App Marketers in Quarantine: Cindy Yim from Tophatter

Insights Jul 15, 2020

For this edition of App Marketers in Quarantine Answering Questions, Julián Rodriguez Hortal from Jampp’s Business Operations team interviewed Tophatter’s Cindy Yim.

Q&A with Cindy Yim

Tophatter is a mobile shopping marketplace. Combining the engagement of a game with the economics of a marketplace, Tophatter is redefining e-commerce. Tophatter generates over $300 million of annual Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) and sells over 100,000 items every day.

Cindy Yim is currently Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Tophatter. With nearly 15 years of experience in business management, marketing, and technology, we were eager to check in and pick her brain for advice and insights.

Julián: How are you adapting to WFH? What cadence or advice would you have for staying connected to your team?

Cindy: Since we’re spending more time at home, we should make adjustments to ensure we are comfortable. That could mean turning on the conditioning, getting a new desk and chair, and upgrading to higher-speed internet. Fortunately, with the technology available to us, I’ve been using Zoom and Slack to stay connected with the team and our marketing partners.

Cindy's remote workspace

Julián: A lot of marketers are using this time to learn more about the industry, what’s one piece of advice/ lesson learned about app marketing you can share?

Cindy: There’s value in trying to reach new customer demographics. Different types of users may purchase different types of products on our platform, which can generate sales for a wider range of sellers. Our app is starting to gain traction on ad platforms that skew younger. In the end, this broadens the appeal of our app and increases our customer market size.

Julián: How do you think this will affect the industry in the long term?

Cindy: Many advertisers will likely adjust their marketing budgets significantly, depending on when they think their business will return to stability. In Retail and other sectors, there could be reduced advertising competition while other sectors may see a rise in CPMs due to greater competition. In the long term, businesses will place more emphasis on diversifying their products and services to better withstand a situation like this.

Julián: Whenever budgets are constricted there’s usually a shift from branding to performance, and in turn to accountable strategies. Does that hold true in this situation? Or are there nuances for large brands to try and brand build during a global crisis?

Cindy: I would imagine that companies, even those traditionally more focused on branding, will start allocating more resources towards performance marketing with the aim of having more clarity on marketing impact and return on ad spend.

Julián: What changes in user activity do you see the current situation either accelerating or slowing down?

Cindy: In general, consumers are spending more time shopping online. There was an increase in online searches for “online shopping” and we continue to see strong conversions on our site from the demand side as an e-commerce company. A potential trend is that more time is spent on social media sites, as the shelter-in-place orders have increased people’s time at home.

Julián: What changes specifically in programmatic advertising do you see the current situation either accelerating or slowing down? (e.g. device ID deprecated, changes in inventory, etc).

Cindy: Changes in programmatic advertising may depend on the sector, as competition can vary depending on how businesses are impacted. For businesses that are able to maintain a marketing budget considered healthy under normal circumstances, they will look to capitalize on efficiencies if bids and ad costs are unusually low.

Julián: What do you like to do in your free time? Have you picked up any new hobbies? Do you have any podcasts/ books to recommend?

Cindy: In my free time, I like to play tennis, travel the world, get coffee at my favorite places, spend time on Instagram, and watch movies. I’ve picked up a new hobby of organizing my photos, which could lead into photo editing. I’d recommend a book called “An Arabian Journey” by Levison Wood, which has fascinating tales as a journalist travels through the Middle East.

Julián: That’s a wrap! Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us!

Staying Connected

In our App Marketers in Quarantine series, we talk with experienced marketers like Cindy to hear their take on the current situation and their advice for other marketers. Do you have any tips, recommendations, or insights to share? Let us know!

Florencia Vago

Marketing Manager at Jampp. Loves long walks in the city, traveling and learning new languages.
When she’s not reading up on industry news or creating content, she’s usually talking about books...