Top mobile app marketing companies interview: Swrve
Tom Farrell is the VP Marketing of Swrve. The mobile app marketing company was founded in 2011 by Hugh Reynolds and Steve Collins. It is located in San Francisco, Dublin and London. The mobile app marketing company has 100 app marketers and IT professionals.
Tom has worked in a variety of marketing roles over the years. Prior to joining Swrve, he spent 6 years with the brand marketing team in Paddy Power, then Europe’s largest online gaming company by market capitalization – where Tom was involved in the launch of the mobile app and the growth of the mobile business. He has a sound understanding of what B2C companies need from a mobile solution – coupled with extensive experience in a variety of Dublin startups (and a few grown-ups like Microsoft).
As VP of Marketing for Swrve, Tom works with a number of leading app companies to help them deliver success on mobile, bringing his extensive experience in the digital consumer space to bear on the challenges of building successful in-app marketing campaigns.
Let’s see what Tom Farrell has to say about Swrve and the mobile app marketing world.
What does your mobile app marketing company do?
Swrve is probably best described as a customer interaction engine. We work with large organizations to manage the millions of customer touches they deliver in any given day. That means collecting huge amounts of data, from multiple channels, so that we have an accurate, complete and most importantly real-time of each customer. It also means supporting the design and delivery of campaigns in the channels consumers use today (native mobile, on-demand TV and media and so on).
Swrve isn’t ‘advertising’ as such. We work with companies that want to talk to their existing customers or users, in their own channels (think mobile app), but want to do so in a way that deepens and strengthens the relationship – and thus leads on to increased loyalty and revenue. We do that by supporting ultra-targeted, helpful messages that are delivered at precisely the right time. The sort of campaigns that delight users and deliver on KPIs for our customers.
What clients have you worked for?
I’ll briefly discuss two. We work with Ryanair, one of the world’s largest and most successful airlines, to manage the collection of customer satisfaction data after each flight. That job is usually done via email, and it’s no surprise the response rate on that channel is less than 1% – meaning data is essentially worthless (and it’s usually too late to do anything other than address specific complaints).
Ryanair use Swrve to deliver simple satisfaction surveys the moment customers turn their phone back on, or as the phone breaks a geofence at the arrival airport. A simple ‘native mobile’ survey delivers over 70% completion rates, making data accurate and most importantly timely. A perfect example of a ‘mobile moment’ that makes a difference.
Another interesting case study is Travelex, the leader in FX. Travelex use our product for a host of use cases – from reminding their own customers to use the service when they enter airports, to A/B testing every aspect of the service, from the UI to the default amount of currency to be changed in the app.
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?
We’re all about driving the numbers when it comes to retention and engagement (and revenue) with those individuals who have already downloaded the app. Our product helps deepen those relationships with users and thus ensure ROI on development and acquisition spend.
What are the basic KPIs every app marketer must keep in mind?
In our space, there’s a few. But if I had to pick 3: day 7 retention (meaning how many people are still using the app a week after install), % conversion (usually meaning what percentage of your app users are actually buying from you), and LTV of your app users.
Which strategy is the best to make an app the number 1 on an app store?
This isn’t something we usually advise our customers on, but we do find that ratings can make a huge difference both to store rankings and downloads. We help our customers filter out users likely to deliver poor ratings and send only those likely to deliver great ratings to the app store. The results can be remarkable – large increases in rating and associated surges in acquisition. Not necessarily #1 in the store though!
What is the best way to monetize a mobile app?
It depends on the business model – there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. We work with media organizations or games companies who have an advertising model, but the bulk of our client base are selling something on mobile in one form or another. The golden rule is to be absolutely clear what your model is, and ensure you align the business accordingly. As an aside, as consumers become less tolerant of intrusive advertising, I would encourage most mobile businesses to look towards direct monetization (or simple customer experience) to be the core model for the app.
What are the most common problems that app marketers face?
How long have you got? There are so many apps out there that it’s hard to get onto and stay on the smartphone screen. Just the basic retention and engagement challenges are all consuming for a lot of our customers (which is probably why they work with us!) If I had to pick one challenge that we see time and time again, it’s getting users from install to that key ‘moment’ that defines success, whether that’s a purchase, or a 10th session, or whatever. That challenge is at the heart of mobile success and one that should be approached methodically and leaving no stone unturned!
What advice would you give to app owners that want to promote their apps?
Get the app right before you spend. If you don’t, and you aren’t optimized for retention and engagement, your acquisition spend is throwing money into a leaky sieve.
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