Top mobile app marketing companies interview: Molfar.io
Ivan Fortuna is the Founder and CBDO of Molfar.io. The mobile app marketing company was founded in 2016 by Max Kuznetsov, Sergey Pirogov and himself. It is located in Ukraine. The mobile app marketing company has 12 app marketers and IT professionals.
Ivan has been searching for a right place for nearly 4 years. He didn’t feel good enough doing staff he didn’t believe in. For 3 years, he worked in Ruby Garage, InMotion Soft, 111 minutes and V-Get. Ivan was hoping to be targeted on providing value, even if something is for free. But the companies he worked on were not after the same goal, and this is why he started Molfar.io.
Let’s see what Ivan Fortuna has to say about Molfar.io and the mobile app marketing world.
What does your mobile app marketing company do?
We help startups to test their ideas. i.e. everyone is looking for just web/app development. Our answer to them is “you might not need all of these at all.” The issue is that 99,7% of all startups fail and 42% of them fails because of no market need. So, we are covering this main risk.
What clients have you worked for?
I would be pleased to share some great samples:
1)AFC Radio; these guys reached us to share some contacts or help with mobile development actually. They had a website and wanted to copy the features to mobile platforms. When we asked about analytics and what users are after on the website, there was no answer. So, we integrated analytics into their website and figured out that 86% of all visitors just pressing 1 button “Stream” and that’s need. Nearly none was interested in “social feed”, “blog” or any other page. So, we created mobile apps with 1 button: “Stream” and that’s it. Sure, there was much more work with live events and synchronizing the app launching but the main “success” here is that these guys could save around 85% on development, 80% of time and got a lot of positive feedbacks on AppStore and Google Play.
2)Art Together; these guys had a live project but there was an issue: expensive logistic. There was an idea in shifting into digital. But they didn’t know how to make money on this and what steps they should follow. We tested 4 positioning and 4 ideas on how it might work in digital world. And we figured out that only one idea/positioning can work out. According to analytics, 5% of the covered audience donated the project (!) and 20% is ready to donate the project when it is live. Now it is on the stage of launch and will be live early next year.
3)Wayme Tours; it is more a development project but still it is the best sample for Lean Methodology we are after. Current startup has updates every 2 weeks: app update, launching some live events, creating new routes, etc. For example, we could push this app to getting funds from Facebook, joining Facebook Start acceleration program, joining and graduating from Y Combinator, receiving several invitations to some tech events such as TOA Berlin 2017 and WebSummit 2017. This app is growing and getting more and more achievements. Will see how far we can get to, but the tendency is very positive.
If you had to choose one category, in what kind of app marketing strategies does your mobile app marketing company stand out from the rest?
I would write our expertise is on customer development (founding product/market fit and progression on the technology adoption life cycle). It’s what founders should do by themselves, but it’s a really tough process.
Let’s imagine the classical outsourcing business model:
Client comes with an app idea, the mobile app development company creates an app and finally the app is sent to an app store.
At this point founders separate into three groups:
a) Sitting home, refreshing the app stores analytics
b) Buying ads where it’s possible
c) Doing customer development
Group a) is the biggest and the most unhappy one. Because such promotion strategy doesn’t work since 2010. Such founders wait for magic when downloads will increase and app will hit the top 10 in the app stores. But we know the reality. And in several months they are completely disappointed with the app business.
Group b) is like the group a) but with some amount of money. They try to buy ads where it’s possible and wait for results. In the best cases they use some integrated analytics to understand initial processes inside the app. But generally not. The next stages are the same like in the case of a) fellows.
Group c) is the founders who understand that in 2017 it’s not enough for success to just build an app and sent it to the app store. Such founders are familiar with the conception of technology adoption life cycle and they do customer development from the first day of development start. They understand that users can be found even without a ready product. Designs, renders, landing pages, videos, everything is great to attract first potential customers. You need to understand where to find them and how to catch their attention.
We like to work with founders from group c) because with such guys we are on the same wave: without many words, everybody knows what to do. But also we are educating customers from groups a) and b), explaining them the reality of modern apps market and showing use cases and best practices.
What are the basic KPIs every app marketer must keep in mind?
It’s a good question. I don’t write here Active Users or Session Length, because each business has its own specifics, and you can’t write a bunch of metrics that fit everyone. For example, we work with a travel project now – people don’t travel every day and don’t open travel apps every day. So, in this case active users is not a good metric. Or, for example, banking apps. Average Session Length in this sphere is not the same, as in social networks, for example. So, when defining your KPIs, you need to go from your business specifics, fully understanding narrow places and key features.
The most important is Retention Rate. No retention – no business. It’s an old rule proven by years. If your users don’t retain in the app – there is no reason to spend money to attract them, buying ads or working with influencers. If this KPI is bad – stop all you are doing (because probably you do something wrong) and understand why people don’t use your app after their first/second try. The answer can really surprise: maybe strict pricing policy, maybe of poor UX, or they just don’t see a value inside. It’s a fundamental metric for all startups: from hardware to SaaS, from healthcare to a sticker app.
Which strategy is the best to make an app the number 1 on an app store?
We practice several good strategies, but the best one is paid promotion. Of course, it depends on the country where you want to promote an app and the category. In our case it was a Food & Drink type app with recipes in Russia. We managed to reach Top 1 in $1,000.
What is the best way to monetize a mobile app?
I would say “subscription” is the best ever monetization model that can be. But it is also based on the app.
What are the most common problems that app marketers face?
Two years ago I would say “small budgets”. But after working a lot in this specific sphere of getting apps to the market, I can say now that “blindness” and lack of flexibility of the founders. Very often founders say something like “I know it will work”. And later this “leap of faith” ends with nothing.
What advice would you give to app owners that want to promote their apps?
Before any promotion, make sure that your app has a demand on the market: launch a test campaign (i.e. landing page). Find your audience and only after that build an app.
Why is MobileFirms useful to you?
I hope that MobileFirms will grow and will have more traffic soon. So, this will definitely increase our traffic too.
Go to MobileFirms Molfar.io app marketing company profile to get more information about them.
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