AppsFlyer is a mobile app measurement and attribution analytics platform that helps app-developers, brands and ad-agencies measure and optimize their users’ acquisition funnels.
David Llewellyn is the company’s Marketing Director EMEA – we caught up with him to ask about his typical day.
Hi David. Please describe your job: What do you do?
David Llewellyn: For the first time in my career the words ‘EMEA’ actually mean EMEA and not just Europe, so my role involves go to market, strategy, sales enablement, product marketing, content marketing, events and PR from Russia to South Africa to Portugal and all the way up to the Nordics.
I’m the first ‘feet on the ground’ here in EMEA. We have a team at HQ in Tel Aviv that has traditionally focused on EMEA, but I’m the first hire that sits locally (London office) and my key focus for H2 2019 is building out the team. Anyone who has led a team in EMEA will know that it is a number of sub-regions spread across three continents. There are at least 8 – 10 different sub-regions and by and large they are all culturally, linguistically and commercially dissimilar! This is a real challenge for anyone looking to build a lean, agile team and create economies of scale. I’m a huge believer in local marketing, but we can’t have individual marketers in every territory as it would be completely inefficient. So my role is mapping and prioritising resources across this huge region and then hiring people who have the versatility to drive success across multiple markets. This requires good project managers and cultural awareness / sensitivity.
Other than that, a large focus for us is events. We have our own proprietary events brand, MAMA, numerous trade and industry events that we speak at or sponsor, and many smaller dinner and learning events that we host with clients and prospects. Around 50% of our time is spent planning and producing events and ensuring we have plenty of personal touchpoints with everyone in the ecosystem. This is invaluable face time, great for brand awareness and product education, and obviously a core pillar of most B2B marketing strategies. The remainder of my time is spent on content marketing, product marketing, sales enablement and all of the other common parts of the B2B mix.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
David Llewellyn: I report to Ran Avrahamy, VP Global Marketing, employee number 13 at AppsFlyer (we’re now 650+ globally) and a member of the company management team. I work with my colleagues across EMEA, several General Managers, as well as functional leads from our Sales, Partnership and Customer Success teams, in the EMEA management team, to ensure we deliver the company’s ambitious growth targets across the region while also developing the long term growth and positioning strategy.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
David Llewellyn: If I had to pick three things, I would say:
People person. The talent and culture in this business is unparalleled in my experience and it’s the oil that makes the overall machine what it is. Being able to work within that family of people and get the best out of yourself and your colleagues is crucial.
Commitment. The business is growing at a phenomenal pace and everyone is incredibly hard working and bought into the mission. Working across so many time zones on so many projects requires absolute commitment and belief in what we’re doing. If I wasn’t so bought into what we’re doing as a business and a marketing team, it would be significantly harder to be successful in my role. It takes time and effort to help build such a high growth business and you have to manage your energy levels, especially when travelling, but I love what I do, so it’s all worthwhile.
Prioritisation. So many businesses fall down because they try to do everything and take advantage of every opportunity that comes in. We’re a very focused company with a coherent strategy, but there’s still always more opportunity than we could possibly address, so my role is to work with my peers on the EMEA management team to work out what the correct use of resource is.
Tell us about a typical working day…
David Llewellyn: Honestly, there’s no such thing. I travel most weeks at the moment, so there may well be an airport and a plane involved, but when I finally get to a desk somewhere I’m likely to be working across any number of strategic projects, such as our upcoming MAMA event in Minsk in July where we will host around 750 people or developing growth strategies for sub-regions and planning resource allocation, or more tactical tasks, such as copywriting product or content marketing materials. As I’m the only person here on the ground at the moment, I’m doing everything and anything and I really enjoy the breadth of the role, the variety and the balance between strategic and executional.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
David Llewellyn: I love everything about the role and the business. I’ve been a huge advocate and a client of AppsFlyer for over five years, so it’s a business I knew really well before I joined and a product and team that I’m super passionate about.
There really aren’t any downsides or things that suck, but face time with my two year old son, Sam, can be hard when I’m away on longer trips. I miss the family, but this is normal and something that I balance by ensuring we have plenty of quality time when I’m home.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
David Llewellyn: This is slightly controversial (not that it should be, in my opinion), but my primary goal is revenue, be it existing or new bookings. There is a prevalent school of thought that Marketing should just focus on marketing qualified leads or page impressions or other, deeper metrics. These are important measures, but as a member of the regional management team, my number one focus has to be on the financial health of the business. By aligning the main objectives with other teams I’m then able to create more focused goals specifically for Marketing, but ultimately they should point back to revenue in the short to mid-term and creating a platform for long-term growth. This avoids KPI conflicts and focuses the mind on the ultimate reality of why we’re all here. I’m a big believer in cascade goals in this respect, with revenue and strategic objectives sitting at the top of the pyramid.
It would be remiss not to mention what I think is probably the most important metric for any SaaS business though and that’s churn. It’s the ultimate indicator of how well a business is delivering against its mission and how likely its customers are to be advocates and create a network effect. Our churn rate is close to zero and we want to keep it that way by continuing to innovate and remaining customer obsessed.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
- Asana – Project management tool.
- Looker – Business intelligence
- Google Docs, Sheets, etc – General productivity.
- Macbook Air – A must have if you’re travelling. Super hardware and battery life.
- Pen & Paper – I’d love to be paper free, but I just can’t stop taking notes.
How did you end up at AppsFlyer, and where might you go from here?
David Llewellyn: I have been a client and a passionate advocate for the business since 2014. I’ve done numerous talks and panels at their events and got to know a number of the team. I knew from the moment I met a guy called Daniel Kahtan in 2014, VP Agency Alliances, that this is a business with phenomenal people and product, so when my now boss, Ran, approached me at the start of the year and let me know about the role, I bit his hand off.
In terms of the future, we’re building a business that is going to be huge globally. It already is, but we have high aspirations for where it can go and see significant market opportunity ahead of us, so my focus is on enabling that. I’m not focused on anything other than making AppsFlyer the best it can be in the coming years.
Which mobile experiences have impressed you lately?
David Llewellyn: I’m just getting used to a Garmin Vivosport smartwatch which tracks my health and reports back to Vitality Health Insurance. I’m interested in the way they have disrupted the health insurance market and wearing the watch and constantly monitoring activity and health has added a gamification effect. They’re ultimately applying big data to better inform their risk decisions and adding value to the end user by preventing them getting unhealthy rather than underwriting them when they do. So as a disruptive business model, it’s super interesting and a neat implementation of tech and data. I also play Golf Clash a lot.
Do you have any advice for brands unsure about their app strategy?
David Llewellyn: It’s almost a cliché, but businesses shouldn’t be thinking in terms of their ‘app strategy’. It runs the risk of making them think that they simply need an app to be successful in mobile and it’s much more complicated than that. Many businesses don’t even need an app.
Instead, I believe a business should start with the customer front and centre by thinking about the journeys the customer goes on, how they currently interact with their brand and service and how mobile could add value to or improve those journeys. Travel apps do this really well by providing first and foremost an amazing research tool that can be used on the go. They add additional value with push notifications showing price changes, think Skyscanner price alerts, and they then add value during the journey itself, think Booking.com with its travel reminders and additional services, like city guides and restaurant recommendations.
So I think it’s about working out what will add value to the customer and how you can leverage the unique feature set on a mobile, such as location, push notifications, etc. And if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to bring in a partner with good pedigree in mobile strategy and execution – it’s a complicated space and having a partner with good knowhow will help avoid any obvious mistakes and accelerate success.