Q&A with Harry
Harry Bienenstock is a Monetization Team Leader at Playtika, the world’s largest social casino gaming company. He is responsible for the #1 mobile poker game in the US, World Series of Poker (WSOP). Harry has a unique backstory, first playing poker professionally before marketing the mobile app. He has 6 years of experience in digital marketing, previously working in affiliate management and digital marketing for iGaming then moving into user acquisition in social casino gaming. At Playtika, Harry oversees all aspects of WSOP marketing including campaign management, media buying, growth hacking, and managing paid search.
Read Harry’s blog: “Optimizing Spend Across Paid Mobile User Acquisition Channels.”
In your own words, tell us about the app that you manage?
I’m responsible for user acquisition for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) free-to-play app. WSOP is the most downloaded and revenue generating social poker app in the US. We were a true underdog story, the David to another big poker app’s Goliath. It didn’t happen overnight, but we got there by delivering an authentic poker experience to our users. It starts with bringing the right type of users into the game, and keeping them engaged by rolling out new features and new events regularly.
How did you get started in mobile marketing?
Mobile marketing found me, really. I was working in iGaming, where a lot of the companies were web or mobile-web based. Some of them even started on WAP devices (WAP!). Smartphones weren’t even around yet. A couple of years into the job, a lot of the companies started making their own apps, realizing that they could connect with their users on a deeper level and deliver a better user experience.
At that point, I was exposed to several MMPs (Mobile Measurement Partners), as well as the top charts that held info on the biggest apps and companies in the business. I was especially intrigued by the gaming space. At this point, I started soaking up as much information as I could, watching videos from conferences—a personal favorite being “the state of social casino”—following quarterly reports, and networking.
My previous role allowed me to network with some of the biggest social casino companies that existed, as well as deliver them traffic. After what felt like a short time in that role, Playtika came calling. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with the biggest and best in the gaming space, so I went all-in on Playtika (pardon the poker pun). It’s been a great fit, having just reached my 3 year mark at the company. My retention and engagement rates are very high (this time … pardon the mobile marketing pun).
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
There are so many ways to make an impact. So many ways to make a difference. It could be with a home-run creative that you thought up in the shower, or maybe something related to how you review the behavior of the traffic you recently acquired. It can be with some new creatives, text, or titles in the app store. Tweaking a bid here or running in a new geo there. Being accessible on multiple platforms, in so many countries around the world, there are so many ways to make an impact. It will either drive you mad, or motivate you to do great things.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
A hunger to keep getting better. There’s always something new to learn. Things are in a constant state of evolution, so you can’t ever get comfortable with the status quo. That’s true both inside an app and outside of it in the mobile ecosystem.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
Most importantly: engaged, retentive, and monetized. A user who is active in our game’s community is a huge plus. A user who is a brand ambassador is an even bigger plus.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
It starts with acquiring the right users. Make sure you’re acquiring users that have similar affinities to your app. If you bring someone in who by default isn’t likely to be engaged, you’ll have a difficult time converting them into an engaged user.
In the past year, what is one tip you can share which made the biggest performance difference with UA or re-engagement of your app?
Automation. Instead of viewing things on an ad-hoc basis, have the reports come to you.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
You really need to evolve with the times. First mover advantage is so important in this space. Whenever you discover something that gives you an edge, you have to double down on it before others catch up.
What do you see as the next big thing in mobile app marketing?
Bigger and better apps. Especially games. Games have made such huge strides over the past several years. It wasn’t that long ago that the only place to play a quality game was on a PC or on game console. Now you have immersive games with stunning graphics and gameplay available to you in your pocket, and often times for free.
What advice can you offer to help marketers combat mobile ad fraud?
Get a fraud tool. It’s worth it. Set up alerts and stay on top of your sources’ publishers. Traffic in your steady pubs is always changing, and traffic from new pubs is always coming in. Stay on top of all of it.