Peggy Anne and Shahab Zargari of Mobile Presence, hosted Prabhjot Singh, cofounder+President of Pyze, on the Cranberry.FM Radio podcast to talk about how Mobile Growth Intelligence is difference from analytics and mobile marketing.

Pyze is a intelligence-driven platform for mobile app publishers that automates the engagement, retention and growth of mobile users by utilizing behavioral intelligence, mobile marketing,  growth automation and personalization intelligence.

Here is the podcast and a slightly abridged transcript.


Podcast

Podcast transcript

Preface & Introductions

Mobilize, personalize, optimize and monetize your marketing and engagement efforts. Welcome to Mobile Presence.

From mobile marketing and messaging to mobile commerce and coupons and from mobile apps and websites to mobile engagement and loyalty, our hosts bring on expert guests to give you the inside track on the trends, tools and technologies that matter most.

Mobile Presence, where making your brand or business mobile first is our first priority. Now, here are your hosts, Peggy Anne Salz and Shahab Zargari.

Peggy

Welcome to Mobile Presence. As always, bringing you the experts to help you optimize and maximize your mobile strategy. I’m Peggy Anne Salz from Mobile Groove providing custom research and content marketing to the global mobile industry and offering mentoring and consulting to mobile startups.

Shahab

I’m Shahab Zargari, award winning filmmaker and executive director of marketing at Higher Ground Creative Agency.

Peggy

Shahab, I’m a little bit of the data nerd among the two of us, yes. Here’s some data points to get you thinking. By the end of this year, fifty percent of the people on the earth will own a smartphone and by 2020, that number should hit around eighty percent and of course, those are huge numbers but the real news is what we are going to be doing on those smartphones and with those apps. We have analyst forecasts coming in at both ends of the spectrum. We have maybe three hundred billion dollars in eCommerce transactions through mobile apps.

Shahab

Whoa.

Peggy

That’s a lot, that’s tons, that’s a lot.

Shahab

That’s what’s going on now, right? Not in 2020?

Peggy

No, that’s what we’re going to be seeing in the next years.

Shahab

Shortly?

Peggy

Thirty billion dollars will be spent in app advertising and those numbers will continue to grow.

Shahab

The only thing that won’t grow and maybe be the devil’s advocate, is people’s attention span which is why as apps become such a big part of our lives, that the interactions, they have to become more personal, more meaningful.

Peggy

Absolutely, because we’re going to have a lot going on. You know my favorite stat. It’s sixteen hundred plus apps per day in the Apple app store alone so iTunes alone, not counting Google Play. There’s a lot of apps to get our attention. Now we’ve got a lot of companies. I’m sure some of your clients are saying, “Hey, we really have to take apps seriously.” It’s not easy to make them and maintain them but it’s really part of the mix.

As that happens, then it’s up to the marketers, app developers, indies to become also more sophisticated in how they communicate with us. It’s not going to be enough to just say, “Hey, you.” It’s going to have to be personal. You don’t want to do this manually. You want to be automating some user engagement and that’s all about understanding those signals so when X happens, I need to respond with Y or when I’m seeing X sort of materializing, then I need to anticipate a Y action. It’s the right time to send a push message is just one part of that puzzle.

Shahab

Exactly. A few years back, a lot of our clients, they would just kind of send one push message to everybody who had the app. While for the advertiser it made sense at that point, it never made sense and so now, what we’re doing is, is we’re starting to look at how people are engaging with these. Whether it’s like an online survey or game or what have you and start putting them into these funnels. Okay, this guy for example, I’m in Las Vegas, this guy never once wants to take advantage of a drink coupon. All right. Stop sending that guy those push messages. You know what? Let’s send him a spa treatment discount. Maybe he can use that on his wife and then go from there.

Peggy

Yeah, that’s a good point too Shahab because after maybe this guy does take the spa treatment, you have to say, “How was it,” some sort of conversation has to follow. It just can’t be one offs anymore and that’s really the whole idea and you also have the data that will drive a strategy that you want to have high growth and high engagement.

Shahab

Yeah, definitely. That is why you, as always, have invited a company in this space to be on this show, right?

Peggy

Yeah, absolutely. Because I can see it coming, that this is going to be one of those twenty seven trends. I mean, this is just the way things are. It’s the new normal and our listeners will have to know more about this. They’ll have to understand how to automate but also engage and it’s just going to be too much hassle to run and build this stuff on a tight budget.

Shahab

Yeah, exactly. That’s why our guest today is Prabhjot Singh. He’s a serial entrepreneur with over fifteen years of experience in executive management, marketing, sales and operations. His particular area of expertise lies in mobile applications and he is an expert on how to create apps that gain large amounts of traction on the scale of millions of users. In 2013, Prabhjot confounded Pyze, a mobile business intelligence platform that aims to help all app publishers in developing healthy app businesses. Welcome Prabhjot.

Prabhjot

Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.


Section 1

Shahab

Definitely. You’ve seen business through the eyes of a bootstrap startup no doubt. Is it this experience that convinced you to found Pyze to help the Indies out there?

Prabhjot

Yeah absolutely. In the early days of the app store, I had the good fortune of developing a few apps that were quite successful. Millions and millions of users. And I had a real problem in trying to understand who my end users were. I could use lots of different analytic solutions to know where they were clicking in the app but I really had no idea how to engage with those users or how to engage with those users. In looking at a number of the analytics and marketing automation tools out there, I just wasn’t satisfied.

A friend of mine, Dickey, had built an app and asked me for advice on marketing solutions so I gave him the dozen or so solutions that I had looked at and as we started drilling into them, we realized that they all required a lot of effort, were really hard to use and if you wanted any premium services like sending out push or in app messaging, they became really expensive really fast. As we researched further, it made sense not to develop a solution just for one app because it’s really expensive to build the types of solutions that Facebook or LinkedIn have built for their applications and those big data platforms actually play a huge role in making their apps sticky because they know exactly how to target users, re-target users, how to personalize the experience and engagement. We decided that we would build a platform for every app to use that could be inexpensive and could give everyone an equal footing so to speak.

Shahab

What is the difference between one of these other analytic solutions?

Prabhjot

That’s a great question. Analytics solutions essentially tell you where people are clicking your app or what screens are used and really that’s about it. You can get some more information like the paths of screens that they followed, however it requires a lot of work to get anything actionable out of it because these analytics solutions are based on manual segmentation. What that means is, you’ve got to identify segments of users in your application that you want to analyze.

For instance, I might say, “I’m interested in women who live in San Francisco who are between this and this age.” I create that segment and then I do all my analysis like metrics such as retention or engagement or monetization for that segment and then it’s rinse and repeat. Now if you’ve got millions of users out there or even hundreds of thousands of users, this starts to become really hard because it’s impossible to identify all the interesting segments and then to do the analysis for each of these segments would be nearly impossible.

That’s how the rest of the solutions work.

Let me tell you a little bit about Pyze. That’s how the rest of the solutions in the market today work. Pyze is completely different. We have a solution called growth intelligence and what growth intelligence does is it starts by providing a deep understanding of user behavior. How are users within the application clustering in terms of what aspects of the application they’re using, what are the trends and patterns, what are the behavior shifts or the anomalies and we do this both at a macro level so you have an understanding across your entire user base and it doesn’t matter if it’s millions of users.

At the same time, because engagement with users is at a one on one level, we also track that a micro level, at a per user level. Once app publishers have an understanding of user behavior, we then allow grouping users within your application into groups like under monetized users or loyal users or users that are at risk of attrition. Now this is important because engagement with each set of users is going to be different depending on the type of user they are. For instance, you’ll want to treat under monetized users very differently than users that are loyal or users that maybe have stopped using your application. We can enable customizing and personalizing, push messaging and engagement for each set of these users.

Peggy

As we mentioned before, that’s really important because of course, that’s what app developers and marketers need to do. They need to engage with their users in a very personal way but right now, Prabhjot, we have to go to break but when we get back listeners, we’ll be listening to more about how you can segment and address your audience but we’ll also be learning a little bit more about how to get traction with those apps. Don’t go away, we’ll be right back.

[…]


Section 2

Peggy

Welcome back to Mobile Presence. I’m Peggy Anne Salz with Mobile Groove.

Shahab

I’m Shahab Zargari with Higher Ground Creative Agency.

Peggy

Our guest today, Prabhjot Singh. He’s the co-founder of Pyze and right before the break, we were talking about your tool and what it enables for sort of indie developers, small companies. It meets their needs but what about the budget? How much does it actually cost to use your tool?

Prabhjot

That’s a good question and one of the challenges with tools in the market is that they’re just too expensive. I know when I was looking at mobile marketing solutions out there, they were really out of my budget and could cost upwards of thousands of dollars. We spent a lot of time and effort in building Pyze so that we could actually offer it for free to the gross majority of app publishers. Pyze is free to start with and our intelligence solutions, up to one million monthly active users is free.

We recently in August announced a hyper growth tier which offers some personalization capabilities which essentially enable you to personalize the experience of the application as well as integrating some app specific intelligence into the product. That starts at ninety nine dollars a month also for up to a million monthly active users. We’ve worked very hard to make Pyze affordable to every app publisher because one of the gripes that I myself had, like I said, was that most of these solutions are out of reach so we really wanted to build something that could level the playing field for everyone.

Peggy

It’s $99 a month for up to a million monthly active users, correct?

Prabhjot

That’s the premium plan and our growth plan is free to start with and that’s also up to a million monthly active users, it’s FREE.

Peggy

Okay. I think most marketers, Shahab, I think that most marketers can handle a tool that allows them up to a million users a month, right?

Shahab

Yeah, definitely. That’s just amazing. So far, which industries have most strongly embraced your technology? Who are the early adopters?

Prabhjot

We’re seeing a lot of interest from every sector. In particular, I think the strongest has been from gaming and e-commerce verticals. Now we’re starting to see, since we’ve released our hyper growth tier, a lot of interest from financial customers and even some enterprise customers. Look, regardless of what their app’s objective is monetization or brand loyalty, users have to engage with that app for an extended period.

This is a tough challenge in all the noise out there so by enabling publishers to pinpoint different groups of users and automating the engagement across all of them, we’re solving a really important problem.

Shahab

What kinds of results have they seen and with that follow up, has those results differed from industry to industry?

Prabhjot

Yeah. As I said, regardless of an app’s objective, because an app could be a game that’s trying to sell in app purchases or a brand loyalty app or a channel for a service and of course, there’s lots of other different types of apps out there. The biggest issue that they have is needing to engage their users and retain them long term. Monetization, we can use as a proxy for success and we’ve been able to help a good number of customers significantly increase their engagement. I’ll tell you about a large casual game developer that started integrating Pyze into three of their apps.

By utilizing behavioral intelligence to optimize their product and in using our growth automation tool to automate engagement with users, they were able to increase engagement by almost thirty percent. This directly ties to their success in monetization and now they’re rolling us out to a dozen more applications. There’s lots of basic things like automating life cycle events, so when someone on boards onto the application, you can give them a custom tour or if they stop using the app, you can send them a push notification, remind them why they downloaded the app in the first place.

These are like basic things that everyone should be doing but Pyze also enables more sophisticated and meaningful interactions with users. Let’s say you have an e-commerce app and someone puts an item into a cart and then they abandon that cart. We can actually automate sending out a coupon for that item to that user so that you bring them back. Coding this from scratch is really, really hard but with Pyze, it’s all point and click.

Peggy

I mean, you make a point, it’s really not just about a one time engagement. It’s really like following that journey which is pretty cool. You’re saying, you’re not responding to this so you’ll respond to this and creating that. Clearly, it’s easier if you don’t have to code that on your own but what about the actual time and effort to implement this because that’s another pain point for indies or small companies. It’s like, oh great. I can have this fantastic tool but I’ve got to rip out everything I have or I’ve got to call in an army of developers to integrate it into what I have already. How does that actually work and what kinds of time frames or results have you seen?

Prabhjot

Let me give you an example of an e-commerce company that pretty much used every mobile analytics and marketing solution under the sun. They invested a great deal of time in their current solution and they were reluctant to switch, like you said. They spent a lot of time building out instrumentation and they saw the clear value that Pyze provided so when we started working with them, the initial integration with Pyze is literally one line of code saying, “Initialize Pyze.”

Then it took us literally an hour to switch their entire instrumentation to Pyze and they’ve never looked back since.

Peggy

Okay!!

Prabhjot

One of our key focus areas when developing the platform was to ensure easy adoption and on boarding and if you think about it, eighty to ninety percent of all apps are kind of the same. Just like eighty to ninety percent of the three of us is about the same, right? We’re all made out of flesh and bones. We automatically instrument things that are common between all applications and then we’ve built classes of curated events by vertical.

If you’re building an e-commerce app, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We actually tell you what are the important things to monitor versus a gaming app or a social app or a video app or a photography app. We’ve already done the heavy lifting so you can get up and running very quick and then all you’re doing is really defining workflows in our user interface to say, “Okay. When a user does this, this and this action or reaches this milestone, let’s engage with them this way.” Or users that are under monetized, let’s tag them as under monetized users and we essentially can make that information available on the app for the developer to personalize the experience.

Shahab

That’s great. Now, let’s look to the future. What kinds of trends do you foresee for the mobile market coming down the line, 2017, 2018?

Prabhjot

Yeah. Mobile is already part of our daily life, right? We order food using mobile apps and hail cabs down using mobile apps so it’s one of those trends that’s here to stay for a very, very long time. I think probably more transformational than even cloud was when we did the switch from client server. As we look forward, I think there’s two particular intersections that are very interesting to me. One is the intersection of IOT and mobile and the other is AR and mobile.

We’re already starting to see, like if you look at Pokemon Go, combining augmented reality with mobile has really created this addictive experience that is taking the world by storm. I think that’s just the beginning. We’re going to see a lot more of this sort of integration and a lot more of our lives are going to be around mobile and especially as our devices get smaller, or bigger for those of us that like and we have those.

Peggy

That’s very interesting to hear about those future trends you foresee for the mobile market going forward Prabhjot and when we come back from the break, I hope we will benefit from your tips and actionable advice for what people can do right now to get some great results with their app, correct?

Prabhjot

Yes, looking forward to it.

Peggy

Absolutely, so are we. Don’t go anywhere listeners, we’ll be right back.

[…]


Section 3

Peggy

Our guest today, Prabhjot Singh, he’s the co-founder of Pyze and I have to say Prabhjot, it’s been great to speak with you because you obviously have your heart in the right place. It’s all about helping the indies, helping the small companies, helping people who are on a limited budget trying to get big results.

Prabhjot

Absolutely. The deck is stacked against the indie app developer today. In the early days of the app store, any indie publisher could be successful. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this increasing corporatization of the app store where if you don’t have a team of data scientists and psychologists and big data platforms, it’s really hard to be successful because those are the companies that are really winning. In order for indie app publishers to be successful, they’ve got to adapt the same type of techniques that bigger publishers have and of course it’s hard as we were discussing because there’s a limited budget and limited resources.

There’s a few things that I think everyone should be able to do and the first thing that I would suggest is, you’ve really got to automate everything possible because if you have the desire to get to a million monthly active users or ten million monthly active users which they say ten million is the new million today, you have to be able to engage with users so automating as I said earlier based on life cycle events. When someone installs an app, we know that some people will ever only launch an app once that they download and so if you can get that number down because getting users is hard and expensive.

When you’re on boarding them, give them a customized tour or message as they move through, as they get activated as users. Keep engaging with them. If they become loyal users, if they’ve used the app five or seven days in a row, let’s ask them for a review. If they take a particular action that’s really meaningful for your app, either thank them or engage with them or if they’re about to go into attrition, let’s get them reengaged. All of these things are really important to do so that you can keep the user sticky and keep them coming back so that you develop a meaningful relationship with them.

Shahab

Then tip number one, automate as much as you can. Tip number two, engage, engage, engage. What’s tip number three?

Prabhjot

You’ve got to be personal in your communication and I think that’s really, really important because as you were saying earlier in the show, you don’t want to say, “Hey there, how are you doing?” We’ve really got to personalize engagement with users based on their behavior and the business objective that you want to walk them towards. With Pyze for instance, we actually know the best time to reach every user of your application. We will essentially look at things like, when do people use the application? You might use the app at two in the morning, I might use it at two in the afternoon.

We look at location, we look at connectivity. We look at a bunch of things to sort of say, “Okay, this is the best time to reach each user,” and then I would say the final thing I’ll say is, try to personalize the experience if you can in addition to just personalizing engagement because if you can personalize the experience, if a user is using a particular aspect of your application more, than maybe that should become the home screen.

If your user hasn’t used the app in a very long time, maybe you want to show them the tour again. If the user is a loyal user, maybe we should give them a power interface. Actually personalizing the flow and the experience or the content feed is extremely critical to keeping users excited about using your app and they’re bringing freshness to the app.

Peggy

I can say that I for one, I’m really excited about learning how to do this and hearing how important personalization is as well as what you need to do at the right moment. I’m sure there’s lots more to hear and learn from Pyze so how would listeners stay in touch with you or keep up to date on your insights over at Pyze?

Prabhjot

Yeah. It’s been a pleasure to be here today. I would suggest follow us on Twitter @PyzeInc or me @PSinghSF and we’ve got a pretty great blog which is blog.pyze.com that you can check out for really more in depth articles that talk about the kind of stuff we’ve been discussing today.

Peggy

Okay.

blog.pyze.com. That’s p-y-z-e.

Shahab, what about you?

Shahab

Listeners can get a hold of me on Twitter @ShahabZargari, z-a-r-g-a-r-I. They can also check out our portfolio at highergroundcreative.agency.

Peggy

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You can follow me on Twitter @PeggyAnne, a-n-n-e. You can also email me, peggy@mobilegroove. Mobilegroove.com where you can also find my portfolio of content marketing at marketing services. Time flies. What can I say? We have to go but thank you so much for joining us for Mobile Presence. Remember that new episodes of Mobile Presence air Wednesdays at 3pm Eastern Standard Time. You can of course check out earlier episodes of our show by going to Cranberry.FM or you can find our shows on iTunes, [inaudible 00:30:32] and iheartradio simply by searching Mobile Presence. Thanks again for listening to Mobile Presence, your inside track on everything you need to reach and engage your target audience with mobile and remember, every minute is mobile so make every moment count. We’ll see you next week.

[…Closing Announcements…]

 

Also see Podcast: Automate Your App Growth

Posted by Melissa! :)