Industry Exposed #16: Localytics “A Brand’s Most Loyal Users Will Always Demand an App”


Welcome back to our Mobile Industry Exposed interview series! This time we had the pleasure of speaking with Brian Suthoff, co-founder and CSO of Localytics, to discuss the benefits of using marketing technologies on mobile as well as the importance of nurturing your user base and pampering your most loyal users. We also touched upon the value of app metrics and analytics for real-time remarketing.

loyal-users-demand-an-app-Brian-Suthoff-localyticsBrian Suthoff is a Localytics Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, overseeing strategic alliance partners and long term platform strategy. Brian has been working in mobile since 2000 in a diverse range of technology companies, including data networking, performance management, and advertising. Before Localytics, Brian held senior roles in Business Development and Product Management at startups and Fortune 1000 companies, such as Third Screen Media (now AOL), Alcatel, Newbridge Networks, and Sprint. Brian has an MBA from The George Washington University School of Business and earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Rockhurst University.

Q: Can you briefly present Localytics and its business model?

Localytics’ mission is to empower businesses to provide the best app experiences by unlocking the value in their mobile data. Localytics accomplishes this through an integrated app marketing and analytics platform that businesses use to better know and engage their customers based on the sources of new users, their actions inside apps, and data from offline actions. The primary engagement channels are push notifications, in-app messages, email marketing and the app itself.

Localytics is a subscription-based service offering, that can be integrated in minutes.

Q: Which problems in the mobile ecosystem are you trying to solve?

Localytics delivers smarter, more automated app marketing. Using Localytics, app owners quickly use analytics to optimize new user acquisition through partners like AppLift, and then continually engage users at the right time with personalized push, in-app and email messages. The same, fully integrated app analytics, are then used to continually optimize and tailor messaging campaigns.

Q: Which marketing technology (martech) issues are specific to mobile and require a dedicated solution?

The are many differences between the older webpage model and the new mobile app model. Just to highlight a few, the customer experience is no longer page-based but a more dynamic and richer experience where the session time (ie. time the app is in the foreground) and in-app actions (or events) are more critical to understanding customers.

Once the behavioral and profile data are gathered, insights auto-generated, and audiences built, the primary mobile messaging channels are via push and in-app.  Those messages need to be personalized and often delivered in real-time based on app activities. Compared to fairly static contact databases and blasted emails, doing this successfully in mobile requires an integrated mobile app marketing and analytics platform.

Q: Why should mobile marketers go through an app rather than a mobile website?

Ask Facebook. 🙂

As many have learned over the past few years, apps provide a far richer, higher performing, and personalized experience compared to mobile websites.  A mobile website is often still a good idea for discoverability and other purposes, but a brand’s most loyal and engaged users will look for and demand an app.

Q: What is your approach to app analytics? What are, in your opinion, the most underrated and neglected in-app metrics?

Powerful app analytics must give brands the real-time flexibility to capture all important in-app actions, track conversion funnel performance, study user cohorts, and identify usage patterns without sampling or being limited to a set of precompiled results.

Some of the most underrated in-app metrics are total engagement time, cohort-based retention, and lifetime value.

Q: Regarding remarketing, what is your assessment of paid retargeting on third-party properties vs. in-app re-engagement, such as through push notifications?

Push notifications, in-app messages and paid remarketing (retargeting) are all important capabilities that every successful brand marketer should use.  They complement each other to improve customer retention, critical when retaining a customer has a better ROI than acquiring a new customer.

In-app messages should be used to engage, educate and nurture customers while they’re actively using the app. When customers still have an app but are not actively using it, push notifications are ideal for delivering alerts and directing them back to the app. Paid retargeting complements these nurturing strategies by reaching users when they’re in other apps, when push is disabled, or when the app was deleted.

Q: What would constitute a full remarketing strategy in your opinion?

Every business has their own conversion funnel and the first step to building a successful remarketing strategy is understanding that funnel.  Using in-app marketing services such as Localytics, app marketers can quickly discover how newly acquired customers are retained through the “nurture”, “conversation” and “re-conversion” steps in the funnel. The value of each conversion and the lifetime value of each customer are also tracked.  By combining funnel performance and LTV you can identify groups (or audiences) of customers who are the most valuable for remarketing.

Each of these audiences can then be exported to mobile advertising companies such as AppLift, which will then optimize re-engaging those customers across various channels to bring them back into the conversion funnel. Knowing which customers returned and generated additional conversions is also used to further optimize remarketing campaigns, providing a closed-loop remarketing strategy.

Q: How do you see the future of app marketing automation?

App marketing automation will continue to evolve by unlocking the value of app user data to become even smarter, more automated, predictive and personalized.

Q: Which services are you planning to add to your product in the next year to complement your offering?

Localytics will continue to help businesses unlock the value of their mobile data by expanding our predictive app marketing capabilities to new use cases. In the next year, we’ll be investing more in data science and optimization tools that enable us to do this successfully.

Our thanks go to Brian for his time.