That’s the Tea 2021: Mobile Growth’s State of The Union Discussion

Our keynote session at our annual conference featured three mobile growth experts, discussing Apple's privacy-first changes, contextual marketing and the industry's future.

The first session at our conference introduced App Growth Consultant Thomas Petit, Simon Thillay Head of ASO at AppTweak, and Storemaven’s VP Marketing Jonathan Fishman.


In a nutshell – the mobile growth industry has shifted towards being privacy-first and we’ve lost access to tons of user-level data previously provided from the ad networks. So what’s Mobile Growth’s state of the union right now? 

The industry is changing at a fast pace but remains strong. There’s a lot coming to mobile growth to be excited about… Let’s hear from the experts:

Access all the recordings and decks from ‘That’s the tea on mobile growth 2021’ conference.




    The impact of Apple’s privacy-first changes have been very much felt. There’s a complexity and uncertainty that wasn’t here before, now that we won’t blindly believe in one source of truth. Data will be coming from multiple sources and will need to be properly interpreted. Measurement has been radically affected after moving from one source to multiple (the challenge here being understanding why the numbers are different across sources), and questions have been raised around how to perceive the traffic the networks are sending. It will be interesting to see what data sources will be favoured in the coming months.

    KPIs may need to be reviewed, teams will work together more, and a bigger focus on incrementality (identifying the interaction that influences an outcome in an app) to try to measure the uplift when attempting something new. 

    Actionable tip: Create layers of analysis from all sources available to you. Interpret the accessible data as best you can and don’t rely solely on one source – use App Store Connect, network data, your own backend (if possible) and mixed modelling.

    Will Search ads become the main UA channels for app companies? They may be in the media mix but it’s unlikely to be the number one channel. By nature, search ads depend on the number of queries in the app store, which isn’t scalable enough for Apple to take the majority of paid traffic. Although, Apple could become tha main channel, if they add display inventory to search like Google Ads.

    Ten actionable tips for increasing App Store CVR




      Apple’s new capabilities: Custom Product Pages CPPs, Product Page Optimization PPO (native testing), and In-App Events IAEs. 

      ASO is now everybody’s problem and raises the question: “Who owns ASO now?” 

      With IAEs – for companies who already have liveops teams, they will have to work with ASO teams, or maybe just add an ASO person into liveops? 

      With CPPs – will ASO manage them in order to follow Apple’s guidelines, or will they stay as part of general UA?

      With A/B testing, will ASO people be the direct owners like with Google Play?

      Either way, the capabilities now end the ‘one size fits all’ approach to product pages which is good news, and the industry has been waiting for a native experimenting tool for years — so there’s lots of opportunities. 

      Key takeaway: Storemaven data shows that users come with different states of minds so they will all have different preferences. There’s tons of potential to increase CVR and growth rates if marketers use CPPs to act on these preferences, offering separate landing pages and messaging in order to reach all audiences. 

      Maybe context is the answer to bringing high-quality users. 

      Contextual advertising is a continuation of where the industry was before. Great creatives have proven to be an effective targeting tool. 

      The industry isn’t moving entirely to contextual as there’s still a lot of behavioral data from the audience who accept tracking, plus the increase in company mergers and acquisition (M&A) attempting to keep the amount of 1st party information between apps and networks. 

      The ‘winner takes all ‘market. When people will need to bring high-quality users themselves instead of getting them from the networks’ black boxes, not everybody will be able to leverage iOS 15’s opportunities. The capabilities do provide, however, more ways for people to create a competitive edge by how much they understand creatives, targeting, data etc. Sadly, smaller companies with fewer resources may struggle in this new era. 

      The future of Apple. 

      Is Apple becoming a large ad network? How will search ads move into play? Will they allow for alternative payment providers? Will Apple need to lower the fee (apple tax) to remain competitive? Will App Clips be utilized more? 

      Apple are likely playing a long-term strategy for the next 5 or 10 years, not focusing just on next year; the future holds many possibilities. 

      Tech and data stack tips for marketing leaders going into 2022.

      Roles don’t die, they transform. UA Managers (who may have skills that aren’t required anymore) can become Creative Managers or Data Scientists to improve ideation and creatives, turn data into insights that need to be explained to other teams, or identify how to pick influencers.  

      Data science and analysis is crucial because data will be coming from various sources, so interpreting it will be the competitive edge.

      Key takeaway: Our industry has seen changes before and there’ll be more in the future – embrace the change!

      Check the full discussion here:

      About Esther Rubin
      Esther has worked in mobile marketing for years, writing for hi-tech companies and game & app developers. She's British but doesn't know Mary Poppins, before you ask.

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