Sanjay Trisal

Country Manager India

How do you see the digital marketing especially the mobile marketing industry evolve in 2020 and beyond? What necessary skills should marketers equip themselves with while preparing for this foreseeable future?

India is one of the most prominent markets for mobile marketing. With a population of 1.2 billion and smartphone penetration increasing at rapid pace, audiences are quickly shifting their viewing habits and internet usage to smartphones and mobile.

Clearly, there are many benefits for marketers to reap from the mobile ecosystem, but the rapid growth also brings numerous challenges. For example, we might say that a new world has emerged with the adoption of big data. Today, If you stick to the old-world methods, you will soon find yourself out of a job. To drive your mission-critical decisions, you have to become a data monster yourself, not waiting for an analyst or developer to supply you with insights. For this reason, marketers should become proficient in SQL, Python, and product management, for a start. These skills don’t require you to be a developer or data scientist, but you should have enough technical understanding to work in synergy with and challenge them.

Most reports on industry & mobile trends showcase that most of the growth on mobile devices comes from rural audiences. Do you also see a similar trend in consumption of mobile apps or is the consumption pattern different from the mobile adoption pattern?

By now, it is obvious that the next phase of growth is coming from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. With the increase in both consumer buying power and the affordability of smartphones, adoption of the smartphone in Tier 2 and 3 cities is on the rise and increasing rapidly. India is truly becoming a mobile-first country, where internet is most often accessed on mobile. With entertainment and sports (mainly cricket) as the two main content verticals that Indians consume, we see more people using mobile as a device to consume it. In last year and half, we have seen so many conventional content companies shifting gears towards digital (i.e. mobile apps), as well as huge growth in its use base across these markets.

What kind of apps are most popular on mobile devices, and how would you describe the content consumption pattern?

Overall, we haven't seen consistency from any particular app in being a top app store favourite. Similar to the e-commerce and shopping verticals in the beginning of 2017, we saw huge adoption of mobile wallet and Fintech apps this year, primarily because of demonetization. With Jio effect coming to force in 2018, offering high speed bandwidth at little to no cost thereafter, there was a vertical-wide increase in content consumption on mobile.

Additionally, we saw a huge growth in content consumption for entertainment apps throughout 2018 and new players constantly emerging in this vertical. The freshness and excitement of these apps initially engages users, however it’s the relevance of content that influences entertainment users’ retention or churn.

Here is a ranking, from some of AppsFlyer’s India-specific data, of the average sessions per user among app categories over a 3-month period, from highest to lowest – Utilities, Communication, Productivity, Social, Health & Fitness, News, Business, Photography, Music, Finance, Entertainment, Travel, Gaming and Shopping.

Ad fraud, especially in app downloads, is gaining ground as we speak. What steps has AppsFlyer taken to resolve this challenge for their clients?

It is crucial for marketers to have the knowledge, awareness, and tools to protect against fraudsters, who are becoming increasingly sophisticated in scaling their fraud schemes. There is a lot of complex terminology in the industry that uses different language to describe a few core concepts, but no matter how you phrase it, the game of cat and mouse still continues -- fraudsters will always increase their efforts, while those dedicated to blocking fraud will do the same in order to stay ahead.

That’s why AppsFlyer is committed to providing ongoing education on the latest trends and threats, as well as constantly improving our leverage on the unparalleled scale and machine-learning capabilities that comprise our robust, multi-layered anti-fraud technology, Protect360. We’re proud that our enterprise-grade solution delivers the most comprehensive protection against mobile fraud in the industry, blocking an estimated $6.5 million a day in financial exposure. No matter the fraud type, our unique scale and behavioral analyses train the AI systems needed to continuously provide total security coverage for marketers’ advertising spend, ROI, and data accuracy.

Are you planning any new launches or the addition of new platforms etc to your existing portfolio of products? Can you share some plans for AppsFlyer in 2019?

In 2019, we are going to further develop robust solutions, products, and features for the modern marketer. In addition to this, we also plan to strengthen our teams to support the fast-growing Indian market.