Q&A with Marco & Faisal
Don’t miss Marco’s blog post about how it’s important to understand your users across cultures and geographies or Faisal’s which explores how and why mobile marketers should create a seamless experience from impression to purchase.
All notable characters seem to come as a duo: Sherlock with Watson, He-Man and She-Ra, Superman with Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin. We’d like to now introduce a dynamic duo of Mobile Heroes: Faisal & Marco. Faisal Hammad and Marco Esposito were both formerly International Mobile Marketing Managers at Delivery Hero who focus on different apps in different regions. Delivery Hero, parent company to foodpanda and many others, is an online food-delivery service operating in 50+ countries.
In your own words, tell us about the app(s) that you manage?
ME & FH: The apps we manage let people order food they love whenever they want and wherever they are; the best benefit is that in a few clicks people can get their favorite meal from a restaurant they love. It is important the apps we manage are friendly, fast in walking users to the checkout page and safe when it comes to personal data.
Specifically, the Middle East apps we manage (Talabat, HungeStation, Otlob, and hellofood) have very similar user flows. They are all food delivery applications, but they are very different in the way they are set up because they were all founded and acquired by Delivery Hero at different times. They all have similar target audiences, similar vendors and work very similarly in terms of operations.
What drove you to get started in mobile marketing?
ME: After finishing my studies I developed a strong interest in the digital environment which brought me to Berlin where I started working for an Ad Network; it was 2012, a time in Berlin when many startups were beginning their adventures. In every bar, at every cafe, you could hear people talking about new apps just released. It was impossible not to develop an interest in mobile marketing.
FH: I saw the potential of growth in this channel as it’s relatively new compared to others such as SEM and Social.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
ME & FH: We like that it’s an extremely dynamic environment. You always need to innovate, update features in your app, retain users, and attract new ones. You must remain creative and scout new trends to engage users. The constant development of new technologies that open up bigger opportunities is also exciting from a performance marketing perspective.
At the same time, you need to get deep into tracking to make sure data is stored correctly so you can use it to improve targeting your audience.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
ME: Analytical skills, technical eye and a creative attitude. First, you need to be able to analyze data for optimizing your campaigns. Next, you need to have a technical eye to make sure you have everything in the right place to improve your campaign concepts. Lastly, a creative attitude is required to come up with new ideas and outstanding assets which will catch the attention of the target audience.
FH: 1) Keeping up with the latest developments in technologies, 2) A good understanding of reporting and numbers, and 3) A good understanding of the product + technical side.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
ME & FH: For us, a quality mobile user is an urban person up to date with technology who spends lots of time on their mobile device, both for work and for personal reasons. They are confident with the apps on their phone and prefer the app experience over any other experience from other devices. They are also a constantly returning user without re-attribution.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
ME & FH: It’s important to target the right users and differentiate the type of creative assets—try to use display, video, native, carousel ads, and investigate which ones work better by analyzing the data in the funnel.
Rotate the assets; ideally once every month new creatives go live. Always plan retargeting campaigns next to the user acquisition ones, and have a solid tracking concept to use for optimizing.
What have you done in the past year to help better monetize your app?
ME & FH: We’ve done city targeting, device and OS targeting, creative testing, clear messaging, in-app banners, funnel reports and CVR analysis.
We also focused on building strong relationships with a limited number of partners able to reach our target KPI. We scaled up partnerships with them, increasing not only the volumes, but also the quality of users we were acquiring.
Lastly, we improved retargeting strategies differentiating them and creative assets accordingly with the user behaviors.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing your apps?
ME & FH: There are many competitors nowadays in our vertical. It’s challenging to get the attention of the user, to engage them with our message instead of a competitor’s.
Fraud and limited visibility to what is actually delivered by the publishers from most partners is another challenge.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
ME: Regular meetings and chats with our main partners. It’s important to have a very direct and constant relationship with account managers from the tracking platform we use to remain updated on tracking opportunities.
I also like attending networking and panel events for the opportunity to chat with other mobile marketers, learn from their experiences, and to exchange ideas benefiting both of our businesses.
FH: Testing, testing, testing… Always looking for new and different tools, whether developed internally or outsourced.
What do you see is the next big thing in mobile marketing?
ME: I think audience building is more and more a central topic in mobile marketing.
FH: Transparency and cross platform attribution.
Do you plan to run re-engagement campaigns in the next 12 months?
ME & FH: Yes, sure we plan to run re-engagement campaigns. For the apps we manage, re-engagement campaigns are about targeting users who installed the app but never purchased, users who are light users of our apps, and keeping users who are quite loyal using our apps. Once we re-engage a user, they fall in a new bucket. This means we have a better understanding of how they use the app and that allows us, with the help of product feeds, to show them what they’re interested in.