Last month, a mobile attribution and marketing data analytics company, AppsFlyer raised a sum of $56 million in Series C financing, bringing its total funding to $84 million. The company revealed that the fresh round of funding would be used to invest in products and innovations that help marketers connect and measure everything that can be measured, including mobile, web, television and offline activities.
But with a number of reports stating that app downloads are declining in many regions, we at Techseen wanted to seek AppsFlyer’s take on the issue and understand what the situation is in the Asian countries. Sanjay Trisal, Country Manager, AppsFlyer, India in an interaction with Techseen shares his views on the subject. Excerpts:
Techseen: According to a report by comScore, an average American downloads zero apps a month. But Oren Kaniel (CEO of AppsFlyer) has stated that this not the case in Asian countries. Why is there a discrepancy? Can you give us an insight into the app usage trend in Asian countries?
Trisal: While the average American’s app downloads habits can be debated, Asia is certainly a mobile-first, app-centric region. The region is the global leader in the scale of digital infrastructure thanks to half of the world’s mobile phone subscribers and the largest number of wireless Internet connections. That means most of Asian users’ interactions with screens of any kind occur on a mobile device. Furthermore, many people in Asia – more than half a billion of them – are mobile only. As such, Asian users are more connected to their phones for everyday activities, and in some cases can only connect to their phones for digital-related activities.
Techseen: Now that you have planned to strengthen your focus on China, how do you plan to explore the market there? Apart from Baidu and Tencent, who else do you plan to partner with?
Trisal: The global mobile marketplace is evolving, with few markets presenting opportunities as interesting or compelling as Asia – India, China and Southeast Asia in particular. While we will continue to accelerate our business growth in China, we cannot comment on partnerships that have not yet been made public. But we are very excited about the near-term and long-term value of all these markets for both domestic and global players, and will continue to invest heavily in helping the ecosystem – both marketers and their partners – improve their performance through transparent mobile measurement.
Techseen: Is it enough for businesses to track their progress through organic downloads of mobile apps alone? What’s your take on measuring effectiveness of omni-channel activities and the ability to act upon the insights gained?
Trisal: Now more than ever, businesses, marketers and developers need to look at their customer funnels and experiences from both channel-specific and omni-channel perspectives. As the always-on, ever present channel, mobile often serves as the connective thread across channels, bridging retail and online, email and social, etc. As such, mobile should deliver rich insights into every element of the business.
For needs such as mobile app marketing, marketers and developers need to understand which media sources, such as paid media, social media, in-store signage, tv ads or even PR, drove each app install. However, in order to deliver a real business impact, marketers and developers must dive much deeper, understanding the retention, lifetime value and ROI of each user and download. Whereas organic installs were once assumed to be of the highest quality, we now know that (a) many organic installs were actually driven by unattributed marketing campaigns, and (b) with today’s rich targeting and delivery, well optimized paid media often outperforms organic.
When properly measured and optimized, marketers and businesses can improve the value their businesses deliver and derive from their mobile apps. The key is to understand the role their mobile apps play today, how their customers discover and engage with their apps and businesses and how their mobile apps can foster stronger brand preference, conversion and ROI.
Techseen: Now that a lot of wearables are coming into the market, one has the ease to access an app from his smartwatch. How do you plan to direct your services to tap app usage through wearables?
Trisal: Today’s generation of wearables are largely extensions of the mobile environment. As such, measuring and improving performance on wearables is already available to all AppsFlyer customers. The real challenge for the wearables market today is in delivering sustainable user value and loyalty. As businesses and the wearables platforms evolve their strategies and capabilities, it is imperative that marketers invest in understanding their user behavior, it’s present business value and it’s long term potential.