Interviews

“User retention is the new user acquisition and in-app marketing plays a key role in driving retention”

Polly Alluf

Polly Alluf

VP Marketing at Insert

Marketers are often not given enough control over the company’s mobile app.

On Marketing Technology

MTS: Tell us a little bit about your role at Insert and how you got here?

I’ve run Insert’s marketing team since we were in stealth mode. Before Insert, I led the marketing and sales operations for Clicktale, a web analytics company. I was also the co-leader of the Tel Aviv Marketo User Group. With my background in marketing automation and optimization, it’s a thrill to work for Insert, where we truly disrupt the mobile marketing space and empower digital marketers.

MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development in mobile marketing, over the next few years?

Without a doubt, personalization. We’re living in a very interesting time where consumers are the driving force behind the tech evolution and they are demanding relevancy. You can’t be relevant for your users unless you have means of personalizing their experience. There’s a lot of buzz about personalization but most brands, and even most related tech, are not there yet.

MTS: What’s the biggest challenge for marketers to integrate in-app mobile marketing into their marketing strategy?

The biggest challenge is that marketers are often not given enough control over the company’s mobile app. We see this mainly in big enterprises where marketers are in charge of user acquisition and retargeting, (meaning push notifications) but these efforts take place outside of the app. It’s quite similar to how the web used to be a decade ago, when marketers were expected to drive traffic to websites but were not yet involved in the customer journey. Mobile-first companies are adopting in-app marketing more quickly and easily and that makes sense. This is because they’ve realized early on that user retention is in fact  new user acquisition and in-app marketing plays a key role in driving retention.

MTS: How would Insert look to segment audiences through mobile app personalisation?

Insert lets people segment their audiences based on demographics as well as rich behavioral data like time since their last session, how long it was, which screens they visited, etc. We also let them display their messaging at the ideal mobile moment with real-time triggering by the user. Some examples would be; reviewing specific content, taking an action in the app like hitting a button, driving change to the content of the screen (the checkout total) and more. What sets Insert apart is that all of the above can be done with a friendly point and click wizard, without pre-coding behavioral events.

MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?

I follow many MarTech startups. An interesting new one is Chatcast which turns Facebook Messenger into a strong business tool.

MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)

One of the campaigns we did last quarter was a webinar with a leading analyst firm. We promoted it to mobile marketers and product managers via emails, ads and of course social. Even though it’s an old marketing tactic, we made sure that people realize it’ll be different. We used a joint image of the speakers (taken in a live event where they met) to give people the feeling they are joining a conversation rather than an ‘I speak, then you speak’ kind of webinar. We also emphasized that we were going to provide inspiring examples. Inspirational content is our expertise and this one was no different. We ended up with hundreds of attendees and it has already generated a significant number of new opportunities.

MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?

AI will have a tremendous affect on marketing personalization. Things that we only dream of as users will become a reality. Marketers should care about two things: identifying cases where AI brings true value to their customers (not just hip stuff) and organizing their data so it can serve these purposes.

This Is How I Work

MTS: One word that best describes how you work.

Diverse

MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Can’t survive without Whatsapp and Waze; can’t imagine doing my job without Marketo and although I can live without Shazam, I still like it a lot.

MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?

In the past year I’ve been using Trello for task management but decided to also use it as a thought organizer. It’s not ideal but it helps me keep things on track. My ‘hack’ is not to let incoming emails and slack messages throw me off my tasks.

MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)

During the week I read mostly professional stuff. On weekends I read fine literature. I just finished reading ‘The Lost Daughter’ by Elena Ferrante and ‘Nutshell’ by Ian McEwan.

MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice is the one you remind yourself again and again. Mine was and is: Learn how to delegate, or die.

MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

I’m very good at team building. It’s a combination of brining in a range of marketing skills and making people work well together. I’m very fortunate to work with such talented people.

MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Andy Feit, CMO at Accellion

MTS: Thank you Polly! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

B2B marketing executive with 15+ years of full stack experience. I excel in developing marketing plans, managing cross- functional teams, building pipeline and growing business success.

Marketing Specialties: funnel management, marketing automation, digital optimization, product launch.

Insert

Insert is the world’s first in-app marketing platform that enables businesses to respond quickly to the ever-changing lives of customers.

Our unique technology is the only one that allows mobile app owners to independently create and publish in-app campaigns within minutes, without relying on development resources. We offer the widest range of campaign options in the market, and allow full control of campaign design, audiences and triggering. Our catalog includes: in-app messages, push notifications, surveys, videos, coupons and more.

Insert was launched in 2016 by the founders of Worklight (now IBM MobileFirst). Our clients include leading financial institutes and retailers as well as Mobile First leaders in various verticals.

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About the MarTech Interview Series

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.
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  1. Pingback: Interview with Polly Alluf, VP Marketing at Insert – EcoGreen

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