Mastering the Art of App Advocacy: Insights from Industry Experts

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Olivia Doboaca
Mastering the Art of App Advocacy: Insights from Industry Experts

Table of Content:

  1. Unpacking app advocacy
    • Core principles
    • The true role of feedback
  2. Lessons for the future
    • Advice for 2024 from our speakers
  3. Conclusion

In our recent webinar, we’ve once again gathered a fantastic lineup of industry professionals. This time we talked about app advocacy and why it’s such an important part of any successful brand. This article will recap the webinar and give you a rundown of everything you can expect if you decide to watch it yourself (which we highly recommend!).

First and foremost, the stars that took part in the webinar:

Peggy Anne Salz: As the CEO of Mobile Groove, Peggy is no stranger to the mobile app landscape. This webinar is a collaborative effort between her team and AppFollow—we’re pleased the say that it isn’t the first, with many more ahead!

Jeffery King: Jeffrey is the Community Advocate at Grindr. Having spent over a decade in training and recruitment, he now dedicates his expertise to boosting the customer experience at Grindr. Beyond his professional prowess, Jeffrey is a keen problem solver, spending significant time analyzing user feedback to better the platform.

Alon Rivel: Alon is the Vice President of Marketing at Soothe. With more than 13 years of global leadership in marketing, Alon's expertise lies in driving growth strategies. Originating from Israel, not only is he fluent in Hebrew, but he's also mastered the intricate language of customer service. For him, understanding the needs of both service providers and customers is what makes business thrive. 

Jonny Davies: Jonny is the Head of Customer Experience at App Follow and brings a rich tapestry of experiences spanning over 15 years. With a knack for building high-performing products, Johnny's expertise is invaluable. And not to forget, he has a soft spot for storytelling, making him a master at engaging audiences.

App advocacy is all about empowering app fans and transforming them into loyal ambassadors. Some people swear by their apps because they can always rely on them and trust the direction they’re going in. Harnessing user insights yields incredible results. Businesses can tailor their offerings. Users can actually get involved in the app’s journey. Everyone wins.

Now, let’s take a deeper look.

Unpacking app advocacy

Advocacy in the app space is a powerful tool, no doubt. Like most things, it obeys, if not laws, but principles of how things work between humans. To understand it, let’s take a look at them:

Core principles

The Three C's are the foundational concepts that form the bedrock of app advocacy. At a glance, they are quite simple and make sense, but so many businesses out there neglect this elegant formula to success.

  • Conversations: Talk with your users, not at them. It’s through these interactions that you truly understand their needs.
  • Constituencies: Identify your user base and tailor your app according to their preferences.
  • Communities: It's all about building a network of users who engage with your app.

Your app experience must be matched with the needs of your users. This alignment can sometimes be challenging, but all good things are. Feedback might be direct or might hide beneath the surface. However, when you hit the mark, you're not just retaining customers—you're transforming them into loyal ambassadors.

In today’s digital age, we’re swamped with data. App store reviews are a goldmine of the data you need. These reviews, whether praising or pointing out issues, provide genuine feedback, with real insights. They help paint a picture of not just how the app functions but its role in users' daily lives. How can you truly move forward if you don’t know what your users want?

Feedback, particularly when it's charged with emotion like anger, is valuable. Users often vent out when they feel neglected. Extreme reactions—be they incredibly positive or downright negative—indicate that users care. You can act on that. Such strong reactions present opportunities to make amends.

The true role of feedback

No matter how much research goes into a feature, real-world results can be surprising.

For instance, in 2022, a feature was launched allowing providers to mark preferred locations on a map. The aim was noble, but the reception was mixed. Some providers found it too techy, and despite efforts to educate them, people still didn’t want it. However, such hiccups emphasize an important truth about the app industry: every feature is essentially a hypothesis. It's the app makers' reaction to results that truly counts.

With good review practices, you can impact ratings positively. Prompt responses, even automated ones, can lead to positive shifts pretty fast.

At Grindr, there’s an integrated CX team that communicates with various departments, ensuring the voice of the customer is always heard. That’s how they discern patterns in feedback rather than getting lost in isolated complaints.

By understanding user feedback and marrying it with actionable insights, you're not just creating a better app but also cultivating an ecosystem where users feel valued, engaged, and eager to root for your app. That’s all you can for if the goal of staying at a 4.5+ rating and in the top 10 in your category is something you strive for.

Lessons for the future

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, app companies need more than just reactive strategies. They must anticipate user needs. That means a proactive approach to challenges. Let's dive into future-forward advice, drawing from our panelists' wealth of experience to shape a roadmap for success in 2024 and beyond.

Advice for 2024 from our speakers

Alon Rivel

  • Dive into the world of AI assistance. It’s incredible what AI can do, and it would be impractical not to take advantage of it. Your competitors will.
  • Stop spreading efforts too broadly— it often dilutes results. It's better to hone in on one primary goal per department.
  • Begin with a broad audience targeting strategy. Then, trust the algorithms to pinpoint the most engaged user segments.

Jeffery King

  • Listen to user feedback more intently. Feedback remains the cornerstone of user-centric improvements.
  • Don’t take users for granted—it can be a company's undoing. Regularly show appreciation. Adapt based on their evolving needs.
  • Elevate diversity and inclusion in all operations. A diverse audience demands diverse perspectives, both in product offerings and in decision-making teams.

Jonny Davies

  • Engage users in their own language. Localizing content can make a world of difference in user retention. Wouldn’t you want to engage with content in your own language?
  • Marketing isn't just a launch strategy. Remember to engage users throughout their journey, maintaining consistent touchpoints. Offer value at each stage.
  • Prioritize customers by investing in programs centered on their needs. Advocacy starts from within, and a customer-focused approach often yields incredible dividends.

Conclusion

In the end, it’s pretty simple. Seek genuine feedback and act on it. You will consistently stand out in a crowded marketplace by doing something simple. Remember that true advocacy doesn't come from just understanding the market but from understanding the people that make up that market.

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