Picks and Shovels: The Mobile Gold Rush is On

During the gold rush it was the people selling picks and shovels who made the money, not the people mining for gold. Today, developers are the miners and adTech companies are the merchants fueling the fire – at least that was the point made at the recent semi-annual M1 Summit in New York City.

Picks and Shovels AdTech Gold Rush

Mobile Application Monetization

In this modern gold rush, adTech companies and platforms are essentially the ones selling the picks and shovels. Today however, they’re actually adding value since it’s impossible for developers to keep pace with the shifts and changes in the marketing industry. In the average developer workflow, cranking out code isn’t so much of a challenge as is user retention.

In order to successfully monetize their apps, there’s only four options for developers have at their disposal:

  1. Sell an app or service
  2. Offer a paid subscription
  3. In app purchases
  4. Advertising

In order for companies to really stand out from the competition, they need their product teams to successfully keep the communication going between the marketing and engineering teams.

Connected Devices

When it comes to the internet of things (IoT) the biggest challenge for app developers and adTech companies is that there needs to be a way to connect devices with each other. Until then, any apps which are developed aren’t going to be used to their potential.

In order to be successful in the future, AdTech companies need to become mobile first, since those are the devices where data is being consolidated. Developers need to realize that they can’t develop for the masses – they need to put the customer front and center. The biggest takeaway from the conference is that with a mobile first strategy, developers need to focus on how individual users interact with the app.