Growing Pains: Focusing Past The Install

April, 23 2018

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Ben Nolan
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Ben Nolan
Articles, Events

WeWork KüDamm - what a spot!Well, it took a while, but the Priori Data event train is rolling again! Last Thursday night we met up with about 50 people from Berlin's amazing mobile community to talk post-install tactics with an all-star speaker list from some of the city's top mobile companies. It was great to catch up with everyone, and a really nice surprise to see some of the people from our very first Conquer The App Store meetup 3 years ago. We were hosted AppsFlyer in their amazing WeWork office, so a big shout out goes to Ben Jeger and the team for their support!


We kicked off with a keynote from Sylvia Lorente van Berge Henegouwen, who got straight down to data, digging into the experimentation she and her team conducted while in the process of taking Uber-for-fortunetelling app Fortunica to a top 3 grossing lifestyle app in 10+ markets. Guess where the experimentation started?

Key takeaways from Sylvia's talk were: 

  • Data and tools are great, but don't wait to start experimenting. It's the fastest way to learn about your customers and your market.

  • Understanding goes deeper than data. Find out however you can what is stopping your users from giving you money and focus on removing these obstacles or rephrasing your offering to open the revenue stream.  

  • Don't be afraid to test solutions that seem non-scalable. Almost everything can be made to scale if it works, and if you don't try the hacks, you never know what you're missing out on. 

  • A key part of experimenting is being adaptable. Get things wrong, but then follow through with changing the failed test - too many companies test but don't action the results. 

If you have questions for Sylvia, she's on Twitter here

Following Sylvia's presentation, we jumped straight into a panel discussion that turned into a bit of a deep-dive into user segmentation. We'd initially planned to talk more about the whole post-install funnel, but this is such a deep set of topics that we might need to do a whole series of meetups on them!


We were very lucky to be joined by Adeline from Clue, Nico from Inkitt, Volkmar from Fluffy Fairy Games (creators of Idle Miner Tycoon) and Jegor from hot social app Yodel for the panel. It was fantastic to have such experienced panelists, but also almost a shame, as we definitely felt that we could have asked each of them more questions to each answer. We might have to have some follow up blog posts to discuss further! 


The panel started off with a discussion of tools/stacks. It turned out that of the panelists, 50% were using completely bespoke tools for analytics, and both other panelists were using hacked set-ups of available tools combined with self-built add-ons. Coming from the market/competitive intel space, this surprised us a lot - there is definitely less custom-building going on in competitive intel! My takeaway for this is that there are still opportunities for innovative measurement companies to extend their product lines to remove some of the "bespoke burden" from their clients. I'd be interested to see how this looks in newer companies already - analytics tools are getting pretty good, and I'd imagine that most new startups in mobile may not even need to custom build anything. 


After tools, we talked about metrics, and this is where the biggest takeaway for me came out. As a company that sells MAU, DAU and other usage and retention information, we have the standard metrics in our heads a lot, so it was a bit of a surprise to hear Jegor mention that WAU is not that important to him. His advice was to define your KPI specifically to your business goals - which makes total sense. The example he used was that if (the value driving) use case is creating a post, it's better to use WAP -weekly active poster - (than WAU for eg). It also fits in well with Sylvia's comment that understanding goes deeper than data. It's not about the metric, but the result that you're aiming for! 


From there, we covered experimentation and "whose job is it anyway?", which is an interesting question we get from some of our more corporate clients who sometimes struggle with executing experimentation and growth hacking. In the companies represented on our panel, it was a 50/50 split between product and marketing teams, but the message from the panelists was firmly: it should be the job of both functions, and cross-functional co-operation is crucial for success. 


We moved from there to churn, which was an interesting topic - especially when you have such a diverse set of businesses on the panel. The key points our panelists mentioned for this question were based on understanding what churn looks like for your specific business. For gaming, churn is very fast - you have almost no time to catch it and hold the user, whereas for Clue, it's totally fine to not see a user for 2 to 3 weeks. Each panelist emphasised that understanding and communicating with the user in a voice that fits with the product and situation is really important. Contextual push notifications seem to be the favourite here. 


Our last question for the panelists was "if you could give one piece of advice to our audience, that they should take back to work with them, what would it be?"

  • Adeline: Don't force metrics on yourself. Come up with your own definitions for churn, and understand what makes for your business. Talk to your users and understand what is really going on, so you can associate the right real world results with your measurements. 
  • Volkmar: Hypothesis first, then data. Too many people look at the data to come up with an explanation for what's happening, rather than having an hypothesis first, and testing it properly with metrics. 

  • Nico: Mobile is fast paced, and so it's important to trust your gut and make decisions, then test, rather than getting stuck in experimentation-paralysis. 

  • Jegor: Brand your metrics. The key is to define (qualitatively, then confirm quantitatively where possible) the activity metrics that make sense for your business (and individual cohorts if you can pinpoint them). Once defined, branding helps with the commitment part -- it appears to be easier to get the team vested on something that's clearly explained (why this metric exactly?), as well as named in a way that's memorable and easy to use.

After the panel finished up, we were spoiled with great food and free-flowing BRLO beer, thanks to AppsFlyer and WeWork, and everyone had the chance to chat to the panelists and meet some new people. It was great to catch up with everyone and another reminder for the Priori team how much support we've had from the community to get where we are today (we announced our acquisition recently). So a big thanks to everyone for their ongoing support, to Ben and the AppsFlyer team for hosting us in their awesome office space, to Sylvia for flying all the way from her new digs in Amsterdam to share with us, and to our great panelists!  

Pssst. Want to check out something new and shiny? We've launched usage and audience analysis tools in the Priori dashboard! 

>> Get a tour of our new data

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