Google insights: future of apps, user acquisition and monetization challenges
Interview with Google app specialist Jakub Váchal
Jakub Váchal has 9 years of experience in digital marketing, advertising, and project management. For the last 2 years at Google, Váchal has been helping the largest advertisers in Central and Eastern Europe maintain their user acquisition activities. On May 21, Váchal will speak at Adsider LIVE Conference. We asked him about work environments at Google, acquisition strategies and favourite projects.
Tell us about your experience with Google. As corny as it sounds, what does an app specialist at such a giant tech company do?

Google is an extraordinary company to work for, there are so many reasons why that is, but if I had to pick one it is the people I have the chance to collaborate with on exciting projects and challenges every day. As an App Specialist I take care of the biggest app advertisers in Central Europe, ensuring that they are fully equipped to utilise our suite of products in their marketing strategies, consulting them on these strategies and sharing learnings we get from being a truly global business.

How does your usual work day go? What are the main tasks you have to keep up with on a daily basis?

Every day is different from me. Sounds like a cliche but it really is, the app space is rapidly changing and in order to keep up with it we need to adapt our approach, services and products accordingly. Making sure that we're hitting clients' marketing objectives is where I spend most of my time — but this task can take so many different forms that it is hard to say what a typical day looks like.

How big is your team? Are you all in the WFH (work from home) mode now, and how well did the transition go?

The app specialist team is a few hundred people across the globe and yes, we're all working from home now. The transition has been fairly easy, being a very digital focused company, we're already used to having client interactions over Hangouts, keeping connected with our global colleagues and having a self-driven work ethic. What I miss is the social aspect of being in an office environment, having small chats with people from all over the company and of course — the Google cafes and their food!
The app ecosystem is such a crowded space now, so having a brilliant product is just not enough anymore
What is your go-to user acquisition strategy? Name the main principles that can ensure the strategy's success.

Whenever possible I try to stay away from one size fits all, silver bullet type of acquisition strategies. All advertisers are different and they have different objectives, challenges, products and resources. If I had to summarise this in an overarching principle, it would be to be very rigorous in defining these objectives and working your way backwards on how to achieve them.

What are the main challenges for an app that wants to take its name out there nowadays?

The app ecosystem is such a crowded space now, with almost 5 million apps across the two main stores — so having a brilliant product is just not enough anymore. The need for a holistic approach to the whole lifecycle of the product is essential to succeed and with users' attention span shortening, advertisers need to get very effective and inventive at it.

Give us a little sneak peak into your speech at the conference.

I will share how we at Google look at advertising as an essential part of different stages of the user and app lifecycle, with some more focus on tackling this challenge for eCommerce businesses.
We're already used to having client interactions over Hangouts, what I miss is the social aspect of being in an office environment
You have almost 10 years of experience in digital marketing, have seen the ups and downs of the industry. What are your predictions for the current situation for the niche?

This is a really exciting time for app and game developers — I'm sure you feel this just as much as I do. Advertisers that will be joining the conference are already changing the game by thinking about new ways to acquire, engage and monetise users.

Our goal is to provide you with the best in class tools to accelerate the pace. And I believe that with both the inventive approach from advertisers and new ways to promote apps being released by all the networks — this niche is only going to grow more.

Please name your favourite startup ever — not necessarily the one you've worked with, go as futuristic as you like.

AirBnB — the idea of becoming such a massive player in holiday and business lodging and stays without actually owning any has always struck me as pure genius. I am, or rather was, using it extensively on my travels and hope to continue in doing so again soon.

What are the top 3 apps that you yourself can't live without?

Strava — to keep moving. YouTube — to keep being entertained. Revolut — the future of banking.
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