Google’s Jason Spero: We need to think beyond app installs

Above: Google's head of performance media Jason Spero with Re/code writer Ina Fried at MobileBeat 2014.

Image Credit: Mike O'Donell/VentureBeat
NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

SAN FRANCISCO — App installations are one of the best ways marketers have to measure the success of their apps today, but they can’t stop there, according to Google’s head of performance media Jason Spero.

In particular, developers and marketers should be paying close attention to reacquisition — engaging with users after they’ve installed apps — Spero said at our MobileBeat conference today in a conversation with Re/code reporter Ina Fried.

“If we stop at app installs, we really haven’t solved the problem,” Spero said, referring to persistent issues around tracking the effectiveness of ads.

“Outside of our industry, installing an app is not a typical marketing end,” he added. “The marketing end is getting someone to walk into your taco restaurant, or getting someone to engage with your product … Marketers have downstream goals.”

In fact, Spero acknowledged that many companies might not even need an app — or might need one just for their very best customers. Outside of app-centric businesses like mobile gaming, Spero said, as many as 50 to 75 percent of companies just need a well-designed mobile website to serve the majority of their customers’ needs.

The lesson for developers, then, is to create an app that can easily become a part of someone’s daily routine. Spero pointed to GrubHub and Seamless as apps that have managed to do that for him. Since they can save his payment credentials and remember his food preferences, they’ve become and indispensable way to get food on demand (something that anyone who uses these apps regularly can attest to, including this writer).

Similarly, he added, the Papa John’s app lets you order pizza easily during your commute, so your dinner is ready as soon as you get home.

The goal, Spero said, is to “use the foothold of the app install as the starting point of the conversation with the customer, not the end.”

More about the companies and people from this article:

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »

Powered by VBProfiles

We're studying digital marketing compensation: how much companies pay CMOs, CDOs, VPs of marketing, and more, with ChiefDigitalOfficer. Help us out by filling out the survey, and we'll share the results with you.
Dana Kruse
Dana Kruse

You would hope it is obvious....

Tyson Quick
Tyson Quick

That advice was pretty obvious to any business owner = make money

Lisa Reyes
Lisa Reyes

apps stop getting all the personal Information "hazard"

Phill Sly
Phill Sly

Hardly insightful. Build stuff that people USE