Mobile Growth & Pancakes #4: User Acquisition Systems with Claire Rozain

On episode four of Mobile Growth and Pancakes, we talked with Claire Rozain, UA Manager at Product Madness, about the more systematic approaches to user acquisition.

In this episode of Mobile Growth & Pancakes, Esther Shatz is joined by Claire Rozain, User Acquisition Manager at Product Madness. Claire talks about her role at Product Madness and her experience in the dating, mobile, and social casino niches.

Claire has a deep interest in the top of the funnel and is extremely passionate about systematic approaches to user acquisition. She mainly focuses on expanding exposure to Product Madness’s portfolio through paid social.

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

Connect with Claire and Product Madness here:

Claire’s Twitter Account
Claire’s LinkedIn profile
Claire’s Growth Hacking Trip Website
Product Madness Website

Timestamps:

7:00  Introduction
7:30  KPI optimization 
8:30  Usefulness of platforms, and where to invest
13:17 A retargeting case study
20:10 Preparing for changing the outcome
30:15 Quick Fire Round

You can listen to the full episode here:

Or listen on:

Apple Podcasts
Spotify
Google Podcasts

Key takeaways from the episode: 

  • When it comes to optimizing KPIs, the Product Madness growth team focuses most effort on revenue, retention, conversion ratio (CVR), and cost per million impressions (CPM).
  • Traditionally much of Claire’s top of the funnel paid spend has been focussed on Facebook and Google in the US and Australia. Though an increase in competition and the emergence of advertising opportunities on newer platforms such as Snapchat and Tiktok has enabled Claire to diversify spend.
  • When looking to invest in a new channel or medium, Claire states that you must keep your eyes and ears open, maintain a flexible approach and make sure to differentiate your strategy based on that platform. 
  • A significant challenge that Claire personally felt was the move from advertising on Facebook to Snapchat – it required an entirely new creative force. Each platform required a completely different advertising style. While on Facebook, the audience is not just your friends, family but also companies and entertainment sources; the scenario on Snapchat is different in the sense that Snapchat stories require you to build a personal connection with your audience.
  • Claire’s favorite mobile growth resource is Mobile Dev Memo, which she refers to as “an exciting read”. Within the mobile growth world, she would like to take Sahar Kitty and the rest of her team for lunch, and her favorite flavor of a pancake is blueberry.

“When looking to invest in a new channel or medium, it is significant that you maintain a flexible approach and differentiate your strategy based on that platform.”

Claire Rozain

Ten tips to increase your App Store CVR




    Full Transcript:

    Esther Shatz: I’m joined today by Claire Rozain, who is the user acquisition manager of Product Madness. Do you want to introduce yourself in a few words?

    Claire: Yes, sure. Hello, Schatz, I’m Claire, a user acquisition manager at Product Madness. Before I work for in dating and before in a competitor of Google maps. Really happy to be here. I’m a huge passionate of QA and all the topic around this so really happy to share some thoughts about it.

    Esther: Well, when you look for optimization, when you’re looking at the top of the funnel, what kind of KPIs do you optimize for?

    Claire: At Product Madness, we are really performance-oriented. We look at all the basic KPIs, like revenue, principle install, retention, but also obviously we watch a lot CPR, which is really important for us because it should bring some user and again they don’t install your application from the store like it doesn’t make sense to do it. We really watch on like CTR, CDR, CPM, all the KPIs are bringing different information and I’m always really keen to get to know it better. It’s more performance-oriented for us.

    Esther: You guys you’re very, very active. You spend heavily, you have apps with a lot of traction. Which platforms do you find really, really useful on the wayside and how do you define where to break down? Where to put more effort and less effort?

    Claire: We basically spend on where the user are so we spend on where you got the best reach, which is I think would be the same for everyone in [unintelligible 00:02:30], Facebook, Google, so like some programmatic platform, but it’s really important also for us, as it’s a super competitive market, like the online market like US and Australia, whereas there is a lot of competition. It’s really important also for us to skip on [unintelligible 00:02:50] and to spend on all the social media platform where we can actually get some opportunities because our competitor are not there.

    For instance, spending on some platform like Snapchat for me is really important because it’s definitely a growing audience. Even sometimes on some older social media that are not as advanced, are still new, like Facebook and everything, you can actually have some opportunities because you follow at the end of the day where the user is and sometimes the trend change, the user behavior change. People now go on TikTok like two years ago it wasn’t the case. You need to always reach your target at the right place.

    Esther: It’s really interesting. How do you measure when you’re going to a new platform, like when you start with Snapchat or TikTok who aren’t as experienced in the world of advertising, I’d imagine you have to measure success a little bit differently than you would measure your campaigns on Facebook or Google. How do you tackle that? How do you understand if something’s been a more successful platform for you or not?

    Claire: Well, I think when you go on a new environment it’s really important to think out of the box and not compare the user to app. It’s really important first to see if your audience is interested by your project. If you spend on TikTok, do you have some early KPI like CTR, CDR that are showing people are actually interesting into your project and if not, what creative strategy can you adapt as well because creative is key and it doesn’t work the same way on Facebook, Google, also programmatic platform, or even TikTok.

    It’s really important also to understand the user experience where you advertise and adapt your creative so you take actually a lot of time to more understand we can do the best we can but with what we have from the platform exchanging [unintelligible 00:05:00] manager and everything to see some positive signs from the staff because it’s really important for us not just to test one month and then say it’s over. If you want to invest in a new channel, you need to put a lot of time, thought, and flexibility in it if you really want to make it succeed and always be open-minded and don’t tell yourself because it doesn’t work the first month it won’t work the second one, like that.

    You can always make different things to make it successful, and even it’s not working, maybe because it wasn’t the right time. We are really lucky [unintelligible 00:05:39] because everything is evolving years by years, the algorithms are getting better. Everything is changing, so don’t close the door, always open it, and say, “Maybe didn’t work this time but it will work like in two years with a lot of [unintelligible 00:05:55] energy.”

    Esther: I think you see it a lot that developers will try a platform, they don’t see the ROI that they’re used to seeing, and they just say, “Okay, it’s not for us. Let’s keep our focus on the places where we know how to convert best.” I think your point is really important that you can’t just transfer the structure and style users are in a different context when they’re in different apps. They’re not using Snapchat the same way they’re using Facebook. Do you have, maybe, is there an example you can share of where you had to really adjust? If you’re in a brand new platform, something that you changed dramatically from what you had been used to doing?

    Claire: Yes, 100%. Actually, from Facebook to Snapchat, something really simple like the advertising is really different. You don’t have a feed, you have a story ad where you have no text, nothing, and where you really need to have new creative for Snapchat. I think it’s important also to not to do the same that you did on Facebook because the format is so much different that you won’t [unintelligible 00:06:54] creative, you want different [unintelligible 00:06:56] on Snapchat. Of course, I don’t say that you won’t use it on Instagram, for instance, with Facebook, but maybe you will use it less. You will have more square for instance on your Facebook feed.

    To be honest, I was super surprised to see that Facebook and Snapchat got totally different creative side that they’re from. We made this test to take some Snapchat creative and try it on Facebook and it was a big fail. For instance, if you do some creative on Snapchat, I would rather say, do something really creative. Well, something native, something where you see people. You do some live-action so people can actually when they watch stories, they cannot see your game, but they can see a story. They can see something that inspired by and then install your application.

    I think when you’re on some platform like you, even more in social case, everyone got a lot of ads from different competitor. You have a lot of gameplay creative but sometimes quite the same because the IPs are really similar. When you actually have something really different, for instance, a really great competitor like [unintelligible 00:08:17] is using the influencer to do creative and advertise on it. I think it’s really smart from them, and I’m sure the convertion is way better because people are actually in the stories. They are not just on an ad that is fresh on social media.

    Esther: That’s a good point. That’s super interesting. Snapchat, you’re using it in a specific context. You’re using it for the connection. You’re using it for something that’s human to human. Even Facebook and Twitter, you interact with companies. You don’t just interact with people, you play games on Facebook, you do these other things. Now that you’re saying it out loud, it makes a lot of sense. Let’s talk about scale for a minute. How do you know when you reach scaling limits on a platform? How do you know when you’ve really hit your cap?

    Claire: Basically when you come spend more, it’s a good sign but maybe you’re restricted by the audiences. When you reach a cap in user acquisition, you can actually have a great opportunity for your overall growth strategy because if your user acquisitions then is difficult to reach, maybe it’s a sign it’s time for you to do some long engagement campaign, some cross-promotion campaign, or anything that made you scale even more. If you got all the new install and saturated the markets, maybe it work like to have a new [unintelligible 00:09:52] of high-value user you had and see what is their current [unintelligible 00:09:58] application and if you could actually make them come back, and then spend again.

    I think we need to evolve and really think at your overall strategy. If you can spend more in UA like find [unintelligible 00:10:16] and you can always find new things to do. Even sometimes you can do some [unintelligible 00:10:25] campaign to attract new users, and then if you target them, I think Snapchat is really good [unintelligible 00:10:30] for instance, with the lens, it’s a huge brand opportunity to do user acquisition after because you can do with targeting on those people that choose your lens and stuff. I think always be creative and you can always scale even more.

    Esther: All right. You’re bringing me to my next question, which is if we’re talking about re-targeting and creativity, iOS 14 is coming up. I assume in UA, this is definitely a hot topic for you, and understanding what happens in September when things start to switch.

    Claire: What happens for re-targeting to [unintelligible 00:11:09] at the moment is complicated to understand because for re-targeting, you’re where audience size is [inaudible 00:11:18] because it’s already so expensive to reach users so you need a platform where you can match your ITs that you get. The thing is that you won’t have those ITs, so everyone is waiting or it will work. I think we will need to be way broader, and also understanding from the IT of everything.

    UA and retargeting has always been something made better. I think it will be even more the case because if iOS 14 is released, basically you won’t have audiences like we wouldn’t be able to do it. A lot of advertiser do it at the moment on Facebook, and even if within Facebook advertising, we will still have some identifier like Facebook IDs, phone number, and everything. Outside of Facebook [unintelligible 00:12:16] would then be able to target users. I think retargeting is something that we’ll see big changes that are so improvement because we will make more transformation with [unintelligible 00:12:30] and maybe all the opportunity to cross apps in the same portfolio, design new opportunities.

    Esther: Interesting. Yes, definitely, and for when you have a portfolio to work with, you have this new kind of way. It’s a different type of retargeting. You’re retargeting between your audiences that you have access to. For developers with one app, I imagine there’s going to be some harder challenges there for sure. There’s a lot of unknown’s when it comes to iOS 14. All we know is that the industry is going to change quite significantly. Are you doing anything specific to prepare for that outcome?

    Claire: Except for the everyday Apple updates, to be honest, we are working really closely with a man. He’s an [unintelligible 00:13:21] partner to get a lot of information at the moment, to be fully transparent. I think everyone is in the same position where we don’t really know how it will looks like, which is really scary, but can also provide some opportunities for everyone. Because let’s say everyone [unintelligible 00:13:40] from iOS [unintelligible 00:13:43] maybe the price will be so low, but you will have some opportunities there.

    Same for contextual marketing. Maybe at the end of the day, you will return your audience thanks to contextual marketing, and they are maybe [unintelligible 00:13:57] you will see that it was not a good thing for you. I think a lot of people are seeing also a lot of success on LAT campaign, even if it will be challenging because the price will have to change. When you’re charge at the CPM, it takes your CDR and your CPI. You really need to maybe adjust the way we are build, because maybe our CDR will decrease with this kind of advertising.

    Facebook really is a campaign. I think we saw that the KPI we got from this campaign is not the same of the one we had, for instance, from the AU, which are designed on [unintelligible 00:14:41] but now it will be more challenging to get.

    Esther: In a way, also KPIs are going to shift a bit, right? If we can’t tie UA directly to revenue, then we move back in a way to where we were before, which is focusing on conversion rates on the top of the funnel, click-through rates and CPIs and going back to that world. I’m very curious. I feel like you’re glass half-full. It’s, “What are the opportunities? Yes, everything’s going to change, but we’ll find something to work with.” [laughs]

    Claire: Yes, yes, yes. I think some solution I saw are [unintelligible 00:15:22] it’s a really great project, but that is really promising. I think at the end of the day, it’s maybe better because we know that when we have an install from UA, and UA’s going to impact organics because we have this K factor and everything. Maybe actually it’s for the good of everyone that it’s evolving that way. To be honest, on my side I’m super optimistic because I think the overall view is sometimes better than just being focused on something little, and then you don’t see the rest of the thing just next to–

    Esther: I actually think there’s an important point there, because when you’re looking, there’s a lot that you miss when you don’t look at the aggregation. When you’re not looking at the overall trend that’s happening, it has been very hard. You have somebody who clicks on a Facebook ad and downloads, but you don’t know what their journey was until then. How do we know that this was a better ad, and it’s not just that they happened to see a TV commercial or their friend mentioned it to them, and the ad triggered that move forward? It’s hard to- most people are exposed to titles more than once before they make their decision.

    When you focus too much on the person-by-person and on the user, sometimes you can lose the greater impact of what actually is driving [unintelligible 00:16:40] I think it’s a good way to look at it. It’s how you’ve needed to analyze organics until now, because organics, you never have that individual tracker. You have to look at it, and this more deterministic structure of this is the action that took place, this is overall the outcome. Yes, I definitely agree.

    Right now, obviously, there’s two key players in app stores. When it comes to mobile, we’ve got Google and the Play Store, and we have Apple and the Apple Store. Do you think changes like this will drive– obviously, I assume you’ve heard about Epic and Fortnite and everything going on with them and Apple. Do you think there’s room for this breakdown to shift of the two key players?

    Claire: Well, definitely, I think there is a lot of change that are going to arrive around this. Huawei has been banned from US, so anywhere we are going to see on some smartphone new store. I think everyone will have to adapt their self to this as well because it means that all people that have a Huawei phone, they are going to go on B Store, and not onto Play Store. We need to be aware the user is, and if each store is a marketplace, it’s like a shop and you need to get your product. It’s a bit like merchandising. You need to get your product just in front of the eyes, so you’re sure they’re going to install it.

    Definitely, I think there is a lot of noises around this [unintelligible 00:18:25] and everything, but it’s not competitive. To be honest, it’s not until this year, like two years ago, Apple already got something about it, and I feel like people, they actually got also a chance to be more competitive. Like now, you also have Amazon store, you have Samsung store, Samsung that owns [unintelligible 00:18:54] as well, you have Huawei. You have a lot of different player, and I think it will be a big change that we will see, for sure, because I think it will change, to be honest.

    Even with the Progressive web app, actually you don’t even need the store. It can also raise some question of the project, like will the project need an app store, actually. Because at the moment, Google and Apple, I totally understand they make [unintelligible 00:19:27] because you have a lot of security and a lot of automated process. You have a service front, but if then, advertisers say no, I don’t need them, they can level up their own technology and just go on the web, for instance.

    Esther: What happens if it becomes too hard to advertise, given lack of everything? Is it worth investing the money that you had once invested in UA towards Apple to– Web app also is an interesting idea. It obviously frees you from everything if you don’t have to have that- That’s the cake because obviously you can’t transfer that in an Apple, I guess. The question there is what happens when users don’t have that icon on their device? Are you going to see retention metrics that drop? If you’re focused on web, it’s hard to know if you all- can you keep reminding users that you’re present? You have to shift the way your entire marketing strategy works then. It’s not just about getting the user in, it’s about how do I get them repeatedly and in engaging.

    Claire: Yes. It’s definitely a hope to became, to be honest. I would love to see a star competition and even some, I think it will bring some innovation in it like maybe instead of screenshot, we will have a payable handy directive thing to make the user more keen to install your app but I think there is some really interesting things. Like last time, I was on my Kindle app on Apple. Actually, I think not a lot of people spoke about it but with Amazon you don’t pay into Apple. They may lead you to a website to pay. At the moment, I’m just thinking, why Amazon can do this when if you can’t?

    I think there is a lot of topic under this but we change. I think it’s really good to be challenging and challenge the store because then comes- it brings a lot of innovation. I really think it will change the landscape. I think a different shop where we can better app to me, it would be really something good. Anyway, if you want to do a campaign for user in, for instance, let’s say in China, are you going to advertise on iPhone like this is also the question like the market share of each device in each country. Maybe sometimes we will have to anyway go into the story if we want to reach user markets.

    Esther: That’s like what you were saying with advertising. It’s you have to be where your users are. Even if you come up with the perfect solution and you don’t need the platforms anymore, if that’s how a group of your audience is still navigating, there’s so much you can do about that. There’s no point of ignoring that whole audience. Cool. I’m going to move you into the click fire round now, questions that we ask everyone who joins. The first one is if you could give just one tip to somebody who’s entering the world of mobile growth marketing, what would that one tip be?

    Claire: Always be open and flexible. It’s really important, like nothing is wrong, nothing is right. You just need to always adapt yourself and what was right for today is wrong today, so always be flexible.

    Esther: What is your favorite mobile growth resource? Are there blogs, websites, anything? Other podcast that you follow?

    Claire: Yes. It’s definitely mobile. They have removed from [unintelligible 01:23:05] but I think it’s [unintelligible 01:23:08] reach for everyone like I’m always so amazed to see all we got the insight of tomorrow today. I don’t know it’s possible but it’s always great and always good. Definitely this is a big advantage [unintelligible 00:23:24]

    Esther: Who is the person in the mobile growth world, assuming corona is over and life goes back to normal that you’d most want to take out for lunch and why?

    Claire: It’s Sara [unintelligible 01:23:36] from Nineteen because I’m really missing her and she’s amazing but also I’ll mention them. They’re all amazing, like you met also Loha, she’s amazing. [unintelligible 01:23:50] is amazing, Sayee is amazing. He’s amazing. I can’t say everyone but to be honest, Product Madness team is really high level and I always [unintelligible 01:23:59] if I need them.

    Esther: That’s true. Actually, you guys have an amazing team. Now that you’re mentioning the names, I’m remembering whose paths I crossed. Good. It’s good that the people you most want to see are the people that probably you will be seeing as soon as things go back to normal. I don’t know if you caught at the beginning the title of our podcast is Mobile Growth & Pancakes, which brings me to the most important question, what is your favorite flavor of pancake?

    Claire: Oh my god, definitely blueberries. I love it. [chuckles]

    Esther: I think you had the fastest answer out of anyone I’ve spoken to right now. [chuckles]

    Claire: Oh, yes because I love to eat, that’s why.

    [laughter]

    Esther: Amazing. Claire, where can people if people want to learn more or reach out, where can people find you?

    Claire: Anywhere on [unintelligible 01:24:50] like in Twitter as well. I always love when people, they challenge my thoughts and they send some message, I will always read it and reply. Don’t hesitate to reach me. Sometimes, when it’s for business things, like I’m not always the right fit person but if you want to speak about UA, it’s pleasure anytime, I will be always open for it.

    Esther: Amazing. Claire, thank you. I feel much more optimistic about the whole future now after talking to you. I think there’s a side gig for you in motivational UA speaking. Amazing. Claire, thank you so much for joining us and for sharing all that. Super, super interesting.

    Claire: Thank you, Esther. It was a pleasure to meet you. I really enjoyed this.

    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.