Episode #18: Exploring the Google Ads Black Box with Natalie Drozd

In episode 18 of our podcast, we welcomed Natalie Dzord, a growth marketing enthusiast, to talk about universal app campaigns, cannibalization challenges and the future of ASO.

In the current mobile Growth and Pancakes episode, Esther Shatz is joined by Natalie Drozd, Digital Marketing Manager. With a passion for digital marketing and creative direction, Natalie shares strategies for app store optimization and growing app outreach through paid and organic user acquisition.

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

To connect with Natalie: Check her LinkedIn account


00:55 – Introduction of Natalie 
04:45 – Understanding UAC
07:04 – How UAC can ensure organic growth?
12:30 – Understand the significance of keywords
14:06 – Cannibalization exists
17:45 – How UAC can help in automation 
25:36 – Validating the asset quality for marketing
32:44 – ASO and Google/Apple ads
35:21 – Future of ASA and ASO

You can listen to the full episode here:

Or listen on:
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts

“If ASO is not used for an App’s search ranking, the user is missing out on the largest informative channel available on the app”

Natalie Drozd

Five things you must know about Custom Product Pages

    Key Takeaways:

    • Natalie Drozd is a conscientious marketing service professional specializing in organic growth, paid user acquisition, and influencer marketing 
    • Natalie is also an accomplished UA (user acquisition) expert who prefers Facebook, Google Ads, and Apple Search Ads as her priority tools for user acquisition
    • Natalie believes in creating synchronicity between data analysis and marketing strategies for optimum results 
    • Natalie explains the term UAC (Universal App Campaign): an automated ad type in Google Ads. UAC helps advertisers generate conversions through app installs. This is done by using machine learning to identify the best performing ads and targeting the most relevant users
    • Just a few lines of content, twenty images, twenty video assets, and a bid is required to set up an ad campaign using UAC. Once the campaign is set, Google takes care of the promotional and advertising portions utilizing the assets created
    • There are no keywords required for UAC campaigns as Google’s AI (artificial intelligence) scans the App Store and discovers the search terms to locate the target audience 
    • Natalie mentions that Google UAC campaigns are mostly considered black box since there are not a lot of things one can influence; however, creating the right asset can help get better results
    • Natalie believes that UAC can generate organic traffic. UAC has an influence on the chart of top-ranking apps based on ranking keywords in the App Store
    • Natalie explains that ASO (App Store Optimization) is a process of optimizing an application or game with the intent to create its visibility in the App Store and increase organic traffic 
    • Natalie believes that ASO is the most critical part of any app’s marketing strategy: With more than four billion apps on the App Store, the biggest challenge marketers have to face is making their apps visible and reachable to the users in such a saturated market” 
    • Keywords are the most important factor of ASO as they help in understanding the target audience
    • Natalie uses both Google/Apple Ads and ASO for driving organic and paid traffic
    • Natalie’s forecasts that in the future, Apple will most probably invest more in ASA (Apple Store Ads)

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      Full Transcript:

      Esther Shatz: Welcome to Mobile Growth and Pancakes. I’m super excited to be joined today by Natalie Drozd. I feel like I mixed it up now.

      Natalia: No, you did not. You made it right.

      Esther: Yes.


      Esther: Natalie, you want to introduce yourself for a few minutes?

      Natalie: Well, what can I say? I’m Natalie. I am a huge fan of marketing and I work in marketing and I like it. When it comes to marketing, I’m a performance marketing manager. When it comes to apps, especially subscription-based apps. My big love is ad optimization on both Google Play and on iOS, but I try to combine it with UAC compliance and running Apple Search Ads because all those things are super interconnected.

      I’m a cat person, I’m a coffee person, and I’m a bit of a sarcastic person, so a lot of jokes. I will show you one very important thing. [unintelligible 00:01:35]. That’s my cat. Her name is Cheesecake because I love cheesecakes. She’s my biggest inspiration. If she interrupts me during the podcast, no worries. It’s just how I work everyday. [chuckles]

      Esther: Can we ask Cheesecake questions about mobile growth? Would she be able to give us some ASO knowledge?

      Natalie: She will say, “Meow,” and run away. [chuckles]

      Esther: MAU, it’s monthly active users. She gets it. That’s the goal. She knows. [chuckles]

      Natalie: She knows keeping the healthy amount of monthly active users, so very important. That’s something that she reminds me of every day when she wants something.

      Esther: This is clever. This is how you motivate your team, you just get a cat to shout at them. It’s perfect. There’s a startup in there somewhere that we’ll deal with later. Natalie, you’ve touched on it already and I’m super excited to talk about this, I’m going to jump straight in. When we talk about paid sources like UAC and Apple Search Ads, I think one of the big questions that– I guess first, let’s make sure that we know that everybody knows what we’re talking about with UAC and what it stands for. Do you want to explain Google’s ad network for mobile a little bit?

      Natalie: Usually, when people see my profile, it’s ASO, ASA, and UAC. If you don’t work in mobile marketing, you have no idea what I’m working on. ASO stands for App Store Optimization. [unintelligible 00:03:03] we are in this podcast, people should know what ASO means. When it comes to ASA, that’s also a very familiar thing because that’s App Search Ads, like Apple.

      ASA and ASO are closely connected, but people always forget about UAC, which is the Google equivalent of ASA with [unintelligible 00:03:25] sign because it’s not about it. That’s Universal Ad Campaigns by Google. When you run any campaigns on Google, you can do this search, you can do display, you can do media, but when it comes to app promotion on Google, the only way you can do it is through Universal Ad Campaigns. That’s why UAC is what it is, Universal Ad Campaigns. [chuckles]

      Esther: It’s interesting– Both challenge and opportunity, right? You have Google do this so that they can help you optimize and make our campaigns as strong as possible, but you’re missing a lot of that control. You don’t get to decide exactly what’s going on. When you’re approaching UAC as somebody who’s also focused on the ASO side and also focused on organics, how do you start understanding what the power of the sources is, how to create a strategy for it?

      Natalie: There are a lot of myths and policies about UAC. Of course, you don’t have as much control as you have on Facebook ads or Snapshot or TikTok, but you still have control and we will talk about it, about different types of placements, about different types of creatives that you may use, that you may skip if you want to. Just to start with UAC, it’s automatic. You do not choose placements, you do not choose where your ad is going to be shown, you just have 5 headlines, 5 description lines up to 20 images, up to 20 video assets, and HTML5-playable ads if you want to. To make your campaign brand, you need just three assets: two headlines and one description.

      If you do not have any resources dedicated to creative optimization and creative asset creation, UAC is a good choice for you. You do not need much imagination to create three text lines, you do not need to hire a designer to create the images or a motion designer to create video ads which are much more time-consuming, and of course, much more expensive. That’s the price of it. It’s simple. As simple as three text lines.

      Many people who want to do creative testing, people who want to make their videos sent out, they have problems with it because sometimes the system decides on its own which asset to choose, and sometimes, and actually very often, those assets are not the ones we want to get the most impression on. Yes, it’s simple when it comes to setting up a campaign and it’s difficult when it comes to creating optimization and when it comes to managing things. You just cannot make something like, “I want this image to work now.” It’s not even [unintelligible 00:06:23].

      Esther: You can’t be too attached to your creatives basically. I totally agree. I think especially when you’re looking at just getting results and that’s the main focus, basically, you let Google handle the performance. Pretty much, anybody can hit a campaign when they need to hit a campaign. I’d love to talk a little bit about the connection between UAC and organics because I think there’s a lot of question marks and rumors about, first of all, is there a connection, can UAC impact organics for the good or for the bad? I guess we’ll start on that one and then I’ll go to the follow-ups.

      Natalie: There are two types of connection, direct and indirect. Very strong connection is on Google Play, not that strong connection is on iOS and [unintelligible 00:07:17] placements. On iOS, you do not have placements in App Store because that’s where Apple Search Ads’ based. On Google Play, you have a lot of super high-performing placements which are ads in Google Play and which are run by UAC. You cannot buy any other placements in Google Play but on UAC campaigns.

      Indirect impact is just a typical impact that we have of any paid campaign. Especially when you run video campaigns on YouTube, then more people see your video. Maybe not everyone can click on it, but still some people will remember and the chance that he or she will decide to use your product just is increasing. When it comes to videos or static images in display networks, the impact is typically indirect and that’s usually just the uplift about product awareness and awareness of your app.

      When it comes to Google Play advertising, by Google Play advertising, I mean running ads for Android app and that include placement in Google Play, it gets a bit more interesting because, first of all, what are types of placements? That’s [unintelligible 00:08:35] placements by keywords. When people are searching for a certain keyword, let’s say fitness app, typical one. Just a general keyword. Very likely, the first two positions are ads. Those ads are UAC ads. It means that people search for an app and download your app, not any one of your competitors.

      It doesn’t work for all the keywords though in UAC campaigns because if it’s a branded keyword, very likely just the brand will appear on the first so it doesn’t imply strong brand terms like in any niche starting from Uber [unintelligible 00:09:14] to Tinder. If you type Tinder, you will get Tinder in the first place, but if you look for dating app, taxi app, you can have a chance to get top one ranking thanks to the UAC campaign.

      This traffic will be in Google Play Console attributed as search, because since the new Consult was launched, it gets more [unintelligible 00:09:36] and you cannot see how many exactly installs came from AdWords as it used to be in the old Console. We touched up on the search part. People are searching, they get the top one or top two rankings and those are ads. [unintelligible 00:09:53] top one ranking, but then Google figured out that people actually like clicking on top one and then they also added the second one placement as paid one, well, things will get paid.

      The second part is browse. For browse, it’s all other placements that’s on a search, Google Play. When you’re just scrolling down your feed, checking out the app of the day, some collections, there are also ads there. Also, when you go on the product page of any app that you do not really like to download, and you scroll down, and you see, you may also like. There are also accommodations which are ads and people can download from there as well. Those installs will be attributed as browse traffic and you can also see them in Google Play Console, but you do not know if it was similar apps which are organic part or it was recommended apps which are in ad part.

      To sum up this part, the connection is very strong on Google Play and makes it very difficult to actually calculate the organic because if you run your UAC campaigns, those installs will be in search, in browse, they will not be in third-party referrer which makes it difficult to understand whether it’s your ASO strategy which is working pretty well or that you will see campaign that drives you a lot of good results.

      Esther: Yes, I think this is something that definitely we’ve spoken about a lot too, which is, first of all, you want to be able to attribute your efforts. If you can put the dollar sign of what brings your ROI, everybody wants to invest more in things that’ll work well and these are valuable UAC placements, they’re relevant. Unlike other ads, you try to be as relevant. Here, you’re personalizing. You’re in the context that somebody is either looking directly for a keyword you relate to or they’re in a boat where they’re looking at other apps or where they’re the kind of person who would be able to download.

      I think one of the other pain points that you get from this is the idea of cannibalization. If you put a ton of work into getting your organic listing ranked first for– you had the example of a fitness app, let’s say you do a lot of work, you get ranked number one, is there potential? Do you think that by having the UAC placement above you actually lose organic installs or pay for users you should have gotten for free? You’re not able to decide. You can’t say, “Don’t get on this word because I don’t have the control over that.”

      Natalie: Yes. This is a very good question. This is Apple Search Ads question because this typically happens over there, especially with branded keywords and brand cannibalization. However, when we talk about Google and Google search, you have to keep in mind that, usually, people get results which are not the same, they are recommended for each person.

      Even though a lot of ASO tools show that you are ranked number one for certain keywords, it actually may not mean that you’re ranked number one for this keyword because it means that for the majority of cases that the system or the algorithm found out, you were ranked number one because every search result is personalized.

      When we go to any of our ASO reporting tools, I see that we are number one on fitness app. At the same time, we are getting people from fitness apps or keyword pitch, and we are paid for them. First of all, we cannot know about it. We just don’t really know because on Google UAC part, there is no way to see what keywords are made for, like where the ad was shown, which is bad.

      On the other hand, some ASO tools can show you. They have the bots searching the inquiries and figuring out how many advertisers are bidding for certain keywords. It’s still a lot of uncertainty, this information, because you cannot scratch all the data from the internet, you cannot know exactly everything about it.

      I believe that cannibalization exists, but at the same time, if you don’t pay it for fitness app keyword, your competitor will, and it means that even though you’re ranked number one according to ASO tools, and you believe that you’re really number one everywhere, someone else will bid and will get this first placement. It’s use it or lose it strategy and it’s painful because if I am number one with my organic growth and then someone pays $5 for this placement, you’re like–

      Esther: “I’m more relevant. I belong here.” [laughs]

      Natalie: Right.

      Esther: No, I think that’s a really good point, which is that you actually can’t know what your ranking is because of Google’s personalization, it’s light years ahead of the App Store personalization especially. It’s almost a necessary evil of saying, “Look, inherently, I’m going to cannibalize some extent.” It’s better than having somebody else eat out my traffic and I’ll lose it altogether.

      Natalie: Yes. Just for curiosity, you may turn off the campaign to see what’s the difference to get counter incrementality. Then just keep it in mind that, according to UAC, we have 1,000 installs, but in reality, there’s 800 installs even though 800 installs are still profitable and ROI is okay for us, so let’s keep doing the same. If you want to dig deeper, we can split those things into separate categories. I will be a bit nerdy now, but on UAC you may see different placements which are typically listed by place, search, and browse– search, display, and YouTube. This is it.

      When it comes to placements, you may see where your ad is shown. When you have video, it means it’s either YouTube or third-party like apps Display Network. What is Display Network? Usually, that’s videos and images. When you have search, the search is either words in Google, in Chrome, in Google App itself, or Google Play.

      When you know which asset gets how many impressions and on which placements, you may figure out where your ad was shown. It takes some time to understand and to get it, but as soon as you see, for example, that you have only search traffic, it means that you get impressions only on Google Play search, and on Google, like Chrome search so to say. No browse impressions, no YouTube impressions, and so on and so forth, which means that maybe you need to work on your creatives if other placements don’t work.

      Esther: I like the hack of basically figuring out if you’re not showing up in specific places, and we can see this type of ad should be matching with this type of placement, Google has sensed that you’re not doing great in those positions, and it’s time for a refresh.

      I’d love to dive in a little bit more about how you go about measuring UAC, what kind of goals do you set? What kind of metrics are you monitoring? Other than you mentioned one, which is placements and making sure that your creatives match those placements. How else are you setting, analyzing which is going well, and which isn’t, and knowing when to go in and create optimizations?

      Natalie: UAC, as it’s super-automatic, you cannot actually change a lot of things. It’s not recommended to make changes very often because that’s machine learning. If you make a lot of changes, you just can’t screw the system up very soon. Making changes by the week is enough. How do I make those changes? First of all, take a look at what creatives get at least any impression, because if something is not getting anything, it means that’s a bad creative, it means that you have to change it. Usually, Google [unintelligible 00:18:23] to change gradients like every two/four weeks, and to change all the low-performing ones.

      However, from my experience, very often creators do not even quit their learning phase. If a creative is in the learning phase for more than two weeks, just let it go and maybe relaunch it in the future sometime when you have bigger budgets and more time to spend on it. Different things like me saying, when measuring the campaign success, that’s all about how actually this is penned, this is simple as this, and the distribution between different creatives because very often, especially when it comes to videos, you have one winning media, which especially on YouTube, so make it even more narrow. You have one winning video on YouTube.

      We know that sometimes creative fatigue starts and if people are getting tired of it, then your campaign dies. This is a bad thing, that’s why you always have to force the system to use any other assets. If you have only one performance, you’re like a sacred cow, so to say, and then it goes off, and then you have nothing else. That’s a bad thing to say, “I need to come back to creative testing.” It’s okay to have one strong performing asset but you should always keep in mind that it will die one day and you have to keep something to substitute it.

      Also the different rate. it’s not about measuring success. It’s about understanding where your ads are shown, when you see the number of impressions from the campaign level. You see all the impressions that were served at all. When you go to the ad Google breakdown by Creative, you may see a drop, not the sum of the Creatives that are in the ad group.

      Let’s put it this way, at the campaign level. Let’s assume you see 1 million creatives. On the ad group level, you see like 500,000, 300,000, 200,000. It’s still 1 million. When you go on the ads level, you see that there is nothing. This is okay, because it means that the system just uses your image, your icon, and your feature image, maybe your cover photo. It’s a very strong signal that your creatives do not work, then Google decides to use your icon instead of your text and images to drive any results.

      Let’s just keep in mind, the Google algorithm is result-oriented. It doesn’t care if you lack in creatives or not. If you want to get installed for $1, it will do everything to give you the install for $1. If you want to purchase for $15, it will use the placements that are giving it the action for $15. Understanding where your ads are shown is a very powerful thing. Maybe it’s a bit wider I think I didn’t answer your question directly, but it’s all the things that I tried to keep in mind when I’m analyzing UACs.

      Esther: You’ve created hundreds if not thousands of creatives that go into UAC. I think one cool thing about the platform is it doesn’t really leave room for your opinion, meaning you don’t get to love a creative. If it’s not performing, it’s not going to be shown. What would you say was your most surprising results of any of the campaigns that you’ve run, something that really performed outside of how you expected?

      Natalie: Let me think about it. Now maybe it wasn’t super surprising, but what I noticed, I tried to run certain videos very much, and I added in a purchase campaign [unintelligible 00:22:38] CPA campaigns for purchases, but it didn’t work at all. I tried it three or four times, it didn’t work.

      Then I decided to add the same video in the CPI campaign to a different location and it worked really well because CPI campaigns usually are a bit easier to optimize because you do not need to go for inspections. They are optimized for an install level. Those videos started getting views and they were shown to many people and they put it. Oh my God, it’s so good. Surprisingly, in the CPA campaign, I didn’t delete videos from there. The ad and the video were started to get shown over there too. The CPI campaign was used like a boost too.

      Esther: Interesting.

      Natalie: As soon as the system receives signals that the videos are good. The typical view duration was okay. It started driving installs. It also started getting views in the CPA campaign. It made me super happy. That’s one of the creative steps testing strategies that’s okay to use. If your main campaigns are for purchases, it’s good to try creatives run on CPI campaigns. They are cheaper when it comes to CPMs and installs. They are not usually as profitable as CPA campaigns, but they can help to boost your performance in the long run.

      Esther: That’s so interesting. Basically, you can get users. When you’re not looking at that hyper-focused– CPA, it goes deep into the focus of who’s actually going to complete these specific actions. You’re narrowing down the audience that it’s going to be relevant for which maybe makes it harder for Google to optimize because you need a specific amount of samples in there to validate if this is something that creates the right CPA.

      What you did was you basically, you told Google, “Look, there’s, there’s something here. I’m sure this will catch somebody’s interest.” You tested it at the level of above of, is it just getting engagement? Is it interesting people? Then you had enough data set to actually go in and get those higher-value ones too. I actually haven’t heard that yet. That’s super interesting.

      The question there is, how do you validate for quality in that case? Meaning if you’re running for one of the– It’s especially coming up in the age of iOS 14.5 when you lose a lot of the ability to target users, based on those in-app behaviors, you end up naturally going for that install. How do you balance between sacrificing what if you have a really valuable campaign that just brings in the wrong type of user, but it’s bringing in a ton?

      Natalie: This sounds like the work I’m in right now and I still don’t have any good answer to it. I don’t think there are many people who know how to deal with it. Some really good professionals already started running CPA campaigns, just to see how it’s going to be in the world of iOS 14.5. According to Google side, you are still able to run CPA campaigns.

      Maybe their quality will be questionable, especially at the beginning, of iOS 14.5, but do not forget about those types of campaigns. Maybe they will be worse and I assume they will be worse, but still they are better than install volume campaigns because at the level of the install campaign its optimization ends. I brought you the cheapest install possible. Thank you. Goodbye. That’s it.

      The CPA campaigns still have at least some chance to get those [unintelligible 00:26:42]. Google already did it when it came to iOS traffic on Safari, because Safari doesn’t send the information back to Google. On iOS, search metric was extrapolated, meaning they had information from Chrome but they didn’t have information from Safari. That’s why this data actually never matched any [unintelligible 00:27:06] or in Appsfire, because in your ad account, you had one value, in your MMP you had a different value. Google already knows how to do that, at the same, it will be more difficult for us to measure it.

      Esther: I think, look, I mean, if you go back to the early days of UAC, when it first started, now I don’t think any of us doubt how effective UAC is as an ad campaign. Pretty much every developer who’s spending on UA is going to use UAC in some capacity. In the early days the algorithm was shakier. It wasn’t like that learning period.

      I think you’re right in that, we’re probably going to see something similar when it comes to the CPA campaigns, which is a period where you need to let Google figure it out and, and tweak and adjust. Then if you’ve had the patience to stick it through, you have that leg up on once the algorithm is improved, but I do think the one point that you made, which is you don’t really have a way of measuring it so well, meaning it’ll be very hard to validate especially short term and in real-time, how successful it is.

      Natalie: No real-time.

      Esther: No real-time, that’s over. It’s dead, all incrementality all the time.

      Natalie: We are all in the same boat and its good news. Meaning there are not people who are privileged to have the ability to track everyone is on the same page. Everyone is in the same boat, so we’re all screwed. It means that if the market [inaudible 00:28:38], the whole market suffers, that will be changed in demand and supply. Definitely, Google will have to figure something out because they don’t want to lose the advertisers. Otherwise, they will lose money and that’s not what companies like to do.

      I’m not super panic about it because it’s how things are because of change. We can be prepared for it. The most important thing is just when it comes to budget planning and campaigns, just let your management know that we are just about to enter super high turbulence. Don’t expect plus 200% ROI, let us split the budgets, so we are able to test, but maybe let’s forget about scaling for some time.

      It’s all about communicating the current weather on ad marketing and not to make any life-changing decisions. If you decide to spend half of your yearly budget, because– Like, let’s spend it now before the iOS 14.5, and then it figures out that iOS `4.5 maybe it turns out not to be such a difficult beast. Well, not panicking is the best thing you can do.

      Esther: It’s probably advice that goes well outside of the world of mobile growth, but I hear what you’re saying. It probably would change your answer given the current time, but when it comes to [unintelligible 00:30:13] balance, some companies have separate bodies of paid marketing arms and ASO and more of the organic side, but it’s something that you focused on both of those sides.

      How do you figure out prioritization? I think a lot of people, when it comes to talking about investing in ASO, until now, it’s harder for us to measure the ROIs, so we’re going to put our money where we have that cleaner measurement. That’s going away, but would you agree with that statement anyway up until now? How do you make that prioritization of where your efforts go?

      Natalie: I would say it depends where you may find more low-hanging fruit, if any. If your strategy is already on a very high level, we just figure out what is of higher urgency. In the light of iOS 14.5, more attention to paid marketing because you had to abate your ad accounts, to [unintelligible 00:31:09] ready for the switch. Every time, you just ask yourself what I can do in the shortest time possible to get the results as soon as possible.

      Sometimes, especially on early stages, ASO, you just need one release to get ranked for most relevant keywords. Especially when it wasn’t done in the past, where people do not use the right strategies, you just change anything, and wow, the magic works. However, if you’re a specialist that works for the same ad for a very long time, it’s not the case anymore because with every next release, with every next A/B test around, there are less and less low-hanging fruit to find.

      Actually, the same applies to paid UA because that’s all about testing new ways of bidding, new audiences, new creatives. Also, what is interesting for me is always keep in mind is there any special events coming? For example, Christmas, Easter, Holiday, to adjust your product pages. It’s more about conversion rate optimization [unintelligible 00:32:18]. If there are any things going on in the product wherein you need to get more users, so it’s more about UA part. For example, one big test and you need to get a lot of users to get it validated as soon as possible.

      I still do not divide it pretty much because they’re super connected. Also, a different example on Google, and actually on Apple too, the system may use screenshots from your app on UAC campaigns. It happens very often on Display Network. This is the case when you see that you get a lot of display traffic, but none of your images was used, which means that the system might have used just screenshots from the store. That’s why you have to keep your screenshots, A, informative, B, catchy and good-looking, three, desirable and nice.

      When you analyze the placements, when you analyze how UA stores are doing, you are already in the fourth quantile, then your [unintelligible 00:33:28] is about average. Everything is super nice, maybe it’s the time to invest more in your long-term strategy. But when you see that something terrible is going on, your [unintelligible 00:33:40] is dropping and you are not getting ranked for keywords, especially when we’re talking about teams where we’re not just one person, you have to concentrate on it. You have to solve the problem which is on your table right now.

      How I look at ASO, every person that we bring with organic optimization, with extra optimization, it’s an alternative cost that you could have paid for Facebook UAC or any other advertiser. When you increase your conversion rate by 1%, it means that you might have saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the cost that you had not spent on paid networks.

      Esther: I totally agree. I think you have to look at organic in a way as a network at your disposal because you know that your activities are what affect organics coming and they don’t fall out of the sky. Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks, “I’m going to download an app that’s called this and this because it sounds like a cool name.” Something brought those users there and you have to think about the cost of that versus the cost. Exactly like you said, it’s money that we’ve saved versus an ad campaign somewhere else and it was this level of cost-effective.

      There’s one more question before we move into the quickfire round. UAC, it’s a really interesting and really powerful network especially for Google because you have all of these placements. Do you see ASA evolving over the next year or so? Do you see it maybe expanding its reach or changing the way and the frequency of how ads are shown?

      Natalie: First of all, there are a lot of rumors about ASA growing, getting new placements, getting display staff, and now official information from Apple itself, but a lot of people and boomers are talking about it in the app community. I think that Apple will definitely invest more in ASA because they can look at huge Google success since UAC. Very good thing I recommend is every year, if I’m not mistaken, it just gives a report of what are the top-spending networks on Google and Apple in terms of installs, in terms of in-app purchases, in terms of all the things.

      When you look at Android, it’s always UAC being first or second changing with Facebook. On iOS, Apple Search Ads usually it’s second or third. It means they want to get more and they have all the possibility to get more, especially taking into account that Apple tries to be more cautious about sharing data. That’s all iOS 14.5 is about. It means that they want to get even more monopolistic and they want to be the one who sells and buys user impressions, not sharing it with anyone else. On one hand, it’s good when it comes to data protection, but it’s bad when it comes to monopoly over your information.

      There are no good or bad things. There are no black or white. For me, it’s just [unintelligible 00:36:58]. Coming back to the question about ASA, it will definitely grow because Apple will be the one having most information about purchasing power to give out frequency of app usage, about the time every person spends on the mobile phone. Of course, it will have the access to placements and to show ads. It have to be because people continue using all the apps on iOS phones, but still take into account [unintelligible 00:37:30] network, it will not be so easy to target the right ones, meaning everyone else will show the ads, but they will not be as relevant and Apple will show the most relevant ads.

      Esther: [chuckles] Amazing. Makes sense. Are you ready for the quickfire round?

      Natalie: I’m ready.

      Esther: Okay. Here we go. If you could give just one tip to somebody aspiring to be a mobile growth market, what would it be?

      Natalie: Be patient. Just be patient.

      Esther: Favorite mobile growth resource?

      Natalie: [unintelligible 00:38:05] NPS, and Twitter.

      Esther: He dropped the first F-bomb on our podcast, so we’re [unintelligible 00:38:16]. [laughs]

      Natalie: I know. He’s very straightforward.

      Esther: The best. All right. Person in the mobile growth space that you’d most want to take for lunch and why?

      Natalie: That may be Gabe from Incipia or someone from the Feature Team because I just love how they work and what they do, or maybe Andrea [unintelligible 00:38:43]. He’s also a very smart marketing guy.

      Esther: Most important question, what is your favorite type of pancake?

      Natalie: Just chocolate.

      Esther: Good answer. Good answer and fast. That often takes people a little more time. Natalie, amazing. Where can people find you if they want to keep track of what you’re doing and what your thoughts are?

      Natalie: They may ask my cat where to find me every single moment. Normally, I am on LinkedIn. I think that you will add maybe my LinkedIn profile in the description.

      Esther: We will.

      Natalie: Normally, you may find me in Ukraine drinking coffee somewhere. When COVID is over, maybe somewhere else in the world. [chuckles]

      Esther: I hear that. Somewhere warmer. Come here. The weather is nice and we have a lot of cats. [chuckles] It’ll work out.

      Natalie: I will.

      Esther: Amazing. Natalie, thank you so much for joining us and for sharing everything. I hope it warms up and that you don’t see any more snow for a little while.

      Natalie: Oh, I hope so, too. Thank you very much for such a warm and also very informative conversation. It’s my pleasure talking to you. Your questions were right at the point.

      Esther: Oh, thank you.

      About Esther Shatz
      For some it goes: Moses -> the elders -> People of Israel. For most of us here it's simply: Everything that happens in the mobile world -> Esther -> Storemaven. When not on maternity leave, Esther is leading all consultancy and product marketing activities as Senior VP.

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