It’s no secret that the mobile industry has, or had, a reputation of being a boy’s club. With more female-founded companies like Bumble making headlines in the industry, that reputation is changing. To close out Women’s History Month, we’re introducing our new series AdAction’s Women in Mobile. We’ll be featuring the leading ladies of AdAction’s demand, developer relations, and media strategy teams. Expect industry insights, predictions, and candid discussions about being a female in the world of mobile marketing.
To kick things off, we chatted with Sarah Greenlee, AdAction’s Director of Strategic Accounts. With eight years of experience in the mobile industry, Sarah has spent five of those years at AdAction. Starting as an Account Manager working with our agency relationships, Sarah has transitioned into a leadership position and has been overseeing the Accounts team for the past three years.
What’s the most exciting thing about your role?
Moving into more of an internal role where I get to manage individual contributors has been the best thing possible. I get to be involved with advertisers across all verticals we work with, but getting to see my team grow into their careers and watch their wins and successes is really the most rewarding part of my role.
What verticals do you have on your radar this year?
Casual games. They make up about a third of top-grossing apps on the App Store, and there are numerous sub-verticals within the casual games space. The genre has withstood the test of time and hasn’t fizzled out. It has that mass appeal with big hits like “Candy Crush,” continuing to yield engaged users. The strength of “match and build” and “simulation” sub-verticals is evident in the number of top-grossing games that have seen success in the category.
How do you define a quality mobile user?
It can mean different things in different contexts. For an app that’s in soft launch, a quality user might be one that’s engaged and provides user feedback for a dev team to make feature adjustments. Our app advertisers are performance marketers. They typically define quality users as those that are achieving established benchmarks or KPIs, associated typically with monetization strategies employed by that app: in-app purchases, subscriptions, ads, etc.
In your experience, how do you keep users engaged beyond the install?
Numerous internal teams are responsible for this. The foundation for engaged users is an app that has been developed with product-market fit. Marketing and acquisition teams are tasked with ensuring that ad creative, landing pages, etc. create a cohesive experience for the user to understand the app value. Analytics teams need to ensure user behaviors are measurable, tracked, and optimized. A lot of engagement strategy is on the developer. More sophisticated developers have different engagement paths for users based on not only the channel the user was acquired from but also early activity. These engagement paths cater to users’ behavior and allow developers to maximize engagement from users that interact with their app in different ways.
How do you stay on top of industry trends and changes?
By being curious. Whether it’s utilizing a new avenue like “Clubhouse” to hear the latest discussions or tuning into conversations from industry Slack groups, I’m always looking to learn more. Large industry-level changes like Apple’s ATT have opened up content and conversations with everyone in the space, so it’s been a great environment to be part of a discussion. My day-to-day resource is my LinkedIn newsfeed. Maintaining a tight LinkedIn network that primarily consists of people I’ve worked with in the mobile space, ensures that my newsfeed is relevant and a great snapshot of sentiments, trends, and news.
How have you navigated an industry that’s historically seen as a boy’s club?
I’ve been in the space since 2013, and I’m not sure that the reputation of a “boy’s club” is quite the case anymore, which is awesome. Since I’ve started, it feels like smart, strategic, female leaders are no longer the exception. In the past few years, the mobile industry has put out a lot of content, conferences, webinars, and networking opportunities geared toward women in the space. I think those have served as beneficial resources to facilitate further growth into leadership roles. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this conversation looks like in another eight years.
What’s your industry prediction for the rest of the year?
It’s not exactly groundbreaking, but as platforms shift toward addressing user privacy, a paradigm shift in the industry with how we’ll measure and attribute performance marketing buys, target effectively, and evolve is a big question mark. I think that’s the next challenge that folks across the industry (whether you’re an advertiser, publisher, or MMP) will have to address together.