Mobile Ecosystem

App Marketing Conversations: How the Google + Uber Partnership Will Influence App Marketing [Video]

Becky Doles

Welcome to the newest installment of App Marketing Conversations. In this episode our CEO, Ian Sefferman (@iseff), discusses the how the partnership between Google and Uber will impact the future of app marketing. He is joined by Ryan Morel (@ryanmorel) of Gamehouse (@ghpartners) and Robi Ganguly (@rganguly) of Apptentive (@apptentive).


Ian Sefferman: Hello and welcome to another installment of App Marketing Conversations. I’m Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ, Ryan Morel of Gamehouse and Robi Ganguli of Apptentive. How are you guys doing?

Ryan Morel: Great.

Ian Sefferman: Good. It was actually a pretty solid week or two of announcements from interesting companies about mobile, right? So, we talked about Amazon and Prime Data and Apple’s release. We talked about F8.

One of the other big announcements that happened yesterday or two days ago was an integration between Google Maps and Uber. And in particular, if you look for directions somewhere and you try to get walking directions, you can get the walking directions. Or you can actually see how long it will take to get to where you want from an Uber click. Click into the Uber, it will go straight to the app and then you can go from there. First reactions on this?

Ryan Morel: I think it’s cool. We just got done talking about App Links and me saying, “I don’t really get it.” But this is a really good example of that and how I think it’s interesting. It feels a little bit more PR-ish thing to me, maybe and a user-acquisition activity for Uber than anything else.

But it’s interesting from the perspective where we’re at a point where we might start to see the inflation of services that can add value to each other.

Robi Ganguli: I think on the surface, for consumers, it’s kind of cool and interesting. At a lower level, an infrastructure level, it’s really fascinating because part of the publicly talked about thesis of Google’s investment in Uber was this whole logistics future that Uber wants to enable.

And when you think about what’s happening is that they’re actually connecting. Google is connecting to another infrastructure provider that is trying to get into logistics. And it’s taking the assumption of where you are and where you want to go. And tying into Uber’s data about availability of drivers and telling you, end to end, how long it will take to get there.

That’s actually really fascinating. Because imagine that going across other things Uber does, but then a bunch of other logistics provider as well from the Google perspective.

Ryan Morel: Shopping. We just saw something yesterday or two days ago. And I didn’t even know this existed.

Robi Ganguli: The Shopping Express or something?

Ryan Morel: It’s now in, like, Manhattan and L.A. And you can see an integration like that. “Like, hey, we’ll give you this in ten minutes because we’ve got this network infrastructure of people.”

Ian Sefferman: I think this is, for audience, in particular, I think this is really interesting from a search perspective as well. One of the thing that Quiksee has talked about with their app search is sort of providing this real-time framework for apps, when a query comes in for Quiksee to Ping everybody on this query for those guys to come back with data that is relevant for this query.

Some good examples would be if you searched for reservation at a Thai restaurant in Seattle. It could go out to OpenTable. OpenTable could say “These three restaurants have these three times available for tables of two.”

Or if you search for poker, maybe Zynga could come back with their poker and say “We have a $1/$2 table open right now. We have a $5/$10 table open right now.” And then you can fill this in.

And this actually feels like that first step to that from the Google side of the world, right, which is like some sort of back-end integration between apps. Where if you give it the right data, it will come back with unique insights to what’s going on within another app. Is that concept interesting to you guys? As a marketer, think about it from a marketer’s perspective.

Ryan Morel: Yes if I’m a marketer with a large development team and cash, because realistically that world sounds really interesting to me. It also sounds really scary if I’m an independent developer, because I won’t be able to that.

So, it’ll be extremely hard to not only do that from a technical perspective, but these are BD deals, really. And so, I think it’ll make it difficult.

Robi Ganguli: Though, interestingly, you can about how App Links solved that without BD.

Ryan Morel: In some cases, yeah. But I’m not going to be able to get my ND app integrated into Google Maps, so that Google Maps users see that, right, at scale. Big-scale people are going to want to partner with other big-scale people. That will happen on an API level, but the decision won’t be on an API level.

Robi Ganguli: I think it is interesting if this is a direction that continues to expand. A long time ago, on this thing called a PC, you used to be able to use an app. And that app used to be able to use the operating system to pull data from other apps.

Ian Sefferman: There were things called “files” that people store.

Robi Ganguli: Exactly. And you can’t do that now in mobile, right? So, if this takes us back to something like that, that’d be awesome. That would be helpful. I don’t think many consumers understand how much functionality they’ve lost as they’ve gone to the mobile device, in terms of just sharing of data on their device. It’s totally locked.

Ian Sefferman: That’s true.

Ryan Morel: Are you sure that’s bad? Let’s pretend like all of that had been enabled five or six years ago when Smartphones really started to take off. Would the trajectory of Smartphones have been the same? I would almost argue that what makes Smartphone and mobile so explosive and so unique right now is how simple it was for users to do what they really care about.

Robi Ganguli: Well, I think that’s true. But I don’t think that that has to be exclusive from getting the ability to have one app talk to the other.

Ian Sefferman: This is also the promise of the Cloud, right? And everybody is like “The Cloud is going to solve all of these problems.” No, it doesn’t. Or at least it hasn’t. It has the potential to, but it certainly hasn’t.

Other things that you guys think marketers should be thinking about in terms of this?

Ryan Morel: From a gaming perspective, marketers have long been doing cross-promotion. Like “Let’s go find other games that we can connect to.” And this is a deeper integration of that, right? And so, what other things can we do to drive brand awareness, IP awareness in other games, right?

So you can see scenarios where like Rovio and Uber. Does it make sense for another company to sponsor an “Angry Bird”? And put that in “Angry Birds” and have it clickable and linkable into their game. That’s a unique marketing experience for a consumer. And the types of things that are going to raise awareness for games or just like, you know, socials.

Robi Ganguli: I think especially if you’re a big, aggressive marketer who’s been doing mobile for a while, if you weren’t already making phone calls and thinking about ways you could do something like fast, now your world is open to it.

Maybe I could call Apple and say “Hey, Apple Maps doesn’t have this. Can we do something together?” Maybe I could go call Rovio and say “Hey, let’s think about this a little bit differently.”

There might be a moment in time that we’ve just passed that says “My framework for thinking about BD on mobile is different now.”

Ian Sefferman: All right. Well, that’s certainly a lot to think about. It seems like we’re all sort of in agreement that we just had the first pitch of the season. Maybe we’re still in Spring Training on this stuff. So, there’s a long way to go, but it’s definitely interesting stuff to think about.

So, thanks for watching. Make sure to watch the other installments. Subscribe to this channel and “Like” our videos. Thanks.

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

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