Episode #15: Closed Vs Open Funnels with Noam Auerbach

In episode 15 of Mobile Growth and Pancakes, Noam Auerbach from Enhancv is explaining the difference between open and closed funnels and the upcoming impact of iOS 14.

In this episode of Mobile Growth & Pancakes, Esther Shatz is in conversation with Noam Auerbach, the Head of Product & Growth at Enhancv. They discuss the difference between open and closed funnels, why closed funnels may results in a higher ROI and the upcoming impact of iOS 14.

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

Connect with Noam here:

Ten actionable tips for increasing App Store CVR





    Timestamps:

    00:48 – Noam Auerbach Introduction 
    01:32 – Focus on growth and product
    04:03 – Paid traffic vs. organic traffic 
    05:46 – Testing different funnels 
    07:53 –  Close vs. Open funnels 
    12:43 – Identifying different user groups
    17:08 – Demographics
    20:02 – Users experience
    24:49 – AB Testing  
    29:00 – Existing users
    31:20 – Users feedback
    33:15 – Quickfire questions

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    “The idea is always to bring people to use your product, and if they enjoy your product, they will come back naturally.”

    Noam Auerbach

    Key takeaways

    • “Bring people in to use your product, and if they enjoy it, they will come back naturally.” The consistency of people using your product increases the probability of growth
    • Ensure that product features and its growth strategies are in complete sync to encourage further growth and increase value experienced by users, a precursor to growth
    • Organic users have a different understanding of a platform and use the product in a different context to paid users
    • Paid traffic should be smartly and strategically planned so that the budget  delivers maximum ROI
    • For the paid traffic, it is important to build closed funnels, where users are guided throughout the journey towards product and customer support 
    • Try to prolong the period in which the user explores the product and platform. Make sure that they go through each necessary milestones before they move out of the funnel
    • For organic traffic, the idea is to make the experience as smooth and intuitive as possible. Let the users roam freely on the platform to discover what they need
    • It is important to evaluate how complex the integration experience is for the user. For example, the activation of Instagram or Spotify is probably less complex than activating a B2B platform or a marketplace. Your funnel can be more productive by making the process less complex for the users
    • It is important to realize that users don’t need to know how to put filters on a video; keep focused on knowing your audiences 
    • Develop a focused and directed process through which the user that can potentially generate content gets a smooth platform
    • If a user is consuming content, try to give them the best content possible through recommendations
    • Try to predict users’ interests based on data collected, such as location, languages, and behavior. Users’ first few interactions on the platform give you some indicators about what they are interested in. These statistical measures can help in developing  multiple platforms and apps strategy building and growth 
    • It is not about doing the best market research, but it is more about carrying out AB testing to balance the weight between free and paid features 
    • The process of figuring out the balance between free and paid platforms while keeping the consumers engaged throughout is an art form in itself
    • Several features might do well in research, user validation, and get positive feedback but might compromise on internal KPIs
    • Focus on existing users’ engagement while building up the base for new customers
    • Always seek feedback from the users 
    • Users don’t always know what they want. We need to research and find users’ problems as well as identifying gaps in the market
    • Not all strategies or product development can be data-driven, as the identification of user problems holds equal importance. Once the problem is identified, integrate new features that solve that particular problem 
    • Great product teams and great marketing teams need to join forces to come up with new ideas and build new features for users 
    • One tip Noam would give other mobile growth leaders is to test as much as they can, go for crazy ideas if they are cheap, do as much as you can with the available resources 

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      Full Transcript:

      Esther: Welcome to Mobile Growth & Pancakes. I’m joined today by Noam Auerbach, who is… Really, you introduce yourself. Why would I introduce you? Go ahead on that and tell us who you are, what you do.

      Noam: Hello, everyone. Good morning. Good evening. Whenever you’re listening to this podcast. Yes, I’m Noam Auerbach. I’m a product and growth person for the past eight years or so. I’m based in Berlin. I’m really looking forward to talking to you guys today about growth marketing, about different tactics, different strategies of how to build a sustainable growth, and increase app usage in different ways and forms.

      Esther: All right. Let’s kick it off. One of the things I think that’s interesting about you is you’ve done a lot of your focus on growth, but you’ve also had a lot of focus on product. Actually, I think you don’t necessarily see these things as overly separate, am I right?

      Noam: Yes. Where does growth end and product starts and vice versa? Who knows? The idea at the end always is to bring people to use your product, to enjoy it. If your product is good, people will come back naturally and then you can enhance it with different, again, tactics, different strategies on how to do that. The best companies I’ve ever seen have always treated both product and growth as partners working together very closely. That’s how they drive the most value as well. The worst companies I’ve ever seen were extremely segmented in their thinking and we’re not able to put it into a coherent, single space. Because from the user perspective, which is what matters at the end, these things should not be separated.

      Esther: 100%. I don’t know if you can share, but if you have an example of one that’s either went really well or really badly, the disconnect between how you’re bringing users in and what happens when they come.

      Noam: I’ll give a positive one. I think a competitor or a big company I’ve learned for many years, Spotify has done it very, very well. They are aggressive in their growth marketing. They are not always the most facilitating towards user needs, but they have the user needs in mind. The way they build growth funnels is it feels to me always very coherent end to end. They figure out what is your interest and why you came to where you are. Usually, it’s around a piece of track or a playlist, and then able to convert you and move you down the funnel. I always appreciate and respect a lot how they did it. Especially when analyzing and looking at it during my time at SoundCloud.

      Esther: Awesome. I think one of the things that’s complex maybe about creating the right connection between growth and product is of course your growth comes from different channels. You have the easiest example would be paid versus organic users who are pushed in through an ad that you’ve set up that maybe you can control a little bit more what that flow is because you’ve chosen to bring them in. Then you have organics where maybe you don’t exactly know why they’re coming in. How do you tackle these two separate groups when it comes to actually creating a long-term flow and a comfortable onboarding?

      Noam: In one sentence segmentation, segmentation, segmentation. Understanding as much as possible the different chunks of traffic that you have. If we go a little bit more in-depth for it, organic users usually have a different context and a different understanding of your platforms. They usually have a little bit more context of what you’re doing. It all depends of course who we’re talking about, which platform, which application.

      I think we’ll get to it in a second, but paid traffic you need to treat with much more deliberate intention and thought of how to drive positive ROI because it costs money for obvious reasons. The business case there needs to be strong from day one. While with organic traffic, you can think a little bit more strategically. You can think more about user value, what do users want and need. Paid traffic you need to be much more on point.

      Esther: It’s interesting. I think sometimes I find that developers value organic traffic so much, they tend to put a lot of focus on it, but actually you have a bigger hurdle [unintelligible 00:05:20] because they weren’t actively searching you out. I think you’re right on the money that we have money on the line that we’ve spent. Our hurdle is higher because we don’t have somebody who’s passionately been looking for this product necessarily. We brought them in. Maybe you have some examples of how you’ve tested out matching these different funnels, how you segment, how that process has gone.

      Noam: I think that the best example I can give right now is from my previous experiences or the more recent experiences at Enhancv where I’m the head of growth and product. Product and growth. Growth and product. There we definitely see that. We see big differences in the behavior, in the needs, and also in the experience between paid traffic and organic traffic.

      Our approach to it is to be honest, quite aggressive in a sense. For the paid traffic, we build extremely closed funnels where the users are directed, where users get the most support they can get and we try to prolong the moment where they just go and roam around the platform. We try to make sure that they reach all what we define as necessary milestones, necessary activations before we take them out of the funnel. I would love to talk a little bit more about that if we want.

      For organic traffic, the idea is to make the experience as smooth as possible, as intuitive as possible. We let the users roam free throughout the platform, find out what they want and what they need, and we’ve necessarily helped where we can. There’s this famous attitude that says, if you need to tell the user what each button does, then your UX is not good enough. If you need to tell them, “Hey, if you press the share button, you can share with your friends, then you need to rethink your UX and where you put and how you put things, et cetera.” We try to do as little of that as possible.

      Esther: I think I was speaking to Dora from SoundCloud not too long ago. She said that same thing. Don’t bother your users when they know what they’re doing. Don’t get in their way. Just let them do what they want to do. Let’s take it to the paid side and closed versus open funnels. I don’t think everybody knows necessarily what that means when it comes to onboarding.

      Noam: Absolutely. Closed funnels, first of all, it’s binary. It’s not black and white. If a user wants to get out of your funnel, they’ll find a way. In general, a closed funnel is where we construct a UX, we construct an experience for a user which takes them hand by hand or step by step through what we want them to do. Whether it’s onboarding, sign up or activation or to the subscription.

      Again, whatever point in the user journey we are and give them as little option to get out of it as possible. The less options you have to get out of it, the more closed it is. If we put it on a meter, an open funnel is exactly the opposite. Is hey, here is the platform. Here is what you can do. Go ahead and do your thing as a user. Maybe we should talk a little bit based on the type of platform you are which direction should go on?

      Esther: Let’s do it. I think we talked about the idea for organics. First of all, there’s a little bit more openness that we want them to be able to connect with what it is they’re looking for. I would imagine there’s some limitations within that as well. Not every product is created equal. Some have such alternative use cases. I’ll pick maybe an easier example of apps that are marketplaces where you’re both a buyer and a seller. You need some structure to let somebody know whether they go through the buying funnel or the selling funnel because it’s not one clear action that we know they’re trying to take.

      Noam: Absolutely.

      Esther: You’ve had I think experiences with a few products. Maybe you can tell a little bit more what’s the criteria for something that should be more open versus should be more closed?

      Noam: I would say, first of all, the question is how complex your activation looks like. The activation of Instagram or SoundCloud or Spotify is probably less complex than the activation of a B2B platform or let’s say a marketplace where I sell secondhand goods as a user, this requires a much higher level of involvement from the user. The less complex and more known to the user your platform is, the easier and more open your funnel can be. I’ll give an example of Telegram and Signal, there are two platforms that are now on the rise because of some users living WhatsApp, Is a known context, we all know texting applications, maybe there’s one or two features that are a little bit different around sharing with friends, et cetera, but more or less, we all understand the concept. As a user, you don’t come and see something that you’ve never seen before, you understand it. However, if you’re a 50-year-old, and I bring you into Snapchat for the first time, hmm.

      Esther: I already feel like a 50-year-old, I couldn’t [inaudible 00:10:51] when I first went in.

      Noam: I should say TikTok like, “Where am I supposed to dance here?” Maybe you need a little bit more of an onboarding. Maybe I can create a bridge here, when I was working at EA, which is a shopping app for teenagers, very Snapchaty, the very TikTok quick videos of users showing up what they’re doing. You can imagine teenagers dancing around with Nike sweaters. We recognize that our users don’t need an explanation of how to put a filter on a video. There is no point in that but we put our efforts into terms, especially big marketing. Well in understanding what type of user we have in front of us. If it’s a user that is really a content generator, which is let’s say, very valuable for us.

      Users create the content, because that activates other users, of course, then we will try to direct them towards a specific onboarding, which is not closed, but maybe more directed. If we see that it’s a user that is much more about consuming content, we will try to give them the best content possible through recommendation systems and algorithms, through giving them quick understanding. There’s no need to tell them how to like and how to share and how to put a filter on them. This example, I think, for both open onboarding or open funnels, but that are a little bit more directed.

      Esther: I think that’s really interesting. First of all, obviously, I’d imagine there’s a lot of personal work that goes into being able to segment like that, and understanding the ages of interest to other groups. How do you identify those users already from the paid side? Is it that you’re setting up custom campaigns that are specifically targeting people? Is it behavior-based? You’re not sitting there interviewing everybody who comes into your platform, you can’t actually [unintelligible 00:12:41]? How do you do it?

      Noam: It has to be automated programmatic, of course. As you mentioned, different campaigns can come with certain attributes that I already know about the user give me some context. We built really, really, really great algorithms upon the user downloading the app with predicting what their interests are. There’s a presentation of me speaking about it online, if you search my name, you’ll find it. I won’t go into too much detail but we try to predict their interest in fashion based on a bunch of technical pieces of data that we had about them like geolocation which is on the app, et cetera.

      As you said, your first interactions on the platform already give you some indicators on what users are interested in and we can think of it in different contexts of different platforms and apps.

      Esther: How do you validate that you set up the right funnel per segment. How do you validate that you’re actually taking them through the pathway that they should be going down?

      Noam: Do they convert to [unintelligible 00:13:53] I’m driving more A/B testing? A/B testing is the king here. Don’t argue about things that can be tested. Longer strategic topic of how we generate– [unintelligible 00:14:06] How do you disrupt an industry? These are different conversations that an AV test will not have helped you. When you’re talking about different funnels, stick to the data, the hardcore data, that’s the easiest.

      Esther: I always inclined to agree. I’ve seen so many hearts broken over tests just like this is everything our brand stands for. This is the most beautiful creative we’ve ever made in our lives and everybody said that it’s terrible. I get personally invested when you think you found the masterpiece and it’s just not so. You got to be able to have some validation process there. Let’s move a little bit more into closed funnels because I think those are really interesting. Maybe your gut feeling would tell you a closed funnel isn’t the way to go because you’re limiting a user’s ability to really engage the way they want. I’m not sure, maybe that’s an initial thought. It seems to be that there are a lot of places where a closed funnel is necessary.

      Noam: You hit the nail right on the head there, you’re absolutely right. The intuition around closed funnels is let’s not do it unless we have to. It’s not good, it’s not what users want. That’s theoretical. In my opinion, unless you’ve proven it with actual data, I’ll be skeptical about it. I feel closed funnels give a lot of clarity, they give structure, they give instruction, they give a very clear engagement path that I as a user need to go through. As growth in marketing as product people, we spend 8, 9, 10 hours a day thinking about our platform. Our users don’t know anything about that, so giving them a very specific, concise, straightforward experience, many times helps them.

      I can say, for instance, I worked at [unintelligible 00:15:54] where we had enormous amount of paid marketing, enormous budgets in the millions monthly. The closed funnels are those that perform the best. It could be that you’ll find a segment that doesn’t need that and then you make it a bit more dynamic and allow the specific type of user to have a different funnel. Of course, funnels are very engaging and simple in a way and reduce cognitive load if we want to use design thinking.

      Esther: The whole lot too many choices, too much Netflix experiences, let’s make it super simple. I’m interested, something you mentioned in passing that I connect to is this idea that an older user, somebody who might benefit much more heavily from a closed funnel. Somebody who’s not as accustomed to having those– What’s the word I’m looking for the technological schema frames that they intuitively know that this is a menu and intuitively know that this is a filter, and this is how I use these things. Other than age, do you find that there are specific demographic indicators of something that should be– Somebody who should be going into a more closed funnel?

      Noam: That’s a great question. Let me think about it. We could talk about global trends and the differences between different countries. There are differences there that also correlate that, by the way, with iOS, types of devices, et cetera. Is a well-known fact that iOS devices convert more to subscription and purchases, et cetera, you know that as well. The other thing if there is anything spicy, interesting that I can say in terms of demographics, that we found there’s something about– And interesting finally that we had a trolling.

      The trolling users are usually a little bit more than the older side. 40, 50, 60-year-old people who are planning a big trip abroad and we personalize and build on back then personally build a trip for them. What we found that was very interesting was that female users would indicate to us continuously that they want as much information as possible about the upcoming trip throughout the funnel. The more information the more context we gave, the more secure they felt and more confident to convert. It’s not binary there are, of course, others but in general, that’s what we find.

      Males wanted, give me the trip and the price as quickly as possible. I want to see the product in front of me, so I can assess it myself and don’t bother me with all this information, unless I’m asking for it. That was an interesting find. There’s no graphics I think.

      Esther: I want to say that we’re different, but I think my marriage is exactly the same. From trips of food ordering, I need to know every restaurant that’s available, what’s on the menu of every restaurant and my husband’s like, “No, let me order, let’s call it a day.” Yes, I wish we didn’t fall into that stereotype, but I could see it I could. [laughs]

      Noam: It is what it is and it’s our role as a product and our people to observe it, analyze it, and build what our users need and want.

      Esther: What’s our [unintelligible 00:19:20] tonight a little bit here, part of your ability to create a really powerful post onboarding experience comes to knowing as much as you can about the user. I cannot count how many times I’ve said the sentence in the last few months, but I was 14 the change with IDFA. It’s going to inherently shift not just what happens in iOS, but the industry has to– This is the kind of trend that an industry follows. When we start to lose the ability to connect as much of what’s bringing a user in, how do we handle that? How do we make sure that we’re creating a proper experience for them and a valuable experience for them onboarding when we lose so much of the information that we’ve relied on until now.

      Noam: That is going to be an enormous challenge in the coming years, and it’s going to be a good time for the data scientists, building algorithms per app and platform. You would have to make obstructions and correlations between factors that you do have, and you do know and try to extract out of that, what type of user you have. At the end of the day, I don’t know if I should say that we’ve too much confidence but it feels to me like it will be solved with more advanced data models, fair platform, fair application rather than [inaudible 00:20:40] one.

      Companies will need to invest in that or maybe there’ll be some B2B companies that can offer these algorithms separately for each platform, and help them predict better as the user engages for the first time as these are just arriving on the platform. Who they are, what they are, what they’re interested in and there are ways to solve it. There are ways to make assumptions and correlations but that’ll be my two cents.

      Esther: Basically, make sure you hire a data scientist, that’s the number one thing that you can do as a developer right now, get yourself a good team of data scientists to handle what’s to come.

      Noam: Yes, outsource it.

      Esther: You’re not picky, just find the access to a data scientist, I hear you. I think it’ll be interesting, there’s going to be a lot. Even with data science, so much trial and error, it’s going to be so interesting to see who’s pulling back and spending during this time, who’s just going all in and seeing what they can capture. It’s for sure a gamble, I think there’s this interesting chance, if you have the capital, you’re willing to invest and you can play around your competition is going to go down. You have a chance to get such a leg up on the industry.

      If you don’t have money to gamble, and you’re more conservative, you’re going to have a hard time proving ROI for a good handful of time, maybe just wait till everybody else spends their money and then pick up with what they’ve learned.

      Noam: Absolutely. Maybe we need to think about something that is not just having engineering and data for the more business-oriented folks. Being more focused on a specific segment of the market, and a specific persona could help you in that first, if you’re on the smaller side of things, your startup you’ve just started. You are in your first few years, this focus maybe will be enhanced by these changes as well that you build for really a smaller group, and that helps you understand them better, and without the information, you used to have there before. That’s one way of tackling it as well, without some complex algorithms there.

      Esther: I think it makes a lot of sense. I think we always talk about the biggest challenge and terms of App Store growth and when you’re looking at mobile as you have the one page for everyone, for every user type it becomes incredibly difficult. What’s there? There are some phrases that if you design for everyone you design for no one when you try it and if it is not the lowest common denominator there’s definitely something to that patience, right of saying, “Okay, let me master my wails, let me take the users I know belong here. Let me figure out exactly how to work with them.”

      Then let me figure out the next group and the next group and the next group but it’s a patience play, if you’re aiming for world domination. You got to be willing to wait it out and wait a long time.

      Noam: Yes, it will. One segment at a time. The good thing about it, the methods the learnings that you will have and get on your zero to one will serve you even better on your one to two, two to three and by the fourth and fifth time it will be a second habit, It will be ingrained to your company culture of figuring out okay, what is this segment? What do they need? What do they want? What are their values? What are they looking for? Then what is the right [unintelligible 00:24:00] position? What is the right UX? What is the right funnel et cetera? You do it once it’s super hard, you do it two times challenging, third time, you move faster than anyone else.

      Esther: I’m interested if you can think of maybe what’s the most surprising– I spoke about people getting overly attached to variations when it comes to testing. Do you have something that really shocked you something that shouldn’t have worked that worked better than everything else? Something that was absolutely terrible and for every reason, you can think of should have worked?

      Noam: Let me see. Something absolutely terrible that should not have worked but worked.

      Esther: Were the reverse something beautiful or it failed miserably.

      Noam: What I’ve discovered that I’ve worked with a few subscription models, and it’s a business model with a few apps in the past, and what I see more and more so I will take the positive side of that question if that’s okay.

      Esther: Of course.

      Noam: What I see more and more working and again, it’s an art in itself is how you define your subscription model for your platform. Now after playing around and defining that for a few times, it’s not so much again about doing the best market research and then building some beautiful design and UX. Again, it’s a lot about A/B testing and figuring out how much they give the user for free and then where do I cut it and put the paywall. This process of figuring out the balance between your free platform and then where you can start driving users into the core of your business is an art in itself.

      Again, I can only recommend and sometimes even with companies that feel like they’re slow or that they’re not ready for this complex A/B testing, start with removing a feature, start from removing a feature that you always thought should be for free, just try to move it to locked or beyond a paywall, and see what happens. These kinds of A/B tests do not require a lot of engineering, because you’re not building anything new. Just put the paywall and start playing around with these type of things. The results there could be extremely, extremely interesting. All of a sudden, 30% decrease because this feature was key to being in your freemium model.

      On the other hand, you can see that just by enhancing two or three things and putting them behind a paywall, all of a sudden, you managed to drive much more users to purchase whatever it is you wanted to purchase.

      Esther: I love that idea. Just taking it feature-by-feature and seeing which one’s critical for you to get hooked versus which one’s so critical once you’re hooked that you can’t exist without paying for it. I think that’s an awesome way to go about it. Especially if you don’t have huge departments dedicated to market research and user research is a good one. I will remember that next time I design a product.

      Noam: Let’s be honest, even the UX I’ve seen plenty of times features that were perfect on doing the research part were validated users found great feedback from users and we released it and zero to no or even worse, negative impact on KPIs. That happens as well, I’m not going to name any features, but they happen in every company I’ve worked in before these kind of features. That’s maybe a word of recommendation, not to the growth marketing folks out there or product managers, but to the UX and designers and researchers out there. At the end, everything needs to be oriented towards the business. Even if something is validated and great and great feedback, but does not bring the value.

      Esther: I think it also solves the issue of cross-department. When UX is arguing with a brand, who’s arguing with growth, who’s arguing with whatever, at the end of the day, let your user speak, let the market speak, because it doesn’t matter. The rest of it just doesn’t matter. We’re all rolling, for one thing. I guess, one more question that I would have is, when you’re playing around with different features, when you’re trying to understand what hits the user, how do you make sure that you don’t damage a loyal user base?

      If you’re starting to experiment with whether it’s removing different things, or I think every app features, I remember as an early Facebook user, every update was like, you’ve ruined my life for a week and then get used to it, whatever but how do you play that balance? How do you make sure that you don’t create in the hopes of optimizing for the next people to come that you don’t damage that core group or keeping you where you are today?

      Noam: We all knew, for instance, Facebook finally finished releasing the new feed 2020. They were working on it for three years, building a new feed, where every time 11% will go get the new feed, and a really, really, really long, long process of validating it, bringing value, and then obviously monitoring KPIs for exactly the same reason that you just mentioned, which is exactly on point.

      Yes, it’s very, very true and you have to be very, very cautious, especially if you start playing with paywalls, with prices, with different models with your existing user base. This is why probably, first testing should go on new users rather than on existing unless, again, you think you can bring additional value to existing users. Yes, track, track, track, monitor, monitor, monitor, and make sure you’re not harming your existing user base. If you do slow releases, with time all the cohorts will either die or let’s say you’re a very long-term engagement platform and you don’t want them to die. With time, new users will come in.

      They only know the new experience, and at some point, you can probably shut down the old experience. These are more complex from a product perspective. Also, from a growth perspective, they require much more maneuvering around and keeping in mind two different states for users, but they are smoother and would allow you to have less backlash from your existing community.

      Esther: That definitely makes sense. In terms of that community, you mentioned something that I find a lot of the time too which is on the one hand, you need to hear your users because they’re telling you what’s working, and they’re telling you what they need to see. They’re giving you this incredible feedback that you can’t get from anywhere else. On the other side, users are not great at self-reporting. They don’t always know how to identify what they actually need and what they actually want. That community, that feedback, how do you balance the sides of wanting to give the user everything they’re asking for but also saying, “Look. I can’t validate this. I know you’re asking for it, but I don’t think you really need it?”

      Noam: First of all, always good to talk to your users, and understand them, and take everything with a pinch of salt. That’s the first recommendation. It’s never bad to talk to your users. You should do it as much as you can no matter what your position is or which field you are in the company. That’s the first thing. The second thing, users, they don’t always know what they want. When we do research, whoever you are, you go there to find user problems and gaps in the market. That’s what you’re looking for. You’re not asking your users to solve and suggest a feature for you. That’s the famous approach to discovery boxes for instance.

      Either try to identify problems and then at some point there is an element of magic and creativity and that’s why probably we’re all, to some extent, in this industry. It’s not all just data and analysis and then clear cut black and white. There is an aspect that we need to be able to come and say, “Okay. This is the gap. This is the user problem we identified. Now, let’s use our brain capacity and come up with a new feature. Something that is not there. Something that we can build to solve it.” Probably no one will be able to tell you exactly what to build, but this is where great product things, great marketing things are able to come up with new ideas and build those things.

      That’s your role, I guess, to build something new. It won’t just come from analyzing AV test results and building funnels. It’s good to understand the state, the structure that is in place, but you need to be creative. You need to give yourself the time to try to solve these things in a new way.

      Esther: That’s how you know our jobs are safe from the robots whenever they’re ready to work. We still need some brain power. It can’t just be analysis. Are you ready for the quick-fire round?

      Noam: All right. Let’s do it?

      Esther: If you could give just one tip to somebody who’s entering the world of mobile growth, what would it be?

      Noam: I think it’s [unintelligible 00:33:18] now. Test as much as you can. Do as many testing as you can. Go for crazy ideas if they’re cheap especially. Do as much as you can on your own with resources that are given to you. Test, test, test, test, test, test, test. That’s how you’ll get learning in the end.

      Esther: Your favorite mobile growth resource?

      Noam: Andy’s going to love that, the mobile growth stuff. Kudos to Andy and the feature team from here.

      Esther: 100%.

      Noam: [inaudible 00:33:49]

      Esther: Assuming we’re getting, hopefully, to the end of COVID and you get to go back out in the real world, who’s the person in the industry that you’d most want to take for lunch and why?

      Noam: Oh my God. I’m going to give you a great answer. I don’t want to take anyone in the industry for lunch. If I go to lunch, I want to have fun. I would take one of my favorite artists or DJs to lunch. I would not try to do that.

      Esther: You need to keep the creative part alive. We just talked about it. More than the data side, you’ve got to keep the creative part. Most important question is, what is your favorite kind of pancake?

      Noam: Maple syrup. Classic.

      Esther: Classic. Very classic. I’m married to a Canadian, so it’s the right answer in that sense.

      Noam: Can I add a chunk of butter on top? Is that allowed?

      Esther: You absolutely can. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the pancake mix boxes in America, that you buy those mixes. You just mix it and throw it in a pan and it turns out a pancake. That’s the picture. The big stack of butter and the dripping off maple syrup on the other side.

      Noam: Yes. That’s what I want, right now.

      Esther: Beautiful. I’d air-mail it if I could. Where can people find you if they want to learn more, engage, send you pancakes, any of that?

      Noam: Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I guess that’s the easiest. Noam Auerbach. Auer A-U-E-R Bach like the composer B-A-C-H. Connect with me. I respond to everybody on LinkedIn. Even to bots and recruiters, I respond, to everybody. Feel free.

      Esther: Amazing. Noam, that was awesome. Thank you so much.

      Noam: Thank you, Esther. It was my pleasure. Thanks a lot.

      About Esther Shatz
      Esther is a UX nerd with a natural aversion to sunrise, morning people, and birds. After consulting on website UX for clients like Disney, Walmart, and Skype, she moved into the world of mobile and now obsessively searches for new App Store tricks to share with her clients and random passerby. Hobbies include coffee, hula-hooping and making soup.