MarTech360 Interview With Peli Beeri, General Manager, Luna (by ironSource)

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“The increasing number of mobile channels and the breadth of their reach makes mobile marketing a no brainer.”

Hi, Peli, could you tell us about ironSource Luna’s journey so far?

Rewind a few years – ironSource decided to invest in the ad creative space. There was a simple but powerful reasoning behind it. One of the ways to differentiate and drive impact in app marketing is to focus on creatives, because in a world where user acquisition is becoming increasingly automated, creatives are one of the last available levers to give campaigns an edge and scale efficiently. This was something ironSource understood very early on, and launched its own internal creative studio, and then in the beginning of 2021 the company acquired Luna Labs, a leader in automating the creation process for interactive ads. Then a year later ironSource acquired Bidalgo, a company I co-founded, which brought to the table the ability to analyze and optimize ad-creative performance across all paid channels and then act on these data-led decisions all on one platform.

Bridging these two companies into ironSource Luna resulted in a unified app marketing platform that gives app businesses the visibility and control they need over all their marketing, together with the ability to produce creatives at scale. Bottom line, it enables app marketers to market their products better and to drive efficiency and performance across channels.

What challenges did the COVID-19 pandemic pose for you and your team?

With the pandemic being a part of our lives for two and half years now, there’s been a range of challenges along the way. Looking at the current situation, the most challenging thing is the difficulty in meeting our team across the globe. Almost a third of our team members are remote, and like many companies it’s been difficult not meeting our teams face-to-face for such an extended period of time.

From a product perspective, our platform helps creative and UA teams collaborate more effectively no matter where they are in the world, so it’s been encouraging to know that we’ve been able to help our clients perform more efficiently during this challenging time.

What sets ironSource Luna apart from the competition?

Firstly, we connect disparate data signals from all the major marketing channels, which allows us to provide a clear, unified picture of campaign and creative performance across all paid channels. We aggregate data from more than 30 ad channels, including Apple Search Ads, Meta, Google, Tik Tok and SDK networks, as well as data from third-party measurement partners (MMPs) and internal BI systems. The user gets a unified view of all aggregated data, down to the performance and actual ROI of audiences, creatives and keywords. This is unprecedented.

Secondly, we help give life to the creative asset itself. Our platform gives marketers a detailed analysis into the DNA of a creative – how users interact with it, and insights on the link between the creative and campaign performance – ultimately empowering UA managers to optimize their campaigns at scale.

Thirdly, the Luna platform is the place where a UA manager can both view and take action on the insights related to their creatives. Any changes to the campaign bids, shifting of creatives between campaigns and/or channels, or finding creatives that are old and need a facelift, can all happen from the same place.

And lastly, the platform unifies all the different roles and teams that are connected to performance marketing – everyone can collaborate on one platform to stay educated and up-to-date on their ads’ performance, and optimize for greater efficiency and performance.

How has the app development landscape evolved and will evolve in the coming years?

There’s been a huge shift towards automation and self-sufficiency and I only see that trend continuing. I believe that the key to developers growing their business is to help them become independent, and this is why Luna is creating a marketing stack for internal teams to help them achieve incremental growth.

Why do you think developers fail in turning their apps into scalable businesses?

As an entrepreneur myself I understand the temptation to get carried away with “doing it all” in relation to your business, because quite frankly there’s a lot to do! Building a good app business is about getting the most expert support available so that you can focus on the most important thing which is building your app. In such a competitive app market, it’s often more efficient during the scale-up period to outsource expertise rather than to build it in-house, leaving the entrepreneur time to create the best app possible.

How do you envisage Mobile Marketing evolving, in the years to come?

The App Economy is growing rapidly, but that growth also creates a lot of competition. That means a good mobile growth strategy is more important and central to app business success than ever. There are some trends which are already in motion that I see growing in the coming years.

Ad creatives will continue to be a critical lever to help campaigns scale and as a result, the technology that measures the data on creative performance will become increasingly important. More than this, the tech that supports it will be better for collaboration. All teams, from the creative team to the UA team, need to be looking at one source of truth to make decisions, otherwise campaign optimization is nearly impossible.

I think we’ll also see a greater investment in a more diverse channel mix. Typically marketers have often focused on a few major channels, but as the ecosystem gets more competitive and marketers get savvier, we can expect them to incorporate additional incremental channels. Apple Search Ads for example is already experiencing a surge and I believe it will make its way to becoming a critical marketing channel for every app business. Similarly, SDK networks are also getting more attention from marketers who recognize that those channels can offer critical scale in a highly-engaged, in-app or in-game environment.

What impact does mobile content creation and mobile marketing have on the traditional marketing and sales funnels?

People are spending 4.8 hours a day on mobile and find it difficult to be away from their phones. It’s difficult to imagine a successful brand that doesn’t integrate both mobile content and mobile marketing into their arsenal. There are many companies that aren’t inherently app-based businesses actively investing in their apps, such as Starbucks, Netflix and the Harry Potter Franchise, to name just a few. The increasing number of mobile channels and the breadth of their reach makes mobile marketing a no brainer. This isn’t something new – the shift to mobile has been clear for a long time now and the only way for a business to stay competitive is to have a comprehensive marketing plan that includes mobile.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to all the budding entrepreneurs out there?

The key to a successful business is a strong growth strategy and in today’s world that must include mobile as it’s where people spend such a large portion of their time. And when creating a strategy for mobile, look for where you can drive incremental growth, be that through exploring new channels, scaling up your creatives, or gaining a deeper understanding of your data to unlock new insights.

Thanks, Peli!

Peli Beeri is the GM of ironSource Luna, ironSource’s app marketing platform. With an extensive background in online and mobile marketing experience, Peli co-founded Bidalgo in 2010, which became a leading provider of ad automation solutions. After its acquisition by ironSource in 2021, Peli now heads up Luna to help drive incremental growth for any app business.

ironSource is a leading business platform for the App Economy. App developers use ironSource’s platform to turn their apps into successful, scalable businesses, leveraging a comprehensive set of software solutions which help them grow and engage users, monetize content, and analyze and optimize business performance to drive more overall growth. The ironSource platform also empowers telecom operators to create a richer device experience, incorporating relevant app and service recommendations to engage users throughout the lifecycle of the device. By providing a comprehensive business platform for the core constituents of the App Economy, ironSource allows customers to focus on what they do best, creating great apps and user experiences, while enabling their business expansion in the App Economy.

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