Simon is a Belgian mobile marketer who is based in Canada and likes to go deep on automation. Get to know him!
Where are you at in the world these days?
I’m from Belgium but I’m based in Montreal, Canada! Where you find the best mix of European and North American lifestyles.
How did you get into mobile advertising?
I spent most of my career in travel, which is usually web-based. Then I joined Hopper, a mobile-only travel company, based in Montreal as well. The jump from heavy SEO/SEM marketing to mobile was super interesting, with very different challenges but the same travel background.
What is your favorite area of mobile marketing?
Not necessarily specific to mobile, but I like to go deep on automation, creating complex and granular campaign structures that only work if you can get a script to do the work for you. I also love all the creative formats that are available for mobile, and coming up with ridiculous ad ideas, like memes, that end up performing better than the more on-brand ideas.
What would you consider to be your marketing specialty?
Prioritizing ideas and shipping! It’s easy to get lost in the number of experiments you want to run, channels you want to test, or process you want to automate. Being able to say no to most ideas is crucial, as well as executing rapidly without involving too many stakeholders.
I love to drop everything I have planned that day because of an idea I just had, then create the ad mockups, realize they’re good enough to not bug the creative team, and just ship the campaigns and get data 4h later.
What are the biggest challenges you currently face apart from covid19?
The IDFA loss is a big challenge, especially since Facebook went nuclear and the mobile app install features have been decimated. I wonder how it will look like in 6-12 months. My guess is that a lot of advertisers will pivot to a web hybrid, with web landing pages before sending people to the App Store.
What are your essential tools and resources?
My favorite tool is the good old Google Sheets. You can plug it to almost any marketing API, use it to read/write to ad managers without having to jump from one another all day. With the Google Cloud/BigQuery integration, it’s even more powerful and you can use it to access more complex databases. I’m also a big fan of Smartly.io’s tools and vision, for complex campaigns management, as well as AppsFlyer, to handle your data pipelines, attribution, SKAdNetwork shenanigans, etc.
What do you think are the key future trends in the mobile industry?
I made some mobile predictions for 2020 here but that was before the worldwide pandemic, Apple going all-in on mobile privacy and the Fortnite rebellion.
With ad monetization losing efficacy, I can imagine we’re going to see less ad-based apps and more subscriptions and paid apps. Mobile web landing pages could also make a comeback. Facebook and Google will stay strong, even if the user-level data gap they had against Snap, Twitter, Pinterest is shrinking.
We also will realize that deterministic attribution wasn’t that helpful in the first place and the source of a lot of confusion and overconfidence in the data. I think whatever attribution model people end up with, performance won’t drop as much as we fear.