SAN FRANCISCO- Industry conferences often start off with a rosy forecast of where the industry is headed. Matt Marshall, the CEO and founder of VentureBeat, added a glass half empty element in his opening remarks.
“There’s a lot that isn’t working,” Marshall said in a plea to the mobile developers and publishers in the audience.
Google’s head of performance media, Jason Spero, struck a similar note in describing the massive opportunities still ahead for mobile app developers.
He said a mobile strategy needs to be much more than getting installs because it’s only the start of building the business.
“Installation is a good start, it’s the cleanest most attributable business model because we know if something is installed,” said Spero. “If you can track what happens you can see what the spend is. But there is more work to see the value after the install … you [still] want to them to buy a plane ticket, play the game. The downstream goal is get you to buy a Ford [or whatever the product or service is].”
Spero also said mobile websites can be effective selling tools, but most Fortune 1000 companies need the richness of features an app provides for their best customers.
LinkedIn: Sneaky job searches
LinkedIn has no fewer than six different mobile apps. Joff Redfern, VP of Mobile products was pressed on whether people really use a mobile device to search for and apply for jobs.
Redfern said yes indeed they do, noting that users perform over a million searches a day on LinkedIn’s mobile app.
While the big screen desktop experience may be easier Redfern says there’s a very simple explanation for the mobile app's popularity:
"People tell us 'Hey I show up to work on a Monday or Tuesday and I'm not particularly happy to be there, but I don't want my colleagues to see me looking for a job on my desktop'."