Q&A with Erman
Originally from Turkey, Erman Akar studied Biology in college but fell in love with the science of marketing. Before moving into mobile, Erman managed web search and social campaigns for several online businesses. Erman moved to Berlin in 2016 and now works as a senior marketing manager at StepStone, one of Germany’s leading mobile job boards, matching candidates with companies in over 24 countries.
Read Erman’s blog: “Stop Wasting Time. Evaluate New Traffic Sources Like A Pro.”
In your own words, tell us about the apps that you manage?
The StepStone Job app makes it easy for people to find their dream job. Users can search and apply for local jobs or set up alerts for relevant positions to get notified in the app. I manage mobile ad campaigns for Android and iOS in several European countries including Germany, our biggest market.
How did you get started in mobile marketing?
I experimented with mobile marketing campaigns as an Online Marketing Manager at a number of different companies, but I got fully immersed into mobile marketing when I worked for Peak Games, a mobile gaming publisher in Istanbul. I was new to mobile, having previously managed only web campaigns. But luckily, I joined a team of extremely talented people with a great product. Very quickly I was hooked on the data-driven approach to app marketing and the potential of the mobile industry in general. I’ve been working on mobile ever since.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
I love that mobile marketing is fast-paced, strongly rooted in data, and with a very ambitious goal: asking millions of users to carry their product in their pockets, at all times, and include it in their daily lives. I love the challenge, especially when it’s backed up with a great product and ad campaigns that perform. At the same time, the mobile industry keeps coming up with new ideas and technologies to make this goal more attainable, which is exciting.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
Success comes from knowing how to make decisions based on data, and make them quickly. Mobile marketers need to have easy access to the data they need and always be testing. Success also relies on collaboration. Aligning goals with product and creative teams establishes trust and paves the path to better results in the long term.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
Broadly speaking, a quality user for StepStone is someone who makes an informed decision to use our platform on their journey to find their dream job. More specifically, we assign monetary values to different in-app events and have evolving goals for different cohorts which we track, measure and optimize.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged app users?
Improving user engagement starts with messaging and understanding the user funnel. At StepStone, we know that finding a job you love takes time and effort. We start with a clear message in our ads and focus on making the experience as easy and straightforward as possible. Once the user is in, we make sure to suggest the most relevant job postings. More relevant suggestions lead to improved in-app engagement.
In the past year, what is one tip you can share which made the biggest performance difference with UA or re-engagement of your app?
The best advice is to keep reports up-to-date to get answers to questions quickly. Staying on top of our reporting helps us detect fraud, optimize specific channels, test creatives more effectively, and ultimately improve performance.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
I follow blogs and attend events from leading companies in the mobile marketing industry, such as MMPs and major ad networks like Google. Though I left mobile gaming, I still follow their news and find it a great resource. I also ask many questions and favor transparency in my communication with partners.
What do you see as the next big thing in mobile marketing?
Multi-touch attribution and AI will allow marketers to follow users from the very first impression and take into account a wider variety of signals. This will result in a deeper understanding of the user path and improved performance. Google UAC already applies this approach; I expect this approach to improve and become the industry default.
What advice can you offer to help marketers combat mobile ad fraud?
Be cautious about adding a new partner to your traffic sources. Encourage full transparency, be clear with your expectations, and stay on top of your cohorts and reporting. If you find fraud, immediately reach out to responsible partners to block the fraudulent traffic. Your partner should be supportive and credit you back for that traffic. At the same time, if fraud consistently keeps coming up in your reports, consider scaling up on another source.