Episode #46: Driving Incremental Growth Through Mobile On-Device Campaigns with Dor Isseroff

In this episode of our podcast series we chatted with ironSource's Senior Director of Sales about how to increase awareness and get more incremental users.
Dor Isseroff Driving Incremental Growth Through Mobile On-Device Campaigns

In this episode of Mobile Growth & Pancakes, Esther Shatz is joined by Dor Isseroff, Senior Director of Sales and Partnerships at ironSource, to discuss the benefits of on-device campaigns for mobile developers.

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

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“I would say that brands that will capitalize on the mobile sites will have a big advantage over the traditional brands that are still not there

Dor Isseroff

Key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Dor is the Senior Director of Sales and Partnerships at ironSource, leading ironSource Aura growth in Europe, CIS, and APAC.
  • ironSource is a leading business platform enabling mobile content creators to prosper in the app economy. Aura is a platform that allows operators to engage with their customers with relevant content, apps, and services. 
  • If you want to increase your awareness and get more incremental users, you should be looking at on-device advertising. When it comes to on-device, you can interact better with your users by sending push notifications.
  • On-device KPIs are the same as in traditional advertising, but the difference is clear when looking at longer-term value. 
  • The difference between apps versus games on-device advertising is that the gaming ecosystem is much more developed than regular apps, and the competition is more aggressive. But, that leaves an opportunity for apps to catch up and to bring the expertise from the gaming side over to the apps ecosystem. 
  • When you start on-device advertising, set the right expectations, look at the long-term KPIs, and take your time to understand the data before making any conclusions.

Maximize growth with iOS 15’s In-App Events

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


    Welcome to mobile growth and pancakes. I am excited to kick off our very first onsite podcast interview. This is a big deal. Thank you. COVID for subsiding, at least long enough for us to get this done. But I want to welcome door who’s here from the ironSource or a team door. You want to say a few words about 

    Dor: your, yeah.

    Hi, nice to meet you, everyone. My name is Doris. been with a diamond source for [00:01:00] almost seven years out of that since 2017, based out of Berlin growing our European eh, activity. And I have the pleasure of coming here to from time to time. And then luckily now the sun is out, so I’m happy to be here. 

    Esther: I want to talk about something maybe a little different than what we’ve done until now.

    We’ve been talking a lot about different user acquisition channels, how that works in a world where we’re privacy centric and focus first. Aura actually offers a very different look and Tua. Do you want to tell us a little 

    Dor: bit about it? Yeah, sure. Sure. So let’s say jumping directly into Rosaura just to give you some context, eh, iron’s builds a business for apps for monetization and user acquisition.

    The ironSource oversight is over-focused on the telcos and OEMs. It’s our little sister of a Sonic, which is not so little anymore. I think over 300 employees that aura and what we do. Specialize on what we call on device. What is it on device on devices directly being [00:02:00] featured the apps or, the content directly on the device itself.

    And when I say on the device, it could be any Samsung devices could be any carrier Android device. And there we specialize in promoting the apps in different experiences. During the lifetime of the device, it could be from the unboxing of the device. Opens it up for the first time. And it could be during the lifetime of the device, such as a device update or push notification and many more features and touch points that we are introducing along the way.


    Esther: where does, how does that flow work? When are you introducing, when does it make sense to introduce a promotion into the user’s journey when they’re actually on the device and not browsing through social media or something? 

    Dor: So it’s funny enough. Imagine you’re going into an electronic shop.

    Let’s say your Virginia from the U S so let’s say going into a T-Mobile shop and buying the latest Samsung S 22, you’re all excited about your new phone and probably you want to check out the camera and the different features that it has to offer you. We believe that this is actually a [00:03:00] great time for you to also discover new apps and stand above the noise.

    And. Exactly what you need. We say with your new phone, it could be the latest state shopping app. It would be the latest news app. And this is actually a great moment for you to be introduced to those apps and get to see and check them out. 

    Esther: So talk to me a bit about how you approach strategy for our device advertising versus more typical UAA campaign.

    Dor: First of all, we believe that when marketeers are going out there and are looking for a, for UHC. Definitely the traditional, the Facebook Snapchat, the TechTalk, the Google are definitely a good channel and viable channel. What’s interesting enough is when you want to increase your awareness and get more incremental users, it’s where you should be looking at it on device.

    Why is on device important? Because at the end of the day, let’s say that you are a shopping app. Promoting your app on Facebook or Snapchat or LinkedIn, you’re relying on the fact that those users are actually that your users are actually using those third-party platforms so [00:04:00] they can discover your app on those platforms.

    Esther: Do you set KPIs based on, what elements can you do to prevent that scenario of just the one-time download? Let’s say they see the prompt they download right away and then they forget it ever happen. 

    Dor: First of all, let’s take a step back, a common misconception about a on device.

    That it’s a preloads. Yes. One of the touch points that we offer during the unboxing of the devices, what we call a smart preload. But that’s only one touch point out of many touch points that we have with the users. Essentially our most our, I would say strongest touch point is the unboxing experience where the users actually opt in and choose which apps they want to install.

    And obviously if there is more user intent, more likely we will see engagement down the road. That’s one. Want to clarify more ever, what we do is that we’re interacting with the users, not only about installing that, but also we’re sending push notifications to the users to let them know that they have the app on the device and they should check it out with auto.

    For example, we did a big campaign around black Friday. The user installed the app. And if we saw that he wasn’t interacting with it, we would send a push notification saying, Hey, there’s this amazing black Friday. They’ll check it out on auto. And we actually were able to convert more and more users to open the up and use.

    So what 

    Esther: kind of KPIs are you looking at when it comes to on device? Advertising? Is it the same you would say as. Standard traditional way or do you have different KPIs? 

    Dor: So the KPIs in the sense of the targets themselves, if it’s return on NetSpend, the ROI CPA goal, they’re all the same.

    We have the same integrations with them and peers. We look at those data, the big differences that we look at longer term value. We look at the 30 day, 60 day. And so on and so forth. The reason why we look at long-term is because let’s go back to the T-Mobile example. You bought new device. You’re very excited about it.

    You go through the onboarding experience, you discuss. I dunno, five new apps to try. You will install them, but most likely you will not start opening them right away and start using them. Imagine you bought a [00:06:00] $1,000 device and you install booking.com by our experience. Most likely you wouldn’t open the booking app and immediately make a purchase as opposed to if you were eh, looking for a hotel online and you would, search, click on a Google.

    You would end the final end to end probably in 10, 15 minutes here, we see that the user ends the funnel sometimes at 14 days, 21 days, 30 days and so on. And it’s very important to understand that this is normal behavior and we can expect it. So when measuring KPIs, we’ll look at later days and that’s where we actually show our real value.

    Esther: Interesting. How much of the, how much of this do you really create like customized strategies for, is it. User comes to aura and just says, get me this ROI and call it a day. Do you have customers who create released, do you see customers who can create better strategic plans and create better investments based on how they’re 

    Dor: engaging?

    So that’s a great question. Or a specifically, because of this complexity is a fully managed. So we have a team of account managers and performance [00:07:00] managers based in Tel-Aviv San Francisco and we’re expanding. And at the end of the day, when we have a new advertisers, we have to build a custom strategy for each one of them.

    We have to look at their immediate goals, the long-term goals, and also more importantly, what is the current competition landscape on our plans. Because, as I said, we will recommend on the unboxing experience three to five apps and they’re all competing against each other. It’s very important to, before we launch a test to actually build a strategy and that’s and that’s unique to our, I would say interesting.

    Esther: And let’s look at what you think would be the dream breakdown between, if I’m a, I’m an app developer and coming in, I have X budget at my disposal. I have. Various channels that happened higher up in the funnel. And then I have on-device advertising. What kind of breakdown are we looking at?

    How long-term do you do the on-device? How actively are you focusing there? Does it stay the same over the life cycle of. 

    Dor: That’s a great question, because you have to ask yourself which audience you’re going after. I’ll take a global, for example leading food delivery up in Southern Europe based out of a Barcelona.

    Luckily enough, I was just there last week, visiting them when they came to us and they wanted to expand their growth. They were looking on how to get incrementally. So they were getting the younger audience during the pandemic for food delivery, they were, it was amazing results on the food.

    Their apps were flourishing and global was one of them. But the problem that they had is that when they looked at the older age groups, they couldn’t really reach them via the traditional channels. They couldn’t reach them via text or can Snapchat and and Facebook, for example, and they came to us and.

    Asked us to help them to reach those users. And, at the end of the day, if you are a, an older generation or younger generation, you’re using your phone. So if you go on device directly, you’re able to reach them. And this is classical example of how to get incremental users 

    Esther: from aura. That’s super interesting.

    We talk about older users, I think could become a newer challenge in a lot of ways. In the last few years, we know that. Smartphone dependency has increased a lot. We saw in my kind of early days of the pandemic, all of a sudden there was a flood of this kind of older market who were coming into apps that they had never interacted with before, because this was a new outlet into the world.

    And one that maybe traditionally hadn’t been seen as that dependence. So that’s super interesting, this idea of reaching an audience that you couldn’t properly or easily access before. Just to give me a bit of an understanding of that, How do you know that you’ve actually hit your goals with a specific demographic?

    How granular can you go when it comes to understanding. The level of audience that you brought in and, if it’s time to pivot to a new growth chart, or if you stay in the same 

    Dor: area. So first of all, eh, it’s always good. I’ve been working with a UA managers for the last seven years, and I think it’s always good to diversify and have as many challenges as possible.

    I think a recent, eh, research [00:10:00] that Singulair released showed that UA managers that use more than six channels actually are able to decrease their average CPI as opposed to using three or four channels. And that’s why I think that I wouldn’t say how to allocate the budget, but most of the times the more.

    What we’re able to do with aura is through our deep integrations with the likes of AppsFlyer adjust Kuchera and so on is track everything from a to Z we’re fully transparent. 

    Esther: Let’s talk for a minute about the difference between apps and games, because obviously I think, we see it across the advertising, the goals that you have, the types of users you’re bringing in, the way that you’re creating a strategy differs between these two.

    How do you see the difference between. An app on device, a advertising verse gaming. It’s 

    Dor: true that they, that the gaming ecosystem is much more developed than the regular apps or what we call let’s say, I will say apps beyond games and definitely the competition, eh, [00:11:00] landscape in the gaming is much more fierce.

    But I think that leaves an opportunity for the apps to start catching up and bringing all those expertise from the gaming side to the upset ecosystem. Now it’s not a secret when you look at the market here, eh, job landscape, most of them are moving from one company to another. And what. At least what I’ve seen in Europe in the last couple of years is a lot of UA managers and CMOs marketeers moving from beginning ecosystem and starting to build that business for four apps.

    And that’s very interesting because we see the test, for example, let’s take the news ecosystem. The news is. Also condemning has been good to them. This ecosystem is flourished over the last couple of years from news aggregators, like smart news, for example, and to traditionally traditional newspapers going online.

    So for example, we work closely with the Figaro in France and like Zeta in Italy and for them, all of a sudden [00:12:00] there’s a whole new world to explore inside more. You’ve 

    Esther: been in the industry for a long enough time that I feel like I can ask this. Do you have any predictions? I feel like we’re in the middle of a real shift in how, you mentioned also you have people moving from the world of gaming and bringing back kind of innovation and that kind of skill into the world of apps.

    What do you think we’re going to see over the next couple of years in the world of user acquisition and 

    Dor: mobile? So I think a company is in, I’m going to relate it to your question before. I think companies that are becoming more and more mobile first are going to have a real advantage. We’ve seen it.

    And when I say mobile first, not only for specific generations we spoke earlier about older generations, migrant mother. She uses the Instagram. She uses the world for. She uses a barbell here in Tel-Aviv to get around. 

    Esther: I want to meet your grandmother 

    Dor: now, so you can follow her on Instagram. Yeah.

    At the end of the day, the main reason why she uses those apps is the accessibility and how easy it is to use it. And I think apps that will [00:13:00] businesses that will understand that going mobile and investing in mobile we’ll have a. Of getting more and more audience and users using 

    Esther: it. Have you had any major surprises campaigns that you thought would be amazing and bombed completely things you didn’t think would work and completely revolutionized how you look at a at strategy?

    Dor: I think that we had the. Different kinds of, eh, of experiences over the years, they were some very big brands that I was surprised to learn that they didn’t invest in the mobile app. Like they invested in the brand itself and we started working with them and unfortunately it ended up in a disaster.

    Not sure. I don’t, obviously I don’t want to blame them. Only there is always the blame on both sides, but. It’s a problem when you don’t invest equally between the brand and the mobile app itself, because users, the attention spend that users have nowadays, if they go into an app and it crushes or they go into an app and the sign up flow and [00:14:00] sign up, funnel is not easy enough.

    Most likely you will have a high amount of churn and it’s going to be very difficult to get those users spec. So it might fit. First of all. Don’t neglect the mobile app for gaming, a audience that listened to us. Probably what I’m saying is okay, what is this dude talking about?

    But don’t forget that when you look at the biggest shopping apps and those guys, sometimes it’s hard for them to move from desktop to mobile. And that’s where I would say that brands that we will, that will capitalize on the mobile site will have big advantage over the traditional brands that are still 

    Esther: not.

    Yeah, I think there’s definitely, even sometimes you see it in the world of Gabe when you’ve had really strong success in web or an offline, and you you’re having a lot of the same users come in. So you assume, this is my user. He knows me. He knows this slow. I can keep the same thing on mobile.

    And we find that even a user whose loyalty or brand, if you’re not giving them the right X, we’ve seen it in games that are transitioning cross-platform and trying to get their web users or their console users onto a mobile app. [00:15:00] There is a discomfort if you haven’t thought about the usage and the device itself and how users are coming in the context they’re coming in and trying just to create that one unified, this is how it goes.

    So I definitely agree. Do you think there’s anyone who, any company or app that on device targeting? Isn’t right. 

    Dor: When you look at say the niche apps, the very, very niche apps. I think that those in general, they have a hard time doing user acquisition, right? So I think the niche apps should be looking at more targeted approaches and that’s less less of a fit for their own device, usually on devices for the mass, for the public.

    Eh, so I would say niche apps usually are more of a challenge to us saying that We are able to offer some sort of a solution for them as well, but it’s more of a challenge. 

    Esther: How do you tie in, or is there a tie in between organic users and maybe events that are happening outside of the world of direct UI and on device targeting?

    Dor: I think we are very effected by [00:16:00] this is analogy. So first of all, when you look at Christmas time, so we have a, always a big, a guessing game of the amount of users that we will see on December 24th and 25th. Just to give you the, for the sake of a numbers, or has already incorporated in over 1 billion devices.

    It’s already quite big. And for us, there’s some, eh, some. Specifically that we see more users opening the new device is going through the unboxing experience and obviously installing more and more apps. So it’s very important to get ready for as an advertiser, as a marketeer, it’s always very important to get ready for those coming days.

    Do you 

    Esther: find that there’s a very different behavior between different regions? Meaning of course, different messaging is going to work in different regions. And that whole concept of localization is something we see, every channel that you’re trying to. But do you find that the actual behavior of the user when they’re approaching an app and how you have to strategize to reach users in different areas?

    Is that something that you feel is more consistent across the board or you have to create a completely different strategy region by. 

    Dor: Not only that you have to split a, each region by region. You always are on, when you look at on device, you also need to look at the specific care channels that you have in each country.

    Why am I saying that? When you look at Germany, which is my bread and butter Vodafone user is definitely not the same user as one of the NV knows out there. So also when you look let’s take Italy, for example, where we work with at three partners, work with Vodafone wind, Tre, both of them are carriers and then Samsung.

    Eh, directly and each one of those users that are coming from those channels, even if it would be the same device, let’s say today, the Samsung 8 52 coming from each one of those will be a different user. 

    Esther: Interesting. And what sort of way could you share any examples of how you see those differences coming through?

    Sure. So 

    Dor: nowadays, when a user goes and buys a device via the carrier, most likely the has a a credit cards and he needs to set up an account. His monthly recurring games. So most likely it’s more a high end user, I would say, as opposed to a user that goes into an electronic shops, buy the device one time and they’d see it.

    Maybe even bought it in cash. So it doesn’t have Google pay or something like that. So this is just the secretary and she 

    Esther: just thinks that whole IB that’s both a demographic difference in a kind of process difference. The way they’re setting up their phone is different and who they are and what they’ve, their intention.

    I assume there’s, tie ins between specific types of people and how they choose to buy their devices. So you have two isolating factors that create major differences there. 

    Dor: We had I think a couple of years ago, Samsung released their M series in India. And we’ve been working with Samsung in India for a long time.

    And one of the things that they told us that this specific Cirrus is more in the premium high-end and you can only buy it via the. So all of the sudden, when you look at India, the population there is huge, right? And there’s some sort of service them. Again, don’t quote me on the numbers, but millions of devices.

    And then all of the sudden you can only buy it online. So it reduces the demographics tremendously. And this is important to know because when you actually get to this user, he will be very different from all the rest. 

    Esther: So say you have the device difference. How new the devices, how recently it was purchased, I assume that makes a massive difference in how you’re creating strategy for your 

    Dor: users, correct?

    Correct. We’ve been working with a lot of FinTech apps recently obviously with the FinTech boom and the new banks, by the way. Very interesting subject. Or those, a mobile only banks that are, eh, you see them a lot in Europe. And for them, for example, the device model is critical because they see from the high-end models and the newer model.

    Significantly better performance at the end of the day. 

    Esther: So tell me now I’m an app developer. You’ve sold me. I’m ready to start on device advertising. How do I begin? What does that process look like? How should I plan? How do I start? 

    Dor: So essentially to set up a company. Eh on aura or any other on device channel.

    And it, first of all, we have to set the expectations. So if you go to this point of the podcast, you already understood that aura is very different and unique. So looking at the KPIs, it’s important to look and set beforehand the KPIs that we want to look at day one day, three day, five less relevant.

    Let’s look at the 14, 21 day 30 and even day 60 that’s. First of all. Second of all I ask you, I beg you for a M give us some time allow us to really understand and get the data flowing in the pipes before we reach any conclusions. So essentially what we’d like to do is to start a campaign with a low daily cap, start getting users in, starting to get the data, measure the engagement.

    And only later on starting to make conclusions and understand where we want to go. So 

    Esther: you have a learning stage, basically. We’re just trying to get the understanding of this app at the behavior that’s happening. And only from there, you create a strategy out there. So you shouldn’t plan. Going nuts the first day that you go live and [00:21:00] conquering the world.

    It’s much more a pause learn than create 

    Dor: the next one. I would say patience is the key here and you should expect at least 30 days as the learning phase for for the tests. How long do you 

    Esther: keep a typical campaign? Let’s say that’s pretty 

    Dor: effective. Most of our competitors. So the stickiness, or it’s very sticky in two senses of way, first of all, as a user.

    So if you were to install an app, we see via aura, we will see that you will stick around for quite a lot of time. And also for advertisers on the platform, they stick quite a lot. Most of our advertisers that have been running with aura have been running on for years. If. It’s a really viable channel for them.

    And we see them sticking around for we have some advertisers, I would say four or five years that are running with us. So 

    Esther: it seems like it’s less less hands-on, let’s say than a more, the way that we think about that. You have to be an every day kind of optimizing and iterating and creative changes and everything like that.

    This seems a little bit more. Smooth sailing. Yeah. You have less are the federal DePaul settled? I think 

    Dor: the fact is that asset or as a managed service, so you already have the eyes of the aura team, diamond source team in Tel-Aviv on the campaigns looking at measuring, and we are always introducing more and more to.

    To optimize those campaigns and getting increased the scale and looking at the ROS. We do a lot of the heavy lifting for the advertiser. 

    Esther: Thanks. Okay. You ready for the rapid fire round? Let’s do. Okay. What is your favorite mobile growth? Resource 

    Dor: AppsFlyer, eh, reports I think is one of the most interesting ones that I really liked.

    Esther: You can give one piece of advice to somebody who is looking to start out in mobile growth. What would that 

    Dor: advice be? Diversify as much as possible. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Alright. 

    Esther: Pandemic is waning for now. At least you get to take one person and the entire industry out for lunch. Who are you taking?

    Dor: Probably took Gerber, asking him is the metaverse Reed, is it going to stick around? 

    Esther: Are you doing lunch face to face? Are you doing it in the 

    metaverse? That’s a good one. I don’t know if it is meta interesting words. Where would we be in two or three years from now? 

    All right. We’re going to do something a little bit differently.

    Normally at this point, I asked you what your favorite flavor of pancake is, but since you’re on. I think it’s more effective to do a taste test. So here we go. Let’s find out what we have. All right. There’s a lot of parent take here. You guys have to, go hard. Traditional Maples Sera. This first one, I believe is a white chocolate blueberry.

    So give it a. I have some forks here. 

    Dor: Can I invite James 

    Esther: as well or James? We’ve had James silently lurking on the side. All right. Ready? White chocolate blueberry. Give us a taste. It’s 

    Dor: a problem to come to television where the food is so good. You just keep eating anything. 

    Esther: Initial 

    Dor: thoughts. It’s nice.

    It’s making me feel a lot more American. 

    Esther: That’s my goal. That’s why I brought you guys here. All right. I don’t know what this is. There’s some kind of like caramel or Dolce watch there. I would say 

    Dor: wow. By the way, he knows that they have Benedicts now in Berlin. No way. 

    [00:24:10] Esther: Benedict’s is like the one real American diner chain in Israel.

    It’s open. All right. It’s got real, pancakes and bacon. You can’t find a lot of bacon in Israel, but you can up.

    All right. And finally down. See, this seems a little anticlimactic. We should’ve started with this, but the traditional pancake with maple syrup. And after this, you have to rank your favorite. 

    Dor: I think I have a sugar rush. I think the Dodger, the ledger is the number one for me. And then I would go for the white chocolate one, the maple and the regular one that I would do for jokes.

    Esther: I’m a big fan of the egular. Wow. Okay. So there you have it. Dor tell us if people want to learn more, where can they find you working with. 

    Dor: Go on our website, our blog case studies that we did, we have a lot there. And then in case they’re interesting, they can just reach out by the website.

    We’d love to help them. 

    Esther: Amazing. Thank you so much for I, for joining me for our first ever onsite. It 

    Dor: was my pleasure. Thank you very much. 

    Esther: And that was mobile growth. To find out more about Storemaven and how we can improve apps for performance. Visit Storemaven.com and then make sure to search for mobile growth and pancakes and apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts, or anywhere else podcasts are found and click subscribe.

    So you don’t miss any future episodes on behalf of the team here at Storemaven. Thanks for listening.

    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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