Interview with Moshe Vaknin from YouAppi
Moshe has been dreaming about YouAppi since he bought his first iPhone 3. After a long and successful career, leading companies such as AT&T and VocalTech, Moshe founded three successful startups before founding YouAppi. As the CEO of YouAppi, Moshe brings vast experience in the advertising, publishing and affiliate marketing fields, fortifying him with the ability to identify opportunities, transform them into reality, and lead global teams.
Find out more about Moshe in this interview 😉
Quick quiz Moshe Vaknin – YouAppi
Moshe will join us at Applause 2018! Do not miss the chance to learn from him and purchase your tickets now 😉 See you on Friday 1st of June at the W Barcelona Hotel.
1. How and when did you arrive to the mobile industry? Why did you decide to stay and work on this sector?
I grew up in Israel and lived there until the age of 18 where I went into the military for three years. After my service, I didn’t know what to do so I decided to travel to the US to explore a new world. I attended university where I completed two degrees including a masters in Engineering. I then landed a job with my professor at Bell Labs which paved my way into ad tech.
An entrepreneur at heart, I had a long and successful career, leading companies such as VocalTech and AT&T. I also founded three successful startups, all of which taught me valuable lessons about the media and mobile marketplace. Then came the rise of mobile, to which I saw a massive opportunity in the app economy. The idea was pretty unique because mobile advertising had just started, but I took everything I learned from my twenty years of experience and built my latest venture, YouAppi – a fully managed data-driven marketing platform that connects brands with global consumers enabling them to develop and grow their mobile business.
I started YouAppi not only to connect brands to global consumers, but also to improve the mobile monetization opportunities for developers, to provide a more engaging user experience and to improve visibility into relevant apps for each person. All of our development and product initiatives are aligned with these goals. Yes, I took on a crowded market space, but we have been able to deliver unique solutions by utilizing large companies’ applications and helping them open new markets and generate greater revenue.
2. What project are you working on now?
A YouAppi project that has been in the spotlight recently is the launch of our annual report based on feedback from global digital marketing professionals across leading mobile brands. It highlighted a significant increase in video investment for 2018 with 85 percent of marketers planning to increase their investment in video during 2018, up to a full 10 percent from 2017.
The insights indicate that video provides a tremendous opportunity for brand marketers and developers to attract the right customers while keeping them engaged. Solutions like rewarded video will take consumer engagement to the next level as it offers value exchange between the end user and app developers. While there has been a reluctance to take advantage of rewarded video in previous years, we’re starting to see a step change in the industry. Rewarded video is turning a curve in adoption, and the numbers will climb significantly across all categories of apps.
3. What is the most important professional quality an app marketer can have?
A strategic mind. For an app or growth marketer to excel in today’s competitive marketplace, they must understand how to leverage marketing technology to improve user acquisition and retention, and ultimately app monetization.
4. What KPIs do you control every day? Which ones are the most important?
YouAppi is the leading expert in mobile app acquisition, using proprietary machine learning and AI technology to analyze over 250TB of data each day to provide actionable insights and recommendations that yield the most profitable customers. Our first-to-market 360-degree platform consistently examines 66 unique data parameters including location, demographics, behaviors, interests and buying habits, across 4,200 apps and mobile sites in use by two billion people in over 200 countries and territories. We work with advertisers to achieve KPIs in record time, historically exceeding install-to-purchase goals by 151 percent.
Gaming KPIs, for example, focus heavily on cost per action (CPA) and profitability. YouAppi offers proven results including driving installs by as much as 60K per day, and increasing purchasing as high as 170 percent and retention as high as 60 percent.
5. What problem do you face in your everyday as an app marketer?
Research has shown that 60 percent of app users stop using an app after they’ve opened it five times, so a re-engagement strategy and mechanism are vital not only for acquisition but a brand’s overall bottom line. Acquiring and re-engaging loyal mobile app users is a fine art, which is why YouAppi’s technology helps brands identify the point where a user stopped engaging with the app and approach them with the right message to bring them back to the same point in the app to use it again.
With nearly 20 years of experience to my name, I set out to make YouAppi a tool to dramatically increase acquisition and retention of high-value customers for the world’s hottest mobile brands. Early on, I realized the value of mobile applications and could envision the impact they’d have in the future. I analyzed and understood the challenges developers and publishers would run into as they sought to acquire users and promote their apps.
6. What is the best option to monetize a mobile app?
Did you know 90 percent of mobile use is spent in apps? That is a lot of time, considering the average person uses their mobile device 87 hours a month. Whether you’ve recently monetized, been using it for awhile, or haven’t even started yet, there are several key concepts every app developer or publisher should know. The main priority, however, is the user experience. If you want to make money, you have to make your users and potential users happy. It’s as simple as that. When you have poor user experience, your monetization efforts are severely hindered. If your site and app are hard to find or navigate through or if you pitch a product or affiliate offer that’s not in line with a user’s needs and interests, then there’s going to be less conversion from users. When your conversion rate is down, your incoming profit is also down.
At YouAppi we leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver the right app to the right person based on complex post-install data, and in turn increase your monetization efforts. Publishers benefit because this solution targets the direct interests of your consumers. Advertisers reap the benefits from this solution because they know app creating and ad copy geared toward users is critical and it also allows for the ability to mass distribute your mobile app.
7. What advice would you give to a company or startup before launching a mobile app?
There are more than 2.2m apps in the Apple App Store and 2.8m in the Google Play Store, with estimates suggesting that as many as 3,000 more apps are released every single day. For this reason, it’s becoming harder than ever for app publishers – from brands to eCommerce companies to games developers – to get their apps seen and downloaded. Reaching the right audience is a constant challenge for app developers.
Simply amassing a large audience isn’t easy – but more importantly, it isn’t strategic and doesn’t drive business growth or revenue. Without the right customers – those who will actively engage – a brand’s mobile app will get lost in the marketplace clutter. To ensure success, you need a reliable user acquisition strategy in place. After all, it’s users who are your target market and generate revenue from your app. It also serves as social proof to other users who are considering whether to download or buy your app.
8. What trends will mark 2018?
We recently released an annual report – based on feedback from global digital marketing professionals across leading mobile brands – that revealed a significant increase in video investment for 2018 with 85 percent of marketers planning to increase their investment in video during 2018, up a full 10 percent from 2017. Additionally, three-quarters of respondents cited video as very or critically important to the customer journey, with marketers saying they use it for acquisition (71%), awareness (65 percent), engagement (56 percent), re-engagement (40 percent) and segmentation (31 percent).
The findings demonstrate that video provides a great opportunity for brand marketers to attract the right customers and keep them engaged. Solutions like rewarded video will take consumer engagement to the next level as it offers value exchange between the end user and app developers.
While there has been reluctance to take advantage of rewarded video in previous years we’re starting to see a step change in the industry. Rewarded video is turning a curve in adoption, and the numbers will climb significantly across all categories of apps.
9. How do you keep up to date with all the news in the app marketing industry? What sources do you consult?
There is a number of platforms and sources I use to keep up to date, to name a few:
● Feedly is an app that is like a combination of Pinterest and Twitter in the world of news, blog, and articles. It aggregates content and allows you to organize your content by topic and source, to ensure that everything you’re reading is coming from credible sources that you’ve hand-selected yourself.
● Websites such as Marketing Land offers very different perspectives on industry topics – it focuses on creative social media, mobile marketing, and must-reads for the chief marketing officers and digital marketing executives of the world.
● I also often listen to TED Talks. While the majority of the talks are motivational talks that will leave you feeling inspired and ready to take on the world, the app allows you to customize your search and create playlists around specific topics for example “app marketing” or “mobile marketing.”
● I also monitor social media and have a great marketing team in place who will track your competitors to see what they’re doing and where their seen in your space.
10. What will you talk about in Applause 2018? Why the attendees shouldn’t miss your keynote?
The app economy is continuing to grow, with the worldwide revenue from app stores expected to top $110 billion this year, according to recent estimates from App Annie. There is a huge business opportunity here.
Turning an app into a viable business requires more than just development skills and cool UX. Without deep links and indexing, apps remain isolated black boxes. Tracking post-install performance metrics, directing traffic seamlessly to and from one another, app advertising, attribution are all complex processes.
In my presentation I’ll discuss what it takes to build an app into a sustainable business. It’s not about a secret formula or ‘growth hacking’ that creates success – a focused strategy that sets to retain and re-engage your users is what can make or break your mobile app startup. I’ll provide a toolkit for growing an app into a big business and show how a mobile-first strategy will change purchase behavior and how data can drive a successful mobile business.
11. To finish, what apps or games have surprised you in the last year?
Did you like Moshe’s interview? Share it on your social media profiles and see you on Friday 1st of June at Applause 2018!