Q&A with Robert
Robert Garfinkle began his career in China, managing user acquisition for mobile gaming company Elex. Since moving to the Bay Area, he has continued advancing in the industry, managing user acquisition for Gameloft, Netmarble Games, and Nexon M. He was with Nexon M for nearly three years, formerly their Senior User Acquisition Manager since the beginning of 2018.
Read Robert’s blog: “What I Learned Marketing Gaming Apps Developed in APAC”
In your own words, tell us about the apps that you manage?
I manage a series of Action RPG and Strategy titles in the Western market. These are games characterized by a limited demographic match, higher-than-average LTV and high development cost. These apps have limited ability to scale, which presents a big challenge when developing UA strategy.
How did you get started in mobile marketing?
I worked for the overseas publishing department of Elex Technology as a US Marketing Manager. After some time in China, I moved to the Bay Area, where I’ve done user acquisition at Gameloft, Netmarble and now Nexon M, where I’ve been for the past 2 and a half years.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
The meritocratic and international nature of the iOS and Android app stores. Strong products through these amazing market have the opportunity to captivate the entire world regardless of location or access to other amenities.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
A strong product and the willingness to cut your losses.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
Depending on the game, a quality user is one that engages with the “first-time user experience” and proceeds to become a regular user. What this means in specifics varies from title to title.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
This is also extremely varied. Giving users a good idea of gameplay and being explicit in your marketing messaging as to what users will be engaged with always helps. Nobody benefits from misleading advertising.
In the past year, what is one tip you can share which made the biggest performance improvement?
The growth of programmatic as a market segment and the proliferation of tools to address it have made the single largest difference in the past year.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
Testing new and novel UA methods as systematically as possible.
What do you see as the next big thing in mobile marketing?
The growth of emerging markets into major revenue drivers, especially Russia, Turkey, and Brazil, but also less notably China.
What advice can you offer to help marketers combat mobile ad fraud?
Cut it off at the source and be careful about where you are buying from. It is especially difficult to protect yourself while buying affiliate or non-SDK traffic. No media source, including social, is safe from those that want to steal our marketing budgets. Advertising is historically ephemeral, untraceable and amorphous. Nowadays we have tracking and attribution which help protect us, and while it’s not perfect, it gives us all we need to stop spending with the partners who are seeking to rob us.