Incipia blog

Q&A: The Pulse of the Mobile Marketing Community With Adam Lovallo (Co-Founder, &

Gabe Kwakyi | October 20, 2016

Moore's law was postulated with regard to hardware, yet its impact is applicable to all technology. Take the mobile marketing industry, for example. The speed with which mobile marketing technology has evolved since its inception has been incredible, making  the act of keeping up-to-date on the latest best practices a true struggle.  Today, we had the pleasure of talking with Adam Lovallo, who shared with us some of his knowledge of the current trends in mobile marketing, gained from his own experiences at Living Social as well as from leading one of the most respected and engaged mobile app marketing professional communities in the world:

Incipia:  Adam – as the co-founder of the and Mobile Acquisition and Retention communities, you’ve got your finger on the pulse of what’s top of mind for the mobile marketing industry’s movers and shakers. What are the most discussed topics of today in mobile marketing?

Adam: 2 years ago, the industry was overwhelmingly focused on user acquisition, with a particular focus on paid channels. Today, the focus is really on activation and retention. These are, admittedly huge topics including effective user onboarding, getting users to the key moment in the product, when and how to use push, and how deep linking+email fits in with a push-centric strategy. 

The reality is that most successful apps grow primarily through organic search, referrals, and word of mouth. Even apps that are promoted heavily still see those channels as their biggest drivers. I think the industry is essentially aligning with the reality of those core channels with much less of a focus on paid.

Incipia:  When companies stumble in executing a mobile acquisition or retention strategy, what high-level breakdowns do you think play a part in their struggles?

Adam: I think the biggest mistake (and opportunity) is around team structure, honestly. What I believe are the most effective growth teams are beginning to commingle product, engineering, design, and marketing into a single unit. One of the big challenges for marketers is a lack of support from product, but a unified team can be a great way to solve that problem. You see this trend across the industry with the major players (ex: Uber) leading the way.

Incipia: Do you have any predictions on which new trends are shaping up to be the biggest opportunities or concerns for 2017?



  • iOS10 introduced major changes that I think will allow apps to meaningfully improve their lock screen experiences and provide much richer (and more useful) push notifications. 
  • Deep linking is increasingly the norm and, as a consequence, I believe email will become an increasingly important complement to push in CRM strategies.
  • I'm still awaiting the day where app indexing allows organic search to become a major install driver outside of branded terms. I think Google is making major strides on this front but apps have still not benefited from conventional search as much as is possible.


  • The app install slow down is real and it is becoming more and more difficult to break into the store in a meaningful way. As a consequence, I think we will see even more install concentration amongst the bigger app publishers.

Incipia: In terms of new technologies coming down the pike, what would you say that you’re most excited for? IoT, VR/AR, messaging apps/bots or something else?

Adam:  I've very, very recently been exposed to the very new voice application world that are leveraging the platforms like Alexa, Siri etc to build really cool products. I think the potential here is really massive particularly because even the applications I've personally been exposed to are actually very useful already.

Adam co-founded to help organize the mobile growth space, which hosts four major events annually, we moderate an active online forum, and we publish a newsletter and jobs board. In addition to, Adam founded, a ratings/reviews site for the coding bootcamp industry.

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