Hannah is the Founder of Aperture, a growth marketing agency with a focus on mission-driven mobile apps. As a multi-award-winning marketer, coach, and mentor, she was named App Marketer of the Year in 2019. She has gained international recognition as a speaker on topics such as app growth, privacy, and leveraging data analytics. Throughout her career, Hannah has collaborated with over 250 companies. She is deeply committed to supporting and uplifting others within the industry; serving as a mentor for Google Launchpad, a coach for Startup Core Strengths, and earning a 5-star rating on GrowthMentor. Her dedication to promoting positive change through technology and mentorship sets her apart in the app marketing industry.
In your own words, what’s your role in the app business right now?
As the founder of Aperture, my role in the app business is multi-faceted. Primarily, I’m committed to helping mission-driven mobile apps reach their potential by implementing data-driven growth strategies. I lead a talented team and work closely with them to create bespoke marketing plans that not only drive user acquisition but also ensure meaningful engagement. In addition to client projects, I actively engage with the broader app community through speaking engagements, sharing insights on app growth, privacy, and analytics. As a coach and mentor, I also offer guidance to emerging entrepreneurs, helping them navigate the complexities of the app market. Ultimately, my role is about creating positive change through innovative marketing while fostering a community of knowledge-sharing and collaboration.
How did you end up working in apps? / get started?
My path to the app world was kind of a winding road that started with my love for music. Back in my teens, I was all about the music scene in Manchester, taking care of gigs and soaking in the live atmosphere. That led me to tour management, where I got to work directly with artists and labels.
Then I landed a gig at DICE, a live music discovery app which, when I joined, hadn’t launched yet. That’s where I really got a taste for the tech side of things. Working on product and marketing for an app was a whole new ball game, and I was all in.
After my time there, I faced a crossroads – stay with music or dive head-first into tech. I couldn’t resist the pull of the tech world. It was just too exciting and full of possibilities.
So, here I am with Aperture. Now it’s all about helping mission-driven apps make a splash. The coolest part? Being able to make a difference by empowering apps that genuinely improve people’s lives. Combining my skills in product with a purpose, well, that’s my kind of harmony.
What are you most excited about in apps right now? (tech, trends, people, verticals)
Honestly, there’s a lot to be thrilled about in the app space, but what’s really getting my heart racing is the surge in social entrepreneurship. It’s like a wave of app creators are waking up to the fact that they can use tech for some real-world good, and it’s so cool to see.
Take mental health, for example. We all know it’s a massive issue, and now there’s a growing number of apps out there offering support, resources, and community spaces. It’s breaking down barriers, squashing stigmas and making mental health care more accessible for everyone.
And let’s talk about the environment. I mean, who doesn’t love Mother Earth, right? There’s this movement in the app space where smart folks are figuring out how to tackle food waste, promote sustainability, and even get us planting more trees, all through our smartphones.
Another trend I’m digging is the rise of community-driven platforms. It’s not just about transactions anymore; it’s about bringing people together. From niche hobby groups to global networks, apps are weaving the social fabric tighter than ever.
And let’s not forget the ever-evolving tech! Whether it’s AI making personalization super slick or AR letting us try on clothes without stepping into a store, the innovation is just non-stop.
In a nutshell, it’s the blend of positive impact and innovative tech that’s got me on the edge of my seat. There’s just something about using cutting-edge technology to make tangible improvements in people’s lives that feels like we’re hitting the sweet spot.
What other companies in the app space do you rate/ inspire you and why?
Oh, there are a few gems in the app space that I absolutely adore. One that stands out is Your Juno. I mean, talk about empowering people financially. They’ve created this space that helps people understand and take charge of their finances without all that confusing jargon. It’s financial wellness with a human touch, and it’s brilliant.
Then, there’s Mindful Mamas. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the awesomeness of this app? They’ve created this nurturing space for moms to focus on mental well-being. From meditation to self-care tools, it’s like a virtual support group and safe haven rolled into one.
And let’s not forget LinkedIn. Might sound a bit old school, but honestly, I can’t get enough of it lately. The networking, the learning opportunities, the insights – it’s like this treasure trove of professional development. Whether it’s connecting with like-minded folks or just staying in the loop with industry trends, it’s been invaluable.
These apps, in my book, are stellar because they are more than just apps – they create meaningful experiences and genuinely help people in different facets of life. They’re setting the bar high and inspiring others, including me, to strive for impact and innovation.
What do you like most about working in apps?
Oh man, where do I start? The magic of working in apps is the sheer scale and the genuine impact you can make. But here’s the thing – I’ve made a choice to only work with apps that are on a mission to bring about positive change. When we sift through the reviews and see the lives we’ve touched, it’s just…it’s like a heart hug, you know?
And the people. I absolutely love working with developers and designers. The collaboration, the creativity, the brainstorming – it’s electrifying.
But at the end of the day, it’s about building real things for real people. Apps have this incredible ability to seep into the nooks and crannies of everyday life and make it better, bit by bit. Whether it’s managing finances, mental well-being, or just staying connected, the apps I work with are out there making the day-to-day a little more awesome for people everywhere.
So yeah, it’s the impact, the people, and the opportunity to craft something tangible that can help others lead better lives. That’s what I love most about working in apps.
What one thing would you change about the app industry / market?
You know what? Let’s crank up the collaboration dial. The app industry is this vibrant, bustling bazaar of innovation – but sometimes, it feels like we’re all tucked away in our own stalls, tinkering away in secret. And I get it, competition and all that jazz, but man, we’re on the frontier here. There’s so much uncharted territory, so many paths untrodden, and we’re all learning, growing, stumbling, and soaring in ways that are ground-breakingly new.
Imagine if we had more open channels, where the app-makers of the world just huddled up, shared notes, and brainstormed. I mean, it’s not just about the next big thing – it’s about shaping the future. It’s about collective learning.
I try to keep the shutters open. Share insights, experiences, the highs, the lows – because I remember what it was like starting out when the resources were as scarce as water on Mars. Now we’re swimming in an ocean of opportunities, and I feel so darn lucky to have the privilege to share.
And, while we’re at it, can we have a heart-to-heart about data and privacy? We’re the custodians of user trust. People share snippets of their lives through clicks, swipes, and taps. We gotta honour that trust. Transparency isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a pact, a promise that needs to be etched into the very fabric of how we roll in the app world.
So, in a nutshell? More collaboration, more sharing, and crystal-clear transparency. That’s the tweak I’d love to see.
Where do you think there’s an opportunity for apps / or unmet needs?
I’ve got to say, I feel like we’re on the brink of something revolutionary here. You know how Play-Doh is all fun and squishy, and you can mold it into anything? That’s kind of what I think the app space is about to become – a whole lot more organic and intertwined with the real world. With things like the Apple Vision Pro coming out, I mean, who even knows if we’ll be calling them ‘apps’ in ten years?
So, where are the unmet needs? Connectivity, my friend. Not the Wi-Fi kind, but how apps can talk to each other and the real world. I see this huge canvas where apps (or whatever they’ll be called) don’t just live on our screens but become part of the environment around us. It’s about breaking down barriers and creating a more immersive, intuitive experience.
Now, let’s chat about data tracking – it’s still pretty unruly out there and a lot of companies can’t quite get a handle on it Streamlining tracking and data analytics could be a game-changer for companies to better understand user needs and optimize app experiences.
Also, you know what’s exciting? The shift towards a low-code world. I’m jazzed up about this because it’s like handing over the keys of creation to more people. Imagine a teacher building an educational app without learning to code, or a small community creating an app for local services. The democratization of app-building is going to spawn all sorts of innovations that we can’t even fathom right now.
In terms of categories, personal development and lifelong learning are definitely there, but I’d say keep an eye out for anything that bridges gaps – be it in communication, accessibility, or even spaces that we haven’t thought of yet. The future’s a kaleidoscope, and the patterns are just starting to emerge.
If you weren’t working in apps what would you be doing?
I grew up thinking I’d become a lawyer – that’s what I believed until I was 18 and moved to London for a stint in the music industry. If not for apps, I’d likely be involved in social entrepreneurship. There’s a part of me that’s deeply committed to making a positive impact, so I would be working on projects that can drive change, either through technology or hands-on community efforts.
Oh, now that’s an adventure down memory lane. So, growing up with a Middle Eastern dad, it was like I had ‘Future Lawyer’ stamped on my forehead. That was the plan, the blueprint, the grand design – up until I was 18 and caught the music bug. I packed my bags and headed to London to make sweet melodies.
But if apps never crossed my path? I’d hope that somehow social entrepreneurship would have swept me off my feet. I’d be all in, finding new and creative ways to make a positive impact on the world. I can imagine myself either deep in the trenches with grassroots initiatives or fiddling with tech to make good things happen.
Oh, and did I mention I was a photographer? In another life, I’d have a camera slung over my shoulder, capturing fragments of the world. I’ve been very disciplined about not turning my photography into a business, but sometimes the temptation peeks around the corner like a mischievous friend. The idea of storytelling through images really resonates with me.
So, to sum it up, I’d likely be juggling the roles of a changemaker and a photographer, snapping the world’s triumphs and trials, while actively trying to make it a better place.
iOS or Android?
I’m team Apple… for now.
What app(s) have been most useful to you over the last year?
VSCO has been great – so cheap, and so useful for editing photos. And, of course, WhatsApp and Google Maps both need a shout out.
What’s on your Spotify / Music party playlist?
A healthy blend of grime, techno, and emo: think Kano, Four Tet, and Taking Back Sunday.
Any Netflix/ TV show recommendations?
BEEF with Ali Wong (she stole my glasses), Feel Good, and I love a good documentary, so Three Identical Strangers is a good shout.
Is there anything else we should know about you?
Last year, after 11 years in London, I took a big leap by getting rid of 95% of my possessions and embracing a remote lifestyle. This allowed me to travel extensively and immerse myself in diverse cultures, markets, and perspectives, which has been truly enriching.
Besides that, I have a love for data and tracking. I have kept track of all the music I’ve listened to since 2009 on Last.fm. Another quirky thing I do is maintaining a spreadsheet where I rank the best vegan cheeses – a testament to my love for food, which is arguably my biggest passion. Exploring new cuisines and savoring different flavors is something that brings immense joy to my life.
Mentorship is also close to my heart, and I actively engage in nurturing the upcoming generation of mission-driven entrepreneurs. The prospect of playing a small part in someone’s success story by sharing insights and experiences is extremely fulfilling for me.
Do you know someone driving change and growth in the app industry? Nominate an app leader here.