Author Archives: John Koetsier

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Web, apps, bots, and agents or assistants: when to use each

I presented at Botscamp 2017 on bots … but specifically on how marketers can use them. Even more specifically, when they should use the good-old-fashioned web, or apps, or assistants like Alexa/Siri/Cortana.

Marketers always jump on the latest tech. But … they’re also always very confused about the latest tech 🙂

Here are my slides, in which I try to remove some of the confusion.

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4 things all marketers need to kill martech spaghetti

In 2014, Scott Brinker’s iconic martech landscape really got big, with 1,900 companies in 43 categories. Marketers who understood what was happening really freaked out.

The next one will have 5,000 logos. Don’t panic.

There is a way to escape martech hell. To de-clutter your marketing technology life. And to simplify and rationalize your marketing technology stack. At TUNE, we call it MobileBest, and there are just four components — four things you need to escape martech spaghetti.

(Martech spaghetti, by the way, is complexity in your tech stack. You don’t know where one thing ends and another begins. You don’t know how components are connected. Many pieces are adjacent to others, but they’re not integrated. And you never really know how pulling on one strand is going to affect all the others.)

Two of them are mindsets, and two of them are technologies.

Get the full story at TUNE’s blog …

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How to reduce customer acquisition costs by 10X with targeting jiu-jitsu

Can targeting make your business profitable?

I recently talked to a marketing expert who absolutely pulverized a mobile app developer’s cost of user acquisition. Before the change, the developer was paying $3-4 per user. Literally an hour later, the developer was paying 30-40 cents.

How did he do it?

Get the full story on TUNE’s blog …

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13 jobs that robots, AI, and automation won’t steal (immediately)

This summer, my 17-year-old is leaving home. He’s been accepted into the engineering program at the University of British Columbia, and will study materials science, robotics, drones, and much more.

Which begs the question: what jobs will be available in 10 years?

Self-driving vehicles are coming for the truck drivers and cabbies. Robots are taking over assembly and factory jobs. And AI is gunningfor the white collar jobs we thought were safe. Drones are going to render messengers and snail mail carriers obsolete.

Josh Elman, a venture capitalist at Greylock Partners (think: investors in Facebook, AirBnB, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Pandora, and more), recently published a list of seven jobs he thinks will still be around in the near future. Investors, inventors, and entrepreneurs added moreon Facebook.

Here are 13 areas to study to keep the robots at bay … and continue bringing home the bacon:

Visit Forbes for the full post …

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Omnichannel is where your customers live together … but separately

It’s a familiar story: brands need to manage omnichannel communications. Marketers have heard this message since email, the web, and social media marketing were new. But now, there are three key differences.


  1. Massive expansion of available channels
  2. Rapid consumer acceptance of new channels
  3. Incredible diversification of customer channel preferences

All three of those are visible in a new eMarketer report that landed yesterday, proclaiming that The Best Way to Contact Users Is Every Way.

In 2016, three channels — SMS, email, and app — covered 90% of how loyalty club members preferred to be contacted. In one short year customer behavior has changed so drastically that it now takes six separate channels to match that same 90% chunk of customer behavior.

For the full story, go to the TUNE blog …

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Facebook Goes All-In On Virtual And Augmented Reality

Four of Facebook’s 14 major announcements at its annual F8 developer conference yesterday were focused on virtual and augmented or mixed reality. Today, the company is providing additional tools to help people create the content that will blend real and digital worlds.

Facebook is giving all attendees a 360-degree Giroptic camera.

The $250 device attaches to smartphones, enabling live broadcasts of 360-degree video to Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter’s Periscope. The result is an immersive experience for viewers, who can see the entire experience being shared: front, back, up, and down.

Get the full story on Forbes …

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Facebook Just Took A Giant Leap To Becoming The Global Password Manager For Web And Apps

Passwords suck. They’re hard to remember, annyoing to forget, dangerous to store, and a magnet for hackers and scammers. That’s why I use them as little as possible in favor of Apple’s Keychain technology, which creates and stores hard-to-guess passwords.

But Facebook could make all of that go away.

Today at F8, Facebook’s developer conference, the company announced an update to something with a very ordinary name but significantly revolutionary capabilities: Delegated Account Recovery.

Get the whole story at Forbes …

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AdAge feature: Martech explained

Pumped to be in both the print and online version of AdvertisingAge for this post …

Let’s say you’ve recently been in a conversation about marketing technology where at least somebody didn’t exactly know what martech is. They got through by saying things like “consumer journey,” “Lumascape” and “Marketing tech is going to be the hottest trend this year, no doubt.”

We’re not saying that person was you. But to help end the confusion one sometimes encounters over marketing technology, here’s an easy explainer.

What is martech, anyway?
“Every piece of technology a marketer uses to reach a potential customer is martech,” said John Koetsier, mobile economist at Tune …

Get the full story at AdAge …

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Surprise: 70% Of Millenials Do Not Want Electric Vehicles

70 percent of millenials do not want to buy an electric car and are much more interested in puchasing a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle, according to a new report. In addition, about two thirds would have significant reservations about riding in a self-driving car.

However, Tesla, the car manufacturer most closely associated with electric vehicles, is the favored brand of 13 to 19-year-olds.

Get the full story at Forbes …

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Cadillac unveils ‘first true hands-free’ self-driving technology

Tesla might be shipping cars with limited autonomous driving capability, but Cadillac says it’s selling the first “true” hands-free driving technology.

At least, for the highway.

The new technology will ship as an option in Cadillac’s flagship car, the CT6, which the company calls a “prestige sedan.” It will be available in fall this year, only in the U.S. and Canada. The geographical limitation is due to Cadillac’s proprietary mapping: the company mapped every mile of  “limited-access highway” in both of those countries.

With the new technology, the driver doesn’t become a passenger. Instead, he or she becomes a “supervisor.”

Get the full story at Forbes …

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Top 21 research-driven app store optimization tips

At TUNE, I’ve published nine major app store optimization reports over the past six months. Now I’ve taking the best tips from each one and shared them in one place.

If you need more information, or full context, get the full reports. They are completely free in all cases, and you can subscribe to all of them right here:

TIP #1: Enable Spotlight search on iOS

Get more engagement by enabling Spotlight search in your iOS apps. One popular entertainment app with about two million iOS installs saw a significant increase in daily opens and active users from Spotlight search.

TIP #2: Switch categories to win

Pick categories in which you can win. As Gilad Bechar of Moburst told me, “switching to a category where you might have less competition can make a huge difference.” Example: Twitter switching from Social to News, where it instantly became number one.

TIP #3: Enable Firebase App Indexing

Boost user acquisition and re-engagement by enabling Google’s app indexing.

We’ve seen session growth from 10-20% for already-on-device apps, plus user acquisition growth, particularly in data-rich vertical search apps.

. . .

. . .

Get all the tips on TUNE’s blog …

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Facebook: Monetizing Messenger With Ads Will Be Very, Very Dangerous

Facebook has made a decision to focus on advertising as the monetization model for Messenger, not payments, says the company’s VP of messaging products, David Marcus.

At least, for now.

“We’re not going to take cuts of payments,” Marcus said recently. “The one thing we traditionally do, and is a decent business for us, is advertising. So we’ll continue focusing on that.”

Inserting advertising into people’s messages could be a significant mistake, and one that I would not be shocked to see Facebook walk back after initial testing. Few people want to see ads mixed in with their most personal messages. And we’ve seen that messaging apps that incorporate payment options — both micropayments and not-so-micro — have been very successful, globally. LINE in Japan and WeChat in China are two common examples.

Get the full story on Forbes …

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57% of marketers: Top priorities include cross-channel measurement and attribution

eMarketer says that 2017’s top priority for 57.1% of marketers is “cross-channel measurement and attribution.” In fact, it’s the only priority among 12 listed that more than half of marketers consider a key focus.


Interestingly, an additional 43% said that “cross-channel audience identification/matching” was a key initiative as well.

That’s good timing, because TUNE is all in on what we call MobileBest.

Read the full post on TUNE’s blog …

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Bots For Sale: Bot Platform releases Bot Store

Bot-making platform has just released a “bot store,” where companies, groups, and individuals who want to release a bot can get, customize, and deploy a bot in minutes.

Restaurant Bot, for example, will let you view a menu, see hours, book a reservation, or get in touch with a restaurant, all from Facebook Messenger, web chat, good old fashioned SMS, or even email.

The bot understands simple questions like “What’s on the menu” and “When are you open,” and responds with the answer.

Get the full story on Forbes …

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86% of top App Store keywords are now branded

Almost all top keywords that people use to search for apps in the App Store — and very likely Google Play — are now branded.

What does that mean for marketers?

Looking for more details? Here you go …

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How One Accidental Kanye West Tweet Led To 150M App Installs

When it works, influencer marketing can be a wonderful thing, leading to huge sales, major brand recognition, significant buzz, or millions of people installing your mobile app.

Even if it’s entirely accidental.

That’s exactly what David Reichelt and Zeb Jaffer experienced with their hot app Color Switch. Color Switch is an addictive mobile game in the Flappy Bird genre: super-simple with just one action for players to take, but challenging enough — or perhaps infuriating enough — to keep people trying.

Read the full story on Forbes …

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I am an ‘ASO Jedi,’ apparently

I have had the honor of being named an ASO (app store optimization) jedi by TheTool, and app store optimization solution.

(It beats being called a tool, which has happened.)

I don’t know how much I deserve the honor: I mostly just learn stuff and share stuff. But … it’s nice.

See the full list of things to NOT do in ASO here. Not following a bunch of people (including me) can be found under #13 of 16 terrible ASO mistakes you should avoid.

Here’s the complete list:

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Iron Man IRL: Gravity and Red Bull unveil personal jetpack

British aeronautic engineering startup Gravity unveiled a new human flying suit today. It’s a six-engine jet-propelled personal flying apparatus that the company says will take regular humans to superhero heights at several hundred miles per hour.

At the moment, flights are limited to just a few feet above the ground.

The suit includes six miniaturized jet engines, two of which are worn on each of the pilot’s arms, and two of which can be mounted on the feet, or, in later incarnations of the suit, low on the pilot’s back. Each of the jet engines gets fuel from a backpack.

Read the full story on VentureBeat

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The future of apps

I chimed in on The Future of Everything’s future of apps expert post …

Apps are under assault from all directions.

First, web and apps are converging. From the web side, rich mobile websites are starting to approach app-like behavior and engagement, and from the app side, instant apps are starting to approach the instant availability of websites.

Bots are definitely not the new apps, but are taking the place of apps in some narrow, well-defined niches, like appointment-setting or availability checking.

Finally, intelligent agents like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant are going to do more and more of what single apps — and even what multiple integrated apps — currently do. Ordering tickets, making reservations, booking a flight … our agents will do all this and more.

For more from other experts, including TUNE’s CEO Peter Hamilton, click through to The Future of Everything

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Bot-based games platform Gamee hits 500 million plays, scores $2.2 million seed round

A mobile gaming company that delivers games via messenging bots just scored $2.2 million in seed round funding.

Gamee is mobile, and it’s games, but it’s not an app. Not primarily, at least. Rather, it’s a platform that delivers small, instantly playable games on Facebook Messenger, Kik, and Telegram, alongside its own app.

And, its CEO says, it’s getting Snapchat-level engagement levels.

“Native apps are great for rich gaming experiences; however, for casual and super-casual gaming, the barrier of installing is high,” CEO Bozena Rezab says. “We have designed Gamee so that people click and play and are in gameplay within 3 seconds, either if you play games from our main apps or in chat with friends from our chatbots.”

Get the full story at VentureBeat

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India infographic: mobile app installs

India’s Economic Times published my infographic in its print version. This is a kind of a big deal, since the Economic Times has an English circulation of around 700,000, our local PR reps say (although Wikipedia pins it around 400-500,000).

Unfortunately, their web people really don’t understand paid versus organic installs, and so the title on the web page it was published on is shockingly misleading 🙂

Here’s the digital version …

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I studied the top 500 App Store keywords so you wouldn’t have to

People love Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Kik is really hot. And, if you want to win search on the App Store or Google Play, you’d better be prepared to do a lot of digital marketing.

Because 90% of the top keywords are branded terms.

Search still matters, and ranking still matters, tremendously. But awareness, knowledge, and intent formed outside of the App Store now clearly matter too.

Read the full story on the TUNE blog

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Siri, Book My Vacation

Someday soon, you’ll be able to tell Siri to book a flight to Chicago, get you a hotel on the Miracle Mile, reserve a table at Morton’s, and get you tickets for the Cubbies.

And she’ll do it, with a Lyft or Uber between each event, too.

That day may be sooner than you think …

Read the whole story, at Forbes …

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Get 3-10X better push message engagement. Here’s how …

Emojis help boost push notification opens 85%. But how can you boost engagement by 400%? Or 600%?

There’s only one answer: personalization:

Personalizing to what people expect from you is key: the car is arriving, the game with their favorite team is starting, an enemy clan is attacking their castle, the product in their cart just dropped by 10%.

More details in my post on TUNE’s blog

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Emojis in push: Boost open rates 85%

Push notifications might seem like God’s gift to marketers, but with great power comes great responsibility.

Unfortunately, some marketers aren’t responsible. And that means that some apps flood their users with streams of non-notifying notifications. The result: it’s harder for legitimate messages to get noticed in the stampede.

One way to stand out? Emojis.

Want more details? Check out my post on the TUNE blog.

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Alexa on the go: Amazon staffing up its AI for cars

The battle for smart cars is heating up.

Apple has CarPlay, which integrates iOS into a car’s infotainment system. Google has Android Auto, which is available in select cars from Kia, Chevrolet, Audi, Skoda, and other manufacturers. Amazon is a somewhat later entrant into the smart car battle, but it’s moving fast.

Ford, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and Volvo have all announced Alexa integrations. And, thanks to the fact that Amazon allows Alexa to live in third-party devices, you can also get a smartphone version of Alexa for older or unsupported cars.

Now the company is staffing up for more.

Read the full story on Forbes …

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Advertising, brand safety, and programmatic

Programmatic advertising, ad exchanges, and multiple ad partners are a wonderful ecosystem that has sped up transactions, opened under-utilized inventory, saved advertisers money, and earned niche publishers more revenue. It’s also something that, without care and attention, can result in massive reputation damage and huge brand safety violations.

How would you feel if your brands’ ads supported terrorism, for example? How would your customers feel?

That’s exactly the scenario Mercedes-Benz recently found itself in.

Get the full story on TUNE’s blog …

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Livestream: Influencer marketing event in LA

Influencer marketing is HOT.

It’s a $2B industry today globally, growing into either $5 billion or $10 billion, depending on who you believe, over the next three years. Yesterday I hosted an influencer marketing event with top marketers from Fox, CBS, and other major brands in Los Angeles at a TUNE event.

On the panel:

They were all amazing, and here’s a video of the event, which TUNE livestreamed on Facebook.

Why is influencer marketing so hot?

It just might have something to do with adblocking … 615M devices globally have adblockers installed, which is 11% of the global online population. Even worse, about 90% of us are adblind. We see so many ads we skip over them automatically.

Influencer marketing is modern word of mouth marketing, from trusted sources with existing engaged audiences … therefore theoretically guaranteeing exposure.

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Larry Kim leaves Wordstream, starts new AI/bot company

What do you do after founding a company that manages a billion dollars in annual adspend and is Google’s largest and fastest-growing partner?

Start a new marketing AI company building chatbots, of course.

Larry Kim, the influential and popular founder of perhaps the best paid search marketing platform on the planet, has left WordStream, the company he founded and built. WordStream currently employs  over 200 people, boasts 10,000 clients, and has an off-the-record but very respectable high eight-figure revenue run rate.

So why leave a winner?

Read the full story on VentureBeat

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Zynga Acquires 1-Person App Startup For $42.5M

It’s a good day to be Tim Oswald.

He owns Harpan LLC, an app development company with essentially one game, and game studio Zynga just bought his company for $42.5 million. And he’s not just the owner and CEO. He’s essentially the only employee, as well.

See the full story on Forbes