Those magic micro-moments. (Image via Nagi Salloum)
Targeting startups and local entrepreneurs, the workshop highlighted the checklist necessary for a successful mobile app growth and development strategy.
Salloum stopped by Dubai on his way to Beirut, and said the interest in his seminar at Dubai's ArabNet 2015 prompted the launch of the Mobile Growth Academy.
“I hadn’t interacted with startups then in the Middle East,” Salloum said. “Initially six seats were filled, then an hour later the entire room was filled and then they asked the presenter after me to push the presentation.”
Soon, Salloum realized the demand for the same information from people in Silicon Valley, which led him to put the content on a website and have the information accessible only to members.
The urgency of the Valley
At the beginning of the workshop itself, Salloum established that the key difference between Silicon Valley and the MENA region was the mindset, beginning with the sense of urgency in Palo Alto.
“In Silicon Valley there’s so much energy in the place that you always feel behind whether there’s a deadline or not,” he explained. “There’s also a sense of urgency to push people forward. Here people are laid-back, you don’t see people pushing on how to dominate the industry. In Silicon Valley, they immediately think how can we dominate the world.”
Originally from Beirut, Lebanon, Salloum worked at Google in Dubai before moving to the US.
By the time he joined TangoMe, Salloum had more than a decade of experience in marketing and mobile, but found himself sourcing expertize to build a mobile growth strategy.
“I couldn’t find a single resource that simplified the information I needed. I did not just need tactical notes, but also details on the best practices I had to learn,” he said.
What began as a personal compilation of curated content eventually turned into a detailed and actionable presentation on mobile growth strategy.
The four hour workshop offered a macro level insight into strategy touch points for any mobile marketer.
From offering general tips on marketing models to unpacking reasons why an app is not attracting or retaining users, Salloum rounded off the workshop with a breakdown of the four stages of growth: positioning, acquisition, activation, and retention.
“These are the four stages every app needs to go through when they’re thinking about marketing,” Salloum said. “Divide your marketing system in these stages and optimize for micromoments i.e. [make sure] every touchpoint in the app is designed to captivate and capture [the user’s] attention.”
An entrepreneur himself, Salloum punctuated the workshop with his personal experiences. For Kristine Lassam, managing partner at digital marketing agency Pink Entropy, that was something that elevated the value of the workshop
“What I really liked, more than his corporate background was that he is an entrepreneur like most of the attendees at the workshop,” Lassam said. “It’s a different school of thought or place you operate from, and what he shared comes from these two venues- the corporate one and the entrepreneurial one- which are both insightful and immensely practical.”
Alper Celen, founder and managing partner of Enhance, a holding company for online businesses, attended the workshop to better understand the marketing tools available as well as discover ways to improve his business.
“With online businesses, most of our money is spent on different aspects of marketing and those that win in the end are the ones that are doing it better,” Celen said. “This is very timely for us. We’re launching a new marketing stack, so we can include a combination of these tools and its potential uses.”
According to Salloum, the mobile growth academy is directed at “any serious entrepreneur that wants to know how to maximize the business”.
Salloum will also be hosting a workshop December 16 in Beirut at the UK Lebanon Tech Hub.