Interview with Thomas Petit from 8fit - Applause 2018

Interview with Thomas Petit from 8fit

Thomas has worked during the last 10 years as a specialist in digital marketing, with more than 6 years of experience in different European startups. Thomas loves to experience ASO and currently works as a Growth Team Member at 8fit, one of the 25 most outstanding applications in the Health and Fitness category.

Get to know more about him!

Thomas Petit

Quick quiz Thomas Petit – 8fit

Thomas will join us on Friday 1st of June at the W Barcelona Hotel. Do not miss the chance to learn from him!

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

I was working for different web startups when apps started to become businesses in the early 2010’s. I got quickly excited by this trend and how it could shape my work in the future, so I applied to several mobile marketing positions back then. I got rejected on all of them out of “lack of app marketing experience”, which sounds a bit ironic given the maturity of the field then. Same feeling when I see 5+ years experience required for blockchain development today… Anyway, I was lucky enough that some friends allowed me to run experiments on their apps and thus learn by doing. Eventually, 8fit founder believed it’s all about your mindset and capability to adapt, rather than CV lines. So I joined a mobile-only company in 2015 where I could grow personally with both the company and the whole sector.

My main reason to stay is the same I came for originally: an ever changing playfield in which the reality from 6 months ago can be outdated already.

2. What project are you working on now?

I’m trying to keep my main focus on 8fit trajectory. As we grow in users & headcount scale, challenges keep changing and make work life exciting day in, day out.

I also try to dedicate some time mentoring younger startups on the side and I am very impressed by the level of new apps being released this year. We’re very, very far from the early days in terms of quality, vision, maturity. At the same time, the complexity of the challenges to compete in an ever more crowded and competitive space has exploded too.

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

The unwillingness to accept the status quo. Things keep changing, if you don’t, you’ll be behind very soon: this is a bicycle, stop pedalling and you’ll fall off. You also need to learn by trials and errors (plural). There’s no written playbook, little high quality content and barely anyone that can really teach you app success. You have to experiment by yourself if a particular approach is valid for your product and audience at that particular moment in time.

4. What KPIs do you control every day? Which ones are the most important?

If you have more than 3 KPI, they’re just “PI”, not “key”, but I have to admit I monitor many metrics to keep tabs on a quite complex funnel.

The 2 main things I look for day & night are scale & ROI, but then there’s a myriad of submetrics that compose each of those.

5. What problem do you face in your everyday as an app marketer?

I don’t think it’s particularly specific to app businesses, but trying on a day-to-day basis to keep Data, Product, Brand and Marketing team members working close to each other is a real organizational challenge. One that can propel you very far if you manage to build solutions that encompass the problems of each area.

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

I don’t think there’s a one-size-fit-all answer to this question, it will depend on many things like your vertical, target audience, stage, internal skills, etc.

I see successful combos of IAP+ads, like the ones detailed in this brilliant post from Space Ape. Personally, I’m biased towards subscriptions by what I do at 8fit. While they have their specific issues too and don’t fit all products, both Google and Apple are making a big bet on this model. Looking at top grossing charts can only confirm this is a solid option.

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

The landscape has become very competitive these days, on the product side as much as on the marketing side. Think twice about your USP and focus on retention early. Are users getting enough value to place your icon in their first screen and launch the app every week? If you have killer retention, the rest will follow. Here’s a great article from Pap Gabor detailing what I mean.

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

Crafting a unique experience that fights against frightening retention rates has historically been the main challenge and remains the main key to success.

More recently, data management has become more critical at many levels, and not only to respect the recent evolution of the law, but also to get better insights and keep building better experiences all along the funnel.

9. What trends will mark 2018?

Look around, the red hot topic this spring is privacy, from limitations on Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal – some of which impacts directly app marketers on a daily basis – to the wildly misunderstood GDPR. I’m very curious how the latter will move the landscape of ad tech vendors, but also if user behaviour will start evolving regarding privacy topics. I hear mostly complains so far, personally I believe this is a much needed step in the right direction and that some clean-up and wake up call was inevitable, and very much welcome.

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

Besides a well curated Twitter feed, there are really few reliable sources that deliver high quality content about mobile marketing in longer form. A few specialized ones make exception, like the Mobile Growth Stack or MobileDevMemo, as well as a shortlist of mobile tech tools blogs, but to cover the wide depth of knowledge required in the space, I haven’t found anything better than to keep regular conversations with my peers and other specialists from other areas (data scientists, product managers, founders, investors…). Beyond private conversations, I find Slack to be efficient for me to exchange insights, and unsurprisingly it’s the channels from the sources mentioned above where I found the best value. Special mention to Eric Seufert & the Phiture team for maintaining those places alive.

11. What will you talk about in Applause 2018? Why the attendees shouldn’t miss your keynote or workshop?

I’ll showcase some good and bad experiences we had in diversifying our UA channel mix. Google and Facebook have built a duopolistic position in the market, but as a developer you don’t want to rely on too few partners which can (and do) change the rules of the abruptly.

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

I admit I don’t play much anymore these days, but I’ve been very impressed by the level maturity of several young apps.
The mobile banking and fintech space is really hot at the moment with N26, Revolut, Monzo, Transferwise, RobinHood to quote a few known examples.

My latest discovery is a fast growing Spanish app called Goin, which impressed me with some marketing ideas that proved to be as original as efficient. For instance, before their launch they released a simple waiting list app with powerful viral mechanics which propelled them to the top of the AppStore without marketing budget.

Did you enjoy Thoma’s interview? Share it on your social media profiles and see you at Applause 2018!

Emma Olivero

Author Emma Olivero

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