Navigating Blind: Creative Optimization post-IDFA

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John Speakman (Gameforum) talks with Esther Shatz (VP Product Marketing & Consultancy at Storemaven) and Will Hughes (VP of Creative at TiltingPoint) about the evolution of creatives pre-ATT vs. post-ATT, using past learnings and the need for increased team collaboration.

Source:
Navigating Blind: Creative Optimization post-IDFA
(no direct link to watch/listen)
(direct link to watch/listen)
Type:
Panel
Publication date:
April 20, 2021
Added to the Vault on:
May 20, 2021
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💎 #
1

Creatives are always the first entry point to generate engagement with users. They must communicate right away a lot of things to users (e.g. product concept, story element, emotional intent).

05:42
💎 #
2

Pre-ATT, creatives could be very niche because you could show them to a very targeted audience. You could “customize” the entire funnel for a pocket of users. Some ads could look horrible yet they’d perform because they would be very well targeted.

08:26
💎 #
3

Beyond being able to target specific users with specific ads, before ATT you’d also get immediate feedback on your ads and could iterate fast. It was a big plus compared to “traditional” marketing where you’d have to wait to see if there was a spike, monitor if people talk about it, etc.

09:45
💎 #
4

In your creatives, you want to speak to what’s happening right now and what allows you to generate emotional responses. Creatives that didn’t work before can potentially work now, just because the environment/context/world has changed.

13:25
💎 #
5

With ATT we’re losing a lot of the breakdowns (age, gender, etc.) we used to have. Without customization, you have to craft an asset that can talk to different ages/geos.

18:25
💎 #
6

You now have to wait until you can get enough aggregated data. You have to “breathe”, you can’t play the rapid iteration game anymore. It’s more of an “experimentation mindset”: you need to consistently create and validate hypotheses.

19:00
💎 #
7

You can no longer just do minor tweaks: you have to make larger changes. You can iterate on a concept but the variations have to be pretty extreme so you can observe a change in performance.

20:42
💎 #
8

TiltingPoint has been building their database of top creative performers per game (per genre, art styles, mechanics, etc.), with insights and assumptions on why each worked. That way in the future they can look at the insights and leverage them (with the caveat that the market and the world change so there are no guarantees).

23:40
💎 #
9

You have to be much more thoughtful than before. You have to be able to build these deeper understandings of why creatives work: which sensation, emotion, etc. In this regard, people have been using Storemaven to also understand what people do on the App Store page following the ad (how they explore, etc.).

25:36
💎 #
10

Developers have been relying on TiltingPoint to understand what works in UA and social (e.g. specific character) so they could integrate it in their games or onboarding. They’ve seen this on SpongeBob, Terry Genesis, etc. 

33:14
💎 #
11

Not having the advantage of a clear ROAS on some channels levels up the acquisition playing field. Example: FB vs. influencers. It also opens the doors to opportunities and new creative formats that might be more relevant (e.g., playables).

34:17
💎 #
12

It’s not just UA that allows you to understand your audience, you can also leverage organic social. Example: for a specific game, the TiltingPoint animation team created an actual profile/persona on TikTok. Some of the TikToks really created engagement and they’ve started integrating those changes in the game.

35:30
The "gems" from this resource are only available to premium members.
  • Unlock access to gems from over 155 mobile growth resources
  • Define your preferred categories and receive new relevant gems directly in your inbox
  • Discuss key insights (and any other mobile growth topic) in the members-only community.
Upgrade Your Plan
💎 #
1

Creatives are always the first entry point to generate engagement with users. They must communicate right away a lot of things to users (e.g. product concept, story element, emotional intent).

05:42
💎 #
2

Pre-ATT, creatives could be very niche because you could show them to a very targeted audience. You could “customize” the entire funnel for a pocket of users. Some ads could look horrible yet they’d perform because they would be very well targeted.

08:26
💎 #
3

Beyond being able to target specific users with specific ads, before ATT you’d also get immediate feedback on your ads and could iterate fast. It was a big plus compared to “traditional” marketing where you’d have to wait to see if there was a spike, monitor if people talk about it, etc.

09:45
💎 #
4

In your creatives, you want to speak to what’s happening right now and what allows you to generate emotional responses. Creatives that didn’t work before can potentially work now, just because the environment/context/world has changed.

13:25
💎 #
5

With ATT we’re losing a lot of the breakdowns (age, gender, etc.) we used to have. Without customization, you have to craft an asset that can talk to different ages/geos.

18:25
💎 #
6

You now have to wait until you can get enough aggregated data. You have to “breathe”, you can’t play the rapid iteration game anymore. It’s more of an “experimentation mindset”: you need to consistently create and validate hypotheses.

19:00
💎 #
7

You can no longer just do minor tweaks: you have to make larger changes. You can iterate on a concept but the variations have to be pretty extreme so you can observe a change in performance.

20:42
💎 #
8

TiltingPoint has been building their database of top creative performers per game (per genre, art styles, mechanics, etc.), with insights and assumptions on why each worked. That way in the future they can look at the insights and leverage them (with the caveat that the market and the world change so there are no guarantees).

23:40
💎 #
9

You have to be much more thoughtful than before. You have to be able to build these deeper understandings of why creatives work: which sensation, emotion, etc. In this regard, people have been using Storemaven to also understand what people do on the App Store page following the ad (how they explore, etc.).

25:36
💎 #
10

Developers have been relying on TiltingPoint to understand what works in UA and social (e.g. specific character) so they could integrate it in their games or onboarding. They’ve seen this on SpongeBob, Terry Genesis, etc. 

33:14
💎 #
11

Not having the advantage of a clear ROAS on some channels levels up the acquisition playing field. Example: FB vs. influencers. It also opens the doors to opportunities and new creative formats that might be more relevant (e.g., playables).

34:17
💎 #
12

It’s not just UA that allows you to understand your audience, you can also leverage organic social. Example: for a specific game, the TiltingPoint animation team created an actual profile/persona on TikTok. Some of the TikToks really created engagement and they’ve started integrating those changes in the game.

35:30
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💎 #
1

Creatives are always the first entry point to generate engagement with users. They must communicate right away a lot of things to users (e.g. product concept, story element, emotional intent).

05:42
💎 #
2

Pre-ATT, creatives could be very niche because you could show them to a very targeted audience. You could “customize” the entire funnel for a pocket of users. Some ads could look horrible yet they’d perform because they would be very well targeted.

08:26
💎 #
3

Beyond being able to target specific users with specific ads, before ATT you’d also get immediate feedback on your ads and could iterate fast. It was a big plus compared to “traditional” marketing where you’d have to wait to see if there was a spike, monitor if people talk about it, etc.

09:45
💎 #
4

In your creatives, you want to speak to what’s happening right now and what allows you to generate emotional responses. Creatives that didn’t work before can potentially work now, just because the environment/context/world has changed.

13:25
💎 #
5

With ATT we’re losing a lot of the breakdowns (age, gender, etc.) we used to have. Without customization, you have to craft an asset that can talk to different ages/geos.

18:25
💎 #
6

You now have to wait until you can get enough aggregated data. You have to “breathe”, you can’t play the rapid iteration game anymore. It’s more of an “experimentation mindset”: you need to consistently create and validate hypotheses.

19:00
💎 #
7

You can no longer just do minor tweaks: you have to make larger changes. You can iterate on a concept but the variations have to be pretty extreme so you can observe a change in performance.

20:42
💎 #
8

TiltingPoint has been building their database of top creative performers per game (per genre, art styles, mechanics, etc.), with insights and assumptions on why each worked. That way in the future they can look at the insights and leverage them (with the caveat that the market and the world change so there are no guarantees).

23:40
💎 #
9

You have to be much more thoughtful than before. You have to be able to build these deeper understandings of why creatives work: which sensation, emotion, etc. In this regard, people have been using Storemaven to also understand what people do on the App Store page following the ad (how they explore, etc.).

25:36
💎 #
10

Developers have been relying on TiltingPoint to understand what works in UA and social (e.g. specific character) so they could integrate it in their games or onboarding. They’ve seen this on SpongeBob, Terry Genesis, etc. 

33:14
💎 #
11

Not having the advantage of a clear ROAS on some channels levels up the acquisition playing field. Example: FB vs. influencers. It also opens the doors to opportunities and new creative formats that might be more relevant (e.g., playables).

34:17
💎 #
12

It’s not just UA that allows you to understand your audience, you can also leverage organic social. Example: for a specific game, the TiltingPoint animation team created an actual profile/persona on TikTok. Some of the TikToks really created engagement and they’ve started integrating those changes in the game.

35:30
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On Creatives

Will Hughes

Until now, Creative Optimization has been about making minor changes to creatives based on data in order to gradually improve performance.

Esther

Creatives are how you talk to your potential users.

Before ATT you could really customize every single flow based on audience or keyword. But now you won’t have that granularity and you’re going to show the same for everyone.

Creatives pre-ATT vs. post-ATT

Will Hughes

[💎@05:42] Creatives are always the first entry point to generate engagement with users. They must communicate right away a lot of things to users (e.g. product concept, story element, emotional intent).

[💎@08:26] Pre-ATT, creatives could be very niche because you could show them to a very targeted audience. You could “customize” the entire funnel for a pocket of users. Some ads could look horrible yet they’d perform because they would be very well targeted.

[💎@09:45] Beyond being able to target specific users with specific ads, before ATT you’d also get immediate feedback on your ads and could iterate fast. It was a big plus compared to “traditional” marketing where you’d have to wait to see if there was a spike, monitor if people talk about it, etc.

Hopefully you can leverage the insights that you already have from pre-ATT: competitors and potential new ideas, your current best performers, etc.

[💎@13:25] In your creatives, you want to speak to what’s happening right now and what allows you to generate emotional responses. Creatives that didn’t work before can potentially work now, just because the environment/context/world has changed.

A lot of TiltingPoint games are tied to real, living brands (e.g. Star Trek) which is a big advantage. They look at what’s happening in the real world to adapt their creatives to what’s happening right now, and try to generate emotional responses.

TiltingPoint also leverages having offices all over the world to get different perspectives and points of views.

Esther

Before, you could get away with creatives that were just “ok” because you were targeting a specific audience.

Will

[💎@18:25] With ATT we’re losing a lot of the breakdowns (age, gender, etc.) we used to have. Without customization, you have to craft an asset that can talk to different ages/geos.

Esther

[💎@19:00] You now have to wait until you can get enough aggregated data. You have to “breathe”, you can’t play the rapid iteration game anymore. It’s more of an “experimentation mindset”: you need to consistently create and validate hypotheses. 

Will

[💎@20:42] You can no longer just do minor tweaks: you have to make larger changes. You can iterate on a concept but the variations have to be pretty extreme so you can observe a change in performance.

Using past learnings and cohesiveness with the App Store listing

Will

[💎@23:40] TiltingPoint has been building their database of top creative performers per game (per genre, art styles, mechanics, etc.), with insights and assumptions on why each worked. That way in the future they can look at the insights and leverage them (with the caveat that the market and the world change so there are no guarantees).

But the market and the world change so what was performing before might not perform in the future and vice versa.

Esther

[💎@25:36] You have to be much more thoughtful than before. You have to be able to build these deeper understandings of why creatives work: which sensation, emotion, etc. In this regard, people have been using Storemaven to also understand what people do on the App Store page following the ad (how they explore, etc.).

Will

The ad creatives and App Store listings have to be better connected, you need to have something more cohesive. If you focus too much on a niche of users, everyone else might drop off.

More team collaboration needed

Esther

Historically there’s been organic uplift when spending on UA. UA traffic will most likely go down because advertisers won’t be as confident that they’re bringing in qualified users, and your organics might suffer as a result. To understand what happens throughout, the product team needs to give the feedback to the UA and Creative teams.

Will

They work with a lot of developers, all over the globe. 

[💎@33:14] Developers have been relying on TiltingPoint to understand what works in UA and social (e.g. specific character) so they could integrate it in their games or onboarding. They’ve seen this on SpongeBob, Terry Genesis, etc. 

Esther

[💎@34:17] Not having the advantage of a clear ROAS on some channels levels up the acquisition playing field. Example: FB vs. influencers. It also opens the doors to opportunities and new creative formats that might be more relevant (e.g., playables).

Will

[💎@35:30] It’s not just UA that allows you to understand your audience, you can also leverage organic social. Example: for a specific game, the TiltingPoint animation team created an actual profile/persona on TikTok. Some of the TikToks really created engagement and they’ve started integrating those changes in the game.

“It’s an exciting time for innovation”

Final tips/advices

Esther

Make sure you have a true understanding of your audience, beyond lookalikes. Prepare for the kind of demographics that you want to speak to so that when ATT is enforced you still know who you’ll be talking to.

Will

Historical data is going to be key.
On the creative side, think more about significant changes over minor changes. Really push the creative concepts/ideas. You’re now going to talk to a much wider audience with each creative.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
Upgrade Your Plan

On Creatives

Will Hughes

Until now, Creative Optimization has been about making minor changes to creatives based on data in order to gradually improve performance.

Esther

Creatives are how you talk to your potential users.

Before ATT you could really customize every single flow based on audience or keyword. But now you won’t have that granularity and you’re going to show the same for everyone.

Creatives pre-ATT vs. post-ATT

Will Hughes

[💎@05:42] Creatives are always the first entry point to generate engagement with users. They must communicate right away a lot of things to users (e.g. product concept, story element, emotional intent).

[💎@08:26] Pre-ATT, creatives could be very niche because you could show them to a very targeted audience. You could “customize” the entire funnel for a pocket of users. Some ads could look horrible yet they’d perform because they would be very well targeted.

[💎@09:45] Beyond being able to target specific users with specific ads, before ATT you’d also get immediate feedback on your ads and could iterate fast. It was a big plus compared to “traditional” marketing where you’d have to wait to see if there was a spike, monitor if people talk about it, etc.

Hopefully you can leverage the insights that you already have from pre-ATT: competitors and potential new ideas, your current best performers, etc.

[💎@13:25] In your creatives, you want to speak to what’s happening right now and what allows you to generate emotional responses. Creatives that didn’t work before can potentially work now, just because the environment/context/world has changed.

A lot of TiltingPoint games are tied to real, living brands (e.g. Star Trek) which is a big advantage. They look at what’s happening in the real world to adapt their creatives to what’s happening right now, and try to generate emotional responses.

TiltingPoint also leverages having offices all over the world to get different perspectives and points of views.

Esther

Before, you could get away with creatives that were just “ok” because you were targeting a specific audience.

Will

[💎@18:25] With ATT we’re losing a lot of the breakdowns (age, gender, etc.) we used to have. Without customization, you have to craft an asset that can talk to different ages/geos.

Esther

[💎@19:00] You now have to wait until you can get enough aggregated data. You have to “breathe”, you can’t play the rapid iteration game anymore. It’s more of an “experimentation mindset”: you need to consistently create and validate hypotheses. 

Will

[💎@20:42] You can no longer just do minor tweaks: you have to make larger changes. You can iterate on a concept but the variations have to be pretty extreme so you can observe a change in performance.

Using past learnings and cohesiveness with the App Store listing

Will

[💎@23:40] TiltingPoint has been building their database of top creative performers per game (per genre, art styles, mechanics, etc.), with insights and assumptions on why each worked. That way in the future they can look at the insights and leverage them (with the caveat that the market and the world change so there are no guarantees).

But the market and the world change so what was performing before might not perform in the future and vice versa.

Esther

[💎@25:36] You have to be much more thoughtful than before. You have to be able to build these deeper understandings of why creatives work: which sensation, emotion, etc. In this regard, people have been using Storemaven to also understand what people do on the App Store page following the ad (how they explore, etc.).

Will

The ad creatives and App Store listings have to be better connected, you need to have something more cohesive. If you focus too much on a niche of users, everyone else might drop off.

More team collaboration needed

Esther

Historically there’s been organic uplift when spending on UA. UA traffic will most likely go down because advertisers won’t be as confident that they’re bringing in qualified users, and your organics might suffer as a result. To understand what happens throughout, the product team needs to give the feedback to the UA and Creative teams.

Will

They work with a lot of developers, all over the globe. 

[💎@33:14] Developers have been relying on TiltingPoint to understand what works in UA and social (e.g. specific character) so they could integrate it in their games or onboarding. They’ve seen this on SpongeBob, Terry Genesis, etc. 

Esther

[💎@34:17] Not having the advantage of a clear ROAS on some channels levels up the acquisition playing field. Example: FB vs. influencers. It also opens the doors to opportunities and new creative formats that might be more relevant (e.g., playables).

Will

[💎@35:30] It’s not just UA that allows you to understand your audience, you can also leverage organic social. Example: for a specific game, the TiltingPoint animation team created an actual profile/persona on TikTok. Some of the TikToks really created engagement and they’ve started integrating those changes in the game.

“It’s an exciting time for innovation”

Final tips/advices

Esther

Make sure you have a true understanding of your audience, beyond lookalikes. Prepare for the kind of demographics that you want to speak to so that when ATT is enforced you still know who you’ll be talking to.

Will

Historical data is going to be key.
On the creative side, think more about significant changes over minor changes. Really push the creative concepts/ideas. You’re now going to talk to a much wider audience with each creative.


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↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
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On Creatives

Will Hughes

Until now, Creative Optimization has been about making minor changes to creatives based on data in order to gradually improve performance.

Esther

Creatives are how you talk to your potential users.

Before ATT you could really customize every single flow based on audience or keyword. But now you won’t have that granularity and you’re going to show the same for everyone.

Creatives pre-ATT vs. post-ATT

Will Hughes

[💎@05:42] Creatives are always the first entry point to generate engagement with users. They must communicate right away a lot of things to users (e.g. product concept, story element, emotional intent).

[💎@08:26] Pre-ATT, creatives could be very niche because you could show them to a very targeted audience. You could “customize” the entire funnel for a pocket of users. Some ads could look horrible yet they’d perform because they would be very well targeted.

[💎@09:45] Beyond being able to target specific users with specific ads, before ATT you’d also get immediate feedback on your ads and could iterate fast. It was a big plus compared to “traditional” marketing where you’d have to wait to see if there was a spike, monitor if people talk about it, etc.

Hopefully you can leverage the insights that you already have from pre-ATT: competitors and potential new ideas, your current best performers, etc.

[💎@13:25] In your creatives, you want to speak to what’s happening right now and what allows you to generate emotional responses. Creatives that didn’t work before can potentially work now, just because the environment/context/world has changed.

A lot of TiltingPoint games are tied to real, living brands (e.g. Star Trek) which is a big advantage. They look at what’s happening in the real world to adapt their creatives to what’s happening right now, and try to generate emotional responses.

TiltingPoint also leverages having offices all over the world to get different perspectives and points of views.

Esther

Before, you could get away with creatives that were just “ok” because you were targeting a specific audience.

Will

[💎@18:25] With ATT we’re losing a lot of the breakdowns (age, gender, etc.) we used to have. Without customization, you have to craft an asset that can talk to different ages/geos.

Esther

[💎@19:00] You now have to wait until you can get enough aggregated data. You have to “breathe”, you can’t play the rapid iteration game anymore. It’s more of an “experimentation mindset”: you need to consistently create and validate hypotheses. 

Will

[💎@20:42] You can no longer just do minor tweaks: you have to make larger changes. You can iterate on a concept but the variations have to be pretty extreme so you can observe a change in performance.

Using past learnings and cohesiveness with the App Store listing

Will

[💎@23:40] TiltingPoint has been building their database of top creative performers per game (per genre, art styles, mechanics, etc.), with insights and assumptions on why each worked. That way in the future they can look at the insights and leverage them (with the caveat that the market and the world change so there are no guarantees).

But the market and the world change so what was performing before might not perform in the future and vice versa.

Esther

[💎@25:36] You have to be much more thoughtful than before. You have to be able to build these deeper understandings of why creatives work: which sensation, emotion, etc. In this regard, people have been using Storemaven to also understand what people do on the App Store page following the ad (how they explore, etc.).

Will

The ad creatives and App Store listings have to be better connected, you need to have something more cohesive. If you focus too much on a niche of users, everyone else might drop off.

More team collaboration needed

Esther

Historically there’s been organic uplift when spending on UA. UA traffic will most likely go down because advertisers won’t be as confident that they’re bringing in qualified users, and your organics might suffer as a result. To understand what happens throughout, the product team needs to give the feedback to the UA and Creative teams.

Will

They work with a lot of developers, all over the globe. 

[💎@33:14] Developers have been relying on TiltingPoint to understand what works in UA and social (e.g. specific character) so they could integrate it in their games or onboarding. They’ve seen this on SpongeBob, Terry Genesis, etc. 

Esther

[💎@34:17] Not having the advantage of a clear ROAS on some channels levels up the acquisition playing field. Example: FB vs. influencers. It also opens the doors to opportunities and new creative formats that might be more relevant (e.g., playables).

Will

[💎@35:30] It’s not just UA that allows you to understand your audience, you can also leverage organic social. Example: for a specific game, the TiltingPoint animation team created an actual profile/persona on TikTok. Some of the TikToks really created engagement and they’ve started integrating those changes in the game.

“It’s an exciting time for innovation”

Final tips/advices

Esther

Make sure you have a true understanding of your audience, beyond lookalikes. Prepare for the kind of demographics that you want to speak to so that when ATT is enforced you still know who you’ll be talking to.

Will

Historical data is going to be key.
On the creative side, think more about significant changes over minor changes. Really push the creative concepts/ideas. You’re now going to talk to a much wider audience with each creative.