Q&A with Cassie
Cassie Chernin is currently the Senior Digital Marketing Manager of Display & App at HomeAdvisor. Cassie manages all aspects of display marketing and joined the company a few months ahead of their first mobile app release. Prior to HomeAdvisor, Cassie sharpened her marketing chops at Gemvara, learning all aspects of digital marketing including online, SEM, retention marketing, affiliate marketing and radio.
In your own words, tell us about the app that you manage?
The HomeAdvisor app is a free app that makes it incredibly easy to find a trusted professional for your home project. After answering a few quick questions, you are matched with the perfect pro(s) for your project. Our goal in the next year is to continue to evolve our app to create an even more seamless experience between the homeowner and pro.
What drove you to get started in mobile marketing?
When I moved to NYC, I started working at Babbel, a language learning company founded in Germany that was looking to expand into the US market. I realized the value of getting your app on someone’s phone is so much greater than sending a user through the mobile web or desktop experience. When I started at HomeAdvisor, I was chosen to spearhead the mobile marketing initiative to start marketing our app.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
It’s constantly evolving. The big thing today could be gone in a year. I move fast and I like a channel that will move fast with me.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
- Get a structure in place to track and analyze your data properly. For instance, at HomeAdvisor, before we ever started scaling our marketing we tested a few partners, understood how our app monetized, and built out a lifetime value model that allowed us to be stringent in our selection of partners but also flexible to test many different strategies. With this dynamic model, we’re able to drive high quality, ROI positive installs.
- Maintain and grow your partnerships. Collaborate with your partners to drive success, share your wins across channels, and work together to achieve success. Don’t trust that everyone has your best interest at heart, so grow your relationships with your partners to make sure everyone is fighting for the same goals.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
A quality mobile user for HomeAdvisor is a loyal and engaged user. We want a consumer to use our app to find pros for all 6-8 home projects (the average number of projects a homeowner completes per year).
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
As a first step, you always want to effectively communicate what your app is for and what problem(s) it solves within your ads and in the app store. If you showcase the unique value proposition clearly, a user has the expectation of what they will do in the app—and from there, I believe it’s quite easy. Drive quality installs, then downloads will become engaged users over time.
What have you done in the past year to help better monetize your app?
We’ve only been doing app marketing at HomeAdvisor for a little over a year. I recommend creating a system for analyzing your app that goes beyond a target ‘CPI’ and involves optimizing your partners and your creative to in-app conversion goals, in addition to the CPI. You’ll see that you can scale faster and more efficiently.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing your apps?
I believe the biggest challenge for the HomeAdvisor app is getting people to keep it on their phones—they likely aren’t using it everyday. With so much competition for the inventory on someone’s phone, we want to make the app a necessity for everyday homeowner’s lives and we’re working towards achieving that.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
Constant communication with all of my partners about new opportunities, betas, and their thoughts on the industry. Sometimes even taking the sales pitch calls to see what’s new and interesting.
What do you see is the next big thing in mobile marketing?
Historically this industry was dominated by gaming companies who were looking for quick, cheap installs and they weren’t too concerned with targeting, attribution, or ROI. If I’m being selfish, I can hope the next big thing is integrated cost data with the tracking partners. Not having centralized cost data makes our job as marketers more difficult. I think the next big thing will either be better user targeting or multi-touch attribution.
Do you plan to run re-engagement campaigns in the next 12 months?
We haven’t tested re-engagement campaigns yet because we see strong repeat rates in the app and we work on a last-touch LTV model. It is something we’re thinking about testing in the next year though. We don’t currently value app usage without a conversion, so the goal would have to be driving incremental conversions. I hate the word ‘incremental’ because generally it’s hard to track.