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App developers have gone premium

Nexage CMO Victor Milligan on stepping up
App developers have gone premium

App developers have changed the world. They are turning the mobile phone from a "phone" to an indispensable, highly personal companion - a playground for the mind.

However, for many developers it has been a long, hard road between the creative inspiration and making enough money to eat, innovate, and grow.

This is because running an app business is no longer only about making money. It is also about keeping users engaged and happy, and keeping app store ratings - a measure of the developer's brand - as high as possible.

There is a seemingly endless set of analytics that describe this challenging reality:

  • Consumers select fewer apps on their device than originally thought – meaning there is fierce competition for user attention and loyalty
  • Too many users go inactive within 30 days and as the cost of getting "good" users grows, there is greater focus on monetizing the existing user base
  • Too many ads or simply bad ads cause havoc prompting users to go inactive, or worse, sharing their negative experience via social channels and app store reviews
  • And, of course, poor app store ratings can have a devastating impact on growing the business.

Any way you slice it, the data tell us that making money - making a lot of money for a long period of time - means app developers need to care about revenue, users and their brand as one package.

New tools

The problem is that most ad monetization solutions poorly address this challenge. And that simply won't work in today's market.

This is not a new problem; the combined need to make money, keep users engaged and protect brand is common for traditional, premium publishers.

What is new is the growing sense that these "premium" challenges are part of any app developer's day-to-day life. Or better stated, the requirements have always been there - it is just now there is a growing sense of urgency to address them.

This leads to a simple observation: developers need solutions that address all of these challenges; solutions that have been built, proven and perfected in the premium segment. That means:

  • Taking advantage of a full complement of buyers: agency trading desks, DSPs, and ad networks that have access to accelerating brand spend
  • Tapping into large volumes of rich media and video ads that enable developers to send fewer, but higher quality, ads to their users while also growing revenue
  • Avoiding bad ads by using rigorous brand safety controls. But rigorous controls can't be a drag on revenue, they must be complemented by significant brand-safe spend so that ad quality controls does not impact revenue performance
  • Leveraging holistic yield optimization capabilities that can optimize both direct and indirect buyers
  • Benefiting from a complete and easy-to-implement ad tech stack (RTB, mediation, ad server, SDK) to gain operational efficiencies and enhance revenue performance
  • And at the end of the day, the solution must be underpinned by reliable technology because the reality is that technology downtime = revenue downtime.

What's next?

This type of solution has been part and parcel for the premium publisher segment.

More important and immediate to this discussion, this premium solution has been the foundation of market-leading developers that acted first - and worked with Nexage to put the solution in place on the Nexage Marketplace.

These developers knew that they had to make money; but they also knew that how they made money was a critical decision.

They needed to make money, keep users engaged and loyal, and closely manage app store ratings. They knew they were running a premium business and needed a premium solution.

So do you.

Victor Milligan is the CMO of Nexage where he leads all marketing and analytic functions.

Prior to Nexage, Victor was the CMO and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of Lavastorm Analytics, where he successfully repositioned Lavastorm into the operational intelligence space and put them on a growth trajectory in the vibrant analytic market.

Before joining Lavastorm, Victor was a Senior Managing Partner at Gartner, leading their global industries team, and cut his cloth at BoozAllen where he consulted to telecom and mobile companies in the US and across the globe.