Shamanth Rao, RocketShip HQ - How Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Affects Developers
The Sub Club PodcastAugust 25, 2021
22
00:48:1566.52 MB

Shamanth Rao, RocketShip HQ - How Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Affects Developers

Shamanth Rao is the founder and CEO at Rocketship HQ. Shamanth also hosts the Mobile User Acquisition Show podcast, and is the lead instructor for the Mobile Growth Lab workshop series. RocketShip HQ is a boutique growth marketing firm with 8 figures in managed spend. Before founding RocketshipHQ, Shamanth led growth marketing resulting in 3 exits: Bash Gaming (sold for $170mm), Puzzle Social (acquired by Zynga), and FreshPlanet (acquired by Gameloft). Shamanth has also helped many other mobile apps grow and scale.

Watch the video version of this show on YouTube »

Shamanth Rao is the founder and CEO at Rocketship HQ. Shamanth also hosts the Mobile User Acquisition Show podcast, and is the lead instructor for the Mobile Growth Lab workshop series.

RocketShip HQ is a boutique growth marketing firm with 8 figures in managed spend. Before founding RocketshipHQ, Shamanth led growth marketing resulting in 3 exits: Bash Gaming (sold for $170mm), Puzzle Social (acquired by Zynga), and FreshPlanet (acquired by Gameloft). Shamanth has also helped many other mobile apps grow and scale.


Shamanth is passionate about teaching and sharing everything he’s learned about mobile growth. Much of his time and energy goes into the Mobile User Acquisition Show. Shamanth strives to ensure that the wisdom he’s gained reaches as many people as possible.


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The history of user acquisition and algorithmic targeting
  • How Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency has shifted users to Android
  • What Apple’s new tracking policy means for developers
  • Are subscription apps impacted more than other apps by Apple’s tracking policy?


Links & Resources

  • A Brief History of App Store Monetization episode – with David Barnard
  • A Brief History of Device Identification episode – with David Philippson
  • iOS 14 & IDFA Deprecation How App Marketers Must Adapt - YouTube

Shamanth Rao’s Links

Follow us on Twitter:

Episode Transcript


Shamanth:
00:00:00


The more signal you give to the algorithm, the better the algorithm performs, right? You know, in the post AppTrackingTransparency world, if you gain more purchases, the better the algorithm performs, obviously that would take purchases from you and everybody in the world, and it would just do better. Now, obviously it’s just taking your trial and doing much, much better.


David:
00:00:38


Welcome to the sub club podcast. I’m your host, David Bernard, and with me as always Jacob Eiting.


Hello Jacob.


Jacob:
00:00:45


David, glad to be here with you, as always. 


David:
00:00:48


Our guest today is Shamanth Rao, founder and CEO at RocketShip HQ, of the podcast Mobile User Acquisition Show, and lead instructor at the workshop series Mobile Growth. Shamanth’s company, RocketShip HQ is a boutique growth marketing agency with eight figures in managed spend. Prior to founding RocketShip HQ Shamanth growth marketing, to three exits. Hey Shamanth.


Welcome to the podcast. 


Shamanth:
00:01:16


Honored to be here. 


Thank you for having me, David and Jacob.


David:
00:01:19


Yeah. So, I wanted to start with a little bit of a history lesson. You’ve been in mobile advertising and working on mobile apps for, since very early. So, could you take just a couple of minutes and step us through the history of kind of what led us to today with app tracking transparency, and all the different ups and downs and changes that have happened over the past?


Shamanth:
00:01:48


Yeah. There’s been a lot of ups and downs, as you said. I see two overarching trends, but for folks who want to go into the weeds, I would actually recommend two podcast episodes. One was mine with you, David. A brief history of App Store monetization. You provide a very great perspective into how the App Store itself has changed over the years.


The other one was an interview I did with David Phillips, A Brief History of Device Identification You know, we are all about brief histories, but, I think to what we talking about ATT and how essentially disrupted growth in today. There have been two forces that have led up to this point, the last decade or so I think it’s important to know and understand both of these, just to know how we got here and why it’s important, right.


Because ATT just did not happen overnight. There were signs for a decade. And, you know, I think obviously a lot of this is evident in retrospect. but I think it’s helpful to know and understand what those breadcrumbs were.


Trend number one has been increasing accumulation of particular data platforms over the last decade.


You know, I remember, you know, David, as you pointed out, I am a really old person who, which around then, but we don’t advertise. It took off, with all this gray hair. But you know, when I started that we were doing CPC buys, CPM buys. I started doing mobile advertising before Facebook even had mobile ads, app ads.


There is no conversion tracking. you know, I give it like no conversion tracking. If you, would buy installs, and you’re like, oh, we bought 70 stops. We got so many touches that we are profitable and spent like millions on games the time. And suddenly the level of sophistication that emerged in mobile advertising. I don’t think we could have posted in 12, 20 13, 20 14. But like I said, from the TPC buys gradually they have a CPI buys as ad networks that now are billion dollar companies. And so it’s an app love and have a tiny ad networks at the time.


A lot of others basically fell out of the side. know, they, they like, we have enough confidence to be able to build. Rather than just a or impression we have that kind of data, that kind of confidence the next time AEO or purchase optimization. This is 2016, right?


It’s just, it seems so recent. And it’s staggering to think that they could not optimize like athletes if they six, years ago. And that was just the biggest game changer in it. I still remember having a lot of skepticism that this would even work and I’m like, how are they going to find out who’s going to purchase?


They’ve never done it, nobody’s done it. But clearly, if somebody could do it as a Facebook, they had the budget for data. I can only to that point the time I think it became evident to me, myself, that as to why Facebook was so successful. basically have the IDFA that IDFA on Google ID.


They had that idea, with print from on Facebook audience network. So for diva able to predict with ed accuracy, who the purchaser’s book, obviously they took it a step further with relapse optimization, So obviously the more data Facebook’s SDK gun. The better it got predicting who the purchaser as well.


Obviously more data the pixels on the web got the better, the better the accuracy of the SDK became other way around that, because they had, you know, if you made a purchase on a beauty of that site, you would make a purchase on, an e-commerce app. So they put all of that data together.


Right? So obviously Google had a very, very similar trajectory. I don’t want to go too much into the weeds. Over the last decade, increasing amount of data accumulated by Facebook, by Google folks like apple. And then I am so all add Netflix, everybody got increasing amount of data about users, spectator. they just, weren’t doing this in isolation, apple licensed up to this, you know, Google, Google had a bit of a conflict because they were also making money off of this.


They are also making money off of this. these less active in pushing back, but you know, apple, the apple, again, not to go too much into the weeds that it’s corporate strategy. Two, but for apple to say a hobby, a privacy minded, but it’s also very, very much about profits for them. the opera motive.


Oh, an ad network. No, I don’t know. I don’t have a lot of confidence to how they would do anything. Right. So apple said, know, look, we have this beauty ID, which is not great. Let’s phase it out. Let’s have an IDFA, which is reset the vote, which wasn’t too much and improvement. they said, oh, let’s make this, idea phase zero, but physio, which means how to use it goes on and off the lab.


idea of it becomes and advertisers could not cannot target people. Shockingly enough, to idea, phase zero, which was, I think 2016. But if I use it on the flat adjustment advertises, please don’t track the fuse. It’s almost like a request. a non enforceable requests, basically needs to attract me, but nobody can, anyway, so even lab Vito was a very, very telltale sign that this is ATD is, where apple is headed.


And if you have to look on the web, safari had intelligent tracking prevention. They have obviously. Much more active on the web terms of crackdowns, Mozilla had what what’s called ETP. I think it’s called it should tracking prevention. I forget what it’s called, then Chrome of course said, Hey, we’re going to deprecate They’ve accepted the deadline, but been a lot going on in the direction of privacy. Right. and that, has happened very, very much in parallel that increasing accumulation of data by. And to some extent, you know, it’s having these surprises for anyone who’s followed the breadcrumbs, not to gone to zero and 2018.


Apple said kid stops will not allow tracking. That was almost like a trial balloon bar and of cost 2020. It was not unsurprising, I would say, right. That, it came to be just because of everything over the last decade that I just did.


David:
00:09:21


Yeah.


That’s a really great way to summarize it is those two parallel courses with it’s like in the shadows, there was like more and more and more and more, more data accumulation feeding all of this, but simultaneously there was more and more and more awareness of privacy concerns.


What that data was being used for, and that, you know, it does seem like the press a big influence in this. I mean, when was in New York times and wall street journal, both had big posts in like 2017, 2018, where they showed, you know, how you could track individual users when they’re going to, you know, a certain medical clinic or, there was another set of stories around us service members who were being tracked by fitness apps. revealing, basic, we call unknown previously unknown, military installations and things like that. 


So it, it, yeah, there was a lot going on that has led us to this point. So. So now apple has, has dropped the ball after acting transparency. You know, you you’re, you’re, you’re not allowed to track unless you first prompt.


You know, we could, we could talk an hour on all the different motivations and the, and even the way they deliver it, you know, the, the way they. Request the prompt is, is, and the wording of the prompt it has, has even drawn controversy, but let’s not get into that.


Jacob:
00:10:52


Time it comes up, I still don’t know what to click, 


David:
00:10:57


Let’s talk about the real world impacts because I think there’s been a lot of ink spilled in a lot of discussions around, those other things. But, but what I want to hear from you as someone who manages a ton of spandex and works in the industry and, and has to deal with this day in day out.


Let’s talk through the world impacts of, of, of how this is impacting the apps that you work with and what you’ve seen kind of in the broader industry. I thought it was interesting before we jumped on the, on the, and started recording, you actually said, you were expecting a crazier summer, so let’s just start with that.


So you’re not quite seeing the disruption you initially expected. Is that, am I over reading that.


Shamanth:
00:11:42


I don’t want to be grand standing here, but I certainly was for worse. and I don’t want to jinx this, but suddenly that couple of advertisers really all right, that actually crying.


But I talk about the mechanics that may have contributed to that further on, but, I certainly was prepared for far, far, far worse.


I would say.


David:
00:12:07


Yeah. So, so what are you seeing? I mean,


Shamanth:
00:12:10


Yeah. 


David:
00:12:10


And then one of the things you you’ve mentioned before is that you are seeing some shift to Android. Tell me about that, shift to Android spend. And is that in certain categories across the board? 


Shamanth:
00:12:21


I think it’s across the board. I think it’s much more so in gaming. and if you look at a bunch of MMP boats or the estimates, the, shift to about iOS. Yeah, about 30 to 40%. I think that sounds like a realistic range. Obviously there’s some verticals that are hit much, much harder, right. yeah.


Definitely. I think there’s a lot of sped shifting to ad drive. I would attribute some of that to the fact that. Tracking is broken, but you know, oh, I hate to see a, this, like a mother spoke to the work with, and the, also the advice and I’ve just stopped you. You’re like, oh my God. My CPA is a boated by Facebook is terrible because Facebook’s not tracking anything.


And then when we look at the blended numbers, Basically the money they make and the trials to get and the subscriptions get, which is exactly what I mean by it. Not being as as I expected. You know, look at the iTunes dashboards,


Just go crashing down, which is what I was afraid would happen. Right. and that, that has not happened. but what is real and true is like I said, tracking is broken, even if not right. I’m tracking to just grow congested because apple has a concept of privacy threshold. which basically means, if, campaign.


Does not have minimum number of stops or purchases. Apple is going to show they report all installed. But, but the report very few purchases. What that means is you are a casual game, our social casino app that has Costco, set it up 150 to $200, is not uncommon for these. each campaign, if you’re running $500 a day per campaign, you get two patches.


So for people, campaign would just get obfuscated by the privacy threshold, which means if you’re going to find a dollar at a campaign, you’ll probably get it, but you’re just not seeing them, which is better than a was that I’m not.


David:
00:14:53


Yeah, we We, are we back to the old days of, of half your advertising budget is working. You just don’t know which half 


Shamanth:
00:15:01


Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Very much true.


Jacob:
00:15:05


I was going to ask, so the pull back on the spend, like, is that, do you know where that’s coming from along the chain? Is that, is that companies not being sure anymore and pulling back? Is it, is it agencies? Is it all long? Because at some point somebody has to, because I, it makes sense that like, one, we don’t know how effective all this stuff was to begin with.


Right. And so just losing the tracking doesn’t necessarily mean it’s less effective. It just means we don’t know. And so it seems a little foolhardy to just dial back. Right. you know, especially if your business relies on it, but it seems like that’s what most, at least some percentage of companies have done.


They’ve they’ve pulled back just because they’re not sure.


Shamanth:
00:15:44


Yeah.


I think I would also say a lot of companies that have pulled back have had strong drive products. the couple of companies that I know that are doing better now, actually don’t have very strong, I drive products. We don’t have a choice, right? We don’t have a choice. I obviously I don’t fly that strong guy, but having a fall back means be good to take a little bit easy most time to Android.


We figured out what is going on you get to your question. I think a lot of that’s coming from companies, especially larger established companies that have. 


BI teams and reporting systems and dashboards on the creative level alive. We just don’t have that in our book anymore. 


Jacob:
00:16:38


And they’re spending too much to be confident in just Yolo


Shamanth:
00:16:41


Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, Yeah, yeah, 


David:
00:16:44


Any specific trends on, on CPMs and cross portrayal or anything like that? As far as with the drop-in. Spend on iOS and the increase on Android has some of the performance on Iowa’s not degrading been more to do with market dynamics change versus it actually just working as efficient.


Shamanth:
00:17:07


Yeah. you know, I try not to look at CPMs just because CPMs are very contingent on the kind of optimization you have to like, you know, and may, if you had value optimization, you be paying QPM segment to their roof and your CPMs on audio sense. I couldn’t be higher than Instagram and Facebook and the metric.


What I like to look at is really the CPA, but there’s a cost, but. also has the capacity because of the privacy, especially for now


David:
00:17:41


Right. 


Shamanth:
00:17:41


Cost per trial, which I see being steady. Now to your question to your underlying question about, do I attribute back to the underlying market dynamics?


Definitely. I think that the fact that there’s less of competition, I do think has contributed to, the TPA being steady folks that have continued to do iOS. Definitely. I do think that the lesser competition has pleaded. 


David:
00:18:06


That makes sense. let’s talk a little bit, cause this is kind of our wheelhouse at, remedy CA obviously, nice shirt by the way, Jacob. 


Jacob:
00:18:16


Is the original first ever revenue cat t-shirt


David:
00:18:19


Nice. how, how are subscription apps being impacted in, in what you’ve seen and then how is that different from, you know, games and other categories that you’re working. 


Shamanth:
00:18:31


Yeah. I would say subscription apps are hit much, much less odd than. A lot of games, again, I’m qualify. I don’t want to sound like I’m grand standing because this is not like a body of Fiesta yet, but I think they’re it better than folks who are really clear that I don’t want to say clueless, but folks who are just struggling, you know, I talked about, you know, let’s just say a hypothetical casual game or a social casino app that has a cost, the big user 150, if you get killed by the privacy test, short subscription app less impacted by that. just because, you know, again, you’re off book which is a primary metric, nearly every subscription app, a squat Cheverly under $50, which means for the same $500 budget you getting, you get, you’re getting 10 purchases.


So. Deceptive as are that privacy threshold. Right. and the other factor that makes the whole ATD tank a lot easier for subscription naps is that nearly every subscription app, I know have 90%, lots of trials happen within the first 24 hours of install. What that means that in the ATP paradigm is A lot, not nearly all of that signal gets captured by the ATT algorithm, by a scab because a scab network workshop with system of timers, right. immediately after install a timer starts and after 54 Davos the timer reset, if y’all, and then the reset of the starts and, if no event has happened in that second time, A lot of the events that have happened first, get sent back to the, get sent back to APO.


Not that event gets sent by them. And I’m probably definitely grossly simplifying the, some of this. and, I have a YouTube video that goes into the distance with the V2. People can check that out, but my point being the fact that of the trucks nearly all the trials happened within the first 24 hours.


Make it relatively easier for our subscription apps to have to be captured by ad network. that’s one of the reasons, lack of trust snaps do quite and obviously, you know, the most signal you give to the aggregate them, the better the I that is in bombs, right. you know, in the P PhET was if you gave most budgets, The better that I go to them, but obviously the algorithm would take you and everybody else that it would just do better.


Now, obviously it’s just taking your trial and doing much, much better. add onto the trend we’ve seen is that VAT based flows work a lot better for subscription apps than for games. again, there are challenges in execution, certainly. One of the things that they’ve seen that allows them relatively most after doing doc, that based lotion.


Right. yeah, so I, I would say those are some of the factors that think contribute to subscription apps being better off than games and the post ATT world. again, not to grandstand, not to the, victory yet, but I think that that much, much better.


Jacob:
00:22:14


Yeah. There’s, there’s still, also just the dynamic with consumable games. Like, I don’t know what retention curves really look like and stuff like this, but with subscriptions, you know, your acquisitions you’re making today only effect, you know, a chunk of your revenue in the very short term versus, and you have this like recurring user base consumables.


If your new users dry out really fast, like suddenly, you suddenly lost a lot of. Yeah. A lot of them, your business model doesn’t work as well. Right. So, but wow, that’s incredible that the, so on the CPIs, for like social casinos or whatever, which I imagine is just thought a high spend category, highly competitive space.


So if they don’t have like value attribution, What sexually driving the CPI so high? Like how do they know like what users to spend that much money on? Is it just, is it just, I guess click-based like, it is still like they can, they can proxy and know like people that click on those are part of that high value group or, or what, what, what keeps the, keeps the targeting good enough so that, you know, cause you can imagine if everything was perfectly anonymous, all CPAs would clicks would be the same, right.


Across all apps.


Shamanth:
00:23:21


Yeah, yeah, yeah, At this point, I don’t, would not say if you have a perfect answer or apps with high CPA, I think the best we have right now is true. Facebook reports, metrics, health platform reported metrics that directional, which means your CPA today would not be comparable to your page 80 TCPA, but because it’s going to be very, very high, just because of the privacy picture that I just described, if you are getting maybe $500 on this 700 on that, that you just input campaign is better than campaign.


But you’re not impairing that job. That is your actual cost acquisition. 


So you’re taking the CPA as a relative measure. I think that’s true for the game it is for subscription apps. You’re treating the CPA as a relative measure cabinet and campaign B or not so much as an absolute measure of unit economic.


David:
00:24:20


I think that’s a great to transition into what’s actually working right now. So we’re talking about some of the impacts, but, 


Hinting at it’s something that you’ve mentioned before, is that the best source of truth now is not. 


These specific return on ad spend calculation, but actually using blended metrics.


So tell me a little bit about how, how you approach thinking about metrics as a source of truth versus, you know, the past, you know, five or six years where it’s way more focused on. very detailed return on ad spend. And again, to our earlier point, even if that return on ad spend calculation, wasn’t actually as accurate as it seemed, 


Jacob:
00:25:07


Okay 


David:
00:25:08


You were at least able to calculate it more accurately.


Now it’s like kinda everything’s out the window. how are you approaching blended spend or blended metrics, to measure these things?


Shamanth:
00:25:20


Yeah, I would add the caveat that the blended metrics isn’t like modern on you. Right? What old school? Offline advertising work. They were like, oh, this is how much I spend. This is how much I made, how they measured everything before the internet. And even with the internet, like of companies, we work.


Even three ATT works at blended metrics because we know that a portion of our paid installs drive organics, we have a very, very clear correlation between updated organic. So we would be money on the table if we took into a concept paid users and not organics. So, you know, people have definitely done that.


And that companies that have done it just to pursue growth. they’re like, look, we need to grow as aggressively as possible. And the way to do that is to take lead and metrics to justify the growth rather than to shackle us. Jeff Pedro lab, back to your question. How, how how do we sort of look at this names will say, this campaign gave us, return on ad spend 20% cost per trial of $30.


You’re basically saying your overall marketing spent, gave you a $20 cost per trial across paid and organic and social and that you’re spending on. Obviously, a lot of people to be uncomfortable with that because they’re like, oh no, if I hadn’t spent on marketing, I would have still gotten trials a day.


And I’m giving credit to marketing for that. And, you know, I, I don’t have a direct answer to that, but I think the answer really is. Would you want to be, would you want that’s helpful and has to get crew or would you. And model that’s accurate, but isn’t having you grow. not going to claim I have an answer to that one, but, yeah.


So basically looking at your total number of trials and your total spend. obviously this calculation becomes scarier. you have multiple chats, Yeah. If you’re running Google, Facebook snap, and multiple ad networks, then you’re like, oh, you know, one of the ad networks probably performed badly, but my total blender not change all that much because my other channels, 10% of time stops, but there are challenges, especially at collage level spend, but is very solid source of truth, especially for smaller advertisers who may be on a handful of channels.


Here, I guess it’s what you see in the back. 


David:
00:28:19


And, you also mentioned that, people, do you, you mentioned web flows are working really well. And I assume what you meant by that is sending people from an ad into, onto the web instead of onto the app store, which is, it’s really fascinating to me on multiple levels because. You know, the app stores have always been this black box where you put a certain number of, of clicks into it.


Then, you know, you see the end result, but you don’t see any of the steps in between. I mean, you have some basic metrics with app store, analytics and stuff. but with the web, I would imagine that that gives you a more direct. Trackable, link from somebody who, sees an ad to then actually kind of what they’re doing on your website.


So, but then ultimately I’ve talked to a lot of developers who talk about how on the web, their conversions are actually quite a bit lower in the app because Apple’s made it so easy to use an app purchase. So, but it seems like maybe there is somewhat of a balance. There is that maybe you lose fewer people.


From having to jump through those hoops of the app before they even get to the onboarding before they can be shown, you know, the value proposition and then being, you know, shown a subscription, page or whatever it is. what have you seen working in regard to web flows and then, and specifically for subscription? 


Shamanth:
00:29:53


Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Like I said, I’ve certainly seen a lot of success bar description apps that have adopted web most, a couple of apps have up 15 month on month group to ATT. not to have typical, revert, but it’s that’s happened. I think a couple of elements, you know, I think it’s, what’s most important is to make sure that it’s right and there’s a couple of possible lows.


I think it’s important to pick to which one is right. And really, and I think one flow could be showing that. A user goes to a landing page, which is basically like a B2B ought to be, to see that the page on the web and what you would get for a And you have a link that accept call to call to action on the landing pages, go to the app store.


So a lot of that experience, but just, and try to explain it’s happens on the app store, the web page. I actually does the job of telling the user on the product. And it’s my hypothesis that this actually works well because Yvette page can do a much, much better job of selling than the app store can, while still making it clear that this is an app, and while actual conversion happens within the app itself, but, similar, a different flow that’s very comparable would be take an ad, take a user from an ad to a landing page where users have to input that.


Which again, get, use, it makes it makes it clear to the user that this is an app. is a mobile experience. User gets a text message and use assigned top work. and when they click on the text message, get to go to the app store and download the app. Right. Again, another model could be a user clicks on an ad, to an article or a content page, which is what you would see if you had a Double-A or a printed article or a content page to not store.


And I can, the last one I can do, the more complex no is just to have onboard them on the web. basically take them to a webpage and they And, hopefully so I can make the purchase on the web. It mitigates your favorite petty, to be honest, the hottest and most strict food resource intensive.


And really it’s my recommendation that you put you that back after you put you in one of the best that I recommended, because you don’t want to invest a kind of engineering and development time and bending, don’t even know that the flow is going to work for you. so I would recommend just testing the web landing pages first then onboarding stuff.


But, I think those are most important models that we see work. Somebody else. I think that’s also very, very critical. think a lot of people, when they look at a lot of advertisers, I know that have started on the web for the first time. We’re like, oh, Put together this nice landing page that looks like our homepage, on our website and just put it out there.


Okay.


Let’s, you’re being very intentional about what value propositions to touch on Actually out of your landing page. And we have a structure that we use now. most important, part and value proposition and that’s social proof then your most important emotional benefits then. 


I think the most successful advertisers we work with are very, very intentional about what that, that page is looking like.


And they also tested their athlete. I think it elements are very, very critical to making the


David:
00:33:59


Yeah.


That’s really smart. And I hadn’t thought of it quite that way about how, yeah. And that was, I was talking with the apps are being the black box is you’re just sending somebody, hoping they look at the screenshots, hoping the icon resonates with them, hoping the title and subtitle are meaningful, but when you send them to the web, it’s not just about them right.


To subscribe on the web, but it’s actually just. Having a better opportunity to communicate the value prop so that by the time they get to the app store, they are, they have a much higher, They have a higher, they’re just more likely to actually take action by the time they do get to the app store.


Does that makes a lot of sense?


Jacob:
00:34:39


Tells you a lot about the quality of like the app store as a sales pitch. Right? I mean, but I guess when you’re like looking at a, you know, you’re trying to differentiate, right, and there’s only so much, you can communicate in a block of text and then a bunch of screenshots. Right. And you’ve seen so much.


Data shoved into the screenshots on asking LAMSTAR right. They’re not screenshots. Right. They’re like deck.


David:
00:35:00


Billboards 


Shamanth:
00:35:01


Yeah.


Yeah. I also think another reason why the app store works so well, pre with Facebook would just show ads to users to install other subscription apps. So if you send them directly to the after, they’re almost pretty qualified. case anymore. So I think that absolutely level the field a lot.


Jacob:
00:35:27


Yeah.


It’s, it’s, it’s a tough, skill set though, for a lot of developers because they don’t often have web experience internally. I think, I think I’m, I hear so much, like people get so obsessed about the 30%. and they want to jump straight to that last one. You mentioned about building a whole online purchasing thing, which like, you know, Stripe’s pretty easy to use.


Like it’s, it’s, you know, it’s not that much more work than building a landing page, but you have to remember. okay. Management. So now you got to have a link for somebody who can go and cancel that thing. Now you also have to worry about taxes, Stripe. Doesn’t like collect a tax information for you already.


You have to, you know, then synchronize that with your backend. And, you know, if you’re using revenue, casing grants with us or whatever, but you got to manage all that too. a lot of complexity, for 30%. Right. And when you’re just trying to, you know, all of these things can find incremental. But like, as you’re saying, it’s important to put them in the right order or you can end up a lot of and money.


Shamanth:
00:36:28


Yeah, yeah. 


David:
00:36:30


Well, I did want to, to move on to the, the, future. So we, we’ve kind of gotten through the first couple of months of these, this rough patch in or into this, era of, of mobile advertising. Are there any things that you’re seeing that are especially promising. the future is the future.


Everything we’ve been discussing so far of just of your advertising works and 50% doesn’t mean you’re never going to know which, do you, or are there some technologies coming online or some approaches that are just going to take time to of work out.


Shamanth:
00:37:12


Yeah, I think there’s going to be some changes. I don’t know. These are going to be shattering, in terms of changing. ATP. I think the most promising though, I would say, iOS 15 custom product pages, basically solve the problem of Jacob. didn’t give it to you. How one tomorrow slide deck and everybody sees the same tag and Astro does a terrible job of sending a user on.


What the product is basically, the custom product pages can have up to 25 washes off your app store. which means like if you’re a, you know, wellness app, if let’s just say you’re a meditation app that has a meditation for sleep or anxiety and how to meditate. Separate landing page, so to speak on the app store, anxiety, meditation, right.


And you can send, get a unique URL for each of these. you’re going to have ad for sleep, going to an app store for each sleep for anxiety going to an app. So for anxiety I can, that can help. I just don’t think it’s going to have too much on the measurement front. obviously.


Actual execution is still unclear. The announcements out. Definitely one of the big changes I would take that’s coming with 15. The other one would just be that, advertisers are going to be receiving post-docs, which is huge, at least in ensuring of the advertising data so far, completely bonkers right now.


Networks like Facebook snap, everybody get your post back from ASCAP network, but you have advertiser you as an advertiser. Which means you basically take the word for it. I do know for a fact that has actually changed values. I don’t want to call it malicious because the conversion value was no.


And to change it to zero, the problem is that knowledge will have very, very different meanings. You don’t mean install. not mean to install happen, and there’s no value. know that they did that change. I don’t have that company to do it. but my point is, and Google, Google explicitly say we are going to use model conversion.


So you basically take out what bird app Facebook face tapping data is accurate. Everything underneath it’s modeled, means take out all of this is because the postdoc goes to the metroplex, but not the avatar. if the post that goes to the advertiser, you can add the very least verified that tell me the truth, which bonkers? I think David, you imagining, until all the time, you, you just have to think that, oh, back onto words for it even PhET right.


I think That’s going to be a big, big change, even though a lot of that will happen under the hood. And I say advertisers for the back majority of advertisers, going to do, they’re receiving a Okta. Uh post-bacc but I think that’s going to be a big deal, but, I think those are the big changes, the custom product pages and the post-bac to advertisers the tree and the intent of the future.


In many ways, I do think it’s going to be back to 2013 or 2014. I think I had talked about how. A number of installs and to be held that certain percentages, knew that each of them would convert to 


Jacob:
00:40:59


Okay 


Shamanth:
00:41:00


have a digital subscription. 


So they the cloud, but think it’s going to be a very similar world. We are going to be, you’re going to have to be more comfortable making decisions based off of incomplete data.


But I do see that thing. 


David:
00:41:15


One of the things I’ve been hearing a lot about since, since apple announced. The last year is incrementality testing. So systematically on and off, you know, so if you’re advertising, I mean, obviously this would be a tool for, for larger apps, but if you’re advertising across Facebook, Google snap, TOK, and you know, other mobile DSP.


You know, systematically moving spend around and then measuring the difference or even turning spend off in certain channels and increasing spend in other channels. you seen that work? and are you, excited about the potential, of having tools in this space? do you think incrementality testing is a bit over-hyped.


Shamanth:
00:42:02


Any recommendation like incrementality? I think one caveat that a lot of people miss. That it’s useful. What a very, very tiny fraction of advertisers, David, like you said, if. Like all the society building networks, multiple DSPs, ad networks, instrumentalists TV. Yes, absolutely. You know, you should use incrementality because there’s just no way you’re going to find out if this is going to work incrementality and, media mix modeling.


You want to use both of them had an ad to make that work. But I would say the kinds of advertisers who need like this are a very tiny fraction. So the vast majority of advertisers, even the advertisers who are on four to five channels, even advertisers who spend those six tickets in a monthly spend, I don’t think testing is going to be, Betty has just because Todd, you know, it’s, it just becomes imprecise.


Volumes of data. You need a critical mass of data for to be useful. right. I think it’s a very similar thing that began X models, right? You need anomalous, anomalous budgets to dose to be useful and helpful. So I do take, these are great. I think the fact that they’re not an antidote to all of the havoc that has, about the applicable to our tiny Sheila 


David:
00:43:39


That makes sense. And then if, if you’re only advertising on Google or only advertising and Facebook are only advertising on the two of them, they’re, they’re essentially doing some level of incrementality testing for you right there. Measuring the performance of this campaign against that campaign.


And they’re up depending on the results that they seem to be seeing. So there’s some of that’s kind of already covered if you’re using those platforms, as your primary sources, Another thing I wanted to get your thoughts on was experimentation with other forms of advertising. I you’re, you’re very focused, currently on, on, you know, paid user acquisition and I don’t think that’s going away.


And I think for, you know, for a lot of apps that is going to be the, the, the best, most reliable way to continue scaling even without accurate measurement. But have you seen any other. pushes with any of your customers, to work on, on, on different styles of advertising, different, approaches to marketing that are being successful.


And do you see their kind of more incentive to try more things these days?


Shamanth:
00:44:50


No, I spoke about web, and I think there’s definitely much, much stronger interest in that campaign than even six months ago. Larger budgets, definitely stronger interest. I would, again, like with the extra mentality, I would say shut on smaller budgets, I do not recommend experimenting.


I do not recommend diversifying, but certainly have larger budgets. I would also say that are worth spending in the tens of millions, budgets like that have the, even like millions a month. Uh there’s some, these other larger studios. They have already been on influencers that wasn’t even advertised on TV, none of this would be new to them.


Yeah, so I, I don’t, I bet anything radically new that.


David:
00:45:42


Yeah. And then that kind of gets back to the old tried and true. You just got to build a good product and work on your monetization, and kind of get back to the basics of, of product as well. 


Jacob:
00:45:54


I think sometimes these, these overly complex, overly targeted systems, especially for people who make software contend to be busy boxes, right. They can tend to be, can tend to be things that. Can attract our attention and, and ‘cause, they, they seem very like, you know, oh, we can get it right.


And really make it scale. And then some people have right. It’s possible. But 80/20, I think for a lot of people out there, like just, just, just focus on the fundamentals and you can go pretty far. And then as time comes, you can layer in the more, you know,


Shamanth:
00:46:27


Yeah.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, and like I said, at a certain level of care, influencers, all of this becomes much, much more meaningful. and like I said, that’s certainly more meaningful already. Yeah. You don’t need too much. 


David:
00:46:42


Well, I think that’s a great place to wrap up. it was great chatting with you and yeah. lot of insight there on, on what’s working and what, how to think about things in this, this new world of mobile marketing. you know, as we wrap up, is there any last thoughts to include links to, where people can find you on, on, on the web and to RocketShip HQ and whatnot.


Anything else you want to add?


Shamanth:
00:47:09


No. Though, like I said, guess this not bad as it reported to be. They’re raised to mitigate the worse-case scenarios, that helped me out, been able to share. so, hopefully they’ll come out on the other side of all of this without too much craziness.


Jacob:
00:47:35


I think people are going to keep using apps. That’s my, that’s my prediction.


David:
00:47:40


And I think people are going to keep advertising apps. 


Shamanth:
00:47:43


Yeah, yeah, It’s the, how that’s going to have to change and it has to change dramatically and there’s no getting around that.


David:
00:47:51


Well, it was great chatting with you and, we’ll talk again soon. 


Shamanth:
00:47:55


Absolutely.


Jacob:
00:47:57


Thank you.


David:
00:47:58


Good bye.