Q&A with Mick
Read Mick’s blog post about how app store reviews, not individual testimonials, can boost install performance.
Mick Weinstein is the Senior Manager, Marketing for Prosper Daily, formerly known as BillGuard. He has a deep background in marketing and content creation, having spent several years in the finance sector, both growing fintech companies and writing about fintech developments. When he isn’t running mobile app marketing for Prosper Daily, based in Tel Aviv, he’s a contributor to Silicon Valley tech blog Pando.
How did you get into mobile marketing?
Marketing is storytelling, and I’ve spun yarn a few different ways. I write occasionally on Israeli startups for Silicon Valley blog Pando, and I met the founders of BillGuard while profiling the company. We became friendly and just at the point when BillGuard pivoted from desktop to mobile, I joined the team as Head of Marketing. That was a switchover for me also, from a marketing role at an online investment firm. Last year, BillGuard was acquired by San Francisco-based Prosper Marketplace. We rebranded BillGuard to Prosper Daily, and now we develop and market Prosper Daily for iOS and Android.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
I love that we can test a lot of ideas and audiences quickly and in parallel, right through to in-app activation and even incorporating retention by channel. That allows us to work closely with the product team on finding and enhancing product/market fit.
The tightly integrated nature of mobile acquisition also allows us to define mobile marketing very broadly from a traditional marketer’s perspective: from top of funnel acquisition through to product marketing and user communication. I love the ability to work in all of those spheres.
What is the biggest mistake you made as a mobile marketer?
At one stage we wanted to test a new conversion funnel fast, so we raised our app install budget aggressively in an effort to increase top of funnel user volume. But the lack of gradual optimization caused our CPA to shoot so high that we didn’t get an accurate read on the entire user acquisition picture with that funnel, or even at that budget.
Lesson learned: If you want to raise budget in an effective way, hit the gas gradually, with all the testing and optimization you’d apply at lower budgets.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
With so many moving pieces, you need to recognize your own strengths – creative, communication, organizational, analytical, technical – and find others on your team who complement your skills. As you scale mobile marketing, it becomes more than a one-person job. In any case, it’s a lot more interesting to work alongside a talented team on a mission-critical task than as a lone wolf.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
We optimize user acquisition for long-term, engaged users. A quality user invests in getting their financial accounts set up on the app, then finds tons of ongoing utility for enhancing their personal financial wellbeing.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
Clearly indicating to the user how to get the most value from the app – and leading them through that process in an elegantly designed, low-friction way. We all appreciate choice, but we’ve found that upon installing our app, users appreciate being taken by the hand to learn quickly how to use the app as it’s intended.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing the Prosper Daily app?
Most of us don’t enjoy dealing with our personal finances. It feels like work at best, and money and credit debt can cause a lot of anxiety. So we need to overcome that hurdle, finding the messaging that works for particular audiences to take the significant action to install and set up a money app that will help them improve their money life.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
The powerful tools we mobile marketers have now are ambitious in scope, but often incomplete or just buggy. Take attribution, for example. The cross-platform attribution problem is well known, but core, mobile-only attribution also fails to produce accurate results all too often. We spend a lot of time and effort on in-house solutions to understand our paid UA in a more accurate and granular way. For this, it’s super helpful to have the direct involvement of our data scientists, and for our marketing team to incorporate data analysis and presentation skills.
Overall, having an entire team that’s the very best at what they do, and a team culture of transparency and collaboration are key to making the most of the tools we currently have – in product development, customer support and marketing.
How important is diversifying user acquisition outside of Facebook?
It’s essential as I see it, especially as you increase budget and want to explore a broader range of target markets for discovery or growth purposes. For all of its advantages, Facebook has some real limitations in terms of CPA/budget ceilings, volatility and audience. We prefer to be active on social, network and search channels.
How important are the holidays to your business and what season is the biggest time for you?
People tend to avoid thinking too much about their financial health around the holidays (understandable!), but then wake up in January and want to get their act together. So January is the high season for most financial wellness apps like ours.