Interview with Peggy Anne Salz from MobileGroove - Applause 2018

Interview with Peggy Anne Salz from MobileGroove

Peggy Anne Salz, named a Top 30 Mobile Marketing Influencer, is the chief analyst and founder of MobileGroove, a top 50 ranked destination providing clients custom research and strategic content marketing. She is also a VentureBeat mobile analyst, frequent Forbes contributor and has written 300+ articles on mobile industry trends and business innovation, as well as nine books about mobile, both as a lead author and in partnership with global companies including Gemalto, InMobi, SAP Mobile Services and the Mobile Marketing Association.

Get to know more about her in this interview!
Peggy Anne Salz

Quick quiz Peggy Anne Salz – MobileGroove

Peggy will join us on Friday 1st of June at the W Barcelona Hotel. Do not miss the chance to learn from her and purchase your tickets now 😉

1. How and when did you arrive to the mobile industry? Why did you decide to stay and work on this sector?

My passion for mobile was ignited by my work as a freelance writer some 20 years ago for publications such as WSJ and Time, where I covered the business side of digital disruption in what we will remember as the very early days of mobile. As it became clear to me that mobile was destined to become our default state, not just “another communications channel”, I shifted my focus to the people side of the equation. I observed and documented the many ways people were using their mobile devices to access content, apps and increasingly advertising (presented as native advertising) on their smartphones and – more importantly – on their terms. I wrote the first-ever report about the phenomenon that came to be mobile search and then wrote several books about how mobile is impacting our lives at every level. Looking back it was a great choice because mobile now defines who we are and how our world functions and the amount of time we spend on mobile and apps combined speaks volumes about how important this industry is and will remain.

2. What project are you working on now?

As mobile and marketing morph together, I am spending more time helping brand marketers and companies just beginning their push into mobile develop strategies to drive acquisition – and above – retention. To educate the industry, I host two weekly podcasts, Mobile Presence on WebmasterRadio.fm that highlights cool companies, people and tech marketers need to know, and Mobile Growth for Mobile Growth Summit, which focuses only on growth marketers and how they move the needle on their app campaigns and companies. I also write about developments in the space—and the movers and shakers taking mobile and apps to the next level—for publications including Forbes and PocketGamer, to name a few. Of course, I’m hoping to connect with people at Applause who are a fit with projects in my pipeline and my personal mission to shine a light on what matters most.

3. What is the most important professional quality an app marketer can have?

In a word, drive. This is an industry that we are shaping as it happens, and there are more questions than answers. App marketers who are relentless in how they interrogate the data and pinpoint the patterns and signals that will allow them to optimize their campaigns and strategies are the ones who will succeed. I interview dozens of app marketers, and the outstanding ones are also the ones who are determined to distill data into knowledge. They are also driven to take a 360-degree view of their audience, remembering at all times that users are people too. In essence, effective app marketers combine a deep understanding of data with a grasp of the psychographic and behavioral traits that will allow them to drive consumer connection, not just installs.

4. What is the best option to monetize a mobile app?

It will always depend on your app category and audience. If you offer a service, utility or value that is suited to a subscription model, then pursue that. There is a lot of benefit in being able to charge users a recurring cost because you have a cash flow you can count on. This is one reason why this model is growing in popularity. Advertising is also evolving, and innovative ad formats, such as the ones I write about over at Digital Content Next, are paving the way to new experiences that engage users, not annoy them.

5. What advice would you give to a company or startup before launching a mobile app?

If this is your first app, then do your homework to make sure it matches with the audience you want to convert into engaged—or paying—users. A lot of developers make the mistake of making an app *they* think is cool. This is great if apps are your hobby, but not if you want to build a sustainable business. If you are not a newbie, and you know there is a place for your app on the market, then soft launch in markets with an aim to gathering valuable intel about what users love and hate about your app. Their feedback is invaluable and better than any focus group.

6. What are the biggest challenges facing the mobile app industry?

The biggest challenge – and opportunity – is around mobile ad creatives. They are the elements that can engage audiences—or turn them away. This is where companies will have to take a more pragmatic approach and come up with more data-driven frameworks to break creatives down into elements they can test more effectively. Access to mobile advertising intelligence will be critical and so will the capabilities to monitor how market-leading apps are advertising their app and what ads account for the greatest percentage of impressions – for a start.

7. What trends will mark 2018?

At a high level, app store optimization has become app marketing optimization, watching all the moving parts to optimize your on-store and off-store presence. As we come to grasp a fundamental marketing rule—that acquiring a user is more expensive than activating an existing one—then we will sharpen our focus on driving ongoing engagement and loyalty. Against this backdrop, this will be a year focused on finds smart ways to fine-tune communications—from push notifications to email, to podcasts, to ad creatives—to drive deep-funnel activity and conversions.

8. How do you keep up to date with all the news in the app marketing industry? What sources do you consult?

Mobile Dev Memo and the great blogs over at Mobile Growth Stack are a must. Next to that I subscribe to the Smartbriefs on relevant topics – from advertising to apps—to keep on top of the news. For insights, I make sure to watch what people are sharing in the Facebook group Mobile Marketing Experts and listen in to podcasts by growth marketers – including my guests over at my own podcasts. 

9. What will you talk about in Applause 2018?

I am a moderator – but the panels I moderate are the *real deal* because I know the hot topics and developments we want to hear about most. I also deep-dive to address the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions I know are top of mind with app marketers.

10. To finish, what apps or games have surprised you in the last year?

I am not surprised by a specific game or an app as much as I am fascinated by the advance of social and chat platforms as a distribution channel for apps – one that has the potential to rival app stores. A great example is Facebook Instant Games platform, which is now open to all developers. Of course, the platform will promote popular games and apps to the audience, so the pressure is on app marketers to make sure their app makes the cut. It is exciting times – and this is literally a game-changer that will demand ASO and app marketing also adapt.

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Emma Olivero

Author Emma Olivero

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