In this episode of Mobile Growth & Pancakes, Jonathan Fishman is joined by Simon Thillay, Head of ASO at AppTweak, to discuss why ASO benefits mobile leaders and their apps. They also dive into the strategic role of the ASO team and what new features and opportunities ASO teams should consider for 2022.
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“What I like about ASO is this mix between the technical side and analytics side. But also the fact that whether we say it’s science or art, this is where you have to remember that not any number you’re looking at is something that translates into user behavior.”Simon Thillay
- As the Head of ASO at AppTweak, Simon is responsible for managing an international team of ASO Experts, providing analyses and insights on advanced ASO for top iOS and Android apps, and representing AppTweak in the ASO community.
- AppTweak is the leading ASO tool driven by data science, which empowers mobile leaders – such as Amazon, Jam City, Yelp, Zynga, and Adobe – to grow their apps and games with actionable insights in a simple interface.
- ASO is in the middle of everything. It’s the role where you have to understand a bit of everything and then redistribute insights into how you can best serve other areas, like product development, user acquisition, or customer support.
- ASO teams should consider focusing on several areas, such as optimizing discoverability, keywords, conversion rate optimization, in-app events, App Clips, and custom product pages.
- For more effective communication in organizations, ASO teams can mix two people with different skills and have them collaborate on a specific objective. Another option is to create those skills and have the ASO squad inform everyone and assume a more strategic role. The more proactive the ASO team is, the better visibility they will have in the organization.
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Jonathan Fishman: Hey, everybody and welcome to another episode of Mobile Growth & Pancakes. I’m your host Jonathan Fishman. I’m VP marketing here at Storemaven and today I’m really excited to be here with a dear friend, Simon Thillay from AppTweak. He’s head of ASO. Hey, Simon.
Simon Thillay: Hey, Jonathan. Thank you for having me.
Jonathan: What’s up? Probably, this is being published a couple of weeks from now, but today we woke up to really sad news, which is the war in Europe in Russia and Ukraine. We’ll try to focus, but we’re sending our best wishes to anybody in Ukraine and Russia and anyone involved. Simon, do you want to introduce yourself and AppTweak a bit?
Simon: Sure. My name’s Simon. I’ve been working around ASO for a little over five years now. I started doing ASO mostly when I was working as a growth marketing manager at Deezer, which is a French music streaming service. This is also where I was working around growth in general, so getting to work with attribution tools or SU as well. It was a great education, and I joined AppTweak about three years ago.
Now, I work there as a head of ASO, leading our team of consultants, assisting our enterprise clients, as well as just researching about every bit of innovation there is to find in ASO. If you’re wondering what is AppTweak, AppTweak is an ASO tool. You can find a lot of competitive intelligence about what your competitors are doing in ASO, a lot of data science measurement as well to estimate how much downloads you get from ASO for instance, as well as measuring the impact of your efforts, understanding what’s happening with search ads these days and a few other things.
It’s hard to explain all the features we have in just one plug, but if you’re interested, just come check out AppTweak. It’s apptweak.com. Yes, just happy to talk about ASO because this has been a topic to focus on for me for the past three, four years at least and something I’ve become very aware of in a longer period. It’s always good to have conversations about it.
Jonathan: For sure and there’s a lot that has been going on in the past year or so, I would say. I would actually say two years since Apple has announced the deprecation IDFA. It got the UA side of the house to be in a mayhem for the past two years, figuring out attribution and how to do it with the loss of the IDFA. Then Apple followed up with all the App Store marketing type of updates or ASO updates I would say, which are in-app events, product page optimization, or native AB testing on the store and custom product pages.
All of these updates are now out. Custom product pages is being adapted by the industry. Although it’s happening relatively slowly. There’s a few ad networks that support it right now. Apple search ads and ironSource, but that has provided a lot of new tools to ASO folks to use and utilize, so we’ll talk about that. I also want to talk more strategically about– I’ve been hearing a lot of people trying to redefine the role of ASO, and I just had a conversation I think a week or two ago with a friend.
We talked about the fact that the name ASO doesn’t do justice anymore to the profession. It draws a parallel between ASO and SEO, which are completely different. ASO just did the– Folks should start calling it Organic User Acquisition. Let’s start from the top. How do you see the role of ASO? You have perspective of a few years have been changing in the past several years, and even months now with all these new tools.
Simon: Yes. I’m not necessarily of the mind that the name ASO is the issue. I do agree that– And I’ve been fighting for a long time with people saying ASO is SEO for mobile apps, just because even if you wanted to accept this hypothesis, the reality was SEO has always been about having one landing page for one search query. This is where I would say no. Until we suddenly got custom products pages, the rule was you would only get one page for everyone and that already made it so different.
To go back to the overall question. I think for me, the first thing that’s really important to realize when we talk about ASO is that, it’s in the middle of everything. There’s some task that belong to product, some task that belong to customer support, sometimes it belong to user acquisition. It’s this really unique role where you have to understand a bit of everything, and then redistribute insights into how you can best serve any other thing and sometimes not only serve them, but give new things for them to do.
I think IOS 15 was exactly that. It was certainly, “Oh, wait. We need [unintelligible 00:07:07] ASO to bring this new tool to the [unintelligible 00:07:12] side.” Whereas, it will get better conversion rates if we provide them with landing pages that match how they segment the traffic. At the same time, a big question these days, and this is a question I ask most other people I talk to is, who actually owns custom products pages? The same with in-app events, who’s the owner at your organization? Because I think there’s multiple situations and not everyone’s going to do it the same.
Jonathan: Yes, for sure. I think that custom product pages actually started a lot of the discussions that are happening right now around how the ASO team should be structured and how it should work and I think you hit a really important point which is, how we should communicate insights across the company, and that’s because yes, custom product pages, on one hand, it’s a tool that helps user acquisition teams to increase paid conversions, and then increase return on ad spend.
Which team owns the knowledge and all the data that they’ve been collecting for years now around how different audiences respond to different product pages? It’s the ASO team. They have that knowledge. Years and years of conclusions and insights that the UA team doesn’t necessarily have. Working together, I’m sure that they can reach a better outcome, but it’s still unclear because on the one end, a UA– I’m now wearing the hat of a UA manager. I want to set up a new campaign, and I have a certain ad creative strategy with a certain theme.
Up until custom product pages, that was it. It was optimizing the targeting, the ad creative, bidding of course, different channels and so on. After custom product pages, there’s another step that they can control, which is the product page that can match the audience and the creative theme that they’re using in a certain campaign. They want to use one. The question is, do they know how users behave on the App Store and how they respond to different messaging? Not necessarily, so they have to work with ASO team.
There’s of course the other features, in-app events and product page optimization. What do you think about trying to unpack or break down the role of ASO to its components in 2022? Using everything that is known to the industry today. I would say one side of it is, and it has always been, and that’s maybe the root of ASO, discoverability. To optimize discoverability and how many impressions and then the quality of impressions you get from search by optimizing keywords.
There’s of course now in-app events that build into that because it also appears search results. Of course the areas of featuring and chart ranking. There’s that part. What else?
Simon: I would say app clips. They are a pet peeve of mine. For me, they have been the most forgotten feature of iOS 14, where only few apps have really leveraged them so far. This ability of basically working really here with the dev team and products in dev, working to improve discoverability without the app store, but powered by an app technology that has to be uploaded to the store itself. This is also part of discoverability.
Then main challenges, even if we focus on what happens on the store, there’s really this big question mark of, after ATT, will people return to the store to discover apps? This is what Apple is trying to push for, but also, are they still going to discover apps through with social media ads or any type of referral. Another thing that we didn’t mention about custom product pages, but that obviously you can also have an impact is influencer campaigns. It’s not only the regular ads on Facebook or whichever ad channel you’re used to, you can do custom product pages for many different situations.
Jonathan: Yes, right. I mean, it’s everything that relates to off store marketing. I would imagine that if Coinbase did their ad on the Super Bowl, they might have– They didn’t use a custom product page, but I think–
Simon: Yes. They didn’t use it and I will tell you for this one, I was really disappointed they didn’t use an App Clip actually, because if you are going to use a QR code, using an App Clip would be even stronger because then you get people to use your app immediately.
Jonathan: Yes, of course and it’s an opportunity that comes once in a year to get– I think in the first minute they got 20 million hits of the QR code. For sure. App Clip would be one thing that could’ve been utilized. Another thing would be a custom product page with messaging around their campaign, because the ad itself was just a QR code. Imagine people scanning the QR code, bam, they’re going to a custom product page that talks about the– They gave out like $15 worth of Bitcoin to everybody registering.
That on the product page, I’m sure that that could have mean, hundreds of thousands of more installs if they optimized conversion rate that way. Everything related to App Store as well, of course the App Store optimization team can provide custom product pages for influencer marketing, TV, everything. Even Billboards if you think about it. Everything that you can use to drive users with a link or a QR code to a custom product page.
We talked about discoverability after marketing. Of course, there’s conversion rate optimization, which is on one hand, for organic traffic. Traffic coming in from searching and browsing the App Store. It’s also a really interesting point because I think that Apple will have some success with what they’re trying to do, which is to drive the store of the main place or users or people go to discover apps, because just ads are becoming less and less targeted.
I don’t know about you, but I’m scrolling through Facebook these days and ads are so irrelevant to me. I play games, but it’s like, it just became really, really untargeted. That sends me to the App Store to actually find new games. There’s conversion rate optimization for the organic side and for the paid side, of course, which is now connect to custom product pages.
That’s maybe the third piece. The fourth piece, which is really, really advancing in the past year I think, is measurement and insights. Like so many teams out there don’t look at App Store Connect data.
Simon: Yes, that’s true.
Jonathan: There’s so many insights and so much data that exist within App Store Connect and it’s only growing and growing and Apple is releasing more features to App Store Connect that it’s nuts. I think it was driven by the fact that folks for years have been used to look at MMP dashboards as the single source of truth for anything attribution wise, so they didn’t see the need to go to App Store Connect, but in a world where you can measure the impact that in-app events have on new elapsed users and where they’re actually driving installs from which traffic source.
In a world where you can actually filter out performance in terms of downloads, revenues and retention at a custom product page level, then you get back some aggregated attribution back. You can technically calculate the return on ad spend on a campaign if you use a single custom product page with campaign. You know which traffic is landing there and Apple tells you what’s the revenues that have been driven at a [unintelligible 00:16:16] level, by the way, from that custom product page.
The insights that can be produced from really good measurement with App Store Connect is also something that I think the ASO team is really involved in.
Simon: Yes. To be honest with that, I remember when iOS 14 was announced, I was expecting that App Clips would become accessible with the URL and that they would become something that basically would be the UTMs for apps in the App Store. Instead, we’re getting custom products pages, but there’s definitely this option of saying, “You know what? You have difficulties. You won’t be able to measure everything, but scan network is frustrating for a lot of different reasons.”
At the same time, MMP data has released his question mark of, is the data you get from opt-in users reflecting what happened with a blended EU? Another way of looking at it is to say, you can just multiply custom products pages, because you have up to 35. Each one can be declined in different countries. You really have– It’s not like you’re going to be able to only take 35 spread through your 10 main markets. No, you can have each concept of a custom product page for all of your top 10 markets and even more.
It’s definitely this side of analytics. To me, what’s really interesting and where we’ve discussed so far is, we still have this old software in our mind of saying, it’s basically traffic and conversion. Then you can argue whether it’s conversion about paid or organic or both. The reality is, what changed most in my opinion, with iOS 15 through the new console and through in-app events is that, we’re reminded that now it’s not only about getting new users with ASO, it’s also about getting people to come back, about measuring the activity you get from an event.
This is massive because I think especially for smaller teams that don’t necessarily have a product team able to track every single event within their app and to connect it to an MMP or something like that, you won’t get every single detail, but you can still see the effect on engagement. How many people? How many more sessions did we get from having this in-app event? Did we drive more revenue?
Then there’s a question of what’s coming next. I did earlier this year, as, I think, a lot of people do, I did predictions for the year. One thing I still wish in-app events is that, one thing that’s already on Google play and that I think Apple will just have to match is the possibility to offer in-game rewards with events. In Google they’re called live-off. You are not going to have these options of saying, if you do this– If you offer a reward for someone who completes an event, then you actually will be able to measure how many people engage with event, but also how many completed it.
There’s really going to be a lot more now that we’re not focusing just on new user downloads, but that we’re starting to think, okay, maybe we want to get three downloads. Maybe we want to just engage with active users so that they don’t leave to another product.
Jonathan: Exactly. I think that the folks doing ASO now are positioned in a really, really good way to be just a way more strategic part of the organization, because they– from what I’m seeing in the past couple of months I would say, is ASO teams answering questions such as, what is the value dollar-wise of being featured in different places?
Because you have cohort data in Apps Store Connect for purchases and sales, you can actually separate the cohort that came in in the day of featuring and put a dollar value on it, so you know that featuring has produced X amount of dollars and then if they communicate these insights in a really good way to marketing leadership, they can put in more resources or even understand better what does it even do when we get featured? Is it vanity? Is it not vanity? You have answers for it. The answers lie within the ASO team that is pretty used of getting into App Store Connect.
Simon: Another thing to tell you, there’s an also part because we talk about the value of metrics in App Store Connect or Google Play Developer Console. There’s added– There’s other gold mines that are definitely part of what we do at AppTweak for instance, where one thing I consider is really too often overlooked is the meaning of the volume attached to a keyword. Studying simple search results is actually an extremely powerful user behavior research tool.
First, the volume tells you what are people most interested in, it can help you choose your message by knowing which words actually interest people more. I remember back in my days of Deezer, we had on a Navy test using Google Play, but something you could also see from comparing volume data on the keywords was that between tracks or playlists, people are more associating music to playlist these days.
When you look at the volume, when you look at what are the apps ranking in the top 10 and that tells you, “There is a trend in the topic.” Or there’s one app that’s able to assert its brand power by being off-topic, but still being number one. You have all these insights that you can find. Obviously, whenever someone is telling me we’re doing market research about brand awareness, I’m saying just start in the store. For an app, if you see the brand name of your app has lower volume than your competitor’s, you can start measuring the gap in brand awareness.
Jonathan: For sure. There’s so many consumer insights hiding there. I just wanted to continue the point we said about insights and in terms of having the ASO Team produce this insight, there’s also a question of how do they communicate it? Now I see the smartest teams out there, and it’s so important. It’s such an important thing that can make or break how the ASO team is viewed.
I’ll give you one example. There’s a few smart teams out there that within ASO are really studying over time, some call it media mix models, but it has a lot of names, but studying on an aggregated way their performance on the organic side, on the paid side within Apps Store Connect, taking App Store Connect data. It’s not very easy to do it, but it can be done. They study how different marketing activities are influencing these metrics.
When you do something thing off the store, like a brand awareness marketing campaign, it has TV billboards, I don’t know, an influencer campaign. What does that do to branded search, for example and installs coming in from search in general? What does that do to the UA paid performance, which can affect conversion rates for all of the paid campaigns because people recognize the brand, so they respond to the ads better.
By studying that, they can feedback the broader marketing organization with insights as to what’s the effectiveness of all these different activities that can’t really be attributed anymore. What do you think– how do you think is the most effective way that an ASO Team should communicate with a broader org?
Simon: For me, there’s two ways of thinking really the architect of your team and you have to take the model of feature companies that have squads or startups. There’s different meanings of it, but where you’re basically to meet people with different skills, different skill sets and have them collaborate on a specific objective and output on what effort can you produce.
With that, you can either say– you can have an ASO Team where every team member is going to be scattered and sent to be part of a different squad. One will be in charge of organic acquisition, one will be in charge of how do we support pay? One will be with product and live ops, one will be on user research, one will be analytics and work with data scientists.
Another option is to make those different skills and have the ASO squad in charge of informing everyone else, but then be more in a strategic role in a pilot role, because I think it’s easier you consider this is a support team, but then the support team best serves the organization by being in multiple different places or it’s a strategic team, and then it’s more like others have to know this is where they get the first bit of data that is going to tell them, let investigate this further with our specific field.
Knowing that it starts from ASO saying we’re seeing these different trends, we’re able to say this one seems to match best the interest of the company and then start just deriving everything from what you have there.
Jonathan: Yes, and I think the more proactive the ASO team is, the better visibility they have in the organization. You don’t have to wait, so you don’t have– Also on the other side of the spectrum, there’s a lot of teams that simply wait and respond to– Some companies call it code red or whatever. Somebody really high in the company says, “Oh my God, our DAUs have dropped by, 50%, 30%, 40% this week. What’s up?”
Then everybody like huddle and start solving it. You don’t have to wait for that moment to shine. You can be proactive and continue to feed the organization and leadership with these insights in a really compelling way and train people exactly to the fact that you just mentioned that the first pieces of data they can get to hint where performance is going to head, can come from the App Store.
It’s a really, really important source of data and information. Let’s talk a bit about tech. We defined in a good way, I think, the different components of a modern ASO team. What are your thoughts about the new tools that have been rolling out? Let’s do a quick pulse check. In-app Events are out, it seems that a lot of the industry has been adopting these and are being used pretty widely.
Two features that didn’t get massive love just yet, are custom product pages, which I think is mostly due to the fact that only search ads, ironSource and I believe there’s another [unintelligible 00:29:06] that supports them now, but it’s advancing pretty slow in terms of support. There’s Product Page Optimization which is– I don’t want to crown it as the most hated feature, but people don’t like it.
Simon: I think we can. I think custom product pages, people look at when they know of it because I think there’s still an information challenge, but I think people in ASO at least look at this as I wish I had the resources to do it, whereas products paid optimization is– from the early feedback is, there’s so many issues with how Apple implemented it, that there’s not even the hype you get from Google Play Experiments, which is far from perfect, but that at least doesn’t hurt how your release cycle goes, doesn’t have tech teams complaining about, “Oh, the ASO team is trying to do something and now we have to wait. They’re asking us to wait to push a new build.” Or anything like that.”
Product Page Optimization, I do hope Apple is listening and just working on fixing it. I think a lot of people have complained. Even with Apple’s track record of not saying much, I do think they will work on it. I think we can only judge the final results once all the elements that were not really integrated in the first release have been fixed. For me, the big question will be at that time, is there any change in the [unintelligible 00:30:50] interval? Because that is a thing we didn’t even get to with page optimization yet.
It’s that they’re using a statistical model, which tends to be very open to false-positive results. This is something we’ve demonstrated at AppTweak with Google Play because [crosstalk].
Jonathan: Yes, with Google experiments.
Simon: Yes. Right now, I did run for instance, when Product Page Optimization came out, I did run an AA test, just as a way of looking, hey, how much noise might there be in here. I didn’t have a lot of traffic to the app, I did it on to, so there was not even time to really be conclusive on this but still, I could already see there’s noise in here. It’s not surprising, we’re talking about something that’s going to have noise with this statistical choice that you’ve made, but because it’s even hard to just run your test for satisfying amount of time we’re not even to the point where we’re complaining about I’m not sure I can trust the results.
We’re complaining about the fact that it’s so hard to just get your tests out there. [crosstalk] it’s more of a situation where adoption is really hard because to be done properly, it takes preparation. I think even though we knew how it was going to work, a lot of companies didn’t have that much time, a lot of companies were still focused on dealing with the aftermath of ATT, especially since the rollout was progressive. I do think that over the year, we’re going to see more and more apps using those.
Jonathan: Yes, for sure. I think one of the main effects that we’ve seen with that, and I remember when Google Experiments came out on the Google Play Store, the biggest thing that has caused was just, I don’t know, a 10 times higher interest in testing because I think when somebody that is managing marketing for a mobile app or a mobile game and they know that such a thing exists, they know that the platform itself released a tool that you’re supposed to test your creatives with.
They’re telling you, they’re educating the market, “Listen, you should be optimizing a conversion rate. It’s an important piece.” When Apple did it, even though the Product Page Optimization, I agree with you, it’s extremely hard to even run a test because for a large developer, or a large game publisher, if you have a seven-day release cycle of updates or even 10 days or even a two-week cycle of releasing updates, that’s the timeframe you have to run a test. It has to be planned very, very carefully and there is no guarantee that you’ll reach confidence this time.
I didn’t see it any company that is prioritizing a creative test on top of a release. Nobody is going to stop, I don’t know, Candy Crush from being released to fix a bug or something because somebody wants to run a screenshot test. That’s not going to happen. It’s going to be difficult to run, but people higher up are not that into the weeds. They just know that Apple is educating everybody and telling them, “You should be testing creative.”
I think an ASO team will have no excuses. Before Google experiments, besides folks using Storemaven or tools like it, there was no way to test, so some folks said, “Okay, we won’t do it. We’ll focus on other things.” When Google Experiments was out, there was way less people like that. Now, I can’t see a single ASO team that doesn’t get a directive from the person managing marketing, you should be optimizing conversion rates, you have all these tools. Figure it out, and they won’t necessarily know other tiny limitations that we know because it’s our day-to-day.
I think that in 2022, we’ll see a lot of ASO teams get a lot of pressure to increase conversion rates and they’ll have way less excuses to explain why they can’t do that.
Simon: Yes. I think it’s something we definitely should embrace as well because for a long time, companies have been scared to go into conversion rate optimization because in the end, the screenshots were also decided by a brand team that had a very specific idea of what the brand should be and would not even really study data and look at how you can actually convince people, even if it means taking a little bit more risk.
Jonathan: Yes, for sure. Definitely. I think we shaped, in our opinion, how an ASO team should be structured these days and how strategic it could be. I think also, one, maybe last prediction for me, because we’re almost running out of time, is that what we’ll see is that on the measurement and insights side of things, there’s a huge opportunity for people in ASO now to go into data and analytics and study these kind of things.
Specifically, the platform consoles, the App Store Connect and the Google Play Developer Console, because another thing that was announced just a week ago or two weeks ago, I think was the Google Play proposal for how to implement their privacy guidelines. They call it The Privacy Sandbox for Android. They’ve been working on the same type of initiative for the web for the past two, two-and-a-half years, but now they proposed their guidelines.
They did say they’re going to do it in a way where they’re going to listen to the community and the ecosystem and they are inviting feedback. They said they’re not going to enforce most of it for the deprecation of the GAID for the next two years. The GAID, which is the counterpart of the IDFA. Something really, really interesting that they brought there in the proposal was something I won’t go into the technical details, it’s called the SDK Runtime.
It’s basically for those of you who aren’t that familiar with how apps run on a mobile device, there’s basically a runtime environment that is there– it’s on any computer, basically. There’s an environment where the software that you downloaded can’t really interfere with on certain things on the operating system side. It’s limited, so nobody can do things that are extremely harmful to your computer.
Now, SDKs are pieces of software that run within apps and up until now, these pieces of software they’re integrated within the apps and are being reviewed by the App Store and Google Review Team together with the code of the rest of that app. They inherit the permissions the app get and they can access device parameters that they need, some advertising SDKs, of course and attribution SDKs to do fingerprinting, so they can read things like the IP address and the version of your modem and your battery level and all these kinds of things to do fingerprinting and continue the old way of doing attribution on mobile user acquisition.
Google has proposed something they call SDK Runtime, which will basically limit– it will have a separate environment for SDK to run in that doesn’t inherit the permissions the app get. It doesn’t hurt the functionality of the app, but the SDK itself can’t read these parameters. If that is being adopted, and I think it’s a very elegant solution, I think that there’s a good chance or a decent chance that Apple will adopt something similar now.
That would kill fingerprinting, because there’s still a lot of teams that are balancing between how are we doing measurement of paid UA and dealing with the aftermath of iOS 14.5, but we can still do fingerprinting and all these different ad networks because the SDKs still do it. I think that what we’ll see more and more of is fingerprinting going away. Then even more of the spotlight will be on measuring the impact of marketing, be it paid or different organic marketing activities through looking at aggregated data over time and understanding at least directionally where things go in terms of sales and return on different activities.
ASO teams have a huge opportunity if they take the next period of time and really make sure their data literacy and their familiarity with these consoles is really world-class.
Simon: I will say they have a second advantage actually, which is not only do they have Z tool, where there won’t be this question of how is it measured and– I mean, you should also get literate on how Apple measures different metrics, but there’s not just a question of thinking, “Okay, we have the tools that’s going to be the most stable in measurement practice.” There’s also just aspects that all these seems have been struggling for, I think at least five years with a question, how can I prove the impact of my work?
That has led to a lot of people in ASO teams already knowing how to really just conduct app list measurement. App list measurement is going to be the reality for so many different marketing tasks moving forward. Here, even with was basic statistical knowledge, this is going to be something that is going to scale on so many different levels that we’ll be able to run more of the show, I guess.
Jonathan: For sure. Cool. We’re running out of time, but that was a great conversation. I could continue speaking about this for an hour, but we are running out of time. There is a few questions we ask all of our guests at the end of each episode. I want to ask you all these questions. The first one is if you could give just one tip to an inspiring mobile marketer or somebody that actually wants to get into ASO these days with everything we’ve discussed, what would it be?
Simon: I think I would say always remember your role is to start as a user. What I really like about ASO is just this mix between all the technical side, the analytics side, for instance, which I’m very fond of, but also the fact that whether we say it’s science or art, I know people love to say, ASO is where art meets science, et cetera. For me, it’s just saying, this is where you have to remember, it’s not any number you’re looking at, it’s actually something that translates into user behavior.
As long as you can also think about what action a certain number we present, or a keyword of creative conversion, anything how it translates into the mind of the user, you’re going to be among the ASO greats because it’s really easy to get buried in the data when you connect it back to how does this actually translate with people, is when you started really finding the insights.
Jonathan: Love that. Talking about ASO greats, who is or what is your favorite mobile growth resource or ASO resource? Where do you go to stay on top of things or get really cool insights? Don’t say Eric Salford because everybody knows that that’s a great resource, but let’s expand. [chuckles]
Simon: I would say Eric Salford is great with measurement challenges, but when it comes to ASO, this is not his main topic and this is where I personally just turned to the ASO Stack slack. It’s not going to be one person, but just a full community who’s willing to share insights, complain whenever there’s an outage in the data from Apple or Google, so you’re always aware of what’s happening and it’s a great way of just learning from other people. That’s my shout-out, I guess.
Jonathan: Awesome. The most important question, given that we’re in Mobile Growth & Pancakes, what is your favorite flavor of pancake?
Simon: I’m afraid I might be very disappointing because I’m just going with the classic and saying chocolate.
Jonathan: You can never go wrong with chocolate.
Simon: In Belgium especially, if I don’t say chocolate, I might actually cause a diplomatic incident anyways.
Jonathan: Yes, and we don’t want any more diplomatic incidents with everything that’s happening. If people want to reach out to you to talk about ASO, discuss things regarding AppTweak, chocolate pancakes, where can they find you?
Simon: LinkedIn, Twitter, ASO Stack Slack, actually. I try to be present at least every now and then, and always read messages. Obviously, just the website of AppTweak, our blog where I post quite regularly about what I see happening in different topics. Hopefully, I can always engage with people with questions.
Jonathan: Awesome. Cool. That has been a true pleasure. I’ve enjoyed the conversation very much and we’ll talk soon. Thank you, Simon.
Simon: Thank you Jonathan.