Mobile Apps Unlocked

Written by: on May 22, 2017

Key Takeaways from Mobile Apps Unlocked (MAU) ’17

A few weeks ago, I attended Mobile Apps Unlocked (MAU) in Las Vegas. MAU is a summit where the mobile growth community gathers annually. I was told in advance that the event is attended by a lot of user acquisition (UA) vendors. Beyond UA, there was a solid turnout by Mobile Product Managers and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) professionals. At POSSIBLE Mobile, we are always looking for more ways to help our customers provide better user experiences on mobile, so this summit served as a great source of information and learning. The networking format was better than most events and a few product management sessions were extremely insightful.

What struck me most at MAU was the evolution beyond user acquisition, downloads, and attribution. It was music-to-my-ears to hear speakers and panelists discuss how to attract the best and right users, retain them, collect better data to optimize the user experience, perform more efficient A/B tests, and make overall mobile experiences better than web and desktop.

I left MAU with five key takeaways, three being from Ashley Lewis, Director of Product at Dollar Shave Club (DSC). Ashley’s presentation was titled, “Let’s Get Personal: How Dollar Shave Club’s Customized Experiences Led to Increased Revenue.” My other two are from Todd Teresi’s “Opening Fireside Chat.” Todd is VP of Advertising Platforms at Apple.

    1. Personalization is critical to a premium mobile app experience.  DSC started with only one product, blades, and expanded into grooming products. After this expansion, they discovered that they were marketing hair shampoo products to bald men through email, push notifications, and within the app. This was not the premium customer experience they desired, so this led them to pursue personalization which has since increased revenue. DSC’s app is now personalized and dynamic and no longer wastes valuable real estate presenting products that are not relevant to customers.
      “Our goal is for no two users to see the same thing in our mobile app.” – Ashley Lewis, Director of Product at Dollar Shave Club (DSC).


    1. A/B testing increases response rate and personalization. DSC provides customers with news and content on a variety of subjects: grooming, health, style, work, and time wasters. To personalize this content, DSC needed to collect preferences from customers but were unsure which design would work best. The tactic DSC pursued was to run an A/B test with two different design concepts. One drastically outperformed the other and allowed DSC to receive preferences from 65% of their customers with an average customer selected 7 to 8 preferences. DSC then leveraged this information for personalized outbound emails, push notifications, and content within the app.


    1. Robust member profiles increases personalization. DSC launched a 12-question member profile survey for shaving, skin, and hair care. Customers took well to the survey which resulted in a 50% completion rate and over 300,000 questions answered. The new information on each customer was used to present personalized product recommendations and send push notifications. The personalization resulted in an increase of engagement by 3x.


    1. Results for App Store Ads better than expected. Apple has invested a lot of time into the Apple App Store to drive more discovery and help expose users to more apps. App Relevance has been a prime focus to prevent brands with the most money from always getting the top spot. Apple reported that 65% of users who do a search on the App Store have an “intent to download,” so it’s a no brainer that you need to advertise on the app store to get that top spot to drive awareness and grow your app’s customer base.


  1. Campaign Groups can provide more clarity for App Store Optimization (ASO). Todd recommended setting up three “campaign groups” in the App store – a main group (with your brand’s terms), a secondary group (with your competitor’s terms), and a third group (other terms) for people to find your app. This tip will give you much more clarity and insight into how users find your App on the App Store when conducting a search.

In summary, Mobile Apps Unlocked was a great use of my time. The summit was great for networking and there were just enough product and customer experience sessions to motivate me to return again next year.

If you are curious how app personalization can drive a premium app experience or how you can drive discovery of your app with ads and app store optimization (ASO), please email us at

David Salyers

David Salyers

As Business Development Director, David is responsible for leading new business development at POSSIBLE Mobile. With over 20 years industry experience, David has worked with clients including Accenture, Hasbro, Rodale,, and US Figure Skating. David's approach is embedded in the strategic and creative process, ensuring work we do serves our clients and builds brands over time.

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