Appi Camper is an interview series that shines a spotlight on today's mobile elite, showcasing their expertise and knowledge. Growth leaders share trends, strategies to navigate the current market, tips to overcome present challenges, and how they approach these impacts to successfully emerge as an Appi Camper.

Spotlight with Scott Kepnach

Scott Kepnach has been working in mobile growth since 2006, beginning at Universal Music Group and subsequently at top gaming companies, Glu and Zynga, managing teams of up to 20+. Scott also has early-stage start-up experience at SwiftKey (acquired by Microsoft) and Drivemode (acquired by Honda).

He is currently leading marketing and partnerships at Latin America's largest on-demand delivery platform, Rappi. His global experience working for companies based in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, London, Singapore, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Berlin, and currently, Bogota (for Rappi, LATAM's first unicorn on-demand delivery platform). This has given him a unique hyper-localized global perspective when developing various marketing strategies.


What are the trends you are seeing during this time (COVID 19)? Any notable effects or strategies you can share?


The budgets in general for paid acquisition and marketing are decreasing, not only from what I'm hearing but also how eCPMs have fallen off a cliff on various channels, as advertisers pull back on spending until we have a better handle on how all of this is going to play out.

In my vertical, for example, we are seeing a predictable spike in organic traffic now that delivery is an essential part of life, so that has affected our marketing strategy as well. I think now is a great time to re-engage lapsed users rather than focusing on acquiring new customers, as there is (at least for my vertical) more intent by users to use our platform, as we've certainly seen an increase in organic traffic.

When you think of the universe of users you can reach, a majority of paid traffic that app marketers were driving are now becoming organics, so I would focus your strategy on 2 things:

  • optimizing that upper part of the funnel of acquiring organic users through App Story strategy, testing, and optimization
  • re-engaging users who have used your app but either deleted it or became dormant before the crisis began.

We're seeing some strong results on both of those strategies from a CVR and CAC standpoint.


What are some of the challenges for growth marketing during this time?


I think converting users to download or buy is becoming more splintered and spread out as people have more time on their hands to shop around, browse through the app store, and carefully evaluate the benefit of spending money in apps as we are headed into an unknown economic future.

On the opposite hand, some verticals have an embarrassment of riches where there is so much demand (delivery, for example), that some of these companies are unprepared for this unprecedented situation.

My parents had to wait two weeks for grocery delivery from Shop-Rite during their quarantine in New Jersey, whereas Rappi has a number of drivers who bravely swung into action across Latin America and as a result, there were very minor interruptions to service.


What are you doing to stay positive and balanced while working remotely?


I use discipline when checking the news, mostly sticking to trusted platforms such as the NY Times, WaPo, ProPublica, The Atlantic, and Politico, usually once in the morning and once in the evening. I generally stay off Twitter except to follow doctors, epidemiologists, and leaders in the field with deep-dive analyses on COVID-19. I don't watch any cable TV at all. I think those sources I mentioned are enough to stay up to date on news on a daily basis.

Besides the tip of limiting the noise of cable news to better one's mental health, I practice DJing and producing when not working. I just set up my Twitch page to stream some DJ sets while in quarantine.

I've also rediscovered a passion for playing my Nintendo Switch and have connected with friends and family on a daily basis, which has most likely been the single-best outcome of this whole experience.