Vesa Tormanen, CEO of Attriboost Talks Mobile App Marketing

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- Attriboost Mobile ad tracking for the masses

Vesa is a mobile veteran having served 15 years at Nokia in Product, Portfolio, and Product Line leadership roles in Europe, Asia, and the US. He hold’s a Master’s degree in Computer Science and an MBA. Vesa has worked in Ad Tech since 2013 – first as part of Fiksu, Inc. and lately heading the tracking & attribution spin-off Attriboost. Vesa is into Coursera data science courses, podcasts, Twin Peaks, and Twitter, where you can find him as @VesaTormanen in addition to @Attriboost.

What is Attriboost and how are you positioned in the market?

We offer an easy-to-use free mobile app tracking, attribution, and analytics product for app publishers big and small. The system is self-serve with no vetting, so anyone can come to attriboost.com, register, put our SDK in, and start measuring the effectiveness of their user acquisition activities, be it on paid or free media. We also commit to not turn any feature into paid which is free today, so if you’re not interested in our paid features, you can count on never paying for your app analytics.

What types of clients do you work with?

We’re open to any types of clients with access to at least one mobile app, but we realize the big four tracking providers offer more to companies spending millions in paid user acquisition. We’re targeting publishers, whose apps don’t generate the kind of ARPU, which makes massive paid acquisition possible. Then one also tends to be more cost-conscious about the tracking system, while still requiring reliable and comprehensive analytics. We welcome any hobbyist app developers too to see, what kinds of users they are getting, and from where.

What geographies are you focused on and where are you seeing the most growth?

We don’t exclude any market, and we also see interest and registrations from all over the planet. We’re about to release click re-directing, which opens up all the regional Android app stores, and hope to see a big boost from that in e.g. China.

What are your main tips for successful mobile advertising?

My main tip is that cost per install is given too much emphasis as a metric. A lot of users never come back to the app after the initial install. It’s much better to find a trigger in the app, which truly distinguishes the valuable users, and measure acquisition cost against that instead. For some, the cheapest installs also back out cheapest against this key metric while for others, it might be the most expensive traffic that has the best value. You will never know before you try.

Trying also applies to the traffic sources. It’s easy to just keep buying from Google or Facebook, but there may be better alternatives for your app out there. Some portion of the budget should be dedicated to testing new sources.

Another is to not stop marketing after the user has installed the app. Retention requires constant innovation on how to reward users for coming back.

What are your thoughts on the mobile advertising industry landscape? Any trends you can think of?

Consolidation will probably continue in the traffic source space. Ability to take a group of users and grow that into a much bigger audience via e.g. lookalike modelling is very effective, but to do that you need a vast amount of user data. In order to have enough data, and the means to process it, you need to above a size threshold, which is still too high for many.

What is the cutting-edge of the mobile ad tracking today? What are some of the challenges companies face with tracking their mobile ads?

Being able to combine the data from your app with a larger pool data is something also the tracking companies are moving towards. The continuous challenge is finding a positive return on ad spend, at volume. This requires not only tracking, but constantly testing new sources of traffic, and weeding out the ones that no longer perform.

What kind of people work with you in the team at Attriboost?

We’re a lean entity and intend to stay that way – this is the only way to continue to offer the service for free. Our development team is very talented at doing large scale processing, as we see over 10 billion app events per month. Geographically we’re split between East Coast of USA and Ukraine.

What mobile devices do you use personally?

I worked in Nokia for a long time, so I was a Symbian guy. I still miss the cameras on N8 and 808 Pureview. I started using the iPhone when I left Nokia, and have learned to like it a lot. Nokia is making a return with Android phones, but I think I’m stuck in Apple-land at least for now.

What are your favorite apps?

I listen to a lot of podcasts with the iOS native Podcast app, and music via Spotify. I’m a Twitter completist, and get my fix with Tweetbot. I follow Formula 1 racing, and use their app to track the races – it’s all about analytics in hobbies too! My favourite mobile game at the moment is Hill Climb 2, but I’m also still trying to catch ’em all in Pokémon GO.

Are you ok with the idea of robots coming to our houses to do our chores and so on? Do you have / would you buy one?

I just bought a robot vacuum cleaner! It arrived yesterday, but it’s still in the box. Maybe I’m too scared to open it?…