Q&A with Xi
Xi Tong formerly managed user acquisition for several classic casino gaming apps at Zenjoy. A native of Beijing, China, Xi got her master’s degree in marketing at ESG Paris, a top 10 business school in Paris, France. Prior to Zenjoy, Xi worked for a simulation game company called Elex. Xi’s is a leading performance marketer within the mobile gaming industry.
In your own words, tell us about the app that you manage?
I manage marketing for several casino apps. Our apps are traditional classic casino games with a focus on creating an authentic slot machine experience. Never did I imagine I would be responsible for marketing mobile casino apps. But with so many similar apps available, I enjoy the challenge to communicate the value proposition of our apps and to differentiate with creative.
What drove you to get started in mobile marketing?
I played some games when I was a kid, including RPG games during my time at university. However, I didn’t realize that games play such a big part in many people’s lives and what a tremendous and prosperous industry it is. So when I got an opportunity to join a game company, I was interested as it was something I hadn’t ever considered. I was curious.
What’s more, when I got my start in mobile marketing in 2014, the industry was just starting to see dramatic growth, especially in gaming, leaving me feeling good about my decision to focus on mobile gaming.
What do you like most about mobile marketing?
More than anything, as a data-centric marketer, I love that mobile marketing is so incredibly data driven, more so than any other form of marketing, from my experience.
What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?
Success in mobile requires moving fast and testing anything and everything. With a steady stream of real-time data, we are constantly swimming in a sea of user data. Being able to act quickly on it is essential. This can include changes to ad creative, targeting or even product changes to keep users engaged and spending. Mobile marketing is an industry in constant change, with new ad products and creative formats being released all the time. To stay ahead of the competition, it’s important to test new technologies in a timely manner.
What does a quality mobile user look like to you?
To me, a quality mobile user can be a big whale who spends a lot of money in our game, or simply people who like to play our games repeatedly and for a long time, who like to communicate with other players, or provide feedback on our games.
What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?
Some of our best strategies are focused on identifying quality users and targeting them with effective ads. In the ads themselves, I find it best to let users know exactly what to expect from the app when they download the app. Re-engagement ads are also quite effective in getting users back to our apps and playing.
What have you done in the past year to help better monetize your app?
Remember that there are people behind the data. We have too much data to look at everyday — sometimes we may overemphasize KPIs, CTR, CVR, and so on, and forget who the users are, what they like, what they expect, and where are they. Remembering this makes UA campaigns more effective.
What is the biggest challenge in marketing your apps?
Too many similar apps. In our segment of the app market, we are competing with many casino apps similar to ours. It can make it difficult to differentiate our value compared to others.
How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?
Move fast, be flexible and constantly try new things.
What do you see is the next big thing in mobile marketing?
Mobile marketing will overlap more with traditional marketing at some point. And I expect to see the merging of brand marketing and performance marketing. All of this will require the creation of more advanced products to track and measure the performance of these campaigns.
Do you plan to run re-engagement campaigns in the next 12 months?
Yes. For our apps, retention of users really matters, and running re-engagement campaigns is an effective way to make users remain active.