Every once in a while, or to be precise three times a year, there is a moment when it’s time to unplug your laptop, pack your backpack and take a flight to join several hundred other like-minded people to became a part of the App Promotion Summit. This is your chance to get yourself up-to-speed with the latest trends in app marketing, fix some of misconceptions you may have and – of course – establish relationships with people who can help your app to grow. Nobody would argue that throughout a year you consume a bulk of information to educate yourself about various app marketing topics online but it is also true that nothing can beat a good old face-to-face communication.
As in previous years, this App Promotion Summit consisted of a number of short keynotes that covered multiple topics, ranging from app industry growth trends to business lessons learned from dozens of millions app installs, workshops that covered such topics as building a team to capture and analyze app data properly, ad fraud, App Store Optimization, A/B testing and user acquisition. As well as two panel discussions and a discussion that covered this year hot topics in app marketing and best practices for how to engage and charm mobile app users to stay loyal to an app and what iOS 11 has changed in ASO.
Keynotes & Panels
A mobile app marketing has a wide spectrum of topics and so to help the app developers crowd to get insights into as many topics as possible, all keynotes were 15 minutes long. This was a challenge for the speakers but they met it brilliantly and managed to deliver great insights, among many, I’d like to highlight the following.
Patrick Kate, CEO of Priori Data was the first speaker who took the stage to give everybody a snapshot of the app industry in 2017. According to Priori Data, this year both mobile games and apps have reached a flat point in their growth. Apple is still ahead of the game when it comes to app revenue. Instant Apps, greatly hyped by Google, haven’t resulted in app downloads increase and so Android continues pushing the app downloads volume up and up. The radical revamp made by Apple for its App Store in iOS 11 has yet to help new apps to get noticed more, they still struggle to hit Top Charts.
— Anders Lykke (@anders_lykke) November 30, 2017
CEO of Skoove app Florian Plenge talked about major takeaways from developing the Top 10 educational app. He shared on the stage the company’s path of trying multiple app marketing channels to promote the app and eventual acknowledgment that focusing on an acquisition channel that scaled the best was the key to the app success on a market.
Gesine Maerten of Frinsche Fische had to say this about the Skoove team experience:
— Gesine Maerten (@_Gesine) November 30, 2017
When charming Gessica Bicego of Blinkist took the stage to talk about new, non-conventional channels to scale an app, she laid out a number of channels that app developers and marketers tend to overlook such as podcasts, Snapchat, Outbrain content distribution platform and more. Talking about advertising in podcasts, Gessica stressed on some of the challenges and an attribution in particular. Gessica remarked that people tend to forget about promo codes podcast hosts use to connect advertisers and their listeners and people do in fact misspell brand names.
— peggy anne salz (@peggyanne) November 30, 2017
Over the years, app marketing evolves like any other branch marketing and yet presents some unique challenges. During the break between keynotes, The Hot Topics in App Marketing panelists joined their forces to talk about hot trends in app marketing and challenges it faces. Among the topics discussed were Apple Search Ads, Google Universal App Campaigns (UAC), issues with data transparency, ad fraud and hot topics that each of the panelists see for the coming year. The panel were presented by Thomas Petit of 8Fit, Clara Scheurenbrand, Director Of Sales – Dach, Appsflyer, Daniel Pearson, Ceo & Co-Founder, Bamboo and Dave Bell, Co-Founder & Ceo, Gummicube, with Peggy Anne Salz, Lead Analyst & Founder, Mobilegroove as moderator.
Discussing Apple Search Ads, Thomas Petit of 8Fit did bring up a good point that while AppsFlyer data shows, thanks to Search Ads, that there is a significant revenue per mobile app user growth, in fact partly this growth can be attributed to the brand search. Controversial points around Google UAC were also brought up. The panelists pointed out that Google’s non-disclosing app instals sources makes app marketers life much harder. How can you actually evaluate what sources work better for your app marketing campaign, when you simply have no access to the information about their performance?
Gesine Maerten of Frinsche Fische highlighted one of the tidbits shared from the stage with the following tweet:
Apple Search Ads generate a 30% higher average revenue per user at 40% lower price according to recent Performance Index of @AppsFlyer says @ClaraS_TP #apsberlin hot topic panel pic.twitter.com/mf3EIk6Yqa
— Gesine Maerten (@_Gesine) November 30, 2017
While big part of the crowd were absorbing app marketing and analytical insights that speakers were pouring to them from the stage, small groups of app developers were attending 45 minute long workshops that were hosted in two rooms. The range of topics, that teams from several app marketing, analytics and development companies had brought up, were proper app data collecting, processing and analyzing, customer engagement in app promotion, defining and protecting from ad fraud, A/B testing, ASO, content marketing, mobile user acquisition and more.
Essentially app developers had an opportunity to be walked through all important components of app marketing and analytics, ask burning questions they’ve been looking answers for and get answers from CEO, co-founder or other senior team members of the app industry leading companies.
App Store Optimization (ASO) From Scratch By Daniel Peris CEO & Co-Founder, TheTool and Guillermo Gallardo, ASO Manager, PickASO
One of the great examples of sharing actual data that presents a great value to app developers was the following graph from the AppTweak “Enhance Your App Store Optimization With Search Ads” workshop presentation. The Search Ads paid advertising platform, launched by Apple last fall, had an impact on organic keywords search rank and Olivier Verdin, CEO and co-founder of AppTweak demonstrated it with the HotelTonight app example.
— AppTweak (@AppTweak) November 30, 2017
This year App Promotion Summit format got several great updates and the exhibition expansion was one of them. This time it got more room for people to exhibit and was located in 2 rooms with 17 booths combined (almost a double from the last year 10 booths) and throughout the day these booths were the place for a countless number of conversations to take place to share experience, give a piece of advice and do business.
APS Berlin 2017 exhibition room
And, as Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, following the tradition established by Steve Jobs, loves to say when the company has a surprise-product to announce, there was 1 more thing – the App Growth Awards. So as the name implies the idea behind these awards is to reward companies team contribution into the app industry growth. The awards had the following categories: App Growth Award, App Marketer of the Year, App Advertising Platform, App Analytics Platform, App Engagement Platform, App Marketing Campaign, App Store Listing, App Video, App Marketing Agency of the Year, App Marketing Innovation and ASO company.
From more than 100 companies 55 finalists were chosen and as Anders Lykke will tell you, to announce all finalists in a single shot was a tough job 🙂 and so he added a poetic touch to the list, which triggered lots of laughing and cheering up each finalist.
The App Growth Awards hall
You can find the full list of winners here. Because, as they say, one picture is worth of a thousand words, check out below pictures of some of the lucky winners who made it to the top and were delighted to get the award and shared the moment.
— Thomas Kriebernegg (@kriebernegg) December 1, 2017
Bamboo was just named App Marketing Agency of the Year at the App Growth Awards in Berlin. 🐼😀 I’m so proud of our team! It’s exhilarating to feel like we’re just getting started. Congrats to the other finalists as well. I know that we’re all doing work that will make our industry better and that is what truly matters! #apsberlin
Every App Promotion Summit requires a ton of planning, logistics, preparation and co-ordination but when you can feel such great vibes from all attendees, you know for sure it was worth it! Every single effort. This year summit had more attendees and the bigger exhibition than the previous ones had, introduced App Growth Awards, had great discussions about some new and really exciting topics such as Apple’s Search Ads, Google’s UAC, ever prominent and desperate for solution mobile traffic fraud problem, new App Store Optimization techniques and more.
In 2018 the usual summit schedule will change – in spring the App Promotion Summit will greet people in London and in summer New York will be the place for people get together once again.
To be continue….