Episode #32: Adapting to the New Mobile Growth Normal with Raphaël Labouré

In episode 32 of our podcast we talked with MWM's Head of Growth Raphael Laboure about the IDFA deprecation, how ROAS is not an accurate indicator anymore and how to readjust to the new industry reality following iOS 15.

In this episode of Mobile Growth & Pancakes, Jonathan Fishman is joined by Raphaël Labouré, Head of Growth at MWM – one of the world’s largest creative apps publishers. They discuss challenges in targeting due to Apple’s new privacy-focused approach to ads, hiring and training creative marketers, and Apple’s future direction now that they have deprecated IDFA.

Check out all the other episodes of Mobile Growth & Pancakes here.

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I think it’s more about bringing back more traditional marketing into its performance marketing, because it’s harder to do performance marketing [where] it’s hard to measure where the performance is coming from. It’s more about bringing more artistic things to it.

Raphaël Labouré

Key takeaways:

  • Raphael has close to fifteen years of experience in mobile gaming and has worked with big publishers for big titles. He has also helped manage marketing and business at a casual games publisher. Today as the Head of Growth at MWM, Raphael manages everything that touches user acquisition and revenue. MWM builds apps that allow millions of people to explore their creativity, including various apps for learning musical instruments, video editing, and image editing.
  • Prior to the IDFA deprecation, campaigns would automatically supply lots of data which caused advertisers to lose their discipline with marketing. Due to Apple’s sweeping privacy-focused changes in iOS, advertising campaigns have become less accurate and revenue forecasting has become more complex.
  • ROAS is not an accurate indicator anymore. Therefore, it’s important to focus your metrics based on broad categories and focus on basic marketing skills.
  • MWM focuses on using MMPs and balancing Facebook/Google models due to their over-attribution. They also use other stats like predictive LTV and NPS.
  • To compensate for the loss of accuracy in user-level data, marketers can focus on other actions like PR branding, social media management, and running broadly targeted campaigns without relying on lookalike audiences.
  • Apple seems to be going in the direction of becoming an ad network. They are trying to get marketers and publishers to take a smarter approach.

Full Transcript:

Jonathan Fishman: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Mobile Growth & Pancakes. I’m your host, Jonathan Fishman. I’m VP marketing in Storemaven. Today I’m really excited to be here with Raphael, head of growth at Music World Media. Hi, Raphael.

Raphael: Hello, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Hey.

Raphael: Happy to be here.

Jonathan: Awesome. Did you want to introduce yourself a bit and talk a bit about the company?

Raphael: Yes. To introduce myself very quickly, I am the head of growth at Music World Media. I’ll come to my scope currently, where I’m coming from proves to be 15 years now doing mainly video gaming. I’ve worked a lot on AAA and big brands and big publishers and big titles and came to mobile almost three years ago. Made my reconversion to move on and came that. I’ve been to a position previously where I had the responsibility of managing marketing and business departments in a casual publisher.

Today, I’m the head of growth at MWM, Music World Media. Here, I manage everything that touches acquisition and revenues. It includes, of course, user acquisition, marketing, ISO, CRM, community management, customer support, content, and monetization. Both had monetization in-app.

Jonathan: Cool. Can you walk us a bit through what MWM, do? What apps do you have?

Raphael: As our name says, we come from music. We are a very big actor in the music apps, part of the top ones. If you exclude the very big ones like [unintelligible 00:02:32] and things like that torrent streaming or podcasts because it’s a very different business from us doing apps. We are part of the biggest one regarding music. We have a bunch of hats regarding that all-around music in between DJ mixing apps, like DJ-ing. We have, of course, beatbox apps like Beat Looper and Beat Maker Pro. We have as well learning apps to learn instruments for guitar, drums, piano.

We have as well utilities like a guitar tuner to tune your guitar, bass, ukulele. We have a metronome, bass boosters, lots of utilities around music and sounds and for musicians as well of no matter if they are pro or amateurs. That’s where we are coming from, where our name is coming from. As you might have seen, we have had a big fundraise last year of $50 million. We are currently scaling a lot in terms of resources that as well in terms of product but as well in terms of additional funds also.

We are moving across now creativity as a whole considering, of course, music as creativity PR. We are adding those movies. We have hats regarding puzzles, colouring, canvas, pixel canvas, and things like that. We have as well photo editing, things like about your photo. We have filters put yourself as a baby, [unintelligible 00:04:12] and things like that [unintelligible 00:04:13]. We have as well into hats around video editing.

It’s quite an interesting app where you can upload your videos from your early days. You choose the sound and then there’s an algorithm that will match your videos with a sound and make a montage for you which is pretty convenient for people not being like professionals with [unintelligible 00:04:39]. That’s roughly what we have. We have on top of that as well a small team of 16 people doing games. They are training and growing in [unintelligible 00:04:51] schedule that we are evolving towards schedule in the coming months.

Of course, focusing as well on music games because this is where we’re coming from. We have lots of texts in terms of music serving and sound serving that will help us make great music games. The whole purpose, of course, is growing like any company, but as well building an ecosystem and the transactional system because we strongly believe that in the world of creativity, people are the same. It’s pretty broad and can switch to entertainment as well to some extent.

Jonathan: Awesome. That’s fantastic. Today, we want to talk a bit about the challenges of user acquisition. We’re about to end 2021 soon and we’re going to kick off 2022 with a ton of new challenges that have been playing out for some time now but are kicking off to high gear right now. One of them is, of course, what’s been happening for the past few months with Apple starting to enforce the ATT framework and the deprecation of the IDFA, or the axis or the ability to share the IDFA with ad networks, or with MMPs, and SK ad network, of course.

Now with iOS 15, the addition of a lot of new apps or capabilities, like custom product pages, in-app events, and a lot of tools that can affect user acquisition in a very big way. Let’s start with, first of all, the strategy of the company because that really got me interested. Is that part of like a way to say we’re going very broad and going into hyper-casual and utilities and apps that basically do not rely so much on a tiny fraction of the audience that is going to be the whales in what we see in some games or even subscription apps? Is that take away to the very like [unintelligible 00:07:00] just to go broad because that’s what’s going to be available in terms of targeting in the next year or so?

Raphael: I would say it is a very complex thing to assess because in one way, you have two parameters. You have, of course, this part of privacy coming over with, of course, Apple doing their changes in terms of iOS 14, especially iOS 14.5. There are some signs, of course, of Google that will to some extent align on that losing accuracy on the way we target people. We were on the train previously about trying to target security proposing what the people were willing to hear to promote your app in the right way and proposing something that is not intrusive and aggressive. We are going backwards.

On the other side, we have as well elements coming from the major players of media and acquisition, trying to as well them ultimate the universe and having stronger and stronger algorithms for you to micromanage your campaign less and less. We have seen that from one part, removing data and accuracy from your campaign and targeting destroyed the second part. There have been weird events. Of course, there’s been a depreciation of the performance of the campaign on one side, but there has been as well challenging about tracking from what we have lost in tracking.

There’s been, of course, now the big part of all the acquisitions, especially on iOS goes into organic. It’s pretty hard to attribute it because we have done a bunch of tests to try to identify the organic uplift and see if there were a difference in-between channels in terms of IDFA adoption rate from the users. The problem where it gets complex is that it depends as we are further away from the targeting possibilities and knowing exactly what we were doing in the past saying, yes, we know they are of that age, they like that, or they do that.

We were able to really segment them and be precise as we can really do that. There are different issues about being able to target people and get them in the right way, but as well identify the right uplift. We have done tests, I said, on different channels. Basically, depending on the product, depending on the countries, the IDFA adoption rates are very, very different because you don’t know who you target. It’s not like you target waves or early adopters or people like that and you knew and then you could transfer it.

It brings so much noise that you can’t really model it exactly. You can extrapolate it, but it’s hard. Now, it’s more when before, you weren’t doing the way you had your target, but breakeven, profitability, and you were like, “I want to break even by a time so I can make benefit out of it.” That’s not something you can do anymore. It’s more about trying to get the closer as possible to profitability with what you can track. Knowing that as there is at least 50% you can track, it gets above it. You can’t be [unintelligible 00:10:40]

Jonathan: How are you currently measuring or attempting to measure what used to be the return on ad spend, that was pretty accurate, I would say?

Raphael: ROAS is still an indicator, but it’s not as accurate before. It is a mix of bringing somebody to do about that, and especially for iOS, trying to have mixing bowls on one side having something accurate about keeping still the ROAS, knowing that you don’t track, all the users you are attracting with your campaign. Sometimes there’s a delay in attribution, but sometimes [unintelligible 00:11:24]

Then on top of that, you can have some channels that are still invoicing and cutting your budget with the delay of attribution, because they will count what has been attributed. There are delays, and it brings lots of notes, but you still try to be somehow profitable or close to the end. What we do is that I design and decide and say, “Who’s campaigning on this product, for iOS should have, by that time, a certain percentage of ROAS.”

Then on the other side, we as well keep the big picture, saying we invest a certain amount of money for a certain amount of people of a certain value, and then you keep the high picture of saying it’s hard to say these are purely organic, coming from organic, these are organic, not organic, being paid, or [unintelligible 00:12:22], it’s hard to say. You need to keep the big picture and come back to, let’s say, more of a traditional marketing way of seeing things where you do branding and you do different campaigns like TV, branding campaign, display outside, and things like that.

You have on the residue of as long as everything work out and you have the result, it’s all right even if some stuff is not very efficient because you can’t really accurately measure. It’s more about mixing bowls, and as well on the other side, which is my part, is more about modelling the performance of the product. Meaning performance in terms of revenue for a product, it’s based on the audience and the monetization you get on the audience. Basically, if we grow the audience with a certain investment, then we should grow the revenue and see how we evolve.

It’s a mix of keeping a bit of the performance because you will still need it for the UA manager and the UA people because they need performance measurement to be able to track their impact, and they need it. They can’t do with holistic, it doesn’t work, doesn’t match. You still need, on a higher level, to keep a view of the holistic model. It’s not as good as it was before and not as clear. That’s the best option we have.

Jonathan: In terms of tech and your data stack, what are those UA managers using? Are they still relying on MMPs or are you trying to build your own BI system? Are you looking at data coming in from the App Store with the new data that they’re adding there?

Raphael: We have both. They still rely on MMPs. We haven’t as well checked the Facebook and Google models because they tend to overattribute a bit. Lately, we have checked because they do modelling of the overall impact and [unintelligible 00:14:20] Which is different from the MMPs and include, to some extent, the organic uplift. From the test which we’ve done, the Facebook and Google modelling was not that far away, meaning plus 10, minus 10% of accuracy, which gives a trend it’s not perfect, but concerned what you see.

We still have an MMPs on one side. We have our own dashboard with all the stats from the game in terms of audience and units sold and paid in so we can track and attribute the organic as well. We can track, and we have as well our new side models from our BI team about predictive LTV, which helps regarding that. We do our best to as none of these nowadays are fully accurate, try to have a holistic view of all that, to see if the whole picture works out.

As long as it works out, might be that some channels are a bit less efficient than we would expect and some may be a bit more. It’s hard to say to which extent and try to see if we can still achieve at the end of the line and [unintelligible 00:15:44].

Jonathan: I think it’s super important to take, some people are calling it media mix modelling, it’s an accurate name. It’s not easy to achieve, you need a ton of investments in data science and data scientists to develop that model and people to interpret the data ongoingly. Basically, it’s just a fancy word, in my opinion, to track just the effect of your activities on high-level KPIs, the end of the day revenues.

I liked it when you brought up the idea of old-fashioned marketing going. It’s something that I keep on hearing a lot from marketers and UA people these days because, in the past, it was almost financed. I worked as a stock analyst for seven years. It’s like you’re sitting in front of an Excel allocating portfolios, and it was almost like the role of an investor, allocating your portfolio based on performance and you have a ton of data. That was how the lives of a lot of UA managers looked like they sat in front of their MMP dashboard, saw this creative works, this campaign works and they allocated budgets accordingly.

Now you need a lot more creativity with these people because, first of all, just the fact that you can’t measure it, that you can’t measure the ROI of something because the deprecation of the idea [unintelligible 00:17:09] whatever or SKN network, for example, that gives you some sort of singularity is also not accurate. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. I’ll give you an example from the world of B2B marketing. B2B marketing is my profession, and there’s a ton of things that are impossible to attribute. For example, this podcast. Of course, this is a marketing activity.

You can attribute somebody actually going to the store and website searching in Google and requesting a demo, for example, because it will appear in the attribution system is coming in from Google search. What got this person to search for Storemaven, maybe they listen to us talking right now. The same would happen also in mobile marketing. As you said, investing in brands, investing in things that create an uplift in organic visibility, be it branded search, be it an increase in ranking.

That I think, would be something extremely important in 2022, getting back to these kinds of activities. I call it going to rehab. The industry was addicted to user-level data, in a very granular way, for measurement. Now, we need to go into rehab and try to think like marketers, “Which creative are we going to use? What’re the motivations that these users might have? And what will influence them to actually tap on the ad and actually install?”

You think that in looking for 12 months or so, are you going to invest more in those types of people, and then hire for those types of skills and develop creative thinking?

Raphael: I would say there are two parts. There is a part about getting a bit higher and seeing things from the way. What you’ve mentioned about B2B, I can reflect on my past when I want marketing on [unintelligible 00:19:12] When you sell [unintelligible 00:19:15] they are in retail in stores, and it’s not you selling them, it seems like you have no clue who is buying it. What’s important is that you expect a certain amount of revenue from the world sales of your game. From that, you take a cut, that becomes your marketing budget, and then there is provision for sale, for promotion, and things like that.

Basically, everything is structured in a way that there is the margin and then the rest is fragmented in operation to make it happen. It is a mix of that on one side which is more of my side, about taking a bit further away and trying to organize things with my teams to have as well more diversification of activities with bringing back all those things, PR brands, communication actions, social media management and all those things that help you diluting as well the risk on one side.

On the other side, if we come back to user acquisition, it is about trying to find ways to get back some kind of controls because we have been pushed too much away from the networks with algorithms, less targeting, let’s keep the information, let’s look at some audience that we’re targeting. All those things, we have lost that.

On the other side, we have lost IDFAs, and we don’t know exactly after in either. I can take some example of a campaign even, you do a campaign and say, “You know what, I have a broad product. I target broadly people in the US, 18 to 60 years old, male and female, doesn’t matter, who like mobile games, for example, and say, “I target broadly full product.” I put five different assets that are somehow very similar, just displaying your product, your USP, very simple.

Out of that, you have a campaign. From the result with a certain budget, you will have three or four assets with the CPM of $50 and then you have one with $20 and you have no clue why. You have absolutely no clue. One of the trends currently is more about trying to do more diversified and really, in-depth messaging in your asset to push algorithm to segment audience for you by saying, “You know what, if I take a DJ mix, for example, which is a Dj mix app.”

You can say, “In terms of DJ and music, there’s much different music being mixed. There are houses and discos that are more old school. You can have rap and R&B that is more up-to-date. You can have electronic or even old-style dance, tectonic and stuff like that.” You have different ways, and you can say, “Okay, house, disco, maybe a bit older people.” If I go and emphasise that, it’s likely the algorithm will go for these people because they will be the one, the acting stuff.”

If you do R&B, hip hop and stuff like that, much younger people. You just keep your broad targeting and try to force the algorithm, try to identify those people because they will be the ones in your database interacting with it. Maybe, of course, some people not from the target audience that you try to force with your asset might react with me, like, “I never thought I could mix rap. I never thought of it because I don’t use that music or listen to it. It might be fun to mix it with my usual music and try to make it match and make something cool.”

It can still work with a surprise. That’s the trend recently, and we are planning a few tests with that. Basically, it’s more as well, I would say in terms of structuration, it’s more of thinking further and being a bit deeper into. Before it was more, let’s say, pragmatic. Coming is like you do campaigns, you do an assessment, you do targeting, and it was the data replying it for you. Now, it’s more about you thinking and preparing let’s say, “These are the audience, I think I can have. These are the kind of prospects that I think I can attract, and who are they? How can I commit to them?”

I think it’s more about bringing back more traditional marketing into performance marketing because it’s harder to perform marketing as it was because it’s hard to measure where the performance is coming from. It’s more about bringing more realistic things into it.

Jonathan: It’s beautiful. I think that also I’m hearing from a lot of UA folks, that creative becomes your new targeting tool. I think even Facebook, by the way, released a report, I think it was called the big catch. They admitted in that report, they said, “Listen,” I’m rephrasing the language there, but “We’re screwed, and you’re screwed. You can’t target anymore. Look at audiences and just forget about what you used to do. It’s not going to work anymore. We’re Facebook and we’re telling you that.”

Later on, they also issued, it was a press release or something for investors saying like, “Listen, we underestimated how bad it’s going to be.” Then in that report, they said, “But we have an alternative. You just going to target in a very broad way, and you’ll give us creatives with certain motivations, aiming for certain audiences and trust us, the algorithm will find that audience within that very broad group, let’s say the entire US, I don’t know, and they’ll find the right group, the right audience, and they’ll serve that more to them.

This way, you can create funnels, and then now a lot of people are talking about these funnels, also leading. Now Apple’s turn is to give you something back. They took something away, but they give you something back, which is custom product pages. If you have a creative that talks about, I don’t know, techno music for the DJ app, you can create a page that is just about that. It doesn’t make sense if somebody would see the techno ad then go to a page that talks about pop or something that he doesn’t like.

Are you going to leverage custom product pages for your campaigns? Is that in your plan?

Raphael: Yes. For our US team, yes, definitely, that would be a bit complex, in the way that you will definitely need. It is still a very holistic way of seeing is like saying, “Okay, if I have a product, I think just like, for three big audiences that I can define with the right way and making [unintelligible 00:26:16]. Of course, you will be able to use this custom page to say, “Okay, we do a full-funnel about rap, for example, because it’s a big trend of things being mixed a lot by young people.

Currently, it is [unintelligible 00:26:31] and all of a sudden, you’re just tired of that. Then you can have for all the people, maybe a house and things like that and something in the middle. Makes sense. After it as well, it can be seen like that about the product USP or product content. Then I think there will be interest in trying to see the emotional driver and seeing why would they use that? Do they mix for themselves because they like mixing and they like learning like you would learn an instrument and play an instrument for yourself because you like it?

Does it do that to share with friends and they do it to share in the end and do mix and share music as you can share [unintelligible 00:27:15]. Do they do that just because it’s a challenge for them? There are many things you can see or because if they want to be very great at it and make a joke out of it. There are different drivers, emotional drivers of the end, and then after, it’s about serving dance of emotional [unintelligible 00:27:37] and trying to serve it.

I would say there are lots of possibilities, and hopefully, they will align on that and it will be possible to segment with the very clear asset, and then push them to the custom page. Hopefully, in between, you can put some proper deep linking. You can send as well information to your app, that it will propose if you focus on that, meaning if you emphasise rap and hip-hop and things like that and you estimate that they are young. If they come on your app, then you show when to share content and tracks of that style, mainly, and not something totally different than like, “What? That’s absolutely not what I’ve joined.”

It forces us to complexify the thinking and the provision behind that, and it will, of course, require lots of testing, because you never know, as you have no control over the data, you don’t know if indeed, the audience that will get through that will be the audience [unintelligible 00:28:45].

Jonathan: For sure, there’s a need for a lot of testing, as you said. I also think and basically, it’s [unintelligible 00:28:53] test for hundreds of millions of visitors in the past few years, and the results always surprise you. The hypothesis that you thought would be the correct one is not always the correct one. Just because, for example, you just mentioned a lot of different USBs and a lot of different emotion drivers could be that the audience that likes rap is connected the most to the sharing feature because that’s the people they are, they like to share.

The techno audience doesn’t want to share. They want to do it for their own pleasure. I don’t know. There’s so much testing that needs to be done, the connection between the messaging in the ad creative, and in the product page to create the best performing funnel that a lot of testing is needed. Apple, I think they’re going there, and I want to ask you a few things about Apple, what your thoughts are, but they’re going they’re. With in-app events, they do have deep linking functionality, so for everybody that installs through an in-app event, you can configure a deep link and send them basically to the event.

I think it will actually roll out all the pages, in testing, they launch it for the default product page, it’s not for custom product page, [unintelligible 00:30:07] we’re now developing and we’re about to release as soon as it’ll be available, a testing product for custom product pages that will enable all of this testing is a very accurate way.

I think the way I see it, Apple is going to release just more and more tools for marketers and laypeople because you can think about the move that they made with the privacy guidelines and this war against Facebook and really weakening Facebook as an ad network is basically them saying, “We want to be the place where users discover apps. We don’t like the fact that the majority of people in the world discovered apps through Facebook and on Google’s portfolio of assets. We want to be that place.” They weakened everybody.

They really strengthened search ads that still have attribution in a very accurate way and I think because of that, they release more and more tools to make marketing and user acquisition better on the store. I have some crazy idea that that might be right, that Apple will develop into a very large ad network in the next few years because the only missing part there is that they don’t have inventory. All they have is search ads that is limited to the number of searches people make in the app store, but I don’t think it’s farfetched to imagine what Apple will offer to developers.

They don’t even need the SDK. They just need to offer to developers, the ability to show Apple ads within an app and monetize that way and its privacy by design and it’s approved by Apple and then they get a huge amount of inventory and there’s no fraud or very limited fraud because it’s Apple. What do you think about that direction that Apple is taking? Where do you see out of this going?

Raphael: I would say that’s possible. That makes sense. The other thing I see as well, if you want to reflect, you can think about the GDPR. GDPR about Europe product privacy. Since they have said that and you have four to six CPAs in California, but since we have that now it was supposed to protect your data and everything all about cookies and stuff, but now whenever you open a website, you have to give like two or three consents about saying, yes, I want to see that. I want to give my cookies if I don’t want to give my cookies in terms of all list of all the cookies and you have to click when you just want to see an article gets very painful. Of course, for the website you go open the map, you just live once, that’s fine. For users or if you ever go there with another computer, incognito mode, or whatever, yes, you go again. I think it’s about that, a bit of that is that saving privacy and things like that. I totally agree with the user experience it can create and the kind of safety it generates. That’s fine.

On the other side, if we go back like 15, 20 years ago in terms of the web, where there were like new targeting, it was all about pop hubs, very intrusive advertising and everything was very intrusive and you were like, just mentally blocking and after we had the saviours they had blocked. Before that, every time you were opening, you were like, “Oh no, I have to take to close, to click, to close, to ignore all the flashy things.”

It was horrible and it was very, very intrusive and you were sure about the content you were looking for. Then, we had improvement about going more about targeting, understanding the people, trying to create a funnel. Then it was omnichannel just each channel being very targeted. Then omnichannel after was like DMP and things like that, where it was no matter a place, we have like a similar funnel for the people to navigate through according to what they were doing. The thing that with saw the privacy things in terms of experience for the user, every time we go backwards and go back into something you’re like, “Okay, then what else?”

You need to be aggressive. You need to go back into [unintelligible 00:34:29] into trying to attract whatever interest you have because you have no clue who you are addressing with. You just go with whatever works no matter what because you have no choice. You need performance and you need to grow and you need to drive benefits. Not everybody has the same amount of ethic and especially in mobile because in mobile there’s a lot of small companies and actors. It’s not big, big brands that can’t afford to do that because it would hurt the brand.

Most of the mobile actors and even mobile users are not much looking after [unintelligible 00:35:01]. They just look at the title itself. They don’t make links in between, which would be very different from gaming movies of games or to give us the [unintelligible 00:35:10]. If they do something, they will remember it and they will pay after no matter what. If there’s a publisher doing something very bad, very deceptive, the people will install and uninstall and if they are also games, they won’t remember, it was this publisher beyond that.

Unfortunately, something that is supposed to bring benefits to their use is a [unintelligible 00:35:36], a large drawback that is very negative. I think they are trying to bring the publishers and the marketers behind that to try to be a bit smarter about instead of proposing the data, propose a funnel and do something indirectly to propose back to those users a funnel they will like, and that will be relevant to them and that will answer to the user needs or the need to create an aspiration. As well, the fact that the stores, no matter if it will Google Play or Apple, they need us to sustain their credibility as a platform and keep the trust of the users who else for Apple its a bit more complex but for Android, you have all the stores.

There are many ways to get the games or the apps to apply and things like that. People can find other ways to do it. It requires a bit more of a force, but you can do it, and if the rules of credibility, there’s a big risk about that because people won’t trust paying it and the publisher will pay or [unintelligible 00:36:50] will pay from it because there’s at the moment a big trust of the users, especially on iOS about using the payment service of Apple using the Apple Stores and all of those things. It generates trust and they pay voluntarily knowing that they can trust it. They can sell it, they have control over their things.

If one day, their stores are not that relevant or not that trustable anymore because it doesn’t propose content that the people apply to the needs or their wishes and there will be a big drawback for them. There’s always a risk about the change but if let’s say, if they’re just proposing content, they are not like developing content proposals or content. They are kind of an entertainment platform collecting all the data. If one day, similarly to media, like any newspaper or anything like that, if one day the content is not driven, people can [unintelligible 00:37:49] anymore, and so, it’s not like from one day to another, anything that will affect negatively will diminish their business.

Jonathan: Yes, definitely. The funny thing about it is that this entire movie is happening, but they crowned, I mean, I’m talking about Apple, they crowned themselves as it’s okay for us to track user data. Users have a contract with Apple when they buy an iPhone. We’ll keep all the data at still user level, but we won’t trust you to read that data, but we have it and then, for example, search ads are possible because search ads are supposed to be very targeted. Of course, it’s contextual because of the searches, but thinking about when they expand their inventory but definitely, it has come back in some form like a targeted advertisement. I agree with you that the world doesn’t want. I mean, I think Eric Soifer even said it once that personalized ads are a public good.

We all remember when we were kids, we saw crazy ads, like that had nothing to do with us like on TV, in the newspaper, that’s where you would see ads and it wasn’t in the digital world and 99.99% of those ads were not relevant for you. I remember as a kid thinking to myself, “Why do ads even work? There’s no way I’m going to buy these kinds of things. I have no interest in that.” Then I grew up and I started buying things from ads because I was just thinking about new shoes and I saw an ad for the shoes that I wanted. I’m sure that Apple apparently is in the prime position to solve that but they’ll find the middle ground between extremely targeted ads by advertisers that you don’t want to be targeted by to that very broad situation like when we were kids and nothing was almost targeted. Something will have to emerge in the middle.

Cool. We’re running out of time a bit so I just want to ask you three last questions that we ask all guests. One of them I’ll rephrase because I think you’re very forward-thinking, so a lot of you A people who are listening to this episode will enjoy a tip. What do you recommend them to be focusing on? If it’s like one thing they should be focusing on when they start their planning for 2022?

Raphael: If it’s about the way, I would definitely suggest focusing on creative and creative testing. There have been lots of good articles and white papers around that because it is basically the last bit you are controlling. It is definitely created. Part of that, I would say [unintelligible 00:40:43], especially if you have relevancy to go on that network, you need the approval and all of these. If you have, of course, games, obviously, because they are gaming channels.

As well, if you have gamified apps, that part of it, using gamification levels, contents in general, ad tutorials or all of those values from games. It works very well. Their audience, while it’s a few months or a few years ago, they were very, very game-centric, and making advertisements for ad, was absolutely not working. It has changed now. I would say definitely [unintelligible 00:41:25] is a turning point at the moment for anything that is entertainment or services and in particular, gamified is even better.

Everything is gone creative and trying to segment your audience, understand your audience better as you don’t have that data anymore, that accessible even on Facebook and all those analytics. It’s speared. You have to understand your audience to be able to serve them and is more. While before it was a direct way. You had that time you were ever able to verify it. Now it seems right, barring a few cases about funnel about who they are, put this funnel in place and see if it’ll work. You might be wrong, doesn’t matter. It is ruining if you’re wrong, but it is about, I will say, everything at the moment.

I think 2022 will be about resilience and being able to survive that. Fail, definitely fail a lot. That’s how you learn and that’s how you get closer to success.

Jonathan: Words of wisdom. We have another question about content recommendations. Who do you recommend folks to read? Who do you read to stay on top of what’s happening in the industry?

Raphael: In my case, I am subscribed to most of the mailing lists for like Old German piece because they all have good insight, services. I like Storemavens for everything touching iOS because there’s a bunch of factors in that regard and they do lots of webinars and lots of white paper. You have as well all the information you can get from the channels and stuff like Facebook, Google, they do very good papers about analysis around the market to try and things like that definitely helps a lot.

I do like as well, old publication. I’ll do a bit of advertisement for consumer acquisition, which is very big media. They do media buying but they do as well lots of creative work and they do amazing white papers, to be honest, about how you can measure creative performance and how you can segment who’s creative. [unintelligible 00:43:37], definitely a big one.

Then, of course, if you are more interested regarding games or game design, things like that, you have Deconstructor of Fun, that is definitely a very, very big one with lots of analysis and even does spectator sport like [unintelligible 00:43:56] retentions who had everything’s regarding what you can put in your app, game that will improve your KPIs. Of course, it is mainly, I would say, for apps or game developers and game designers and things like that, but even for, let’s say marketers, business monetization, and things like that, there’s lots of good insight that will help you improve your flow and improve the performance of your products.

Jonathan: Great. That’s gold right there. Last question and I have a feeling that you’ll answer differently because you’re the second guest in a row from France. What’s your favourite flavor of pancake?

Raphael: Oh, I would say I’m not much into pancakes, even if I love, with maple syrup but I have to defend my culture and say crêpe is better, but, anyway pancakes still work and my kids love that.

Jonathan: The previous guest from [unintelligible 00:44:57], said that he likes a crêpe with brown sugar, butter, and lemon, which I tried and it’s amazing.

Raphael: Really? No. I’m more simple, you get jam, strawberry or all those jams. I love the one of chestnut. Chesnut jam is amazing, but maple syrup still works if it’s not French, it’s still done by part of French-speaking people so it’s all right.

Jonathan: Cool. Thank you very much, Raphael, for doing this. It was a pleasure. Lots of fun.

Raphael: Thanks a lot, Jonathan. Was a pleasure as well.

Jonathan: I’ll speak to you soon, man.

Raphael: Thanks a lot.

Jonathan: Bye-bye.

Raphael: Bye-bye, everybody.

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    About Ron Gordon
    Ron is Storemaven's Head of Marketing, the one person you would have guessed will know what this mobile growth talk is all about. A misguided law student and journalist, Ron brings to the table some lack of seriousness the Hitech realm is desperately in need of. In his spare time, he's mainly trolling Whatsapp groups.

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