The Engine for Driving Short-term and Long-term Growth: Acquire

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11

Julia Martin (Strategic Partnerships at MoPub - Ad Network) discusses with Daniel Lopez (Director of Quant Marketing at EA), Jenny Taran (Head of Growth at Activision) and Faith Price (Head of UA at DoubleDown Interactive) about game launches, setting KPIs, incrementality and finding the right audiences

Source:
The Engine for Driving Short-term and Long-term Growth: Acquire
(no direct link to watch/listen)
(direct link to watch/listen)
Type:
Panel
Publication date:
August 4, 2020
Added to the Vault on:
August 22, 2020
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💎 #
1

For the soft launch cycle,** the feedback loop between product and marketing is key**. Do not be too attached to your product/game and figure out who your game is really for.

11:30
💎 #
2

The genre and finances drive the KPIs you choose. For IAP-based games it's always about the ROAS (D7/28/56). Other KPIs inform decisions as well:
- CPI (example: if ROAS is reached for two partners, the one with the lower CPI represents less risk)
- first-time purchase rate
- some retention metrics.

26:50
💎 #
3

High CPIs are a risk but so is inconsistent performance: be careful with partners that are just whale-hunting: what happens when they don't catch whales for a month?

28:54
💎 #
4

You might be optimizing yourself out of core placements of valuable areas. If you have a niche product and you buy on CPI, ad networks might only be able to optimize based on CTR because of lack of signals.

32:07
💎 #
5

You might be optimizing yourself out of core placements of valuable areas. If you have a niche product and you buy on CPI, ad networks might only be able to optimize based on CTR because of lack of signals.

33:40
💎 #
6

Keep the feedback loop with product open and be ready to evolve your KPIs: the data should tell you where to go. Example: depending on your company goals you might be willing to sacrifice some amount of ROAS to hit specific retention metrics and test product initiatives, etc.

34:43
💎 #
7

If your funnel is linear and you have a paywall it's easier to identify your KPIs but if it's more open (e.g. call of duty - lots of different paths users can take, not pay to play) you have to identify early user behavior and how that translates into revenue.

36:49
💎 #
8

You can receive your entire json postback from the MMP in a special format that includes every single dimension from every channel and source, for all impressions/clicks/installs. This means you can control your own attribution internally and open up user-level LTV analysis at the most granular level.
→ that clearly won't be possible with iOS 14...

41:07
💎 #
9

When evaluating new partners, ask yourself if the launch plan they're putting together is a plan for your specific app (e.g. casino game) or just any title.

43:40
💎 #
10

To find the right audience you want to also look at the other interests of your users: other things they like and do outside of gaming.

45:04
💎 #
11

Leverage the most popular content of the games and use that for creatives.

45:27
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💎 #
1

For the soft launch cycle,** the feedback loop between product and marketing is key**. Do not be too attached to your product/game and figure out who your game is really for.

11:30
💎 #
2

The genre and finances drive the KPIs you choose. For IAP-based games it's always about the ROAS (D7/28/56). Other KPIs inform decisions as well:
- CPI (example: if ROAS is reached for two partners, the one with the lower CPI represents less risk)
- first-time purchase rate
- some retention metrics.

26:50
💎 #
3

High CPIs are a risk but so is inconsistent performance: be careful with partners that are just whale-hunting: what happens when they don't catch whales for a month?

28:54
💎 #
4

You might be optimizing yourself out of core placements of valuable areas. If you have a niche product and you buy on CPI, ad networks might only be able to optimize based on CTR because of lack of signals.

32:07
💎 #
5

You might be optimizing yourself out of core placements of valuable areas. If you have a niche product and you buy on CPI, ad networks might only be able to optimize based on CTR because of lack of signals.

33:40
💎 #
6

Keep the feedback loop with product open and be ready to evolve your KPIs: the data should tell you where to go. Example: depending on your company goals you might be willing to sacrifice some amount of ROAS to hit specific retention metrics and test product initiatives, etc.

34:43
💎 #
7

If your funnel is linear and you have a paywall it's easier to identify your KPIs but if it's more open (e.g. call of duty - lots of different paths users can take, not pay to play) you have to identify early user behavior and how that translates into revenue.

36:49
💎 #
8

You can receive your entire json postback from the MMP in a special format that includes every single dimension from every channel and source, for all impressions/clicks/installs. This means you can control your own attribution internally and open up user-level LTV analysis at the most granular level.
→ that clearly won't be possible with iOS 14...

41:07
💎 #
9

When evaluating new partners, ask yourself if the launch plan they're putting together is a plan for your specific app (e.g. casino game) or just any title.

43:40
💎 #
10

To find the right audience you want to also look at the other interests of your users: other things they like and do outside of gaming.

45:04
💎 #
11

Leverage the most popular content of the games and use that for creatives.

45:27
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💎 #
1

For the soft launch cycle,** the feedback loop between product and marketing is key**. Do not be too attached to your product/game and figure out who your game is really for.

11:30
💎 #
2

The genre and finances drive the KPIs you choose. For IAP-based games it's always about the ROAS (D7/28/56). Other KPIs inform decisions as well:
- CPI (example: if ROAS is reached for two partners, the one with the lower CPI represents less risk)
- first-time purchase rate
- some retention metrics.

26:50
💎 #
3

High CPIs are a risk but so is inconsistent performance: be careful with partners that are just whale-hunting: what happens when they don't catch whales for a month?

28:54
💎 #
4

You might be optimizing yourself out of core placements of valuable areas. If you have a niche product and you buy on CPI, ad networks might only be able to optimize based on CTR because of lack of signals.

32:07
💎 #
5

You might be optimizing yourself out of core placements of valuable areas. If you have a niche product and you buy on CPI, ad networks might only be able to optimize based on CTR because of lack of signals.

33:40
💎 #
6

Keep the feedback loop with product open and be ready to evolve your KPIs: the data should tell you where to go. Example: depending on your company goals you might be willing to sacrifice some amount of ROAS to hit specific retention metrics and test product initiatives, etc.

34:43
💎 #
7

If your funnel is linear and you have a paywall it's easier to identify your KPIs but if it's more open (e.g. call of duty - lots of different paths users can take, not pay to play) you have to identify early user behavior and how that translates into revenue.

36:49
💎 #
8

You can receive your entire json postback from the MMP in a special format that includes every single dimension from every channel and source, for all impressions/clicks/installs. This means you can control your own attribution internally and open up user-level LTV analysis at the most granular level.
→ that clearly won't be possible with iOS 14...

41:07
💎 #
9

When evaluating new partners, ask yourself if the launch plan they're putting together is a plan for your specific app (e.g. casino game) or just any title.

43:40
💎 #
10

To find the right audience you want to also look at the other interests of your users: other things they like and do outside of gaming.

45:04
💎 #
11

Leverage the most popular content of the games and use that for creatives.

45:27
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Your game's typical lifecycle

Faith - lifecycle depends on the genre

  • casino → you run through the lifecycle multiple times:
    - add fresh content based on changes in market, user behavior (including payment), etc.
    - product team steps in and adds new features (example: social components, avatars, etc. during the pandemic)

Daniel - Boston matrix: stars/cash cow/dog/?

  • To define the lifecycle it matters what type of app it is. UA marketing and product should always be testing and optimizing together. "We're just funnel optimizers".

Jenny

  • Audience has a big impact on the lifecycle too


Typical game launch

Faith - looking at soft launch

  • [💎 @11:30] For the soft launch cycle, the feedback loop between product and marketing is key. Do not be too attached to your product/game and figure out who your game is really for.
  • Example: mid-core game soft launch where 40% of users were under 13. Fonts, characters, game style were appealing to a different demographic than intended and the game stayed in soft-launch for 4 years then was killed.

Jenny

  • It comes down to whether you can finance your product. From there you figure out your goals and what you need to do to get there.
  • The theory might not align with reality. Don't forget it's about the user having fun.
  • On the Call of Duty launch: it took a long time and the game has changed a lot since. Brand/notoriety made it easier but the product provides a great experience

Daniel

  • It's all process (funnel optimization) and believing what the data is telling you


Worldwide launch

Rollout slowly or launch with big spends?

Daniel

  • Depends on monetization and expectations from the company. Sometimes you need to hit the ground running, including to make sure the game is not underpopulated. Example: mobile strike for Machine Zone.

Jenny

  • Gaming has always been competitive but now it's more than ever. Ideally you have a great soft launch then you arrive with a bang but that's easier to do when you have a big budget. There's also room for slowly rolling out a games.
  • If you have a big budget however, there should be a good reason for a slow roll.


Setting KPIs

Faith - huge difference between the genre and how you monetize

  • [💎 @26:50] The genre and finances drive the KPIs you choose. For IAP-based games it's always about the ROAS (D7/28/56). Other KPIs inform decisions as well:
  • - CPI (example: if ROAS is reached for two partners, the one with the lower CPI represents less risk)
  • - first-time purchase rate
  • - some retention metrics.
  • [💎 @28:54] High CPIs are a risk but so is inconsistent performance: be careful with partners that are just whale-hunting: what happens when they don't catch whales for a month?
  • You want diversification between CPI and CPM. With iOS 14 the world might move out of CPI to CPM. CPMs historically represent more risk of fraud vs. CPI but as mobile marketers became more savvy/careful ad vendors are starting to recognize and try to limit fraud.

Daniel - no channel or buying method are created equal, it depends on your core demo saturation rate for each channel

  • [💎 @32:07] You might be optimizing yourself out of core placements of valuable areas. If you have a niche product and you buy on CPI, ad networks might only be able to optimize based on CTR because of lack of signals.
  • [💎 @33:40] There are many of pitfalls in concentrating too hard on one KPI. As a performance marketer you start by looking at ROAS but you want to triangulate in on quality of the user base (e.g. D30 retention of X, amount of payers, etc.).
  • If all you do is optimize for D7 ROAS then you might crush your goal but have D30 ROAS fall flat.
  • [💎 @34:43] Keep the feedback loop with product open and be ready to evolve your KPIs: the data should tell you where to go. Example: depending on your company goals you might be willing to sacrifice some amount of ROAS to hit specific retention metrics and test product initiatives, etc.
  • Set different KPIs for different channels: you can't have just a fixed target CPI (example: $2 only).

Jenny

  • [💎 @36:49] If your funnel is linear and you have a paywall it's easier to identify your KPIs but if it's more open (e.g. call of duty - lots of different paths users can take, not pay to play) you have to identify early user behavior and how that translates into revenue.


Incrementality

Jenny

  • There is no perfect way to measure incrementality (even with our current attribution) and there will always be a blender of users and both organic canibalization and canibalization between partners. The broader the mix of traffic and the less volume of organics, the harder it is to measure incrementality. Turning off campaigns is a way to do it but it's risky.
  • You need to start by understanding your organic baseline.

Daniel

  • In the process of revamping their entire tech stack at EA
  • In general it's about owning your data, you need to understand exactly where your users are coming from.
  • [💎 @41:07] You can receive your entire json postback from the MMP in a special format that includes every single dimension from every channel and source, for all impressions/clicks/installs. This means you can control your own attribution internally and open up user-level LTV analysis at the most granular level.
  • → that clearly won't be possible with iOS 14...
  • Defines incrementality as device incrementality


Finding the right audience

Faith

  • It's a lot about testing but also working with organic marketing team and research team to better understand your users.
  • [💎 @43:40] When evaluating new partners, ask yourself if the launch plan they're putting together is a plan for your specific app (e.g. casino game) or just any title.
  • [💎 @45:04] To find the right audience you want to also look at the other interests of your users: other things they like and do outside of gaming.
  • [💎 @45:27] Leverage the most popular content of the games and use that for creatives.
  • What works for paid retargeting might be different from email, push or social media.


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



Your game's typical lifecycle

Faith - lifecycle depends on the genre

  • casino → you run through the lifecycle multiple times:
    - add fresh content based on changes in market, user behavior (including payment), etc.
    - product team steps in and adds new features (example: social components, avatars, etc. during the pandemic)

Daniel - Boston matrix: stars/cash cow/dog/?

  • To define the lifecycle it matters what type of app it is. UA marketing and product should always be testing and optimizing together. "We're just funnel optimizers".

Jenny

  • Audience has a big impact on the lifecycle too


Typical game launch

Faith - looking at soft launch

  • [💎 @11:30] For the soft launch cycle, the feedback loop between product and marketing is key. Do not be too attached to your product/game and figure out who your game is really for.
  • Example: mid-core game soft launch where 40% of users were under 13. Fonts, characters, game style were appealing to a different demographic than intended and the game stayed in soft-launch for 4 years then was killed.

Jenny

  • It comes down to whether you can finance your product. From there you figure out your goals and what you need to do to get there.
  • The theory might not align with reality. Don't forget it's about the user having fun.
  • On the Call of Duty launch: it took a long time and the game has changed a lot since. Brand/notoriety made it easier but the product provides a great experience

Daniel

  • It's all process (funnel optimization) and believing what the data is telling you


Worldwide launch

Rollout slowly or launch with big spends?

Daniel

  • Depends on monetization and expectations from the company. Sometimes you need to hit the ground running, including to make sure the game is not underpopulated. Example: mobile strike for Machine Zone.

Jenny

  • Gaming has always been competitive but now it's more than ever. Ideally you have a great soft launch then you arrive with a bang but that's easier to do when you have a big budget. There's also room for slowly rolling out a games.
  • If you have a big budget however, there should be a good reason for a slow roll.


Setting KPIs

Faith - huge difference between the genre and how you monetize

  • [💎 @26:50] The genre and finances drive the KPIs you choose. For IAP-based games it's always about the ROAS (D7/28/56). Other KPIs inform decisions as well:
  • - CPI (example: if ROAS is reached for two partners, the one with the lower CPI represents less risk)
  • - first-time purchase rate
  • - some retention metrics.
  • [💎 @28:54] High CPIs are a risk but so is inconsistent performance: be careful with partners that are just whale-hunting: what happens when they don't catch whales for a month?
  • You want diversification between CPI and CPM. With iOS 14 the world might move out of CPI to CPM. CPMs historically represent more risk of fraud vs. CPI but as mobile marketers became more savvy/careful ad vendors are starting to recognize and try to limit fraud.

Daniel - no channel or buying method are created equal, it depends on your core demo saturation rate for each channel

  • [💎 @32:07] You might be optimizing yourself out of core placements of valuable areas. If you have a niche product and you buy on CPI, ad networks might only be able to optimize based on CTR because of lack of signals.
  • [💎 @33:40] There are many of pitfalls in concentrating too hard on one KPI. As a performance marketer you start by looking at ROAS but you want to triangulate in on quality of the user base (e.g. D30 retention of X, amount of payers, etc.).
  • If all you do is optimize for D7 ROAS then you might crush your goal but have D30 ROAS fall flat.
  • [💎 @34:43] Keep the feedback loop with product open and be ready to evolve your KPIs: the data should tell you where to go. Example: depending on your company goals you might be willing to sacrifice some amount of ROAS to hit specific retention metrics and test product initiatives, etc.
  • Set different KPIs for different channels: you can't have just a fixed target CPI (example: $2 only).

Jenny

  • [💎 @36:49] If your funnel is linear and you have a paywall it's easier to identify your KPIs but if it's more open (e.g. call of duty - lots of different paths users can take, not pay to play) you have to identify early user behavior and how that translates into revenue.


Incrementality

Jenny

  • There is no perfect way to measure incrementality (even with our current attribution) and there will always be a blender of users and both organic canibalization and canibalization between partners. The broader the mix of traffic and the less volume of organics, the harder it is to measure incrementality. Turning off campaigns is a way to do it but it's risky.
  • You need to start by understanding your organic baseline.

Daniel

  • In the process of revamping their entire tech stack at EA
  • In general it's about owning your data, you need to understand exactly where your users are coming from.
  • [💎 @41:07] You can receive your entire json postback from the MMP in a special format that includes every single dimension from every channel and source, for all impressions/clicks/installs. This means you can control your own attribution internally and open up user-level LTV analysis at the most granular level.
  • → that clearly won't be possible with iOS 14...
  • Defines incrementality as device incrementality


Finding the right audience

Faith

  • It's a lot about testing but also working with organic marketing team and research team to better understand your users.
  • [💎 @43:40] When evaluating new partners, ask yourself if the launch plan they're putting together is a plan for your specific app (e.g. casino game) or just any title.
  • [💎 @45:04] To find the right audience you want to also look at the other interests of your users: other things they like and do outside of gaming.
  • [💎 @45:27] Leverage the most popular content of the games and use that for creatives.
  • What works for paid retargeting might be different from email, push or social media.


The notes from this resource are only available to premium members.

The detailed notes taken for a resource are an easy way to see the gems in context to get a better understanding. They also include any relevant visuals from the source.
↘ At this point, you know what to do ↙
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Your game's typical lifecycle

Faith - lifecycle depends on the genre

  • casino → you run through the lifecycle multiple times:
    - add fresh content based on changes in market, user behavior (including payment), etc.
    - product team steps in and adds new features (example: social components, avatars, etc. during the pandemic)

Daniel - Boston matrix: stars/cash cow/dog/?

  • To define the lifecycle it matters what type of app it is. UA marketing and product should always be testing and optimizing together. "We're just funnel optimizers".

Jenny

  • Audience has a big impact on the lifecycle too


Typical game launch

Faith - looking at soft launch

  • [💎 @11:30] For the soft launch cycle, the feedback loop between product and marketing is key. Do not be too attached to your product/game and figure out who your game is really for.
  • Example: mid-core game soft launch where 40% of users were under 13. Fonts, characters, game style were appealing to a different demographic than intended and the game stayed in soft-launch for 4 years then was killed.

Jenny

  • It comes down to whether you can finance your product. From there you figure out your goals and what you need to do to get there.
  • The theory might not align with reality. Don't forget it's about the user having fun.
  • On the Call of Duty launch: it took a long time and the game has changed a lot since. Brand/notoriety made it easier but the product provides a great experience

Daniel

  • It's all process (funnel optimization) and believing what the data is telling you


Worldwide launch

Rollout slowly or launch with big spends?

Daniel

  • Depends on monetization and expectations from the company. Sometimes you need to hit the ground running, including to make sure the game is not underpopulated. Example: mobile strike for Machine Zone.

Jenny

  • Gaming has always been competitive but now it's more than ever. Ideally you have a great soft launch then you arrive with a bang but that's easier to do when you have a big budget. There's also room for slowly rolling out a games.
  • If you have a big budget however, there should be a good reason for a slow roll.


Setting KPIs

Faith - huge difference between the genre and how you monetize

  • [💎 @26:50] The genre and finances drive the KPIs you choose. For IAP-based games it's always about the ROAS (D7/28/56). Other KPIs inform decisions as well:
  • - CPI (example: if ROAS is reached for two partners, the one with the lower CPI represents less risk)
  • - first-time purchase rate
  • - some retention metrics.
  • [💎 @28:54] High CPIs are a risk but so is inconsistent performance: be careful with partners that are just whale-hunting: what happens when they don't catch whales for a month?
  • You want diversification between CPI and CPM. With iOS 14 the world might move out of CPI to CPM. CPMs historically represent more risk of fraud vs. CPI but as mobile marketers became more savvy/careful ad vendors are starting to recognize and try to limit fraud.

Daniel - no channel or buying method are created equal, it depends on your core demo saturation rate for each channel

  • [💎 @32:07] You might be optimizing yourself out of core placements of valuable areas. If you have a niche product and you buy on CPI, ad networks might only be able to optimize based on CTR because of lack of signals.
  • [💎 @33:40] There are many of pitfalls in concentrating too hard on one KPI. As a performance marketer you start by looking at ROAS but you want to triangulate in on quality of the user base (e.g. D30 retention of X, amount of payers, etc.).
  • If all you do is optimize for D7 ROAS then you might crush your goal but have D30 ROAS fall flat.
  • [💎 @34:43] Keep the feedback loop with product open and be ready to evolve your KPIs: the data should tell you where to go. Example: depending on your company goals you might be willing to sacrifice some amount of ROAS to hit specific retention metrics and test product initiatives, etc.
  • Set different KPIs for different channels: you can't have just a fixed target CPI (example: $2 only).

Jenny

  • [💎 @36:49] If your funnel is linear and you have a paywall it's easier to identify your KPIs but if it's more open (e.g. call of duty - lots of different paths users can take, not pay to play) you have to identify early user behavior and how that translates into revenue.


Incrementality

Jenny

  • There is no perfect way to measure incrementality (even with our current attribution) and there will always be a blender of users and both organic canibalization and canibalization between partners. The broader the mix of traffic and the less volume of organics, the harder it is to measure incrementality. Turning off campaigns is a way to do it but it's risky.
  • You need to start by understanding your organic baseline.

Daniel

  • In the process of revamping their entire tech stack at EA
  • In general it's about owning your data, you need to understand exactly where your users are coming from.
  • [💎 @41:07] You can receive your entire json postback from the MMP in a special format that includes every single dimension from every channel and source, for all impressions/clicks/installs. This means you can control your own attribution internally and open up user-level LTV analysis at the most granular level.
  • → that clearly won't be possible with iOS 14...
  • Defines incrementality as device incrementality


Finding the right audience

Faith

  • It's a lot about testing but also working with organic marketing team and research team to better understand your users.
  • [💎 @43:40] When evaluating new partners, ask yourself if the launch plan they're putting together is a plan for your specific app (e.g. casino game) or just any title.
  • [💎 @45:04] To find the right audience you want to also look at the other interests of your users: other things they like and do outside of gaming.
  • [💎 @45:27] Leverage the most popular content of the games and use that for creatives.
  • What works for paid retargeting might be different from email, push or social media.