App Promotion Summit London 2019 recap

Artyom Dogtiev

In App Business. April 15, 2019

The app industry is the world on its own, with countless number of app developers, marketers, analytics, advertisers, beta testers, designers and on and on – the list is endless. Such diverse and dynamic business ecosystem needs a place where all these people can meet each other to compare notes, debate hot topics, pick up each other brain and just have a drink together to have a nice and relaxed conversation afterwords. There is a place like this and it’s called App Promotion Summit. It’s been six years since we began this journey and now we do it three times a year in London, Berlin and New York.

This April 4th about 400 app industry professionals from all corners of the world decided to spend that day together in London at beautiful Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel. This time, plus to the conference itself, the summit was hosting not two but three workshops to cover the broad spectrum of topics that included App Store Optimization, Apple Search Ads, organic growth strategies, mobile fraud, Google Universal App Campaigns, localization, Twitter Ads and Influencer marketing.

Let me guide you through just a few highlights from the summit.

The first presentation of the day was delivered by Darius Moravcik, the head of growth at Danish-based Reflectly. The app’s team is on very timely and important mission to give people an app that will help them to keep their mental health in check. It uses AI algorithms to help people structure and reflect upon their daily thoughts and problems. The team behind the app is very lean – only six people, three of them are developers and the other three – marketers. Darius took the stage to demonstrate how such small team can actually achieve a million downloads for the app. The “secret weapon” that allowed these people to propel the app that far is the Influencer marketing.

There is one core feature of the influencer marketing that allows it to shine and be more effective than traditional marketing – authenticity. Ads created by influencers are crafted by them to deliver the message using their voice, the voice their audience trusts for real. So in the case of Reflectly they managed to find the right influencers who could explain their fans how exactly the app will help them and why it’s cool.

Darius Moravcik, head of growth at Reflectly presentation slide

The next bright moment I want to touch upon was a presentation by  Matthijs Van Giffen of Phillips, who took the stage to talk about the natural growth of the company’s healthcare app  Pregnancy+ app. Covering various App Store Optimization aspects, Matthijs emphasized on App Store reviews and ratings as the way to set user ecxpectations. When people look at a bunch of similar apps on the App Store or Google Play, positive reviews and ratings are the tools to influence their decision to choose your app. Among other things that Philips app marketing team has been experimenting with to grow their Pregnancy+ app loyal user base you can see on the following picture of the presentation slide. Among these I would personally emphasize on keep copy short, it’s actually really hard to tell about something brief but insightful but it is essential to win people’s attention and persuade them to download your app.

 Matthijs Van Giffen, senior mobile manager B2C at Phillips presentation slide

To switch gears and change the event dynamics, after a few presentations, it was time for the The Growth Panel: Finding High Growth App Channels In 2019 panel with Enric Pedro Of  LabCaveAndrew Platt of M&C Saatchi Performance, Meg Gettel of Skyscanner , Fiona Sellick of The Nod and Nadine Sequeira Sham of Mopub (owned by Twitter). Panelists were covering app user acquisition strategies, how spend your app marketing budget wisely once you’ve reached certain level of popularity, how to keep growing. Addressing the last question, Nadine from Mopub suggested to invest into paid media and the obvious candidate of which today is Facebook Ads. But once this channel has reached its plateau, you need to switch to Real Time Bidding platforms to continue growing your app user base.

On the background of all topics that were discussed during the summit, was this 800 pound gorilla one – Mobile Ad Fraud. Jennifer Burrington of Interceptd presentation was entirely focused on this digital advertising pandemic. Jennifer is definitely not a newbie in the advertising industry, she spent 20 years in multiple top-tier companies such as Sprint, Electronic Arts, Greystripe and Kochava, before she recently joined Interceptd team. The major underlining point of her presentation was that all companies that invest money into mobile advertising need to be aware of the mobile fraud issue and use tools to combat it.

Jennifer Burrington, VP & Head of Sales, North America talks about types of ad fraud 

The other highlight of the day was a presentation delivered by, one and only, Tim Armoo of FanBytes and it’s called “How To Dominate 2019 Using TikTok & Snapchat Influencers”. Tim isn’t a stranger to APS, he’s been to a couple previous summits and always managed to captivate the audience with his speech. The essence of his message was this – to be able to compete with companies with deep (Spotify, Apple Music), pockets you need to be innovative and think out of the box. Tap the culture, figure out what language Snapchat / Instagram / TikTok  audience speaks to be authentic. If you master this skill, you can actually compete with big companies on these younger generation catered social media platforms. It’s about psychology, not economics.

And the last thing to mention is The Future of App Growth keynote closing session with James Bott, Ceo & Co-Founder, The Aso Co (Moderator), Charlie Cooke, Head Of Marketing, Movebubble, Carla Manent Molina, Senior Marketing & Commercial Manager – Mobile, TUI, Joe Gagliese, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Viral Nation. This session purpose was to conclude everything what was said on other presentations and give people nice takeaway they will use once they get back home and it’s time to get back to their business. Among many things discussed, the following tidbits I found interesting.

  • Carla of TUI shared the story of how they managed to grow the app user base 42%, once they figured out what the issue with the app was – its user interface: people had a hard time figuring out app’s useful features.
  • Mobile is not the end of the story, it’s about what channel is better for a specific moment to reach your audience. 
  • Be aware that people use iOS App Limits feature and they aren’t necessary use the apps continuously, app usage may come in specific time chunks.
  • Be responsible and ethical in your app marketing efforts and not over push with your marketing outreach.
  • Mobile is the next thing people being addicted to, it replaced desktop computers & www of yesterday.
  • In future influencers will be focused on specific clients and will be less available for new advertisers.
  • AR has a better potential for all advertising compared with VR. Apps that deliver practical features for people are doing it right (like measuring your luggage via the app).

Final thoughts

If you want to get more color for the event, check out hashtag #APSLondon on Twitter or Instagram and the photos were taken during the event by our photographer. Sticking to our year-over-year commitment we’ll do our best to make the next App Promotion Summit 10% better than the last one. For APS the next stop will be New York. See you there.