Q&A with Katherine
Katherine Knight is currently the Director of Marketing at Zoosk. Having been with the company over four years, Katherine enjoys seeing the results of her mobile marketing efforts in near real-time. Prior to Zoosk, Katherine served as a senior consultant at a leading global consulting firm.
In your own words, tell us about the app that you manage?
Zoosk helps people find meaningful connections and love! It’s pretty cool to have an impact on one of the most important aspects of people’s lives – their romantic relationships.
What drove you to get started in mobile marketing?
It was by chance, really. I had previously lived and worked in Spain, and Zoosk was looking for a country manager in that region. I didn’t have any background in digital or mobile marketing at the time, but I did have the analytical problem solving skills critical for success in marketing. It just so happened that when I started working at Zoosk in 2013, mobile app install ads was just starting to emerge as key user acquisition channel. Zoosk was one of the first advertisers to invest heavily on these platforms, so I got to learn it quickly and from the ground up.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
As a mobile marketer, I have many levers I can pull to improve a potential customer’s mobile experience and help generate new highly-engaged customers. From choosing auctions to participate in, to who, where, and when an ad will be served, the type of ad creatives to use, the signup funnel, re-engagement methods, and more.
These are all factors that not only dramatically impact marketing performance, but how a potential customer views and interacts with the product. The best part? I get to see the results of my efforts in near real-time, allowing me to learn and optimize the experience quickly.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
I believe that one of the most important attributes is to have the curiosity and mindset to always keep testing. The mobile landscape changes so quickly – something that works today won’t necessarily work tomorrow, and something that worked yesterday might work again.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
At Zoosk, a quality mobile user is the same as any other quality user – a user who is engaged with our product, engages with other users, and subscribes to our service.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
For me, the strategy isn’t about converting installs, the strategy is to find the audiences that will engage with our app and optimize marketing dollars towards them. Once the new user has installed the app, funnel optimization and re-engagement through push and email are key tactics to convert installs into high-value customers.
What have you done in the past year to help better monetize your app?
There have been two critical elements that have made an impact for us this year:
- The first was developing new video ad creative concepts that worked across mobile app install ad products. This opened up new opportunities to scale in placements and channels we weren’t previously running in.
- The second was setting up server-side calls to pass back critical events captured within our database. Zoosk customers can access the product on multiple platforms – iOS, Android, mobile web, and web. In-app events just didn’t cut it for us. The ability to pass back important events no matter what platform the event occurs on not only makes our data more accurate, but also allows us to take advantage of new machine learning technologies and set multiple target CPAs that more effectively optimize further down the funnel.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing your apps?
Unlike other app marketers, at Zoosk we optimize much further down the funnel towards a subscription event, which could happen a day, a week or even a month after someone installs the app. Many times our ultimate KPI doesn’t provide enough data, so we have multiple upper funnel points we track and optimize for that give us an indication of future value.
However, this can also be misleading since different demographics have very different conversion patterns. For example, a younger user typically costs us much less to acquire as a member, but converts to a subscriber at a much lower rate. The same goes for emerging markets, like LATAM.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
Our marketing team has two main goals: one is focused around efficiency, and the other around growth and innovation. Much of our ability to stay ahead of changes and achieve our goals comes down to having a curious mindset and to always be testing. We have always had excellent leaders who instilled a culture of continuous innovation.
What do you see is the next big thing in mobile marketing?
We are now at a moment in time where mobile has become the standard for how consumers engage. As marketers we have to continue to explore new technologies such as AI and machine learning, VR, multi-touch attribution, and improved marketing automation, into our mobile marketing strategies, to better understand our customers and improve their journey and experience with our brands.
Do you plan to run re-engagement campaigns in the next 12 months?
At Zoosk, our biggest driver of conversion is when our customers become engaged with other singles on our site. Push and email are critical to helping our customers connect with each other and find success.