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Lomit Patel

Senior Vice President, Growth

Lomit Patel (avatar KoolMit) heads up the Growth team at IMVU which is responsible for driving user acquisition, retention and monetization across all platforms (iOS, Android, and Web). Lomit is a seasoned growth marketing executive with expertise in building and scaling up customer acquisition, retention and monetization channels at early and mid-stage consumer tech startups. He previously held leadership roles at various early stage startups to help scale growth to $500M+ valuations including Roku (IPO), Texture (acquired by Apple), TrustedID (acquired by Equifax) and Earthlink.

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In your own words, tell us about the app that you manage?

IMVU is the world’s largest avatar-based social networking app where shared experiences build deeper friendships, creativity counts, and all relationships matter. It’s currently rated as a Top 10 social media network and Top #3 Grossing Social Networking App.

How did you get started in mobile marketing?

After 10+ years of successfully scaling different digital marketing channels for e-commerce and web-based internet startups, I wanted to take up the challenge to achieve the same level of success in mobile marketing, which I clearly saw as the future growth platform to reach consumers based on the rapid adoption of mobile apps on smartphones.

What do you like most about mobile marketing?

I love the rapid pace of innovation in mobile marketing that continues to open up so many new opportunities to test, iterate and scale growth across different channels. The trend is clear with more digital budget shifting to mobile over web marketing.

What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?

Success in mobile marketing boils down to 3 things:

  1. Developing strong analytical skills to make smart data driven decision around testing, scaling and optimizing channels towards your KPI goals
  2. Leadership skills to build a great team and manage agency partners to help you execute well
  3. A good mobile tech stack to give your team the right tools to succeed.

What does a quality mobile user look like to you?

A quality mobile user is someone that not only spends money within the first 7 days, but also adds network value through deep social interactions within the IMVU ecosystem (by making friends, initiating chat sessions, taking photos to share on their feed).

What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?

The best CRM strategy for us is to guide new users through a series of customer-centric experiences like creating an avatar, making friends, joining chat rooms, shopping and dress up, and taking photos to share on their feed.

We have had success doing this through creating a dynamic dashboard as the default view when someone enters the app with contextually relevant content based on their stage of the user life cycle as well as testing different incentives like IMVU credits to encourage users to take those desired actions.

We also leverage different communication channels like re-engagement ads, IMVU chat messenger, and in-app or push notifications to prompt users back into the app to explore different customer-centric experiences. It’s all about getting users to experience the “a-ha” moments which works best to convert installs into engaged users.

In the past year, what is one tip you can share which made the biggest performance difference with UA or re-engagement of your app?

Getting our in-house creative team to increase the number of new video demo assets has really helped us significantly improve performance across all our UA campaigns. In our Google UAC campaigns, for example, we found that having portrait videos performed much better because it unlocked more access to impressions on the AdMob network.

How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?

I stay ahead of changes in technology by staying in touch with my network of industry peers, being an avid reader, as well as chatting with our vendors and ad tech partners. I’m also proactive about participating in new beta opportunities with partners which gets us access to new features before most other companies.

What do you see as the next big thing in mobile app marketing?

I foresee AI/ML driven technologies in 2018 vastly improving deeper personalization and an enhancing views of the customer journey for mobile marketing.

What advice can you offer to help marketers combat mobile ad fraud?

Always be proactive to monitor your campaign data for early fraud signals like fake installs, click-spam, click injections, re-brokering of offers, and incentivized mixing traffic. Also check to see what your attribution partner provides that can help you combat fraud.