I Survived MAU 2018

Mobile Apps Unlocked, or “MAU”, is the most anticipated mobile conference in North America, and this is how it went down. The conference started a few years ago and has doubled in size every year. It is becoming well known for having some of the best content and attendance of marketers/developers in the mobile space, but also some amazing parties and marketing activations.

Day 1

After a few cocktails plus a delayed flight, we finally landed in Vegas to 95-degree weather, which makes it very tempting to work poolside with the laptop. After checking in and getting situated, we hosted our first event at Topgolf, which is essentially a gamified driving range where you can compete with other people in your group. We had a great turn out, around 70-80 people taking swings and networking. Skye McIlvaine-Jones from Apple won the golfing competition for the second year in a row along with Grant Cohen from Kochava, both winning $500 of hard cold cash ?. Having that much moolah can seriously burn a hole in your pocket while in Vegas, especially on the first day.  

Day 2

The first day of the conference kicked off early with panels in the main conference room. Here are some key takeaways.


    • Brand impact matters in terms of exposure, but also in terms of cost per acquisition.  Brand recognition will lower your acquisition costs because people are more likely to engage with ads or content from familiar companies.  


    • Mobile is now at the center of the modern customer experience, especially for successful companies.  


    • Personalization in emails and notifications is key ?. When operating at scale, personalize all the levers you have. Lean into personalization.  


    • For multi-brand companies like Walmart, unifying all of your platforms (deeplinking, attribution, push, etc) across the brands allows for the different groups to work together on marketing campaigns and to help be in sync.  


    • Average cost to acquire a user who makes a purchase via an app is $65. Mobile acquisition is still expensive, the main reason is that FB and Google still demand the majority of ad spend.


    • Cross-device attribution is a huge focus for marketers this year.


    • Open communication between vendors and partners can be really helpful.  We all need to encourage more of these types of conversations.


MAU hosted a happy hour later in the evening, which happened to reside right near our booth.  We saw a lot of gamers trying hard to win our Galaga arcade competition with a beer in hand. More parties continued on throughout the night, from InMobi’s Sky Loft Party in the MGM to hosting tables at the new club in the Wynn, called Intrigue, for the Chainsmokers performance. Did you also happen to catch the Stranger Things party by Amplitude, mParticle, and AppsFlyer? Show me the demogorgons!!!   

Day 3

Hangover city! ☠The last day of the conference started off a little quieter than the previous day and I’m sure you can guess why. The highlight of the day was in the afternoon when our charismatic leader, Leo Giel, participated in a panel dealing with the globalization of apps. Each panelist spoke in depth about how they strategize for expanding into new countries or regions, and how they have been successful in certain areas of the world. One major take away from Leo is how important it is to localize your content and strategy, and that starts with having a team on the ground familiar with the area and culture you are trying to penetrate into. Successful marketing strategies may work in some areas of the world, like North America, but may not work in other areas of the globe, like India for example. You need to have an understanding of the culture in order to formulate a successful strategy. Once the panels were done, we determined the three winners for the Oculus Rift, which included Ray Sallom from Dabkick, Kosta Demopoulos from M&C Saatchi, and Martin Berman from Inmobi.  Congrats to them, enjoy the prize. We packed the booth up, ready for the last night out. One last hurrah for MAU was held at Hakasaan with DJ Fergi and it was a great time…if you heard any rumors about the YouAppi table, I can confirm, they’re all true.

Hope everyone had a great conference!  Till next year!