Q&A with Vinícius
Vinícius Gerez is a Senior User Acquisition Manager for Wooga. In this role, he manages testing and optimization of RTB buying, expansion of global markets, contract and IO negotiations, C-level reporting, and much more. Vinícius broke into app marketing as a marketing intern at Wooga, and has steadily climbed the ranks for the past several years until reaching his current role.
How did you get into mobile marketing?
I started as a translator at Wooga in 2010, localizing our games into Brazilian Portuguese at a time when Wooga was still making games for Facebook.com. Back then, the localization team was working closely with the marketing team, helping out with Facebook ad copy for desktop apps. Half a year later, in 2011, I moved over to the user acquisition team and specialized in acquiring users for our games. That was also the time when Wooga shifted focus from desktop to mobile marketing, which was a really great experience to learn from.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
It’s a very fast paced field. There’s frequent change and I’m constantly learning new things. What works today might not be so meaningful tomorrow, and there are always new technologies coming into play that add up to the novelty of the industry.
What is the biggest mistake you made as a mobile marketer?
Due to the fast paced nature of mobile marketing, I learned the hard way about how important it is to always organize things in advance. Having a back-up person if you step out is key. This back-up person must have a proper handoff to continue from where you leave off. If that is not possible for any reason, I’d always recommend to set up a routine plan with regular check-ins.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
You have to have an analytical, inquisitive mind. You have to be interested in the data itself, analyzing it and making informed decisions. You should also be open to learn new technologies and strategies.
What do you think are the main differences between marketing a gaming app vs a non-gaming app?
The first thought that comes to mind is the approach towards paid re-engagement. From my experience, if you compare gaming and e-commerce apps, for example, the value coming to the latter is higher for paid re-engagement than for gaming. Reminding a user that there was this item that they almost purchased, but didn’t, tends to show results quicker and more efficiently than if you pay to bring a user to play your game. Keeping game players engaged by means of community or forum efforts feels more natural and less imposing for the users.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
Speaking in a simplified way, it all boils down to a combination of retention and engagement. If a user comes back to play our apps every day, engages in various ways, puts time and investment in, that is a great user. This person would then consequently also become a spokesperson for our product, making recommendations to friends, who would in turn end up playing the game as well. In this case, the original user would be an amazing quality user to us.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
From a UA perspective, you have to be candid about your product. Since the advertisement is the first step in the user journey, you have to make sure that they know what they are going to get once they download your app. Otherwise, they will abandon it if they feel mislead. For existing players, it is all about keeping up their positive experience and providing happy play moments. That’s when our community and player experience teams mostly interact with players.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing your apps?
The amount of competition that exists in our ecosystem. There are many gaming apps coming out every day. Everyone is trying to attract players, so convincing users that they should play our games over others can be tricky.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
I keep up by reading industry newsletters and blogs (like Venturebeat, TechCrunch, PocketGamer.biz), attending events, and talking to peers and network account managers in general. I also like being an early adopter of new products where possible.
How important is diversifying user acquisition outside of Facebook?
It is definitely important. Facebook brings amazing targeting capabilities to marketers and thus is a very important channel to everyone in the industry. That, however, literally comes with a price. There are so many others trying to reach out to the same audiences as you, that prices keep increasing and it becomes hard to keep ROI at a profitable level. With that in mind diversification is clearly one important aspect of advertising outside of Facebook. Another one is that while many users are connected to Facebook, not everyone in the world is. So having other means of reaching the players broadens your potential target audience.
How important are the holidays to your business and what season is the biggest time for you?
Holidays usually mean many large brands invest heavily to be seen by everyone. So this period is actually more difficult for us than other times of the year. The beginning of the year, when many large brands have scaled down from Christmas, is a good period. That’s when potential players who found a new device under the Christmas tree are looking for apps to install.