Q&A with Marc
Don’t miss Marc’s blog post about how he merges app feature engagement metrics with CAC by channel/campaign/ad set (all the way to the creative/ad copy) to report which features are the most valuable for their app.
Marc Atiyeh was formerly Chief Strategy Officer at Clarity Money where he focused on growth efforts that included: User Acquisition, Operations, Partnerships, and Marketing. Prior to joining Clarity Money, Marc was the Head of Growth at Paribus where he ramped up to almost 1,000,000 users in 12 months until they were acquired by Capital One. He’s fluent in English, French, and Arabic, with conversational skills in Spanish and Italian. Besides squash, he enjoys playing tennis, basketball, and poker.
In your own words, tell us about the app(s) that you manage?
We are a group of smart, technology savvy people who have budgets and expenses just like you – and we often find it frustrating to deal with them.
In today’s overworked and noisy world, we are all busy and pulled in many different directions. Sometimes it feels as though we are being taken advantage of by big banks and corporations.
We built Clarity Money to fix that. We believe consumers want a financial advocate and transparency in their lives. Our hard work, thousands of hours of research and powerful technology have created an easy and secure mobile tool like no other, one that will forever change the way you think about finances, savings and managing your money.
Our solutions provide the following:
– Transparency that empowers you
– Help uncover wasteful accounts and cancel them
– Lowering bills
– Free credit score
– Finding better deals on credit cards and other services
– Keeping you organized and in control of your busy financial life
What drove you to get started in mobile marketing?
I studied Engineering and Computer Science at Harvard. In the summer of 2013, I joined Flurry (a mobile ad-tech company that got acquired by Yahoo!) as an operations analyst. Subsequently, I was offered a full time job starting in August of 2014. By the time I started, Yahoo! had acquired Flurry. I spent 1 year at Flurry/Yahoo working with Marketers and Publishers across the landscape.
I quickly realized my passion in leveraging data, and macroeconomic behaviors to maximize exposure and UA. I thought that applying the quantitative background to marketing would go a long way. I joined my brother and co-founder of Paribus (Paribus.co) in the summer of 2015 as the Head of Growth. We were 3 people back then. It took me a few weeks to learn the ins and outs of mobile marketing beyond ad networks. I quickly learned about the gamut of channels for growth and read a few books/articles about the topic. I believed that the best way to learn, is to get my hands dirty.
We were able to grow the company to ~1,000,000 users before getting acquired by Capital One in October of 2016. I had a tough decision to make, leaving Paribus wasn’t easy. A few days after the acquisition, I got introduced to Clarity Money and met with Adam Dell, Founder and CEO. I wanted to learn even more about mobile marketing and expand my horizons beyond hitting a given CAC. I was hired as the CSO of Clarity Money in November. A few weeks after I joined, I grew a waitlist of 10,000 users with virtually no money. We launched on January 4th of 2017. We’ve already hit 300,000 users on the platform.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
I really like the fact that you can measure EVERYTHING. In our line of business success and failure is really well determined and there are no gray areas. I enjoy testing, learning, iterating, scaling. I live by those 4 words (in that order).
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
I believe it takes a lot of reading/learning and seeing what’s out there. Things move very fast in our line of business and the players of yesterday may or may not be relevant today. I believe it’s all about finding 2-3 golden nuggets that are going to help you scale to 10M and beyond. As a marketer, you’re in control. You make changes, and results usually start showing within a few days. It takes a lot of discipline, patience and know-how.
It also requires some sales experience and negotiation skills. There are a lot of good SaaS companies and potential partners in the space. Some of them are similar in their offering. Therefore there is still the human aspect that comes into play, topped by gut feeling on who you want to go on the journey with.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
A quality user for us, is someone who not only interacts with the app (links an account, interacts with the different features, refers friends, etc.), but someone who’s willing to go above and beyond to offer feedback and help Clarity Money become recognizable. Some of the biggest product decisions have been driven by a hybrid of data (of course) and real user feedback. As a marketer, I quickly realized that the most honest/direct feedback is the most valuable.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
Beyond having a good product, I believe on-boarding the user the right way is key. Because of the nature of what we do and the fact that the space is quite crowded, we really only have 30s to 1min to show people the value we provide.
We invested in customer support very early on at the company and we have embedded a chat icon to help address any confusion in our app, but more important to gather as much feedback as possible. A user who had a bad experience with the app, but received stellar customer service becomes one of your most loyal and valuable users.
I’ll also add the fact that we built an app with “tiles” that looks like an Instagram feed because we ultimately want the user to customize their experience and tell us if they want to kill a “tile” (feature) all together.
What have you done in the past year to help better monetize your app?
We’re only 3 months old, but I believe personalization of our feed is going to be key here, alongside transparency and living by our mission of only recommending financial products that objectively better user’s financial wellness.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing your apps?
Competition is definitely one, and being able to get across our unique value prop. We are being very aggressive with our CAC and therefore testing channels with big “minimums” or up-front cost is hard.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
I read a lot of content related to what I do. I believe this is helpful. I also think that attending some of the better conferences is key. The best advice I’ve received has been from talking to peers in the space. Working with new technology could be dicey sometimes, so I’m always careful when I chose our partners.
What do you see is the next big thing in mobile marketing?
I believe influencer marketing is a growing channel. I’m eager to see how Apple Search Ads evolves and whether Snapchat becomes the top platform for video. Exciting times!
Do you plan to run re-engagement campaigns in the next 12 months?
12 months yes. Not in the short term though, as we are still working a lot on our app engagement strategy. Our resources are small, but I believe that 1 key to our re-engagement strategy will involve coming up with new features that could resonate with the users who have left us. We are making changes to the product at a very fast pace, which definitely fits utilizing re-engagement ads.
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