Interview with Ran Avrahamy, VP Global Marketing, AppsFlyer

Ran Avrahamy
Ran Avrahamy

“The best marketers will agree that mobile attribution essentially allows them to drive at full speed with their eyes wide open instead of basically flying blind.”

Tell us about your role and journey into technology. What galvanized you to join AppsFlyer?

After selling a company I co-founded to Google, I knew I wanted to return to my roots and work for a small and agile company with a potentially great growth story, so AppsFlyer was the natural next step. I joined the company as their thirteenth employee and their first marketer, before they had raised their first major round of funding. More importantly, AppsFlyer stood out as a company that was solving a problem I had often faced over the course of my career: bringing the best data-driven insights to marketing campaigns.

How do you prepare for the highly disruptive Mobile App Marketing ecosystem?

The landscape is constantly and swiftly changing, and agility is the key to success. When I started at AppsFlyer in 2014, a Google search for “Mobile Attribution” yielded virtually no results. As Android and iOS began dominating the smartphone market and the app economy was exploding worldwide, we had to undergo an intensive educational process to make our concepts understandable to stakeholders. Given how rapidly the mobile space is transforming, I try to prepare by remaining agile, while staying a few steps ahead of the game so that we as a company can predict, embrace and prepare for the future of the mobile and digital ecosystems.

What is the current state of digital commerce in the mobile app industry?

Big retailers know that brick-and-mortar alone won’t cut it anymore: They must have an app or hybrid solution as well. Winning new customers today requires understanding the importance of meeting customers wherever they are, whenever they want — and providing them with a seamless multi-touchpoint experience.

Why should CMOs start investing in Mobile Attribution technologies?

More than anyone, CMOs appreciate the importance of these technologies. Just look at their budgets, which are now being spread across a vast array of channels — especially on mobile. Given this state of play, CMOs require accurate, timely data to analyze and optimize their campaigns. It’s not a question of whether CMOs know they need to invest in Mobile Attribution technologies; it’s a question of how they go about selecting the right partners so that they can properly integrate and maximize the value of Mobile Attribution and marketing analytics. The best marketers will agree that Mobile Attribution essentially allows marketers to drive at full speed with their eyes wide open instead of basically flying blind.

How much have business operations changed since the arrival of Mobile Attribution and BI/Analytics tools? How do you leverage these tools to reach new markets?

We have so many more data points than ever before, and it’s easy to get lost. By sifting the most critical metrics from the rest, you can drill down on the things that are most essential for your business to thrive. Mobile Attribution is core to helping you track the right KPIs, understanding what matters, enhancing the consumer journey, and boosting your business performance.

Which marketing and sales automation tools and technologies do you currently use?

We use Salesforce for client relationship management and HubSpot for automation and engagement. As an innovative company, we are open to using interesting emerging technologies that strengthen our commitment to being customer focused.

What are the core tenets of your business development model? How does AppsFlyer add value to digital transformation journeys for businesses?

AppsFlyer has become an integral part of the way marketers work. In the same way that almost no one ever prints out driving instructions or stands outside to hail a cab anymore, our technology has become just as pivotal for our customers as Waze and Uber have for the public. We want our customers to say, “How did we ever do things before AppsFlyer existed?”

How often do you measure the performance of your marketing analytics and sales reporting?

The difference between B2C and B2B marketing is that in B2C, you target big audiences and numbers, not necessarily individuals. B2B is trickier, because the human factor takes center stage. You never actually sell to a business; you sell to people within a business.

On top of that, IT is more complex, with a long sales cycle. KPIs are also more difficult to pinpoint and are often misguided. Inbound is more math, and it’s all about capturing as much traffic to drive as many conversions as possible. We call this approach “fishing with a net,” as opposed to “fishing with a spear,” which focuses on identifying top future customers and communicating our value to them with specific tactics. We fish with a spear, which means our process is much more qualitative and persona driven.

What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in marketing operations for 2018-2020?

Conversational marketing and the use of AI and bots to scale interactions with customers will play a much bigger role over the next two years.

What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?

Drift and Wistia are fascinating companies at the forefront of the conversational marketing movement. I also have my eye on video, which will become more prominent as a channel for marketers. Anything that breaks old, slow cycles for a more humanized approach is exciting.

Could you tell us about an outstanding digital campaign? 

The AppsFlyer experience stresses every touchpoint we have with a customer or employee. We have had incredibly successful offsite events such as our MAMA (Mobile Attribution & Marketing Analytics) event series, a professional and educational hub for mobile marketers with a local twist. MAMA just wrapped up its ninth event worldwide. These experiences are community driven and have been hosted in eight countries across five continents, with 5,000 marketers in attendance. We see these as a vital part of our efforts to achieve quality offline touchpoints as well as continuous online engagement with our customers.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

One of my top priorities is to be as technologically savvy as possible. This enables me to lead by example, interacting with, testing, and analyzing new solutions before we implement them.

One word that best describes how you work.

Passion.

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

Slack, Asana, and my favorite pen & notebook

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

There are no shortcuts to success, but I do try to practice meeting-less Mondays.

What are you currently reading?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

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

Do what you love and love what you do.

Something you do better than others — the secret of your success?

I know how to work hard to drive results, and how to recruit amazing people who are better and smarter than I am.

Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.

Thank you, Ran! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Ran heads marketing for AppsFlyer – the leading platform for Mobile Attribution Analytics. Before joining AppsFlyer, Ran co-founded Scringo, empowering mobile apps with social and communication capabilities, and worked in various marketing and business development roles, helping startups grow.

AppsFlyer

AppsFlyer’s technology is found on 98 percent of the world’s smartphones, making it the global leader in mobile attribution and marketing analytics. Data-driven marketers rely on AppsFlyer for independent measurement solutions and innovative tools to grow and protect their mobile business. AppsFlyer’s platform processes billions of mobile actions every day, empowering app marketers and developers to maximize the return on their marketing investments. AppsFlyer’s NativeTrackTM Attribution, Marketing Analytics Data, OneLink’s Deep linking capabilities and the Active Fraud Suite featuring DeviceRank have made AppsFlyer’s platform the go-to resource for the most successful mobile apps in the world. With Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Snap Inc., Tencent and 4,000+ other integrated partners, and clients including HBO, Playtika, Waze, Alibaba, Kayak, Activision and 12,000+ leading brands worldwide, AppsFlyer has 15 global offices to support marketers everywhere.

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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