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Exclusive Interview with Applause Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, Matt Johnston Article

We had some time to catch up with Applause Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, Matt Johnston who gives us his latest insight in to the mobile industry

What is the key to effective innovation in mobile?

Product market fit begins with understanding audience needs versus wants, then having discipline to adhere to that knowledge and then adding in the ability and the willingness to listen and agility to pursue what you learn. That is not unique to mobile, it’s true of all digital media. What makes it harder for mobile is that it’s much more difficult. That’s because of fragmentation with so many devices, carriers, OSes, locations and use cases. 

Is mobile the new normal? If so how can one be cutting edge?

It is. And mobile doesn’t just mean iOS or Android. If you are truly a user-centric company mobile means user connectivity, commerce and more. And it can refer to mobile apps or mobile web or more.  I think companies should concern themselves less with being cutting edge and more with being customer-centric.  It’s not about doing something cool with iOS 9…it’s about solving customers’ problems.

What’s the most exciting thing about mobile in 2015?

From a commercial perspective, it’s the ubiquity of it -  more than 700 million iPhones sold, 75 billion connected devices by 2020 some say. At no points in human history have brands had the opportunity to reach customers on the customers’ terms in such a tailored and personal wayIt’s also the first time there was a real, tangible sense of true adoption of – and investment in – IoT (cars, watches, homes, etc) and it’s very exciting to see how those smart things interact with your smart phone (which is also now your universal remote control). This has allowed companies and even entire industries to be reinvented, and has enabled new and valuable experiences for customers.

Who is really inspiring you in the mobile ecosystem at present?

I think it’s the companies that have a clear understanding of their customers and those needs and wants and companies who know who they are and who they aren’t. Companies like Starbucks, Dominoes RunKeeper, Burberry, Tesla…those companies are doing some inspiring work and listening to their users.

Are people taking full advantage of the testing & analytics necessary to succeed in mobile?

No, many companies are still trying to take web and desktop practices and apply them to their mobile experiences. Those companies are the ones falling down due to mobile’s complexities and are failing at functionality, usability, gaining early user feedback, listening to user sentiment to inform future versions of apps and more. People need to know if their apps and mobile experiences are performing as intended in the hands of users and keeping users satisfied. That can’t be done if companies are applying old practices that don’t take into account all that mobile entails.

What is the main advantage of attending Apps World?

Whether it’s in London or Berlin or San Francisco, Apps World has consistently brought together innovators and upstarts from around the world of Mobile. I wouldn’t miss it.   

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