MAU [Talk]

Ep. 004 Andy Carvell

December 08, 2020 Andy Carvell - Phiture Season 1 Episode 4
MAU [Talk]
Ep. 004 Andy Carvell
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MAU [Talk]
Ep. 004 Andy Carvell
Dec 08, 2020 Season 1 Episode 4
Andy Carvell - Phiture

Andy Carvell, Partner & Co-Founder at Phiture, a mobile growth consultancy, dives into how Phiture helps to grow apps in order to solve each individual key growth challenge that they are facing. Andy brings a wealth of knowledge to consider within your own growth strategies.​​​

To connect with Andy directly, catch him on LinkedIn @AndyCarvell or on the MAU Vegas website, MAUVegas.com.

Show Notes Transcript

Andy Carvell, Partner & Co-Founder at Phiture, a mobile growth consultancy, dives into how Phiture helps to grow apps in order to solve each individual key growth challenge that they are facing. Andy brings a wealth of knowledge to consider within your own growth strategies.​​​

To connect with Andy directly, catch him on LinkedIn @AndyCarvell or on the MAU Vegas website, MAUVegas.com.

MAU[Talk]:

Hey guys, welcome to MAU [Talk]. A new podcast from MAU Vegas, the premier mobile acquisition and retention summit. On today's episode, we have Andy Carvell, founder at Phiture, the mobile growth consultancy. Andy's going to be talking to us about how Phiture helps grow apps to solve key growth challenges. Take it away, Adam.

Adam Lovallo:

Andy, thank you for doing this. Welcome to the podcast.

Andy Carvell:

Thanks for having me, Adam.

Adam Lovallo:

Always a pleasure. So I have a very strong suspicion that most of the people listening to this are pretty deep in the industry and will know who you are. But just for those that don't, could you tell us a little bit about your background, and especially about the agency, consulting work that you're doing today as a team?

Andy Carvell:

Yeah, absolutely. So yeah. My name is Andy Carvell. I'm from England but my accent might not make that super clear because it's kind of morphed into something a little bit more international sounding. I'm not sure why. It's not a deliberate affectation. I just speak weird. Yeah. So anyway, my background, I actually started making mobile games. Really, when mobile games had only just started to exist. My first--I studied computer science, all I wanted to do as a kid was make games. And I was like, my dad taught me how to code when I was pretty young. He was one of the first generation of computer programers. He used to work for like that--the British Gas Company and they had like mainframe computers used to program them. So when home computing hit in, like the early 80s, he brought home a computer taught me my brother how to code it. So you know, by the time I went to university, I already knew how to code I was like, I did a computer science degree. And I already knew I wanted to make games I was already making like little games and, you know, I did a PlayStation game for my final year project. And, you know, it was kind of cut and dry for me, I was gonna go into games. I had this recruiter who was like, looking for games jobs for me. And he's like, hey, well, these guys Nokia they're making mobile phones but like, they're starting a games team. And I'm like games, on phones? What's that all about? Like, I didn't even have a phone or a mobile phone at that point. But I went along for the interview and actually, they were paying more than the Real Games Company. So I thought it was quite an optimization problem. So that's kind of how I fell into the mobile industry at a very kind of critical time. Like, it was just before it went super mainstream. And they had like, some very early game had Snake and stuff like that on their phones. I was like, really blown away, actually, by the possibilities for these devices. You know, fell in love with mobile fell in love with making mobile games. I did one of the first side scrolling shoot 'em up games on a phone, it was called Space Impact. And yeah, basically stayed in the mobile games industry like not just with Nokia but you know, for some independent publishers and worked stayed in the game industry for another 10 years after that. Then eventually, at some point, I went did a degree of business school, moved to Berlin joined SoundCloud was working on mobile growth there. So kind of combining the technical kind of aspects of mobile with like marketing and business and sort of getting into this new kind of area of data driven growth. Yeah, and that's basically I worked at SoundCloud for a while and was there four and a half years. I was running the retention team there before I left. And that's when I like left to set up Phiture, which is what I'm doing now. And so we pronounce it Phiture with a P-H-I-T-U-R-E. At Phiture, we're a mobile growth consultancy. I set it up with another ex-SoundClouder, Moritz Daan. And yeah, basically, where we've grown over the last four years, we're like 54 people now based in Berlin, we have like consultants with a lot of deep expertise. And we go like pretty deep in some areas of like mobile growth, specifically, things like App Store optimization, user retention, and monetization, CRM analytics, stuff like this. So we're not like a classic, kind of, we're not trying to be a 360 degree agency that does everything. You know, we're quite specialized. We really focus on mobile specifically. And we don't try to do everything even in that space. But we do do kind of strategy consulting, you know, applying frameworks, like the mobile growth stack and ASR stack. And yeah, we, you know, we help companies, B2C apps, with their growth challenges. So we don't generally work with early stage startups, but kind of more established mobile businesses that that kind of need help to get a bit more systematic about some of their key growth processes. So we're working with folks like Adobe, Headspace, TripAdvisor kind of companies, you know, that kind of level of maturity. Whether they kind of already have some product market fit, they already have actually some decent traction in the marketplace and we help them to get a bit more systematic about the next phase of growth.

Adam Lovallo:

Awesome. And I will note for the benefit of our listeners, that you have a few different publications/blogs between your site and medium, some stuff on ASO some stuff just sort of broadly speaking on like the mobile growth stack, quote unquote . More recently, I've read a bunch of articles that you guys have written on, like retention in-app messaging stuff that we'll talk about here. So like, the publications are all excellent. I encourage everyone in this space to check them out. Because, frankly, there's not that many publications at all. There's not that many people writing about this stuff, at least at like a level of depth that's consequential. So I applaud you and your whole crew for doing that. Okay. So given the scope of your consulting/work agency work, I have a kind of grab bag set of topics that I wanted to cover. And first and foremost, just because it's topical, I'm just curious for your take on the iOS 14, IDFA deprecation stuff. I mean, I know you guys aren't spending all day just obsessing over user acquisition, which, of course, is a big part of this industry. But yeah, any like, initial reactions. I guess, expectations or projections for what it means for like a broader ecosystem over the next maybe year.

Andy Carvell:

Um, yeah, I mean, I think this next year is going to be quite, you know, quite tumultuous. I think it's definitely going to, you know, upset the applecart. You know, in a kind of a sort of, like, you know, detached way, I quite like upset Applecart. So I think it's kind of just generally good when there's disruption, and you know, kind of when things get shaken up a bit, you know. I'm not sure if it's gonna be good for the industry or not, I'm not sure if I really have taken a position on that yet, but certainly is going to change a bunch of stuff. I think it's a little bit too early to tell exactly what's going to change or how much it's going to affect people. Like, obviously, the attribution providers are in an interesting spot right now. And they're all kind of scratching around for their angle on things, and basically, how it's all going to be fine. So yeah, I think remains to be seen if that's, you know, what position they will really kind of occupy in the New World Order, you know, when IDFA is phased out, and, you know, I think the general assumption is that Google will kind of follow suit. And so, you know, it's gonna kind of roll into Android as well. I think generally, for users, I'd like to think that, you know, more privacy is a good thing in this, this might bring some that some of that I think that the cynic in me doesn't really believe that users will be massively more protected. That probably be like, just new ways of abusing the the ability to track users, you know, more innovative solutions for that. But yeah, I think in general, you know, it's probably a good development, I do think there's been a lot of kind of, you know, cross device tracking, and people are worried about being kind of constantly monitored, you know, not just by advertisers by but just online in general. So, yeah, I don't see really a problem with it also, because maybe because like, quite selfishly, we're not massively affected by it, although we do, do Apple Search Ads and Google Ads. So it is something that does affect us, for sure. But yeah, I mean, I think that there will be solutions, you know, I think it will shake up the UA side of things a bit, I think some UA agencies will struggle, you know, with the New World Order, and how they're going to be able to measure effectiveness of campaigns. I think for maybe smaller user acquisition teams and, you know, smaller apps, I fear what will probably happen is that just like, they'll just consolidate even more of their spend like directly with Facebook or something like you know, just sort of drop out like some of the other channels. So I think retargeting providers probably pretty screwed, you know, ad networks, you know, that are not the big guys probably also going to take a hit from this.

Adam Lovallo:

Yeah, the, the great irony of the whole situation is in the defense of privacy, do basically are pushing even more concentration into the companies that by far have the most information about people and the most scope and that enables them to be more effective like it. It's a big, yeah, unintended consequence. I don't think they're trying to, you know, hurt the people trying to compete and user acquisition, but I think, pretty much unequivocally is at least, maybe universally detrimental, but not as bad If you have other means to identify people like emails, phone numbers, people logged in across device, you know, like, that's a quite, quite powerful. Um, so I was reading the feature blogs, honestly, I can't remember which one I was on but one of them. And I, there was a really excellent article, I can't remember the name of the author, but on Rich Push. So could you just just sort of pontificate on Rich Push as a topic? So first of all, what is it? Because I think actually, so many people do not leverage that functionality and how do you see your clients taking advantage of rich put, you know, in different contexts, different industries? Like what's your what's your general sort of take?

Andy Carvell:

Yes, so Rich Push is like, you know, something that's been rolled out, you know, in slightly different forms on iOS and Android. You know, it's been around for quite some time. And it's really like, quite still under adopted. And I think that there are a couple of reasons for that, which we'll maybe get into in a minute. But, you know, in a nutshell, there's a couple of things which it provides, like the ability to kind of push not just, you know, a short amount of text, but also some media which could be like, you know, static image can even be like an animated GIF. And also, this idea of like, being able to have like, buttons right there, in the push itself, that, you know, that allow people to basically interact with your app, with the notification from the notification tray without ever even necessarily going into the app. Right, which is, I think, also possibly one of the reasons it's been a bit under adopted, because a lot of people, a lot of app developers want the users in the app. Right, rather than necessarily just interacting with them via the home screen. It just provide, you know, post some challenges, but also provides some opportunities like you can do some pretty cool stuff with it. Like, I think WhatsApp users that you can actually reply directly from messages is right, right in the notification tray. That's, I think, a good like just functional example of using, you know, this Rich Push kind of actions. You could even do like a whole kind of interactive story or a quiz like all through the notification straight, which I think would also be kind of cool. I don't think I have an example of Netflix using that yet--doing it that way. But we've definitely tested a bunch of stuff. Even when I was at SoundCloud, we were testing Rich Push, just on a small scale and the retention team to include like, artist's cover art, for example, when we're like kind of saying, hey, there's a new track out whatever. Really nice, like, we thought it would drive a ton more conversion, at least the way that it was implemented back then in the Android OS, which is why we were testing that stuff. It wasn't a great user experience, because you actually had to like kind of click, like a down arrow to kind of scroll out the image to even see that it was attached, you only got like a little thumbnail in the notification tray unless you expanded it. So it actually didn't drive a lot of conversion. You know, so we were kind of like, okay, we tested it, we kind of put it on the back burner. We'd like to come back to it more recently with some of our clients, like Headspace have been using it to send sort of more kind of graphical pushes, they've got some really great, you know, like, they've got such a great visual branding, that, you know, it's really nice to sort of show off, you know, some of their really great artwork. And also, we've even done some like animated stuff. Again, mostly kind of more on a testing level than that it's like a fundamental part of that communication strategy. And that's generally what I see with Rich Push is like, still feels under adopted, still not necessarily fully embraced by, or fully kind of leveraged by the operating systems, which ultimately just like kind of have the power to kind of make it more prominent. And so yeah, it's kind of like, I'm kind of, we're excited for the opportunities that it presents. But I still don't have great examples of companies that have really, like, you know, turbocharging anything, or really making a wonderful user experience from it. But I think like, you know, just the practical stuff about having buttons when, if there's something where you can really just interact with what it's telling you right there in the notification tray. A good example would be, for example, there's some new content, instead of forcing somebody to go into the app to look at it, give them a preview of it, and give them the option maybe to like save it for later, or, you know, favorite it or something like that. At least it's saved somewhere for when they go back into the app and they could do that right from the notification tray. This is a kind of like some, like simple examples of like ways where it's, you know, just adding a little bit of extra functionality, I think you should really be done with the user in mind, rather than just trying to like convert or get more clicks should be something that actually makes the user experience better.

Adam Lovallo:

But if you were to look across all your clients, is it fair to say I mean, just reading between the lines, you know, sub 1% of total push note of communications have some Rich Media attached to them or even less?

Andy Carvell:

Yeah, I'd say it's probably Like, yeah, certainly like what we see across the industry, I get 1%. It's probably about right. Yeah. It's really, really low.

Adam Lovallo:

Yeah. Okay. In that same realm. I know you guys do a lot of work on in-app messaging. Which can take many forms. I think that's like kind of an overly simplistic label sometimes. So basically the same question like, what are you seeing in the in-app messaging space? Do you generally find that leveraging the, you know, the Braze's of the world's functionalities the best way to go? I've seen dedicated SDK is to handle an in-app messaging stuff. Like what's your take on the use of in-app communication?

Andy Carvell:

Yeah, so just very briefly, for those who are like not familiar with the term, in-app messaging is kind of a catchall, as you say, can kind of mean a lot of different things. But essentially, what it is, it's a triggered, like, interaction with the user, displayed to them when they're in the app. So it's essentially overriding the app UI. Now that could be in terms of like, just like a full screen interstitial, kind of like in your face, could be like a pop up like modal window, or something that slides up from the bottom and uses, you know, a bit of space at the bottom of the screen or the top, or something completely custom, you know. Often, traditionally, like this would be just sort of like user interface coding that would be done like natively in-house may be kind of made available to a broader team as a kind of a library and just basically, would allow certain, like features or functionality or possibly, server side driven alerts to be kind of triggered programmatically and maybe serve just like a segment of users. I've seen it done natively and a lot of apps still do it natively because it can, you know, look then much more natural to the app experience. Now, if you're using a tool, like you mentioned, Braze, there's a few other platforms out there that support this functionality. I think, you know, CleverTap, Leanplum, I think Iterable also support NFC, most of them have most of these platforms that have you know, have it to some degree. I think it's a lot of advantages to using, you know, a messaging platform like that to do also in-app messaging. Primarily, what I see is like the native implementations, they look really nice, but they typically don't have any measurement around how, like how users are interacting with them. So if you want to see is this performing well, you know, people actually like engaging with it? You don't often see that information. Even harder to look at like downstream metrics like this improve retention? It's usually also hard to A/B test, you know, multivariate test, different versions of messaging, or changes segmentation quickly on the fly. All of that stuff you can do very easily in a marketing automation platform, like the ones we just mentioned. So it has these advantages of basically putting that control in the hands of like a growth marketing team or CRM team. And they can do like a lot of parallelization with that kind of messaging, without having to like, you know, deploy new versions of the product and they can also measure the effectiveness. What we've seen, and what we help companies do a lot at Phiture is to leverage this kind of functionality to kind of bridge the gap between like, what would traditionally be done in product and what can be done in marketing. Right now, this is scary, because or can be scary to engineering teams to product teams, you know, who feel like okay, we don't really want a bunch of growth, marketers ruining our beautiful user experience with these like, horrible marketing messages. And it's a valid concern, you know, with with a careless or overuse of messages. But you know, what we've seen is like, first of all, if the platform you're using allows you to design them in like HTML and CSS, you can basically craft them to look completely native so to the user is bothered by. Secondly, if you're like, you know, deploying them responsibly with like making sure that triggered at the right points, then test it properly to make sure that they are displaying properly and you know, like serving to the right segment of users at the right time, then you have a lot of advantages, like you can move so much faster with this stuff and like some of them even support like JavaScript and things you can actually kind of prototype like call flows, or even sort of smoke test features, which probably ultimately, you want to build natively. But you can test a concept in a week or two, or maybe even a day or two that would take three months to even like get it built into the roadmap and deployed. If you do it natively. You can test it and maybe maybe the user experience is not quite as good but you get like data to back up your decision like whether to actually invest in building it out properly in the product. And we just did this with with SoundCloud actually, like SoundCloud, our client of ours now like ironically enough. We just like, I mean, I remember when I was at SoundCloud back in like 2016, we were discussing like revamping the onboarding and talking about doing like taste based onboarding. And then like, a lot of stuff sort of changed there and they sort of deprioritized a lot of that stuff for a few years, while they were kind of figuring out sort of there to make the business more sustainable. They still hadn't onboarding. So like, when we came in, we're like, okay, let's see if we can do this within in-app messaging. So now we serve them, a, you know, a full screen and in-app message on the very first session that says, hey, what's your favorite music genres, you know, pick a few types of music that you like, you know, rock, hip hop, metal, whatever. Users can select that stuff in a nice, like, totally native looking selector. And what that does is it provides that information like enriches that user profile, like it stores it right back in those embrace, like those that embrace can immediately start profiling, like segmenting those users from the very first session, and delivering personalized content. So that welcome email, if they say, their hip hop fan, their welcome email as a hip hop playlist in it. You know, this is improved their, you know, activation metrics quite a bit, as well as like driving more subscriptions. We were able to deploy that whole thing in like, you know, a couple of weeks. Whereas yet, like they sort of had struggled to get it roadmap built and prioritized alongside everything else they're doing for the last four years. And I'd say that's actually quite typical, you know, a lot of organizations. So I, you know, I'm bullish on it, messages, obviously, like, we have a big speciality feature. So I'll admit the bias there. But, you know, what I've seen is like, really high impact, users really do interact with them, like heavily great way to, you know, to drive all sorts of like behavior with active users, you can measure the results and you can use that to derisk your whole like product roadmap. Then you can only you can build this stuff that you've already tested.

Adam Lovallo:

The logical equivalent, I think, in the regular old web ecosystem, is all the third party JavaScript that marketers on e-commerce sites, or whatever drop on top of their platforms, whatever they're using right, email, pop up, referral thing, whatever. They're all like, it's all functionality that theoretically could be built in a native way, native to whatever is the underlying application. But like, it's not going to happen, cause priorities and cause you know, whatever. And if your, your referral program, JavaScript thingy does so well, then actually, probably a product and engineering team will want to pick that up and build it, but like, you'll have been doing it for the last year and a half before, you know, you reach that point. So yeah, I think that at that parallel is like one-to-one with like the Shopify App ecosystem or something like that. But I hadn't really thought of like the the user flow use case you described is cool. I suppose in the example you described--so SoundCloud is building these profiles of people, which is great so you can send notifications and emails and stuff. But that data is then stored at the user level in Braze, right, it's not accessible to the SoundCloud application itself for like customizing the underlying products. Is that the trade off? Or is that not?

Andy Carvell:

Well, yeah, if you just store it in Braze or if like it, and that's why the in-app message stores it because a Braze deployed in-app message and it has this JavaScript. So in that case, yes, that's true. But you know, you can also pull data out of Braze, and sync it with your other other systems. So it's definitely not a, you know, hard limitation, you know, you could sync those user properties that you collected from the in-app message. You could either you could pull them out the back end or Braze with the API and drop them into your own data warehouse or actually, you can also like, because in-app messages can have JavaScript and as long as you've got like an API, or a way of like getting data into your data warehouse in a relatively secure way, you could also post it directly from the NMS.

Adam Lovallo:

Simultaneously, basically.

Andy Carvell:

Yeah, it could set it to Braze and to somewhere else. So really, like as long you've got some kind of flexibility on your data engineering team to you know, to get data in and out of places then, yeah, you can do it from right there within in-app message provided you've got that is.

Adam Lovallo:

Yeah, yeah, this for people working on companies that don't have you know, infinite resources and everything that you know. I imagine many people are perfectly content to have the information just live in Braze because you know, they are able to do stuff. Okay. So I want to shift gears off of the retention stuff in our remaining time. I know that you guys do a ton of ASO work and always have. I will note that, I personally have always sort of just by default, and because I'm cynical, considered ASO work to be like pure smoke and mirrors. So, I'm curious how do you see the ASO landscape today on both platforms because I know they're a bit different. Like, is there a place for ASO expertise and consulting? Or is it literally a matter of you know, picking a title and picking some keywords and, you know, walking away? Like, where I'm sure you have an opinion about this side? What is your take on that?

Andy Carvell:

Yeah, for sure. I mean, obviously, again, a biased opinion. But I see that there is a place for ASO consulting, because we have like, you know, actually, it's a bigger part of our business and we see a lot of demand for it, and also, like, we have, like many, like long term, happy customers who, you know, we're driving good impact with ASO. So it's like, you know, it's definitely possible, at a certain scale, at least, to get really good wins from ASO. I think we're so makes little sense is when you're really small, and you don't have like, good cohorts to test with. It's all about experimentation, right? For those who are not maybe so familiar with, with what ASO is about, essentially two parts to it. It's like one is expanding your like ranking highly for the for the right keywords and making sure that you are getting as much organic search traffic as possible. This is more or less relevant, depending on what kind of app you are, what kind of apps you're trying to compete with, and whether it's a sort of a search driven use case, right? Some apps like utility based, there's people searching for, I don't know, like, how do I scan a document into a PDF, for example, we're working with Adobe, we're doing it. So with Adobe Scan. And, you know, things like that, it's, you know, there'll be a lot of people searching for the use case. Whereas Snapchat, I think I heard something like 95% of their search, traffic is branded search. There's people just searching for Snapchat. And particularly since there's search ads on both, you know, Apple and Google, like implementations were, like, you know, these platforms want people to pay to rank highly for search. I'd say that ranking for search is getting tougher and tougher, and the volume of traffic, you'll get on search keywords is getting tougher. Now, if you want to still maximize the opportunity there and if you're not in a purely branded search game, then I'd say, you know, if you're at a certain scale, it does still make sense to invest effort into doing that on an ongoing basis. And if you're in lots of countries, you probably need help to figure out what are the keywords, you need to be ranking for each of those countries. There are some tools and things out there, which try to automate some of that. But, you know, it's a process and there's, there's just like, iterative work required to like kind of make sure that you're constantly doing your best to rank for the right keywords in all of your key markets. But I'll tell you, that's like the, definitely the dwindling piece of the pie. As far as like the effectiveness of ASO goes, particularly now, it's like a lot more to do with paid search. Which leads to the bigger part, which is conversion rate optimization, and which I know you know, a lot about. And basically, that's, you know, that's a bit more than just like picking a title or, like, you know, keyword stuffing, which is another technique, which you know, can help you like rank high for keywords, particularly on Google is like having those keywords in all of your descriptions and stuff. You know, really like the CRO side, it's like, it's really about having converting high converting copy, high converting screenshots, particularly possibly, high converting, like preview video, this kind of stuff icon also can make a big difference. And with that stuff, it's not so much like tennis work. I mean, it definitely can work. It's just like a lot of effort to actually like build all those creatives, like, you know, in a sort of hypothesis driven way, ideally, like the you're not just testing random, but because it takes a while to run those tests. Again, you need a certain scale, to actually have cohorts to, you know, to get to significance on these tests in a reasonable time. Which is why I don't advise it for small companies, they should be just starting out, just maybe, you know, go and like kind of qualitatively test, you know, just ask like, 10 people which ones that they like more or you know, do some really like small scale testing but don't try to A/B test every single asset on your page. But if you're big and you're getting hundreds of thousands of downloads a month, you know, you can quantitatively test you know, refreshes of screenshots, annotations on the screenshots, the icons, that all of this stuff and we do see it makes a big difference. And again, if you go market by market makes even more of a difference. Your screenshots should look completely different in Japan than they do in the US, you know, like nations but just the kind of the style and you know. So it becomes much more of a graphic design and sort of visual testing methodology. And I do think there's still a place for it, we definitely see measurable uplift from this stuff.

Adam Lovallo:

I'm convinced I know in the Google ecosystem, Android ecosystem, they built, like, native functionality, like, shoot facilitate this sort of testing. It's been a while since I've touched this stuff. One, do you use that on the Android side and how do you run these tests on the iPhone side? I know there, I know, there are companies that will like, approximate the listing pages in the mobile web environment to try to like have a sort of pseudo experiment. How do you run tests on both, you know, when you're touching these kinds of assets?

Andy Carvell:

Yeah. So our approach actually, we really like the Google testing environment, the experimental environment for testing store assets. It's pretty solid. And so our approach is actually we run the initial tests, like everything that we're hypothesis testing for in terms of like creative assets, particularly we run them on Google, and we find the wins on Google. And then we will put them over to Apple, and we'll see if we can see if we have the observed the same. Right.

Adam Lovallo:

So before and after type analysis on the Apple side and a proper experiment on the Google side.

Andy Carvell:

Yeah. And that's, that's our standard approach. And that's actually works well, for the majority of our customers. We do have some customers that want us to use, you know, one of these paid testing platforms, you know, they specifically request it. Maybe they already have an account with them, or they, you know, they just want to be they want to get like another level of quantification on on the the iOS side of things. So there's like SplitMetrics, storemaven, and a few others out there offering this this kind of, as you say, it's like a fake App Store, which is directing users to. But yeah, you can get some quantitative signal from that. The thing which always kind of, I'm a bit wary of, and I know that there's, I've seen plenty of argument like for and against on this. So. But yeah, what always, something you have to bear in mind, if you're going to use that quantitative testing approach is that, you know, you're driving incentivize traffic to it. So the audience is different from your organic App Store browser mentality. Now, if you're doing a lot of paid acquisition, I think it makes total sense, you know, that's not a problem, then to drive some of that traffic to a fake App Store, you're going to lose a few of those installs. But the point of that traffic is not to get installs, it's to get a signal on your assets, right? So that's fine. I think if you're trying to optimize, if you're one of these lucky apps that doesn't have to do a lot of paid acquisition, because you have no good viral growth, just good brand recognition, and you want to optimize for natural browsing behavior in the App Store, then I'm a little bit more circumspect as to whether sending them to a fake App Store through a paid advert is the right flow.

Adam Lovallo:

Definitely, if there's yeah, there's a lot of inherent bias. And I say this as a conversion rate person like false positive, false negative territory pretty quickly, I'm sure maybe I'll get the storemaven guys on here and they'll have a really strong argument and I do oppose that. Okay, what one random thing, and this may be a nothing question. A couple years ago, there was a lot of excitement in our industry, for indexing in-app content for the purposes of regular old organic search, forget about ESL, forget about the App Store(s) entirely there's like a big deal--lots of announcements and stuff. And like I have yet to interact with a human being that has indexed their App Store content, and then organic search is a meaningful app driver. Of course, I get tons of mobile, web and desktop, you know, as it SEO is no doubt real. But like, is that a thing that anyone should care about? Have you seen that? Or is that just like, not a thing of importance?

Andy Carvell:

It's not a thing. I'm thinking about taking it out of the next mobile growth stack. I put content indexing in there because at the time, it was, you know, a lot of hype around it. I saw some nice implementations of it, you know, here and there. But have we ever worked with a company where we've been able to get like meaningful impact from that? No, is the answer. Have I heard about a company that's had meaningful impact from it? No.

Adam Lovallo:

In theory, is it supposed to be the case that you index the in-app content? Somebody is on the mobile web, they search on Google and then potentially the listing that's returned with deep link them to the App Store? If they installed they would go to that content? Is that like, how it's supposed

Andy Carvell:

Yeah, that's the flow as I recall. And also like to work? Apple Spotlight, you know, Apple have like those versions, like content indexing. Which works pretty well I think for retention actually.

Adam Lovallo:

Yeah, well, I can say I am a hardcore Apple Spotlight user. I watch people with their phones they never do it. I do it all the time. And it's like kind of bad, but like when it works, it's you know, it's helpful if you have 50 apps.

Andy Carvell:

Yeah. So like, you know, highlighting stuff in the apps that you've got installed in Spotlight. Yeah, that that works and that's like a good nice retention lever. And I would still kind of lump that under content indexing.

Adam Lovallo:

Yeah, functionally the same.

Andy Carvell:

A public search engine for content, which then you would have in your app, and it's like highlighting the apps that have this content. No, I just I haven't seen Google make it work. They don't seem to be prioritizing it. And I haven't heard much about it in recent years.

Adam Lovallo:

Yeah, me too. Okay, Andy, I think that's a good ending point. But before we close our recording, um, could you just say if people wanted to, like find you or read your stuff, like what's the best is it Twitter, the site blog, like, what where should they go? Or should they email you? Like, what's your preference?

Andy Carvell:

Yeah, sure. I mean, you can find me on LinkedIn. It's just Andy Carvell, C-A-R-V-E-L-L, if you want to get in touch. Otherwise, yeah, we actually consolidated all of our various blog content under phiture.com. So we still have the domain names mobilegrowthstack.com and asostack.com. But if you go to phiture.com, P-H-I-T-U-R-E dot com and go to the blog section, you'll find them all there. We did that basically to get the SEO traffic like directly on our site and also because it just like started putting everything behind a paywall. So yeah, we moved off medium.

Adam Lovallo:

Got it. Okay, awesome. Well, this was a total pleasure. Super appreciate the time. And hopefully I'll be seeing you at a future MAU, in some future date. A better time

Andy Carvell:

Yeah. I really want to be back at MAU Vegas and perhaps. get some sunshine and yeah, see all the people there. So reall yeah, looking forward to that happening again at some point. nd until then it has been a r al pleasure to be on the show. T anks for inviting me. Yeah Th nks!

Adam Lovallo:

Alright man. Appreciate it.

MAU[Talk]:

Thanks for joining us. You can find Phiture's website as well as Andy's LinkedIn information in this podcast description or at mauvegas.com. Make sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and we'll catch you on the next episode of MAU [Talk].