Alignment Drives Innovation

“No enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist.” -Calvin Coolidge


  1. The only thing outside of the Product team’s control is session start.
  2. Building for customer lifetime value is a team sport.

Let’s Deconstruct.

Product teams continue to evolve, and many are adopting OKRs that are more fluid. The most sophisticated ones rally around at least one north star metric. What can a Mobile PM do when a user downloads their app yet fails to sign-up or even opt-in for push notifications? Better yet, what happens if they do provide an email and say “sure” to push notifications? If you do receive a push in the first week, then it’s likely to be a generic one along the lines of “10% off your first purchase.” Disney+ sends this one every week: “See what’s trending.”

Distributed Responsibilities.

Who owns what? Apps are technical, and often misunderstood by those who own P&L. As a result, often, Developers are responsible for customer experience on mobile apps. Many executives with budget authority continue to view mobile as a channel solved by a checkbox. Internally, it goes like, “yes, we have an app.” To consumers, it’s “download our app!” As a consumer, the question you ask yourself is, “why should I?” Spenser Skates, Co-Founder/CEO of Amplitude, sums this up nicely when speaking to his employees, “What makes a great digital product? The number of iterations.” No matter how beautiful an app is, its’ success will become defined by how many users remain active at the 3-month mark.

“What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organization to do so.” -Peter Drucker

Late last year, Keith Johnston from Forrester Research (Forrester Research, Inc., you know how finicky they are) laid down his predictions for the CMO in 2020, stating that “elite CMOs will establish a span of control.” Keith elaborates on his take further, saying that “in 2020, one designated C-suite leader will be responsible for all that surrounds the customer, clarifying the role of marketing in a business environment obsessed with growth.”

Quantifying the Problem.

No matter the size of the company, or even the service that you offer, every single business relies on building a healthy CAC to LTV ratio. As referenced previously, app stats are difficult to trust. So, take with a grain of salt, that, on average and across all industries, it costs $3.20 to acquire each iOS app user. For media, meditation, and others monetizing via subscriptions, the same report shows that $33.12 is the average cost of capturing an active subscriber on iOS. Apple then takes a cut for all subscriptions delivered through their ecosystem. It’s no surprise why Spotify does everything possible to go around Apple’s payment ecosystem and only pay their 15% fee on a mere 0.5% of paid subscribers on iOS.

The Solution.

The experiences that resonate with customers drive habits, which are hard to break. Organizations that understand this have aligned their metrics, teams, and then integrate their technologies and datasets. They are also the ones who will continue to accelerate growth through building products and experiences around their customers, which generates loyalty.



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Rory Kane

Rory Kane

My company helps brands deliver value for their customers, which drives sustainable growth.