Last week our Product Evangelist, Beth Kindig, attended GamesBeat 2015 to talk with Gordon Bellamy about the most essential task mobile game publishers face: the convergence of user experience with revenue. The title of the fireside chat was “Winter is Coming: How to Survive the Maturation of Mobile” and her answer was simple: it’s all about data.
What data is important and why so?
The single most important piece of information for game publishers is to know WHO is using their app rather than HOW people are using it, which gets the most focus today. There are a few “lucky” app publishers like Facebook that have a trove of 1st party data but others are dependent on using analytic platforms which track frequency, recency, session activity and session activity events. There is a significant shortcoming of attention on audience data.
Data to Increase LTV
To know what type of audience is most engaged while playing your game is extremely important for the growth of your gaming business. By mapping out what segments are the most valuable, i.e. finding out how users with the highest LTV look like in terms of demographics, interests and intent, allows game publishers to run highly effective look-alike user acquisition campaigns. Not only are resources saved by a more narrowly targeted ad campaign, but users that are acquired have an on average higher LTV, Beth stated. This type of audience intelligence can provide surprising insights. For example, who would have thought a couple of years ago that moms would be a highly valuable segment for games such as Candy Crush? These insights broaden the playing field and open up new valuable segments to target with user acquisition campaigns – even for non-core gamers.
Data Programmatic Platform
Naturally, increasing LTV will create more opportunities for revenue. However, using data as the driving force in programmatic video ads, is the holy grail. This is crucial to survive the maturation of mobile. Today, a significant amount of revenue in gaming apps comes from advertisements by other competing game publishers. For instance, King and Supercell spend around $500M on advertising and cannibalize the market with gaming-ad-to-gaming-app, whereas big brand advertisers like Ford and Coca-Cola have advertising budgets of up to $4 billion, however only spend 8% of this on mobile.
The problem data programmatic solves for is helping brands to feel comfortable with advertising on mobile by delivering visibility into who the mobile audience is. A similar approach to audience segments with Nielson Panel data in television is why this medium claims 80% of brand budgets.
How will the future look like?
Beth predicted that within 2 years, game publishers that have a healthy user base will start selling their own ad inventory to brands rather than hooking up to ad networks, just like Facebook does now – acting as one mega publisher. This can only be done when the bigger publishers have the right audience data – and this is where Personagraph comes in. By connecting to Personagraph’s data programmatic platform, publishers can offer segmented ad inventory. Brands can buy the segments they want to target through the platform in real-time with a 5,000+ category taxonomy.
You can watch a video of the fireside chat here.