When presenting Guerrilla Marketing and Other Non-conventional Ways to Get Your App Discovered at Casual Connect in San Francisco, Ryan Merket defined the topic elegantly, “Guerrilla marketing is when the public can’t tell what’s advertising and what’s not.”
Minding the Gap
As Director of Product at InMobi, Ryan Merket does a little of everything. He learned to code at an early age and has a degree in Visual Design, so he is in a unique position to be able to bridge Product and Engineering. He sold his company AppStores.com, to InMobi, and is now the Director of Product for AppGalleries and the corporate InMobi.com website. He is also Head of North America Marketing, managing a team that handles events, messaging, collateral and all North America marketing activities. During Casual Connect USA, he announced a new product that will help developers get more organic installs and advertisers get extremely high quality users.
Innovation in India
Each year, InMobi holds a catalyst event in Bangalore, India in which they fly in over 100 employees for an intense three-day conference. Merket attended the conference for the first time this year. “Seeing the passion, ambition and determination from people all over the globe was truly inspiring,” he says, “and made me believe even more that InMobi was going to win.” He believes the next big trend in the games industry will be native ads on both mobile and desktop. Users are increasingly suffering from banner blindness, especially on the mobile screen. Allowing publishers to format ads to look more like their content and making the ads more relevant will unlock new inventory and increase eCPMs for publishers.
Merket tells us, “At InMobi, we are working on our own native ad integrations and are looking forward to announcing this soon.”
Connecting with Customers
Merket’s advice on making a better product emphasizes the importance of customer development. Just having a product designer pick up the phone and talk to their customers would go a long way toward making the product easier to use.
Blood and Sweat
Founding this company was a tremendous challenge: raising money, operating it and exiting it. There are many nuances and learning on the fly that a first-time entrepreneur must do to succeed. When Merket sold his company, AppStores, he walked a long, hard road, pivoting twice, but still keeping revenues high. He created an outstanding exit for his stockholders and investors and reached what he considers the proudest moment of his career.
He states, “I overcame it by busting my butt nineteen hours a day, every day, non-stop. It was one of the most stressful times of my life but also one of the most educational. I learned what it takes to be a good leader, husband, negotiator and entrepreneur.”
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.