This Q&A reflects Cassie's time as Sr. Digital Marketing Manager of Display & App at HomeAdvisor. Currently, Cassie is Senior Director, Growth and Analytics at Sanctuary Ventures Inc..
Cassie Chernin was formerly Senior Digital Marketing Manager of Display & App at HomeAdvisor. Cassie managed all aspects of display marketing and joined the company a few months ahead of their first mobile app release. Prior to HomeAdvisor, Cassie sharpened her marketing chops at Gemvara, learning all aspects of digital marketing including online, SEM, retention marketing, affiliate marketing and radio.
Read Cassie's latest article: "What’s in Your [Growth] Stack? Cassie Chernin, Ibotta"
The HomeAdvisor app is a free app that makes it incredibly easy to find a trusted professional for your home project. After answering a few quick questions, you are matched with the perfect pro(s) for your project. Our goal in the next year is to continue to evolve our app to create an even more seamless experience between the homeowner and pro.
When I moved to NYC, I started working at Babbel, a language learning company founded in Germany that was looking to expand into the US market. I realized the value of getting your app on someone's phone is so much greater than sending a user through the mobile web or desktop experience. When I started at HomeAdvisor, I was chosen to spearhead the mobile marketing initiative to start marketing our app.
It's constantly evolving. The big thing today could be gone in a year. I move fast and I like a channel that will move fast with me.
A quality mobile user for HomeAdvisor is a loyal and engaged user. We want a consumer to use our app to find pros for all 6-8 home projects (the average number of projects a homeowner completes per year).
As a first step, you always want to effectively communicate what your app is for and what problem(s) it solves within your ads and in the app store. If you showcase the unique value proposition clearly, a user has the expectation of what they will do in the app—and from there, I believe it's quite easy. Drive quality installs, then downloads will become engaged users over time.
We've only been doing app marketing at HomeAdvisor for a little over a year. I recommend creating a system for analyzing your app that goes beyond a target 'CPI' and involves optimizing your partners and your creative to in-app conversion goals, in addition to the CPI. You'll see that you can scale faster and more efficiently.
I believe the biggest challenge for the HomeAdvisor app is getting people to keep it on their phones—they likely aren't using it everyday. With so much competition for the inventory on someone's phone, we want to make the app a necessity for everyday homeowner's lives and we're working towards achieving that.
Constant communication with all of my partners about new opportunities, betas, and their thoughts on the industry. Sometimes even taking the sales pitch calls to see what's new and interesting.
Historically this industry was dominated by gaming companies who were looking for quick, cheap installs and they weren't too concerned with targeting, attribution, or ROI. If I'm being selfish, I can hope the next big thing is integrated cost data with the tracking partners. Not having centralized cost data makes our job as marketers more difficult. I think the next big thing will either be better user targeting or multi-touch attribution.
We haven't tested re-engagement campaigns yet because we see strong repeat rates in the app and we work on a last-touch LTV model. It is something we're thinking about testing in the next year though. We don't currently value app usage without a conversion, so the goal would have to be driving incremental conversions. I hate the word 'incremental' because generally it's hard to track.