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How To Make A Winning Move in the App Business

Your ideal Saturday morning would begin with breakfast in bed.
Some me-time.
Some browsing through social media.
You would probably even spend considerable time planning the rest of your weekend.

That was NOT the case however this past Saturday, 12th of November, where Haptik along with BranchMetrics, co-hosted and organized a meetup targeted at Mobile Apps that was rightly called ‘Scaling Zero To One Million’.

‘Scaling Zero to One Million’ brought in leaders from growth, tech and product under one roof to talk about what it takes a mobile business go from 0 to 1 million users. It was extremely exciting  to see more than 70 hustlers (panelists + attendees) fill up the Haptik office as early as 10:30 in the morning on a Saturday! And even more rewarding to see them leave with a sense of accomplishment, making the event a huge success!

For those who missed out, don’t worry. We took enough notes, pictures and even videos to make sure you are covered. Below is a recap:

The meetup started with a keynote from Swapan, CTO & Co-Founder at Haptik giving everyone a low down on Automation and why it’s important for growth and scale.

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Swapan delved into details of Automation and focused on how it helps save time, improves quality with little room for human error and reduces manpower cost to a large extent.
How do you decide what to automate? Any task that is repeated more than 3 times a day or consumes the most amount of your time on a daily basis should ideally be automated and these could be building admin tools, daily reports etc. Investing time into building bots to make decisions in different areas of a company could also be a great growth hack for companies crunched on time and resources. In a typical scenario Bots aka machines will take real-time action based on logical decision trees and learn whilst more Data is being fed into them.

Ronak from Fynd addressed the second keynote for the day, where he spoke in detail about Fynd’s 10x growth in 6 weeks. Ronak said that all decisions they took at Fynd were backed heavily by data. They aggregated data from all different sources using Segment that helped them democratize the data for everyone. Apart from paid growth, Fynd also focused majorly on referrals, app-store optimization, SEO and Word-Of-Mouth/PR. Ronak maintained that throughout the growth process, their prime focus was on the user’s on-boarding process which they improved by integrating the Facebook account kit and also by heavily focusing on optimizing conversion per source and measuring ROI per ad campaign. He mentioned their users split was 40% through referral traffic, 30% paid and 30% organic.
He wrapped up the keynote by urging all companies to find the AHA moment in their products that will help retain and enhance the retention of users.

Next up we had, Aakrit – CEO & Co-Founder at Haptik who moderated a panel on mobile growth. We were lucky to put together a great group of panelists with a varied set of experiences and perspectives:

Jonathan Bill – Co-founder & CEO at CreditMate
Mohamed Galib – VP Innovations at Chillr
Snehal Thakkar – AVP Product at Nykaa
Gourav Bhattacharya – Vice President at Matrix Partners
Ankit Saxena – Tech Evangelist at Branch

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What followed was an hour of in-depth discussion on product marketing, customer/user behaviour, defining growth for mobile apps, value of offers/incentives and lots of insight on what makes an app or product sticky and high in engagement, across various verticals.

To start off with, Aakrit asked the panel their thoughts on growth modelling.
Mohamed from Chillr strongly felt that getting Users to download an App was of primary importance and once that is taken care of, transactions will automatically follow. Ankit from Branch broke it down for us and said that growth for a company is defined by the number of their most important metric at that moment.

Depending on which stage the company is, this number could be daily users, number of daily downloads, number of transactions and so on. For eg: If an App has just been launched, the main focus would be on getting the product right and making sure a certain number of downloads are coming in everyday. And as you grow and achieve a certain number of downloads, those numbers would then change and focus on re-engagement and transactions.

Jonathon from CreditMate had a slightly different opinion on growth modelling. He said while it’s tempting to chase downloads right when the App is starting out, it’s much more important to find the correct product market fit for app and take more time to correct and tweak the product as per user behaviour before spending money on Marketing it.

Key Takeaway being: Focus on quality, stickiness of the product (retention), people spending time on the App doing various things and downloads will automatically follow suit.

Gourav from Matrix believed in supply side differentiation to eventually grow a mobile business. This means the product should drive a true utility that has competitive advantages to make users stick. Trial offers are very much needed, and beyond that if the success of the product depends on continuous incentives, you need a “wartime” CEO who can keep raising capital to support the same.

We also wanted to pick our panelists’ brains to get their advice on how very early stage startups with little or no capital should go about growth. We wanted to know how important it is to do offline advertising – outdoor, print, radio etc.

Snehal from Nykaa summed it up for us pretty well, talking about how Nykaa’s first important step was to create the brand and give it the persona of a beautiful woman who could advise others on topics related to makeup and beauty. A brand whose advice people could look up to and whose aesthetics (considering its a beauty brand) people could believe in. It was very important for Nykaa to understand who their users are and where they would be found. Given their target audience was girls between the age of 18 to 35 and a huge chunk of this age group was (is) on social media – Facebook, Instagram, Youtube with the ability to spend money, they put a lot of their marketing efforts into Facebook content marketing.

Key Takeaway Being: Find the right product market fit and see what problem your product is solving. Next step is to figure what your user demographics are to best concentrate your marketing efforts.

If you’d like to see the entire video covering all topics of discussions from the panelists, you can view it here.

Overall, the meet answered questions about some of the biggest problems faced by app developers, marketers, and mobile-first businesses along with an in-depth panel discussion around growing the app business fruitfully.

We look forward to hosting more of these meet-ups in the future and growing our community, so if you have any thought starters, make sure to send them to us at marketing@haptik.co 🙂