As 2017 draws to a close and we lay out plans for the New Year, we’ve been reflecting on the events of the past 12 months.
It has been a rollercoaster year for us at Appsynth, increasing our momentum and achieving new heights, with a few bumps but a lot of fun along the way.
All things considered, I feel it is our best year yet, and want to share here our greatest achievements and some lessons learned that will help make 2018 even better.
The Year of Growth
“Growth” was the biggest buzzword floating around the office in 2017. Since January, we have doubled down on evolving our growth marketing capabilities, which we believe to be the key to achieving success in the crowded app marketplace.
We created a new Growth Manager role and built a Growth Team around this position. As Growth Marketing is a fairly new concept in this part of the world, we also recruited talent from overseas – who relocated to join us.
Mobile Growth is a broad topic with a large number of interrelated concepts. We invested a lot of time in defining exactly what this role should entail, training on new capabilities and planning how best to translate theory to practice.
If 2017 was the year of planning, 2018 will be the year of action, and this team will play a central role in how we support clients moving forward.
From Growth Team, to Team Growth
Growth is hard. We know this. This is the reason for building a Growth team; so we can help our clients overcome this challenge. But this challenge also applies to us.
Running a 30+ person business is not the same as a 50-person business. This year we have successfully worked through the growing pains of scaling up to this size, with the operational improvements it requires.
It is hard to find good people, so we are fortunate to have welcomed many great newcomers to our team this year – 15 in total – who’ve all helped contribute to the progress we’ve made.
Of course a bigger team needs a bigger home, and I am pleased to say our office expansion is almost complete.
Things took much longer than we’d hoped, which meant a few months squeezing in more tightly than we would have liked. It was worth the wait though, and we now have an amazing space which is sure to inspire more amazing work.
They say maturity comes with age. Since I founded Appsynth in 2010, the app market has matured greatly, and so have we. To err may be human, but for a business to survive it must be diligent in avoiding making the same mistakes twice. We strive to avoid this at all costs, with every hard lesson learned being a step towards being an older and wiser business.
Along with our growth in size and structure, I feel this is the year we have matured most significantly, including more advanced quality assurance processes, more user research, more measurement and more data-informed decision making to deliver greater success. We also completed the first phase of our VanGogh platform, providing a consistent foundation for new projects.
As an agency, we would be nothing without our client partners. This year we have been fortunate to have worked with new clients in the telco, banking, insurance and automotive industries, and continued working with long-standing clients on exciting new initiatives.
Supporting businesses across a range of industries helps us maintain a well-rounded perspective of the market and enables us to cross-pollinate successful ideas from one vertical to another.
We’re also thankful to have engaged with partners old and new such as Google, Apple, Amplitude, Playbasis, MAQE and Omise, all of whom have been considerate in supporting us or connecting us with other relevant businesses. We hope to work more closely with them all in 2018 to help grow the ecosystem we’re all part of.
The year ended in style with Appsynth scooping two silver awards at Campaign Magazine’s Agency of the Year awards. This included the hotly contested Thailand Independent AOTY category, with 6 of our strongest peers shortlisted.
We also picked up our first regional scale award in the S.E. Asia Mobile Marketing AOTY category. This was perhaps my proudest achievement of the year, as it recognises the culmination of our team’s efforts and achievements, as well being the first time we have been specifically recognised for excellence in marketing.
Here’s a final quick-fire list of other achievements over the past 12 months, including some from our valued clients:
- Record company growth: 15 awesome new recruits.
- Record for industry recognition: 8 awards across various programs.
- Record session numbers: We saw a total of 564m sessions across the apps we currently manage.
- Record engagement levels: 2314 years of cumulative time spent in app since the start of the year across our 3 most popular titles. That’s over 2 millennia of engagement!
- Record ad levels: 3.6bn mobile ad impressions across the inventory we manage.
- Most popular app: the 7-Eleven Thailand app has continued to delight users and remained ever popular throughout the year, ranking #1 in the iOS Lifestyle charts on 177 days this year, 48% of the time.
- Most impressive run: 7-Eleven Thailand also achieved this honour, delivering a 66 day run where it topped the charts every day, bar one.
- Best new launch: We managed the launch of Daily Classifieds in US, acquiring over 100k new users in just 2 months. It now averages 195k sessions per day.
You can’t always wait for the client. These were words of advice we have taken on board. To achieve big results with large clients in fast moving industries, we too need to move fast and help set the pace. Our recent growth will help us deliver on this.
A unified approach to Growth is a must, not a nice-to-have. At the time of writing there were 3.2m apps on the Apple App Store and 4.9m on Google Play, from 1.3m and 1.8m publishers, respectively. In the last 7 days alone, 17,620 new publishers were activated. We believe effective growth can only be achieved in such a competitive landscape when design, development and marketing work together in unity.
What’s in Store for 2018?
Well, that would be telling :), but we do have several initiatives planned as we continue working towards our Company Vision to be universally recognised as the leading mobile specialist agency in Asia. One thing we can say is that ‘Growth Thinking’ will play a central role as we focus on delivering even greater outcomes for our clients in 2018.