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App Annie CEO: The Most Successful Consumer Companies are Reinventing Their Business Around Apps

App Annie

In an interview with CEO Forum, Bertrand Schmitt shares his perspective on how companies are transforming in the face of mobile

App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt was recently the guest on the national radio show CEO Forum, where he and host Robert Reiss engaged in a wide-ranging discussion that covered everything from the broader history of mobile to how mobile data insights inform the paths companies now take.

One point that emerged over the course of the interview was how Schmitt’s early recognition of the seismic shift to mobile has given him a front-row seat to the app economy’s explosive development. Nine years ago, when the app store was first introduced, Schmitt knew he wanted to be involved in app data and analytics. Two years later, he launched App Annie, and today we’re at a point where the average American smartphone user is spending two hours and fifteen minutes every day in apps (and in countries like South Korea, it’s closer to three hours).

As Schmitt pointed out, we’ve reached a dramatic benchmark in terms of the app economy. “Today in terms of market, we estimate $1.1 trillion total spend going through apps, worldwide. That will go to $6 trillion by 2021.” He added that the most dramatic growth now is in emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil.

Schmitt noted the range of ways in which he’s seen companies use data to make both the long-term and day-to-day decisions that underpin their businesses. “In terms of insights, it goes from the strategic — where should I go, where should I invest, which market should I try to penetrate, which type of app should I try and build — to the more tactical, [!as!] how do I improve my user acquisition? How do I improve user engagement and monetization?”

Indeed, he’s often seen how CEOs, CFOs, CMOs and heads of strategy incorporate mobile into their plans for meeting business goals. “The most successful consumer-centric companies these days are reinventing their business model around apps,” he told CEO Forum. “So it’s not just apps as one additional marketing channel, it’s that you reinvent through apps the full consumer journey, from discovering your service, to distributing your service, to ultimately selling and supporting your service.”

In part, it’s a matter of determining how a good app can reduce your costs elsewhere in your business, like service delivery or advertising. To Schmitt, mobile apps represent an opportunity for companies to be more efficient and thereby stay ahead of the competition.

Listen to the whole interview for more, including background on how Schmitt grew App Annie from a single office in China into a company with team members in 13 countries, his perspective on artificial intelligence, and the importance of standardizing and communicating a company’s culture as it expands.

October 20, 2017

Mobile App Strategy

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