Adam Lovallo, Co-Founder of Grow.co on Mobile Application Marketing

Adam Lovallo, Co-Founder of Grow.co on Mobile Application Marketing

Adam Lovallo is a Co-Founder and the Editor in Chief of Grow.co, a publication dedicated to the growth of mobile applications. Adam and Grow.co is also responsible for putting on MAU, the world’s leading mobile acquisition and retention summit, hosted annually in Las Vegas.

Previously Adam was the Head of Growth at Living Social, a social deals app, where he managed a 9-figure advertising budget and a team of 15 other marketers. He is also the founder of Course Report, an online resource for individuals considering enrollment in coding, design, marketing, or other technology boot camps.

Here are some of the topics discussed in this episode.

Marketing Mobile Apps Can Be Incredibly Challenging

The number of challenges facing mobile app marketers is daunting. In addition to having mobile application stores act as an additional friction point, the created user behavior of quickly testing an app has made retention difficult.

“I also think that we’ve sort of created an expected user behavior. It’s so seamless to install an app. There is no risk. You can try it out. There’s a known behavior to install, look at the app for ten seconds, and then uninstall it. Like, totally normal. I never would go to a website, go through the account creation process and then just leave instantly. It’s just not a behavior… So that’s why the retention rates, in part, are so poor and it’s somewhat unfortunate user behavior, particularly if you’re talking about investing in user acquisition dollars. You just spent $20 or whatever to get that person to install the app and then boom… They’re gone in five seconds. ”

While a significant portion of Facebook’s advertising revenue is mobile application installations, the unit economics of advertising for top-of-funnel acquisition frequently don’t add up, especially when a 10% retention rate in the first 90 days is considered successful.

In-App Video Ads Works, and Are Not (Necessarily) Intrusive

Common sense might suggest that in app-video ads companies use to monetize their mobile applications are annoying, intrusive, and disruptive to users. On the contrary, not only do they work, but they can even present an equal value exchange for mobile application users if the content is something the users actually enjoy.

“There are plenty of companies that are monetizing primarily through ads that do well in addition to the virtual goods sales you were alluding to. In some cases, you look at networks like AppLovin, Vungle, Supersonic, AdColony… Those are rewarded video networks so as a user, you watch this video and then you’ll get coins and you can use the coins within the app that you were just playing.

You might call them a sort of value exchange. Creatives, can actually can work really well. I think sometimes the intrusive formats aren’t necessarily a sign of desperation. In fact, the rewarded video stuff specifically, people like. It is really intrusive in that you literally cannot advance to the next level without watching this video but the video’s not disinteresting and you get a reward for doing it. So it’s like, ok, it’s not a terrible deal. At least from the advertiser’s perspective, there’s some focus being paid to the creative as opposed to a random banner ad online. So, I wouldn’t assume that intrusive necessarily means bad user experience or intrusive means desperation.

Additionally, these in-app video ads don’t indicate desperation by mobile app companies to generate revenue. It’s also an opportunity to present users with a potential reward for engaging in the application.

Mobile Micro Services Have Potential

The future of mobile applications might lie in the microservices popping up within the applications we use every day, especially messenger apps like iMessage and Facebook messenger.

“In the medium term I think one trend that is interesting is a mess of apps that live within messaging apps as little micro-services…For example, I love Yelp. I think it’s spectacular but I don’t use it all the time. Does it necessarily need to be on my phone every day as a little button? Or could it live within the confines of something that I do use every day in a way that makes sense? That’s an interesting trend.”

In the same way that marketing technology integrations are simplifying our work as digital marketers, microservices and consumer integrations between popular niche products and those they use every day might increase acquisition and retention in mobile applications.

Transcript

Note: this transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Ander: A few of the guests I’ve had on this podcast, Advertising Influencers, I have talked to in the past and I’m talking to one of those people today, Adam Lovallo.

Adam, thanks so much for making time at the end of this Wednesday. I know you’ve had a really long day, so I really appreciate you having me here at your office.

Adam: My pleasure.

Ander: Now, you do a lot of things… You’re the co-founder of Grow.co, you do some work with venture capital, there are a million things that you’ve got going on.

I think that the best way to get started is to hear, in a nutshell, how you got to where you are now and what you do. Also, tell us about Grow.co! it’s awesome.

Adam: Ok, I’ll take those down one at a time.

Ander: Sure.

Adam: Grow.co is basically a community or conference business. We do events focused on growth marketing generally but with a very particular focus on the mobile app ecosystem. And to me, that is a sort of discipline inclusive of acquisition, most of which is paid, some product, some components of product teams, particularly around referral programs, user onboarding, etc, and then the world of CRM, email, push notification, in-app messaging, whatever.

We do a weekly newsletter, we have online forums, and really our main thing is a large event that we have annually in Las Vegas that kind of brings the mobile app community together. We started it almost four years ago now and the event has grown over time, the community has grown over time and we’ve sort of found a little niche in the mobile app space, in large part because that’s so – even still today – so nascent.

Ander: Yeah. I mean many of the thought leaders that I’ve interviewed for this podcast are working with primarily desktop products. They might have a mobile app or something like that.

Adam: Yep.

Ander: But, SaaS products and other things like that are not necessarily quite as conducive to the mobile experience. However, mobile’s huge!

Adam: Yeah. You know, you’re physically here in New York and that’s part of it. Like, there aren’t that many companies in this market that are doing that much in mobile. Some people would take exception to that.

Ander: Specifically in New York?

Adam: Yeah.

Ander: Interesting.

Adam: Because New York, I think, if you look at the tech scene, over-indexes tremendously into AdTech and to eCommerce, and couple of other areas. Maybe FinTech too.

Ander: Right.

Adam: But for consumer-facing mobile products… there aren’t that many large teams here in New York. There are some but it tends to be way more concentrated on the West Coast.

Ander: Interesting. Ok. And that makes sense, especially with the AdTech and the FinTech as well. Totally understand that.

Adam: Yeah. But anyway, we’ve been doing grow.co for the last four years. I started the business with my partner Jay, who’s just around the corner here, after working LivingSocial for a long time which is the daily deals then Groupon competitor. Really at the time I just thought, ‘Oh, there’s no real community for people who are self-identifying as growth marketers,’ which in and of itself is a somewhat nebulous definition.

But I thought, ‘Ok, well, if there’s no community for that, we can probably do something there and add value.’ It’s a modest business in just dollars and cents terms but I think we’ve had a relatively outsized impact in this space. So that’s been cool to see it grow.

Ander: Awesome. What’s something in that four year period that you’ve learned? And, what are some things that might have surprised you along the way?

Adam: I’ll give you two answers: I’ll give you the industry-level answer because I think that’s interesting and I’ll give you more of a business-level answer.

Ander: Perfect.

Adam: So the industry level… If you go back five years to when we thought about starting this business, there were a lot of questions that people were just trying to answer. How does attribution work in this mobile medium? What are the main sources of traffic? How should I think about utilizing push notifications in concert with email? What are the right flows through which users can be driven? Can I link a user from the mobile web to an app at all? Haha.

Ander: Haha yeah.

Adam: Really basic stuff. And our event and community – not just the event, but also the newsletter and the online forums and stuff – was really about answering those questions. It’s like, hey, there’s this thing called ‘deep linking,’ here’s how it works. Today, as that space has matured, a lot of those questions that were asked then are just understood.

Ander: Right.

Adam: Oh yeah, of course. You’re doing deep linking, you need Branch. You’re thinking about push notifications, here’s this thing. Sources of traffic, like, X, Y, Z… a lot of which is Facebook.

I’ve never really seen a transition like that in an industry or have been part of one and sitting in this role, I’ve been able to see that. That’s been really cool.

I think the level of sophistication has increased and the world is far better understood by many more companies. There are still lots of people that need to figure out the mobile app space and the mobile space in general, no doubt. But you look at organizations like New York Times and Nickelodeon and stuff and they have really good mobile apps and really good mobile teams behind them. That was definitely not the case even only a couple of years ago.

Ander: Very true.

Adam: So yeah, that I think has been the biggest thing in terms of the industry.

In terms of the business, or really the community, I have learned a lot in the process about community building. My biggest learning is that one-to-one conversations are the most effective way to really go about this. Because at the end of the day, we want people to be part of our forum, we want people to get our newsletter, and we want people to come to our events. And we want them to get value out of that. The best way to convince people that that is a worthwhile value exchange is to physically talk to them.

Ander: In person.

Adam: In person, over the phone, whatever.

Ander: Right.

Adam: And just honestly demonstrate, to some extent, that I know what I am talking about and more so our community knows what they are talking about and therefore it is worth investing your time to be part of that.

With the conference business in general, the best way to get people to come to stuff is if you actually know who those people are, what they’re interested in, and what are the topics they’re interested in. That can be kind of painstaking. It’s a lot of conversations, it’s a lot of phone calls, it’s a lot of happy hours and dinners, and just sort of staying in the mix. So I’ve slowly gotten better about that over time. And once you get someone in a community like this – in any community – and there’s a level of buy-in, it becomes a lot easier. Getting really great speakers to give presentations at our events is a hundred times easier today as it was five years ago.

Ander: Oh, yeah. It’s the same with the podcast, you know?

Adam: No doubt.

Ander: I can cold email somebody who I’ve never met before and it’s much more likely they’re going to come on than at the very beginning of the show when we didn’t have any guests so far.

Adam: Totally. Totally. So, that’s been a big lesson for me. I mean, it’s a pretty basic one I suppose but I took for granted that that would just happen and it really didn’t. It required going out and meeting people.

Ander: Yeah.

Adam: And now it’s quite a bit easier and it gives us a platform to do more stuff more quickly and grow.

Ander: Yeah, for sure.

Let’s talk about mobile growth, specifically. Obviously there’s a whole different quality of experience. It’s a whole different user experience when you’re on mobile. Many times you’re on the go. When people are clicking on ads on mobile you want those landing pages to be conversion friendly upfront, you know? Make it super simple for them.

And one of the things that I actually talk about in some of my webinars I do at Instapage is how it’s not just that it has to be mobile friendly, where it renders effectively on a mobile device. It also has to account for the different environment someone is in when they’re on their mobile device.

Adam: Oh, for sure.

Ander: You’re on the bus. You’re browsing through Facebook and clicking on something and your attention is in different places, etc.

What are some of the things that you really see people struggling with when it comes to mobile app growth?

Adam: Well, a couple of things – if you look at the top free charts (formerly top grossing charts, although those no longer exist, at least in the way they used to), there has not been as much movement in the last year or two as there was in the early days of the app store. In other words, it is – like most things – very much an 80/20 rule applies. It’s extremely concentrated usage in a handful of companies and apps. So breaking through that is really tough.

People talk about app discovery being really difficult and they’re right. It is really difficult. And you say, ‘Alright, well, I can do paid channels,’ right? Basically Facebook’s business today, the way they actually generate revenue, is mobile app installs. It’s a massive percentage of their revenue.

Ander: Really? More than 50%?

Adam: I think so. I could be wrong about that but it’s a large percentage. And you say, ‘Ok, well, that’s cool. We’ll do that.’ The trick is the economics are tough so if you say, ‘Well, to get an install paid, I might be paying three, four, five dollars potentially more for the average user to be worth in excess of, say, five dollars in contribution dollars.’

It’s not just revenue but actual contribution. That’s a relatively high bar in the context of an ecosystem in which 90-day retention rates for an app could be 10% or something.

Ander: Is a 90-day retention rate of 10% considered good?

Adam: That’s considered average, depending on what numbers you look at.

Ander: Ok.

Adam: But you say, ‘Alright, five dollar install, 90-day retention, average user that is retained after 90 days is fifty dollars.’ That’s a large number. So at the end of the day, paid user acquisition, is really just not economical for a lot of business. Maybe even most.

Ander: I’m sure it works for some.

Adam: Absolutely. If you’re Machine Zone and you’ve got three of the biggest games in the world and you monetize people like crazy, you can spend a zillion dollars a year, which is actually what they do.

Ander: Sure.

Adam: But if you’re a company like Yik Yak that’s anonymous messaging and there is no model yet even though there might be one day in the future, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world in which paid user acquisition is ever going to back out on its own.

I think app discovery is really tough in part because just the costs of doing paid marketing are so tremendously high. A lot of people point to this, like, ‘Ok, so, fine. Paid is tough but I can at least take advantage of deep linking, convert web and mobile web traffic to installs.’ And for sure that is doable. Take the user out of the mobile web, deep link them into the app experience, give them a good custom on-boarding experience in the app. The app is probably faster and better than the mobile web almost without a doubt. That’s not a bad funnel but it’s completely predicated on having a site that has a ton of traffic.

Ander: Right.

Adam: Which is non trivial.

Ander: Yeah, yeah.

Adam: So yeah, it’s tough. And I think… look no further than the fact that there haven’t been that many really big new mobile app businesses that are consumer-facing that have started in the last couple of years that are in an ascendant position. Duolingo just raised a ton of money so that’s a pro example.

Ander: Right.

Adam: But they are few and far between. It’s really, really becoming very concentrated in the big players, especially in gaming.

Ander: Yeah.

Adam: And honestly it’s hard. I think it’s certainly doable to find the right spot if you can sell with user acquisition in a unique way, and I’ve seen a couple of instances of that of late. But otherwise I think you have to be a lean, very-focused product that solves one very particular problem because just putting an app into the store basically does nothing these days.

You need to be thinking about app store optimization and say, ‘Ok, we’re going to make an app that measures blah, blah, blah and we’re only going to rank for this one search term and that’s all we care about and that is our growth lever.’ And that’s viable. But, launch a new social networking app tomorrow and see what happens. That’s tough.

Ander: Yeah. I’m thinking about the way that I discover apps and a lot of it, funnily enough, is me waiting for an appointment or something and just browsing the app store?

Adam: Absolutely.

Ander: Looking at what’s ‘trending now’ or ‘what’s hot.’ All that stuff. Another way that I discover a lot of apps, that I’m just realizing now is Product Hunt.

Adam: Interesting.

Ander: Yeah. I don’t know if that’s something that you’ve encountered.

Adam: I mean, I suppose for nerds that is the thing. Like us, for sure.

Ander: Haha. Right.

Adam: But real human beings I would say probably not. Like, normal consumers.

Ander: Yes, that’s fair.

Adam: But yeah, you’re right about the app store. That in and of itself creates challenges. So if the app store is so critical, which I think it is, your placement within search results and within the app store, is critical and whether you’re being featured on an editorial basis is critical. And so, to their credit, the Apple and Google teams have tried to democratize that to some extent. They’ll feature indie games and they’ll feature big games, etc.

But at the end of the day they still very much over-index to featuring the big companies that are creating these products, that are heavily invested. So that, makes it harder to break into, in some respects because there’s this additional gatekeeper that can throttle you up or down on how much exposure you’re getting that you can kind of influence but not really. It’s largely at their discretion. But yeah, word of mouth and just searching within the app store… Probably in excess of 50% of new installs are coming from some combination of those two. And that’s pretty difficult to actually influence.

Ander: Yeah, for sure. I’m wondering also what percentage of new mobile app installs are apps by the New York Times or NPR or other brands that are already huge, you know?

Adam: Absolutely.

Ander: Do you have any sense of that?

Adam: Vast, vast, vast majority. Extremely concentrated in the top 100 or top 250. Immensely. And if you really drill down, the top 10, 20 are, orders of magnitude bigger than guys further down the charts.

So, yeah. You are very correct that it is very, very concentrated. And the average user, depending on that stats you look at, is only using X number of apps a month. Maybe, ten or fifteen.

So you might install something, you might install fifty things over the course of your phone’s life but you maybe only use five things consistently. So all of those variables coming into play it’s like, this is tough!

Ander: Yeah.

Adam: I also think that we’ve sort of created an expected user behavior. It’s so seamless to install an app. There is no risk. You can try it out. There’s a known behavior to install, look at the app for ten seconds, and then uninstall it. Like, totally normal. I never would go to a website, go through the account creation process and then just leave instantly. It’s just not a behavior.

Ander: Haha. Yeah, that’s true.

Adam: It’s like, why would you do that? But in the mobile app space, it’s like boom! Click. Install. It’s on my phone, I open it, click, click, no. Gone.

Ander: Yeah.

Adam: So that’s why the retention rates, in part, are so poor and it’s somewhat unfortunate user behavior, particularly if you’re talking about investing in user acquisition dollars. You just spent $20 or whatever to get that person to install the app and then boom… They’re gone in five seconds.

Ander: I’m wondering about the mobile apps that have been successful. There’s Tinder and there’s Snapchat.

Adam: Sure.

Ander: Which are mobile platforms. I mean, maybe they have a web app now but that’s really how they became what they are.

Adam: Absolutely.

Ander: Also thinking about other ones, like, Mint, the finance app acquired by Intuit. Stuff like that. And I wonder what those apps really did that was the tipping point for them breaking through the noise.

Adam: Yeah, I wonder that too. And if I had that answer, I would probably not be talking to you because I’d be a billionaire right now.

Ander: Right.

Adam: I mean, at the end of the day – not to belittle their success – but at some level, one out of a million things is going to hit and so I think that’s partially it. I think obviously they’re great products, product market fit, and also timing of when they launched into the store. Tinder’s interface is unique but it’s not that far from, like, Hot or Not which was a site twenty years ago.

Ander: Right.

Adam: Or fifteen years ago, whatever. But they did a spin on it, they put in this mobile form factor, there’s obviously the location component, which is brilliant, and they were the first one there really doing that. There have been a myriad of companies who have basically copied Tinder subsequently, none of which are really material. I mean, maybe with a couple of exceptions.

Ander: Right.

Adam: So, yeah. I don’t know what the secret sauce is but I do know that today it is really hard to break through. But this is all super cynical and negative as is sort of my natural inclination as a growth marketing person…

Ander: Haha.

Adam: Couple of interesting use cases that I’ve seen are, like, ‘Ok, what if we build an app business where we’re really solving for organic word-of-mouth user acquisition from day one?’

Ander: Interesting.

Adam: So there are these guys in New York who are doing this sort of network of community apps. They’re essentially subreddits with a really niche, really narrow areas of focus. Once you get a little seed of people who are really into board games or whatever within that board gaming community on that app, they can really grow it organically. I think that’s brilliant. Multiply that by a thousand interests and, ok, you start to have a real user base.

Ander: Yeah.

Adam: That’s obviously a totally unique case but an interesting one. And I think that it’s a strategy will allow them to work around having to pay Facebook $5 an install, which probably never would be economical. It still can be done but it’s just a lot harder than it was years ago. A lot harder.

Ander: Shifting gears to something a little bit different but still very much related, especially with the way that these mobile apps are monetizing… There’s a lot of freemium products out there. In some cases there’s gated content or you are required to buy more tokens to play a game.

Adam: Yeah.

Ander: But some apps monetize with ads. That said, every time I’m on a mobile app and I see a very intrusive ad, my thought is, ‘Well, these guys are desperate,’ you know? However, that may be completely off base. I’m wondering how many companies are actually successfully monetizing their applications by installing ads.

Adam: I think it depends. The gaming sector is over 50% of the mobile ecosystem for a reason. And it’s not because they’re all losing a ton of money. There are plenty of companies that are monetizing primarily through ads that do well in addition to the virtual goods sales you were alluding to. In some cases, you look at networks like AppLovin, Vungle, Supersonic, AdColony… Those are rewarded video networks so as a user, you watch this video and then you’ll get coins and you can use the coins within the app that you were just playing.

You might call them a sort of value exchange. Creatives, can actually can work really well. I think sometimes the intrusive formats aren’t necessarily a sign of desperation. In fact, the rewarded video stuff specifically, people like. It is really intrusive in that you literally cannot advance to the next level without watching this video but the video’s not disinteresting and you get a reward for doing it. So it’s like, ok, it’s not a terrible deal. At least from the advertiser’s perspective there’s some focus being paid to the creative as opposed to a random banner ad online. So, I wouldn’t assume that intrusive necessarily means bad user experience or intrusive means desperation.

Ander: Awesome.

Adam: But you’re definitely right to some extent in that 320×50 little pixel standard banner ads on mobile monetize very poorly and many of the clicks that they do generate are accidental.

Ander: Haha. I mean, that’s the other thing.

Adam: Right. There is definitely a shift to larger, more intrusive I guess, ad formats. And look no further than Facebook, right? Facebook is auto-rolling video that are essentially the entirety of your feed as you scroll by them. I would argue that that is rather intrusive.

Ander: Yeah.

Adam: And it works. People respond to it. So, you know, that is the state of mobile user acquisition which really at the end of the day is 75% of Facebook and Google conversation.

Ander: Yeah. So that’s the state of it right now but what does the state of it look like five or ten years from now? I mean, I’ve seen articles that have said we’re not even going to have mobile phones in ten years because everything is just going to be a wearable device. Who knows if that’s true or not.

But where do you think this space is going?

Adam: I wish I was smart enough to really answer that question.

Ander: Well, you’d be a billionaire. Haha.

Adam: Exactly. I’m working on that.

Ander: Yeah.

Adam: In the medium term I think one trend that is interesting is a mess of apps that live within messaging apps as little micro services. The cliché – but still legitimate – reference example that people point to is WeChat in China. So they say, ‘Oh! WeChat in China for a lot of people coming onto the internet, the mobile device is like the first real device that they’ve used,’ and so it’s like the first thing that they’ve encountered.

WeChat is massive and messaging is obviously really important. It’s basically why phones exist, and having these little third-party services that exist within the confines of the messaging app make a lot of sense. Banking, ride sharing, whatever.

I think that’s super interesting. What it does from the user’s perspective is it simplifies things, you’re always in the messaging app so it’s always right there. There’s obviously the opportunity to have really clear sharing and sort of virality inherent to being within a social platform like a messaging app. And at the end of the day, this sounds like a dumb thing but it’s just not another little button on your phone.

For example, I love Yelp. I think it’s spectacular but I don’t use it all the time. Does it necessarily need to be on my phone every day as a little button? Or could it live within the confines of something that I do use every day in a way that makes sense? That’s an interesting trend.

Ander: Really interesting.

Adam: None of this by the way is an original observation but it’s something that I’m quite interested in. So you say, ‘Oh so this is what’s going on in China with LINE, WeChat, etc,’ and it’s already a thing today. The question is in more Western markets. How far do you get? And the closest we’ve gotten today is within Facebook Messenger, which Facebook is using as kind of a test bed.

They have this HTML5 app platform called Instant Games, basically an HTML5 app. They basically load instantaneously, you play the game within the confines of Messenger, within the Messenger app. Third-party developers can deploy their games to this platform and because it lives within Messenger, there’s all this functionality that you couldn’t otherwise do.

Ander: Right.

Adam: Tapping into an existing social graph, having leaderboards by region, easy ways to share, like, all of that stuff is enabled because it’s within this messaging platform. So that’s one thing that I personally think is interesting. Whether it’s Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp (all of which are Facebook products, by the way)…

Ander: That’s right.

Adam: Snapchat… I don’t know. Give some of these developers the opportunities to build experiences on top of them that actually make sense. For instance, if I’m texting my girlfriend within Messenger – or really messaging my girlfriend within Messenger – having experiences online, and they already are doing this by the way, they’ll share the restaurant that I want to go to seamlessly.

Ander: And any time I type into Facebook Messenger, ‘You want to meet at 5?’ or something like that, it comes up now ‘start plan,’ you know?

Adam: Right. Yeah, exactly. Even in iMessage. There’s iMessage apps now, which essentially the same concept – building little services, little apps on top of what is something that a billion people use or whatever.

I think that’s a really interesting trend in mobile, really in general, because it maybe – maybe – would be an easier lift to get someone to, on occasion, use Yelp in the confines of one of these other platforms versus installing Yelp, having it on their phone, and having this separate thing that they remember where it is and that they go to click on it when they need it. I don’t know that you ever get to the point where even WeChat is today but maybe so. That’s a medium range or maybe a long range trend that I am quite interested in. And at the end of the day I’m a growth person so part of the reason why it’s interesting to me is that end lock potentially unlocks really big growth opportunities.

If I could build an app on WhatsApp – which a zillion people use – that makes it really easy and useful for people to share it because that’s the inherent nature of the product I’ve built, that’s something that could grow really quickly.

Ander: Yes. Certainly agree.

Adam: So, who knows? I think it’s even conceivable – if I’m right about any of this – that a lot of the incumbent players in these various use cases or categories could face competition from someone who is focused on travel or focused on restaurants or focused on whatever, but within that environment. Maybe that’s where potentially Yelp’s next competitor comes from or TripAdvisor’s next competitor comes from. Potentially. And the gaming case is really the test case. That’s what’s there now so we’ll see where that ends up. But I am personally quite [inaudible] on it and I think the experience is actually not that bad. Like, play an Instant game. Challenge your friend. Like, it’s pretty good.

Ander: Yeah.

Adam: Yeah. It’s totally intuitive. And it doesn’t strike me as a huge stretch. If I can play a game with you, why can’t I, you know, plan a trip with you within the same confines? You know, it’s right there.

Ander: Absolutely. Is there anything that we as marketers can do to prepare for all this?

Adam: I think the biggest thing is just being aware of it and using this stuff.

Some people in the gaming space are doing this and building products for this. To me that, I think, is the biggest thing. There are little shades of this, so Facebook says, ‘Oh, you can create a bot and you can use the bot on your own site for customer service use cases.’ That’s probably not something that anybody should be doing today. It’s super experimental but it’s kind of interesting. I think it’s worth being aware of what is possible.

And, read a couple of articles about how WeChat actually works and their mini-program stuff and all of the stuff that I’ve referenced. I think that is a worthwhile activity because it does seem somewhat inevitable. Maybe not to the extent that I’m speculating about. But for customer services use cases or whatever, why would those not be built on top of existing communication platforms? That, to me, makes sense.

Ander: For sure.

Adam: So yeah, that’s my tip. That’s what I’m trying to do!

Ander: Yeah. Awesome. This has been by far the most mobile-centric conversation I’ve had on this podcast.

Adam: Good!

Ander: And it’s really interesting. We’re going to have to see how all of this stuff shakes out, especially with the Internet of Things and all the other technologies coming out. It could be a totally different universe five or six years from now.

Adam: Absolutely, I mean, look at where it was six years ago.

Ander: Right.

Adam: You know, you need no more evidence than that.

Ander: Exactly. Well, Adam, I know you’ve had a long day. I’ve had a long day too. I still have more work to do and I imagine you might as well.

So, thank you so much for inviting me up to your office here right by the Flatiron district of New York City. I really appreciate it.

If people want to check out anything you’re working on what’s the best way they can do that?

Adam: Grow.co. You can contact me. It’s not hard. We have a newsletter. You can check out our event. And most importantly for people listening to this, I think we have a couple of Google Groups forums that you can access through this site. There’s an application form. I keep them vendor-free so anyone on the sales side I don’t let in, only basically people working on the marketing side.

Ander: Interesting.

Adam: For a consumer-facing business.

Ander: Cool.

Adam: And, not that I have any problem with sellers or vendors. It’s just to keep the conversation totally non sales-y. So, if anyone’s interested, they’re welcome to do that. We have groups around subscription e-commerce, mobile app stuff, product managers, etc.

Ander: Awesome. Adam, once again, thank you so much and I’m sure we’ll talk to you soon.

Adam: My pleasure.