App Marketing

A user's view: Simon chats with Runtastic's Lotta Weigeldt

Simon Kendall
Head of Communications

Adjust HQ is buzzing with excitement for Mobile Spree 2017, our no-nonsense, no-sales, no-bullshit mobile marketing conference in Berlin and San Francisco. One of our latest confirmed speakers is Lotta Weigeldt from Runtastic, based over in Vienna. She’s joining a lineup of CMOs, founders, and marketing VPs on the stage in June. Lotta caught up with Adjust’s Simon Kendall to talk about Mobile Spree, her work at Runtastic and the exciting new directions for 2017. Here’s a quick look at what they talked about.

Simon: “It’s been awhile since we talked, Lotta. How’s life?”

Lotta: “It’s great! So just as a brief overview: I’ve been working at Runtastic for about a year and a half now and am now taking over growth and user acquisition. We have a large portfolio of apps and I really find the approach we’re taking super interesting. Previously, I’ve been focusing on the monetization side of things. How are we driving our subscription business? How do we make it attractive, in terms of pricing?”

“I’m keeping these responsibilities now – we are drawing them closer to the growth team – and I work quite closely with the product team. That makes a lot of sense for app businesses, to tie these aspects really closely together. When you start new campaigns, it’s very relevant to think about how that ties in with the entire funnel, getting users in, getting them to convert to paying users.”

“So from what I know, Runtastic had a strong strategy of free (lite) and paid (pro) versions of apps, cross-promoting users from lite to pro. Is that still how you play it?”

“Yeah, it’s still one part of our strategy. But we are working on moving over to a model based on single, large apps where everything is integrated and offering subscriptions to our users. Right now, we’re offering both approaches.”

“So for users in our free apps, there’s a choice: either move on to the Premium Membership, or buy the PRO apps.”

“Either approach serve specific purposes. Say I’m a road biker, and the only thing I do is biking. In that case, I’m really just interested in an app that measures my biking really well. In that case, being able to buy a premium biking app with a one-time payment is an attractive offer.”

“Keeping a number of different, specialized apps thus makes for a fairly effective organic growth strategy, especially as we have it established. The biker isn’t going to download an app called “Runtastic”, necessarily, but will jump on a high-quality “road biking” app. Then, as we have them somewhere in our userbase, we’re able to try to convert them over to the main app and to a membership.”

“In fact, many of our users are practicing multiple sports or activities. That’s when it becomes more attractive to have a Premium Membership that’s a monthly flat-fee for our full functionality. And many of those paid, loyal users started out using one of our more specific apps.”

“It sounds like you’re moving away from the pro/lite model?”

“Yeah, we don’t push it as hard – especially the first step, except in apps where you can’t purchase the Premium Membership. It’s more of an organic growth channel now than something that we actively promote. So our strategy there is changing.”

“How come?”

“Well, compared to when Runtastic was first launched, the market is shifting. People are getting much more comfortable with and willing to buy subscriptions on their smartphones. That’s in part driven, in part a consequence of more mobile apps offering subscriptions.”

“But subscriptions also take a different approach than PRO apps. As an example, when we brought the new Results app out, we started offering – as a trial – a 12-week training program. We’d update that content continuously.”

“Our users were really satisfied with that. Instead of a simple app that they would use proactively, we could guide them through flows, provide them with fresh input every week, and even introduce them to new activities. So in effect, they weren’t just subscribing for the app’s features, but for our ongoing content. You have this ongoing service component.”

“I hear this from a lot of people, actually, that people – as in, users – are becoming more comfortable with subscriptions.”

“Yes, definitely, especially in the US. In Germany, for example, it’s harder. We’re still thinking about this question and evolving the concept, finding better fits as we go along for different markets.”

“In what way?”

“To get people over the “hump” of committing to a subscription, you have to approach different target audiences differently. We’re primarily trialing this on our website right now. There, we’ve defined different ‘benefit groups’ - groups of people for whom some benefits of the app are more important than others.”

“For example, there are some people who are very social about their sports, and so the group features or the “cheering on” aspects are front and center. So we’re in the process of exploring and discovering these groups with our landing pages and targeted campaigns.”

“What about in-app personalization?”

“That takes more investment, but it definitely pays off - big time. An early experiment of ours was, in the onboarding, to list the benefits of the app dependent on the things we’d learned from the ad campaigns and landing pages. Or, sometimes, really focus on the one benefit – just that one thing. Some users don’t care about the 100 things, as long as they get one thing done really well.”

“But inside apps, it’s still harder to iterate quickly and develop different concepts, so we’re doing our initial tests and discovery efforts on the web, and letting the successful concepts “graduate” into mobile.”

“So in June, that’s maybe what we’ll talk about at Mobile Spree?”

“Among other things, that’s definitely an interesting direction that I’d love to go in.”

Want to hear more from Lotta, and also from Rovio, Deezer, Flipper and other speakers from around the globe?

Mobile Spree takes place on June 1st in Berlin, at the Stadtbad Oderberg, and on October 12th in San Francisco, at the Terra Gallery.

Get your ticket today to guarantee a seat!

Want to hear more from Lotta, and also from Rovio, Deezer, Flipper and other speakers from around the globe?

Mobile Spree takes place on June 1st in Berlin, at the Stadtbad Oderberg, and on October 12th in San Francisco, at the Terra Gallery.

Get your ticket today to guarantee a seat!