trip: Sergey Kanishchev Reports from Apps World 2014 It’s really amazing to dive deeply into the hopes and fears of the mobile industry and see first hand how it deals with turbulence and reaches out for new horizons. During Apps World North America 2014 the ComboApp team was able to join in with our colleagues, share our opinions and learn from the masters. It was a buzz of activity, with people talking around the clock about mobile apps, listening to gorgeous keynote presenters and drawing wisdom from industry leaders in panels. It was energizing to be in amongst “our people” part of a community when, normally many miles and busy schedules prevent us from connecting in such a meaningful way. Fruitful meetups with the current, new and prospective partners were filling the few moments in between presentations and workshops. Apps World (or, conferences like it) are a great time to meet as many new colleagues and partners as you can. It is a time to put your company and ideas front and center, letting the results your hard work shine bright and impress people. This conference proved the mobile industry is really maturing, building more and more knowledge and expertise with each passing year. A lot of companies who started out in a “lean startup phase,” now lead their businesses to the new heights (and higher revenues)
with smart, well thoughtout approaches that deliver measurable and achievable results to their shareholders. Top publishers admitted they’re investing much more and, are willing to invest even more, still because they see both the high revenues and potential for even greater successes. “Games bring much more revenue nowadays and we can invest more afterwards,” said Baudoin Corman, VP Publishing Americas, Gameloft. At the same time, senior marketing people at Zynga, Gameloft, Gree and other major publishers, underlined that’s its crucial to pay as much attention as possible to initial product releases and updates. Yusuf Bhijee, head of growth at Zynga specifically said that “app developers should come well prepared to battle for the paying customer” as the cost of developing chartbreaking apps and the cost of marketing those rose this year to the new levels. Specifically, they advised developers to focus on delivering high quality apps: The market is overflowing with simple, quickly and cheaply created apps. The competition is fierce these days. Quality matters. A lot time and talk was dedicated to importance of understanding where mobile revenues comes from. The speaker and audience agreed that it’s only possible to monetize products and services by understanding and extensively using analytics on a continuous basis. Many underlined that it is important to not only understand your audience, perform channel attribution and cohort segmentation, but also you need to really do something with that data. Josh Williams, CEO of Kontagent + Playhaven noted that “customizing the user experience based on the data is what allows smart app developer to succeed in effective monetization.” One the most important takeaways from Apps World is the understanding that the industry has begun to recognize that the days of big push and and large/overnight money spends are over.
Oliver Lo, founder of the industry standard analytics tool App Annie, agrees on this point: Lo admitted that most of the successful apps are still very social. So, developers should think and introduce features to drive virality and distribution across multiple channels, while effectively traIn 2014, marketing apps should and need to involve completely new strategy: We need to turn from just pushing a lot of downloads to really fine tuning strategy used to find loyal users (which developers spend so much money and effort to acquire). In order to see revenue, developers have to track the whole user journey and develop a profound understanding how to get very personal and interact with their users effectively. cking the whole user journey from seeing the ad/downloading to making their first inapp purchase or engaging with inapp content. As the level and the bar of sophistication in mobile marketing is rising. It is vital for app owners to have the ability to not only effectively aggregate data, but to also turn it into actionable steps that drive high lifetime user values. In 2014, the only effective way for a standalone developer to not only reach the breakeven point, but to find your app in world leading top grossing charts, is to find a trusted partner or agency to help avoid all the hidden traps of mobile user acquisition, data analysis and user engagement. These are the takeaways we at ComboApp pulled from Apps World 2014. Serg Kanishchev, Director of Marketing
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