What’s in Your [Growth] Stack? Cassie Chernin, Ibotta

By Cassie Chernin | July 7, 2018

Every mobile marketer uses a range of technologies and services to help them market their apps. We catch up with our Mobile Heroes to learn what’s in their mobile marketing growth stack.

What channels do you use for marketing your app?

We use primarily owned and operated inventory, so a lot of Google, Apple Search, Pandora, Pinterest, Facebook, and Snapchat. We also work with a few networks. I’m a big fan of using owned and operated inventory because the quality is better. It removes 80% of the uncertainty around the quality of people we’re driving. We definitely do a good amount of testing into new channels, but my team is mostly pure performance marketing and these are the channels that seem to work best in terms of driving high quality users down the funnel.

Why did you choose to work with your attribution partner?

We use AppsFlyer as a primary attribution of all of our installs, and then use all internal data post-install. AppsFlyer helps us understand the source of the data.

Do you use any tools for app store optimization (ASO)?

We work very closely with Gummicube. They have been a great partner and are able to do things like A/B test and conduct focus groups around whether our creatives are effective. We also use AppAnnie to monitor our competitors’ progress.

What A/B testing tool do you use, if any?

We primarily run UA A/B testing in-house because Ibotta likes to build things in-house. The reason in my mind for doing more things in-house is because even though it’s more legwork, it’s better for the long term. For one, you don’t have to pay for additional tools since it’s something you can build yourself. Two, we know the day-to-day use of the tools. We are living and breathing Ibotta, so we know the business more than anybody else.

What analytics tools do you use?

We use Looker as our main analytics tool. Most of our analytics is from our internal database or using Looker to create dashboards around different initiatives. I really love Excel which I understand is old school but I think it’s the best way to get your hands on the data.

Do you monetize through ads?

We monetize through ads throughout the Ibotta user experience. We have a separate team for ad products. Generally we host ads in house but we do use an app server to host in-app video. We are actually working on building out our own ad server in the next year to do the rest of the ad products internally.

Do you use any other tools?

We use Singular primarily for cost or spend aggregation. Making sure all the spend is in place has been a headache at every company I’ve ever worked at. It’s nice that we’re able to connect Singular to AppsFlyer, use Singular as a source for costs in installs, and send the Singular and cost data into our database so that we’re able to have key metrics. Historically, I haven’t had cost integrated into the database, so it’s been a huge value-add.

What mobile marketing conferences do you attend?

I attended Mobile Apps Unlocked this year and think it’s probably the top conference in the app space. In addition to the fact that you can learn so much from all the different presentations, it’s a good networking opportunity because almost everyone is there. I met a ton of my peers in person. It’s an amazing learning experience to focus on the different aspects of mobile marketing. I also attended Mobile Growth Summit in San Francisco last year, which was helpful.

I tend to gravitate towards smaller, more specific conferences. I have attended some of the bigger and less app and mobile-specific conferences in the past. I saw Michelle Obama speak at a marketing conference a couple years ago. That was awesome, but I didn’t learn as much about how to better market my app. My recommendation is to go to something that is super specific for what you’re looking to do, so you can take away actual insights.

Localized events have been helpful for me, such as the Colorado Marketing Summit. These events present great networking opportunities to meet other people working in Denver and hear about how they deal with different issues specific to the city. A hot topic in Colorado right now is how to attract great talent, which isn’t something that comes up at the conferences in New York or San Francisco.

Do you attend any events or meetups outside of conferences?

I’m excited for a mobile growth meetup that Ibotta will be hosting in August in Denver. I definitely will try to attend Denver Startup Week and Boulder Startup Week, which are strong events in Denver.

What marketing websites, podcasts, books, social media channels, or other publications do you consume?

I read Grow.co’s emails on a weekly basis. I occasionally listen to a podcast called Marketing Over Coffee, which has some helpful episodes. I’m a newbie to the podcast world, but I’ve heard good things.

Instead of reading publications, I actually have found it more valuable to set up calls to meet with people in the industry, such as different Mobile Heroes, to hear about what they’re doing. Creating a circle of mobile UA people has been very beneficial because you can connect and get advice in real-time. For example, if my Facebook CPI is skyrocketing, I’d rather be able to ask someone, “Hey, are you seeing this too?” since that probably won’t show up in an article or podcast. It’s great having the Mobile Heroes as a group of people who I have something in common with and can learn from.

What’s in your growth stack? Let us know and we might feature you and your company on this very blog!

Cassie Chernin is the Senior Manager of Acquisition, Growth & Media at Ibotta. Previously, she was the the Senior Digital Marketing Manager of Display & App at HomeAdvisor, where she managed all aspects of display marketing and joined the company a few months ahead of their first mobile app release. Learn more about Casssie from her Mobile Hero profile