Q&A with Sally
Sally Chi is a Growth Manager at Chime, one of the largest fintech neobanks in the US. Sally started her career working at ad networks, learning the ropes of user acquisition from the vendor side. Shifting gears a few years later, Sally was fortunate enough to join the Nexon team, where she dedicated her time to working on the Marvel franchise and other global game launches. Now at Chime, Sally manages the team focused on portfolio diversification, including the mobile program, affiliate & content marketing, web display and programmatic, and direct mail.
Read Sally’s blog: “A Methodical Approach to Testing New Media Partners”
In your own words, tell us about the app(s) that you manage?
Chime is a neobank. We have no brick and mortar buildings—you manage all finances through the mobile app. We include features such as getting your paycheck early or providing overdrafts up to $100 into your account. Chime serves the underbanked and those who have not had a great experience with their traditional bank account. We are changing the way people think about banking and our mission is to help people achieve financial peace of mind and independence through our tools.
How did you get started in mobile marketing?
As a new college graduate, I wandered through a job fair where my resume got snatched up by a small company called Supersonic. I barely had any prior job experience at the time, but they needed extra hands to do Ad Operation work and support for their ad network product. Fast forward a bit, Supersonic accelerated in growth and merged with ironSource. I went on to work for Unity, Nexon, and now Chime in the financial technology world.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
I love how this career allows me to dive into both the creative and analytical sides. Some days I am digging into data and optimizing down the funnel. At other times, I brainstorm new elements for a creative or understand different audience segments resonating with the product. Either way, I appreciate how marketing comes with numbers. The results are always quantifiable, which helps with the decision-making process.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
Relationship management. A lot of what you do in marketing is talking to both your internal stakeholders and external partners. I notice a lot of mistakes come down to communication. The more transparent and honest you are about your needs—whether it is your campaign goals, product launch, or marketing idea—the better they can support you. After working many years on the ad network side, I can say their goals very much align with yours. Partners want to have a conversation about big-picture goals with you, not just push buttons and pull levers!
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged app users?
Don’t concentrate your KPIs on converting a potential customer into an install. Work on pre-qualifying the install instead by looking at your demographic/audience and traffic sources. This way, you won’t have to work so hard to optimize into deep funnel metrics. In fintech apps, this is especially important because we are looking for users to become direct depositors immediately—a challenging event that takes many days to convert to.
We are also very direct and clear when designing creatives—featuring the various ways our mobile banking app can benefit consumers. The messaging and copy are straightforward, so users understand what the Chime product is an instant.
In the past year, what is one tip you can share which made the biggest performance difference for your UA strategy?
We created a lot of user-generated content this year that feels more authentic and native to each partner. This creative strategy has been trending all over Facebook, Instagram, and new channels such as TikTok. Sometimes having someone show your product for a couple of minutes on camera resonates more than hours put into a polished video.
COVID-19 has had an uneven impact on the mobile industry, with many companies benefitting from the increased time at home. How has the pandemic impacted your business? And what changes did you make to your marketing strategy as a result?
Fortunately for us, COVID-19 has given us quite an advantage in the market. Our simple banking solution does not require a Chime member to go to a brick-and-mortar bank. Users find our online app serves their needs just as well. After member feedback, we discovered Chime’s new feature SpotMe—which allows users to get a fee-free overdraft into their bank accounts—enabled users to stay afloat during the pandemic.
When stimulus checks came out in the US, we saw a massive increase in enrollments as people rushed to open with Chime to get their IRS direct deposits. We pivoted our marketing strategy towards a more aggressive approach in the past year to capture the surge in attention. We continue to help as many members achieve financial success during COVID.
What’s your top tip when it comes to mobile ad creative?
Help your creative team understand the metrics. One way to do this is having weekly recurring meetings where you consistently show the platform, data, and how the campaigns run. Separately, have brainstorming sessions with the creative team—whether watching fun Youtube concepts or having the freedom to discover out-of-the-box ideas.
What advice can you offer to help marketers combat mobile ad fraud?
- Know your baseline numbers, whether that is looking at your best quality channel or organic numbers.
- Test traffic that you know is legitimate and can offer transparency. Know what the actual ad placement looks like (ask them for screenshots).
- Utilize fraud protection tools. There is a good chance your MMP already offers a great product, and I recommend working with them to learn how to use the tools to the fullest potential.
What are your top 3 go-to resources for keeping up with the mobile ad tech industry?
- Online communities such as Slack channels (Mobile Heroes, Mobile Dev Memo)
- Publications (AdExchanger, TechCrunch)
- Podcasts, webinars, events.
Last but not least, the easiest way to keep up with the industry is by subscribing to email updates and newsletters from your partners.