Mic’d Up With MAAS Episode 9: Untangling the Global UA Puzzle with Just Slide Media

Ankit Rawal, Senior Director Sales & Marketing – MAAS, and Steven Sesar, Managing Director of Just Slide Media, catch up to talk about the imminent digital transformations in app marketing and scaling user acquisition strategies from evolved to developing markets and vice versa.

Here are the edited excerpts from the conversation.

Ankit: COVID has really accelerated digital transformation. From your vantage point in an evolved market like North America, how do you see this whole digital transformation playing out post-COVID?

Steven: You don’t have to be a genius to realize that we’ve really moved ahead by 10 years. Because of the lockdown, traditional categories – be it insurance or telecommunications businesses – that had been heavily dependent on offline marketing, are rapidly accelerating their digital initiatives and moving online as quickly as possible.

We’ve seen one of the largest insurance providers in the Southeast Asian markets test all different kinds of concepts during the lockdown period. Everything from trying to sell insurance policies inside an app to actually using voice and video ad-formats.

We’ve seen different kinds of deployments of different types of direct consumer applications in a way that they really never had thought about. Pre-COVID the telecommunications industry in the US was about 99% offline where telephones and plans, certainly in the postpaid space were typically sold at either brand owned stores or national retail stores. And now what we’re seeing is an increased interest to have a digital-first strategy.

Across the world, even traditional verticals are now rapidly transforming in various incarnations through digital as a mode of efficiency. 

Ankit: When you are marketing two different brands to two different geographies like North America and Southeast Asia, what methodology and channels do you use?

Steven: We always cast a wide net first and we never start with the assumption that we know who our customer is going to be. We’ll go ahead and deploy our campaigns across the largest networks possible. Once we deploy it across everybody, we know who our client or customer is. We know where the higher conversion rates are. And then we hone and optimize the campaigns over time to find the right nuance, the right set-up, campaign structure and networks. We reign that in over time – a wide optimized net, rinsed and repeated. 

At the end of the day, the strategy in itself is really not that different. Of course, the copy that we use, the imagery that we use are always going to be nuanced and different by market, but the strategy and deployment remains the same. 

Ankit: Especially around mobile user acquisition, do you think discussions and discourse around incrementality or multi-touch attribution will become a fad or they are now here forever?

Steven: Incrementality actually to be totally transparent. We typically think about it from the perspective of multivariate testing, trying to improve performance on an incremental basis. In some cases, it’s not just about the install alone. In most cases, it’s going to be about improving subscription/ conversion rates. And therefore, we’re looking at step change modifications inside the products and the application. That will allow to improve conversion rates and then pour more budget into the marketing side of the business.

Ankit: Any insider insight for Asian companies looking to go big in North America?

Steven: Whatever methodologies work in either of the two regions, they’re going to work in both those regions. Take the methodologies, apply them and do a lot of testing.

That’s been our approach. Despite the fact that everyone thinks new products are entirely different, the methodology to grow really is always the same. Always take a performance oriented approach – core analytics, understand what’s converting. Most apps are driven through very smart performance campaigns. Architect your growth environment in such a way that you have all the data to understand and measure growth and then deploy the same tactics as you can. 

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Diksha Sahni

Diksha is a senior content marketing manager at Affle. A journalist turned marketer, she has worked in the B2B and AdTech industries and writes on all things mobile on the MAAS blog.

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