Podcast
Inside the marketing strategy that got this self-care app to the top charts

In this episode of Out of the Box, Jess Overton is joined by Clement Halloo, Head of Marketing at Fabulous - an app that uses behavioral science to help individuals and teams build healthy habits. They discussed Fabulous's growth strategy, the importance of collaboration between Product, Creative, and UA teams, defining a brand vision, and much more.

Listen to the podcast or read the edited highlights below.

Using social channels to get the word out there

So the app really grew through direct response ads. The app was created in 2014 and grew really consistently and profitably. The channels that worked the best for us were Facebook and Instagram - no surprises there.

They worked so well because we could showcase the vibe and the tone of voice of the app. It's a beautiful app with a unique tone of voice. It makes creating habits easy and simple and fun. And so in terms of creatives, we were able to find assets that really resonated on Facebook, Instagram and on other paid social or social channels like Pinterest, which has been working really, really well. So social media was a great way to, for us to scale and get the word out there.

Next to the paid strategy, the team did an amazing job at creating an Instagram profile and organic presence online with an account that has a couple million followers.

Experimenting with new channels

We have a clear idea of what our audience is.  Starting from that, the next logical step is figuring out where they spend most of their time. We know about social media, the channels that are the most used by our core audience, but we know as well, that the younger audience can find Fabulous interesting and useful, and actually pay for it as well. So recently we've been having some pretty good success with TikTok.

Learnings from the gaming industry

What I've learned and what impresses me still to this day about the mobile gaming industry is the creative testing strategy and creative optimization, which is extremely, extremely granular with hundreds of iterations every week.

This highly data-driven approach to creative is something that I brought to my next roles, focusing on having a more granular understanding of audiences, figuring out the audience motivations, and the characteristics as granularly as possible. That will guide creative production, channel selection, influencer selection, and so on.

Team structure for rapid creative testing

First we have an amazing creative lead who manages in-house designers and freelance designers as well. We also get support from the senior designer within the team who's collaborating with product, and who's also sort of the keeper of the brand, if you will, making sure that we don't stray too far away from the brand.

Essentially how this works is the UA team would tell us to tell the creative team what are their needs are, for instance "we need to scale UAC... we don't have enough videos, or enough static assets for that format". So explaining the needs, explaining the specificities of the channel, the contexts in which the ads will show what kind of targeting is available and so on and so forth.

So there is this dissemination of knowledge from the UA team to the creative team, to make sure that when the creative teams go back and create these tons of assets within a week that there is no need for a ton of back and forth. We're still a small team. There's two people in the UA team, the creative team is a bit bigger - but making sure communication is efficient is the most important thing.

In addition to efficient communication in speeding up the creative testing and production process, it helps when the creative folks focus on the style and the design experimentations. So the UA team needs to make sure they have as many creatives as they need in the right format, in the right sort of diversity in terms of contents, but in the end, the creative folks have total freedom.

Defining a brand vision

The first thing is figuring out your brand values. What do you stand for? What makes you unique in the world? What makes you different from the competitors? That's the foundation and the process then is about aligning the product roadmap. Our product is seven years old, but the product has evolved a lot and will continue to evolve.

There are features that are being tested literally every week and big changes coming up. And we need to make sure that the product itself evolves in a way that's in line with our brand, with our principles or ideals. One lever we also want to use is user research. Asking our users is good to understand what Fabulous stands for and make sure this resonates really well with our current users and our potential users. From there you get a lot of insights that will help you put together your brand guidelines.

Product and UA teams working together

I think at Fabulous is the closest I've seen a product team and the marketing team working together. It's just incredibly important for the product team, which we call the growth team. The growth team at Fabulous is composed of behavioral economists, so every product manager has a background in behavioral economy and they are extremely interested by the kind of traffic we bring. If we get a breakthrough on TikTok, and we bring a "TikTok audience", that has an impact on metrics.

And when there's a product manager that looks at the onboarding and they look at their metrics and see some movement, sometimes there is a clear relationship or correlation with what we've been doing in UA. So understanding the nature of the audience is very important for Product.

For UA, you need to have the product knowledge to be able to showcase new features, and know what the product team is working on and preparing for this. In addition, it's important for UA teams to understand the funnel really, really well - the app funnel and the web funnel. Because this impacts UA results directly. If an experiment is being done on the product side and UA sees this in their data, whether there's a drop or a massive increase, they simply need to know why. So that data from UA and from product helps the other team out.

I think one kind of cool and fun example of where this collaboration can be seen in the app is when we've had creative success in UA or in social media, where a creative was obviously bringing so much value to users and potential users, and as a result this creative somehow made its way into the app as well. So really the product has both eyes and both ears on what UA does and vice versa.

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