Fiksu is riding high at the moment. The Boston-based app marketing company recently released a bunch of impressive milestone stats, announcing it’s generated more than $100 million in annual revenues and driven three billion app downloads and counting. Futhermore, in under four years the company has expanded to seven territories worldwide and 260 employees, with plans to bump that up to 300 over the next six months.
We caught-up with chief strategy officer Craig Palli to find out more on the secrets to Fiksu’s success and where the company is heading in the near term. Read on for some of the highlights of our Q&A.
Mobile ad sector acquisitions…
The mobile ad sector has seen a lot of consolidating over the last six months and that trend shows little evidence of slowing down. Analytics companies have been snapped-up left right and centre, but where does that leave Fiksu? Craig Palli says the company doesn’t have any acquisition plans right now but sees more consolidation as a natural evolution of the industry.
“We’re extremely well positioned right now,” says Palli. “We have partnerships with dozens of the key players in mobile advertising, include ad networks, tracking providers, and exchanges. As some of them go through acquisitions, we continue to work closely with them — in fact, we’ve had relationships with both parties in several of the recent acquisitions. We find this a natural step in the development of the industry, and while we don’t have any acquisition plans ourselves, we’re happy to see the trend.”
The drivers of its success..
When it comes to explaining Fiksu’s impressive growth in the last four years, Palli says the company has focused on generating valuable data while covering the entire app marketing spectrum, rather than focusing on one or two elements.
“There are two keys to our approach,” he says. “One, we recognized the importance of data from the launch of our platform, and we’ve been collecting and acting on that data for almost four years. With 3.5 trillion marketing events to draw on, we’ve got a treasure trove of data that is fueling our clients’ success. The second piece is that when you look around the industry, you see a lot of point solutions: companies that are doing a very good job at tracking and attribution, or app install ads on Facebook, or measuring LTV. What we do is reach across the entire mobile marketing ecosystem to give advertisers one single tech platform to deliver consistent results and unified reporting.”
The benefits of incentivised downloads..
Incentivised downloads – where users are offered rewards for downloading apps – have occupied a somewhat shady area of the app marketing landscape for a while, with Apple officially banning the practice a few years back and some people in the industry questioning the value of users who only download an app to get a reward.
But Fiksu is trying to prove the naysayers wrong. The company runs the Free My Apps platform, which gives users real rewards (such as Google Play vouchers) for engaging with apps. According to Palli, FreeMyApps is among Fiksu’s top 5 traffic sources every month. Although the percentage of spend that goes there is relatively small, Palli says incentivized sources remain important for two reasons.
The first is the benefit of Bursts campaigns:
“Driving large numbers of new users to support a launch or other key event – continue to be an important tool in the app marketer’s kit,” says Palli. “FreeMyApps has a vibrant community of over 1.8M monthly active users who enjoy trying new apps, and is a great way to quickly generate excitement and build up a critical mass of users.”
The second benefit is that incentivized traffic can “provide valuable users cost-effectively.” Palli says while the conversion rates are significantly lower than on non-incentivized traffic, the cost per conversion is proportionally even lower, so cost per valuable user can come out ahead.
The future of the mobile ad sector…
So where does Fiksu see the mobile ad sector heading in the short-to-mid term? According to Palli you can expect to see more dollars pouring in and more consolidation between companies.
“We do expect some continued consolidation — there are just so many competing (and cooperating) companies handling links along the mobile marketing chain, that it only makes sense for larger players to fill in gaps in their expertise by acquiring smaller players. The increasing amount of consumer time and advertiser dollars being poured into mobile won’t hurt either, as an incentive to companies looking to expand through acquisition.”
Thanks to Craig and the Fiksu team for some great insights. For more information head over to the Fiksu website.