How many games are there in the app store? And how many of those are you actually aware of? These are the questions that AppLovin poses to game developers who are trying to find ways to get their apps in front of the right people. Katie Jansen is the CMO of AppLovin and on this episode of Marketing Trends, she discusses the strategies and tools they use to help bring more awareness to all the apps in the mobile world, and how they built up their own model for success at the company..
– In building a marketplace, AppLovin has to keep the developer top of mind
– Because things move and change so fast in the world of mobile, it’s important to focus on making a great product rather than finding the right audience
– Most game developers aren’t focused on monetization — that’s where AppLovin comes in
“What we’re starting to see a lot more of now, is that people will buy things in the game and then want to buy that same thing in the real world. So I can buy this product bag in the game for X amount of coins and then I can actually go get that same product bag and have it be special from the game. The online / offline, in-app / offline experience.”
“There are very few marketers that I know that are going to go create a game, not because they couldn’t or they don’t find the value. It’s more that if you’re Prada, you’re probably going to go and create a whole group and that group’s going to create the game for you and then you’re going to come to AppLovin and say, ‘Help me get this game to the top of the charts.’ Whereas the group that we help publish those games, those are folks who don’t have the same resources that Prada has. They’ve got a great game or they have an amazing initial concept, but they don’t have the funds to get it in front of people. And that’s when a group like AppLovin can really come in and help out because we do have the funds obviously to help. And when we see a great game, we are all about getting it in front of consumers.”
“In terms of the larger marketplace, it was all about keeping the developer top of mind for us. And now it’s grown into so many different ways in which we interact with a developer.”
“All we did was focus on making an amazing product. And we would test it and we would listen to the app developers and the customers and they’ll tell you when there’s a problem. Then we would iterate based on their feedback.”
“If you look back even just a few years, there were a lot more developers who would create a great game and just assume that because it was a great game, it would get out in front of people. They didn’t think through the monetization. They thought, ‘I created this great, great game. I want everyone to see it. Oh, but how am I going to make money on this game?’ Putting ads in the games or thinking about the economy in order to do the game economy for in-app purchases was an afterthought. And I think people are getting a lot more sophisticated now.”
[Advice for first-time CMOs] “Make sure you focus on the strategy as well as the tactics. Especially if you’re starting at a startup and you have these clear goals out of the gate, it can get really easy to get focused on the day to day, the tactics that just hitting that one number. But make sure you have the broad vision too.”
Katie Jansen joined AppLovin in 2012 and has since been named by Business Insider as one of the most powerful women in mobile advertising. She was previously Vice President of Marketing at PlayFirst, a mobile gaming publisher acquired by Glu in 2014. Katie is an advocate for women in tech and workplace equality. She serves as a marketing advisor to organizations such as Women 2.0 and Women in Wireless and mentors women in technology.
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