UA comes down to basic math, the challenge is finding the right way to balance the equation.
Growing up, I wasn’t a gamer or someone who spent much time with technology. Looking back, I could never imagine that I would become an expert in marketing mobile games. At the start of my career, I wasn’t focused on the tech industry or mobile games. My initial background was in traditional corporate marketing, but I was able to get my foot in the door at ngmoco, and worked my way up from an entry-level role. Since then, I’ve been with multiple gaming companies at various stages (start-up, public, etc.), and have managed a combined UA budget of $50M+. On a personal note, I have an obsession with food and dogs, and hope to someday marry these passions with my mobile expertise.
Being data driven is both key and expected at this stage in the mobile User Acquisition industry. Given the immense value and actionable insights that data can provide, a “data driven approach” to making decisions has permeated the industry, but far too often, decisions are made without further validation. I cannot overstress the importance of data integrity, as UA Managers we cannot execute performance marketing without it.
Question suspicious data; if something looks too good / bad to be true, there will usually be something to learn. Investigate quickly in attempts to understand what might be causing the exciting or concerning results. For example, if a campaign demonstrates abnormally low CVR, it would be worth a quick check to ensure targeting is setup properly. On the flip side, if payer conversion from a given source is much higher than other channels, it could be worth checking if there’s a trend of users paying early but never paying again (could indicate potential fraud).
The mobile marketing industry has come a long way in the past 10 years. We’re now seeing playable ads, CG trailers and TV ads, so as the industry evolves, a plain 320×50 banner ad just doesn’t compete. There is a demand and appetite for innovative and humorous ads, so mobile marketers need to understand their audience and cater accordingly.
Creative is not one size fits all. Identify the persona of your audience, and use a segmented creative approach to yield best results. Testing is key. Although you may understand the audience, creative optimization is a job that never ends. It’s necessary to constantly test and iterate on top performing creative in order to gain new insights and stay ahead of the competition.
Opportunity is abound, but it’s important to focus the lens and define what you’re looking to optimize. For this reason, it’s best to outline the objective, and then explore the potential opportunities to achieve the goals. You may be surprised by the vast number of opportunities you identify using this methodology.
For instance, if you pay for a large scale of low revenue generating installs at low cost, you would be happy when executing a burst campaign, but unhappy with the results when buying purely for return on ad spend. Make sure your campaign strategies align with business goals.
THE LAST WORD:
Have fun, work hard and don’t dwell on mistakes, learn from them! Remember, although we’re dealing with budgets in the tens of millions of dollars, UA comes down to basic math, the challenge is finding the right way to balance the equation.