Late November is a great time of year in Berlin. It rains, it snows, you don’t see the sun more than once a week… you know the drill. So I’ve always wondered how Matt, James, Andrew and Lauren manage to fly out here and put together a top-notch mobile event. Not to mention it’s at the same time as mobile/startup favourite Slush in Helsinki… It’s definitely an impressive feat.
Our CEO Patrick presenting at the App Promotion Summit Berlin
We’ve been visiting APS for a few years now, as for us it’s a great place to meet marketing and product leaders from great developers and brands looking at the mobile space. We held the keynote for the 3rd year in a row, which we feel is a great way to give back to community. We sit on a lot of valuable data, so it’s nice to be able to get up on stage and share some of the learnings of the year with the ecosystem. You can see the keynote here:
What to see and do
One of the best parts of APS is that it’s still relatively small, which is great for two reasons: you get to meet a lot of great people just walking around, rather than being stuck in huge flows of people like you would be at a large event like GamesCom, and because it means the organisers can facilitate more intimate knowledge sharing as a big part of the agenda. A great example of this is the workshops that are held free of charge, which are longer sessions that deep dive into very specific topics. We bought some of our clients to the event and their feedback was that these workshops were by far the most valuable part of the day, apart from catching up with their favourite app store intel provider, of course!
Aside from the great content, there are several opportunities throughout the day to mingle and network. Meal times are great for this, as is the APS Quiz, where everyone gets together toward the end of the day in the hotel ballroom, mixes themselves a cocktail (this year it was something with gin, last year a delicious take on a French 75), and answers questions about the app economy in a bid to win fancy prizes. As the tables are mixed, it’s a nice way to get to know new people and wind down after a full day of learning (and get some rest before the evening program kicks off). Another great initiative that kicked off this year is the App Growth Awards, which celebrates exceptional performance in the industry, either in product concepts, marketing, tools or outstanding individual performance. With changes on the board to make this section of the evening even bigger and better for next year, the App Growth Awards will be a must see.
Priori Data, winner of the App Growth Awards 2017 in the category "App Analytics Platform"
What we learned this time around
Everyone is hot for influencer marketing. Not everyone has worked out how to think about it yet, and there is a bit of (potentially unhealthy) hype around it, which is unfortunate, as it is a legitimate channel. Measurement is still tricky though, which means that there are less savoury companies taking advantage of that. It’s still a bit “wild west”, but there are definitely wins to be had for companies that are confident in their measurement and have a good understanding of attribution.
ASO is still a big theme for a lot of people. Everyone is talking about it, lots of tools and agencies are all over helping developers with it. Just my personal opinion here, but I don’t get it. For most developers, it’s a matter of tiny percentage points of optimization after an initial effort (which is important, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not everything). Compared to the difference getting a solid UA/BI data stack sorted can make (think cutting fraud in half, for example, and making UA spend much more efficient), ASO seems to get a lot of coverage. I’d love to hear stories from devs about how much of a difference ASO over time has made for them - but until then, it’s a question mark in my book.
Speaking of UA/BI stacks, it was interesting to see more companies offering tools for UA data analysis. Companies like Tenjin, Appsumer, Voluum and more are really pushing the value of cost analysis, LTV modelling and really digging into your data, which is great. I still think there is work to be done in making these tools easier to integrate and use for non-technical marketers, but progress is being made, and that’s exciting. The sooner the industry can enable marketers to own their data and take advantage of it, the better, in our opinion.
Tips for APS
- Plan your schedule ahead of time. The workshops are great, but as they’re not always right next to the main conference area, it’s good to know where you want to go and get there ahead of time, so you’re set up and ready to go when it starts. There aren’t too many times where you can get up close and personal with consultants and expert practitioners of this calibre for free, so make the most of it!
- Don’t miss the food! The venue is one of Berlin’s nicest hotels - as you’ll see from the guests (and their outfits) in the sitting room as you walk through to the event area - and they make great food. It’s a long day (starting at 9 and finishing well after midnight if you hit the networking party (which you should!) so keeping up the energy with tasty snacks is definitely a good plan!
- Stay for the weekend. APS is usually on Thursday, and there are lots of great companies to visit on the Friday. Berlin is home to some of the world’s leading companies in mobile measurement, attribution, advertising, not to mention great developers (and the best app market analytics company)! Then enjoy the weekend in the most fun city in Europe.