Mike Peralta is the VP and GM of Marketing Solutions, a division of T-Mobile USA. He is responsible for driving T-Mobile’s growing advertising, measurement, and insights business. Mike has over 20 years of extensive domestic and international experience in technology and media. He has served in a variety of executive roles across publishing and advertising technology in companies like Criteo, AudienceScience, MediaMath, AOL, Advertising.com, and Future PLC.
He holds a BS degree in Environmental and Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has done graduate work in Management and Public Policy at New York University.
In your own words, what’s your role in the app business right now?
As the VP and GM of Marketing Solutions, I am building and driving the growth of our advertising technology business, which is powered by T-Mobile mobility data. Mobility data is sometimes thought of or referred to as “movement” data, but it’s being redefined in advertising as the nexus of mobile and addressability. To us, mobility data is app ownership and app engagement data that can be used for valuable app insights, as well as segmented into behavioral personas for targeting based on interest and intent categories.
How did you end up working in apps?
I’ve always been a big believer in mobile and apps, but during my time as Executive Vice President at Criteo in 2018, I became much more involved in the ecosystem. This was fast-tracked even more after Criteo acquired Manage, an app install advertising solution, to complement its existing app business. I’ve been hooked ever since.
The reality is that most brands and agencies are still heavily focused on desktop and TV advertising. But apps are clearly the future. I know we’ve been calling it the “Year of Mobile” for quite some time, but it’s truly upon us now—and the data proves it. If marketers don’t already have an app-first strategy, they’re going to regret it very soon.
What are you most excited about in apps right now?
I’m obviously very excited about our key differentiator, which is T-Mobile mobility data. Mobility data is app engagement behavior data from the T-Mobile network. In our consumer-privacy-focused world, it’s important to note that mobility data is a privacy-compliant data source. It does not include any precise location or cell tower data, call records or other sensitive data. And while it’s based on app ownership and app engagement data, mobility data does not include any data on specific activities within apps. With US consumers spending over four hours per day on their mobile devices, our massive panel of data about app ownership and app engagement provides real insight into user behavior and intent.
I’m also excited about a new app insights product that we’re developing. It’s going to be a real game changer for any marketer that’s looking to gain a competitive edge. We’ll be able to provide rich insights into app ownership, installation, and growth. It’s really an incredible look into the behaviors and usage for apps used on the T-Mobile network.
What other companies in the app space do you rate/ inspire you and why?
I’ve been keeping a close eye on Skillz, which is a leading mobile games platform that’s helping to transform that vertical. In addition to helping developers build multi-million-dollar franchises, they are clearly one of the most innovative companies in the mobile gaming space. I expect to see more big things from them in 2022.
I also love the UI/UX of The Weather Channel app and I definitely find myself using it more these days, especially as travel continues to pick back up. Lastly, it’s hard to not mention a few of the dominant innovators in the app space: Uber, Amazon, and TikTok. Those are companies that clearly have that app-first strategy that I mentioned earlier.
What do you like most about working in apps?
I really enjoy the pace, the constant innovation, and, of course, the underlying technology behind mobile advertising and the mobile app ecosystems. From a career perspective, both ad tech and the in-app industry are always changing and that keeps me on my toes. I’m someone who’s always open to change and new challenges, so it’s a fitting convergence of two industries for me. Plus, from a personal standpoint, I’m using apps all day every day just like everyone else. From The Weather Channel to Lyft to GrubHub to Resy to HBO Max, we’re always on the go—and mobile devices and our favorite apps help keep us connected.
What one thing would you change about the app industry?
In some of my conversations with fellow app leaders, I hear about a desire for one agnostic app store. But I personally prefer healthy competition. Over the next few years, I’d like to see a few more open and transparent marketplaces, instead of a world that is dominated by one or a few.
If you weren’t working in apps what would you be doing?
My educational background is in civil engineering, so I’d most likely be building bridges. While most people think engineers sit at a computer all day and do calculations, there’s also a technical and design aspect, as well as on-site project management and problem solving. I’d be remiss if I didn’t think that my civil engineering background had a positive impact on my career trajectory in media and advertising.
iOS or Android?
Any Netflix/ TV show recommendations?
I’m probably a little late to the party on this one, but I recently discovered “Dark” on Netflix. It’s a fantastic German science fiction thriller about time travel and various mysterious disappearances. For anyone that hasn’t seen it, I don’t want to give away too much. But I highly recommend it.
What’s on your Spotify or music party playlist?
I’m a big fan of music in general, but I have a soft spot for 1960’s jazz and jazz piano. Miles Davis, John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, and Dave Brubeck are some of my all-time favorites. I also recently came across a great jazz playlist called “Yoshi’s: A Living Relic” on Spotify. It was curated by the Oakland Museum of California. That said, when I need something a little louder, I’m not afraid to turn on some classic Metallica.
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