Mick Rigby, CEO of marketing agency Yodel Mobile, joins Jess Overton to discuss the power of marginal gains for app growth, the symbiotic relationship of the marketing funnel, and optimizing towards long-term LTVs. Listen here or read the edited highlights below. 

Audio opportunities and the old school fundamentals

"The traditional channels are effective, they're also becoming more expensive...and the data that you get is being reduced. As an industry we're starting to see much more focus on new channels and more emphasis on messaging and creatives.

On a channel basis, we've seen a big rise in podcast style channels like Clubhouse or Stereo (one of our clients). These apps are entering the space and changing the way people communicate with each other. They are at the moment at the start of a very big growth area over the next few years. This gives advertisers the potential to tap into audio-based opportunities.

As for creative - because of the limitations we're seeing on more traditional channels, the messaging strategy has become more important now compared to the last 5-10 years. The old school qualities of understanding the medium, the nuances of what you're saying, catching people's eye and compelling them to download - these things will become more important over the next year or two.

Getting big brands to try new channels

Well-established businesses and brands have a lot of precedent - they have marketing strategies that have worked well for many years, and there's often an attitude of "if it ain't broken, don't fix it". So there is sometimes pushback with such companies when trying to convince them to try out new opportunities.

The best way to convince them is with a test and learn strategy, where we minimize spend and risk, and then hopefully prove the value and impact of the new channels [...] It comes down to individuals within these businesses, and if they're prepared to get out of their comfort zones.

The symbiotic relationship of the marketing funnel

"The most successful app marketing businesses, or the businesses that have apps that are very good at their growth marketing, are the ones that really understand the symbiotic relationship of every aspect throughout that funnel  [...] What you have is a handful of key areas such as your app store optimization, your initial onboarding process, your app review management, getting people to accept push notifications, your CRM strategy, your recommendation strategy...they’re probably the 7 or 8 key things alongside the top of the funnel - bringing in quality users - that are the key elements that you need to be focused on throughout your growth journey"

Marginal gains and app growth

"There’s a principle called marginal gains, which means what you do every day, every week, every month, every year, is make improvements. And those improvements could be, in the sense of marginal gains, just small improvements. But if you’re doing so many of those things, they add up to the 10, 15, 20, 30% improvement. So if you’re looking at all those key areas there, and you’re only improving your conversion rate by 1% from your app store, or your push priming - getting more people to accept push notifications - by 3 or 4 percent, they add up, and you’re getting to that 10-15% improvement on a monthly basis. And that to me is one of the real secrets of app success. "

How to optimize towards long-term LTVs

"That to me is one of the real secrets of app success: don’t get too carried away with focusing on just the quality of a small number of the individuals that you’re managing to convert through paid user acquisition. You could [instead] spend 80% of your time doing that, and in the 20% you’re freeing up you can make a bigger difference further down the funnel, which allows you to maybe spend a little more on your paid UA or bid slightly higher, but the overall impact on your long-term Lifetime Value will be far greater”.

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