App Marketing

What the Experts think about reaching the most valuable users: Acquisition and attribution in Games

James Haslam
Senior Content Manager

In our most recent partner webinar with Chartboost and Bidalgo, we looked with great focus at acquisition and attribution, and what they mean to each other for gaming apps. Simon Dussart, Adjust’s Head of Integrations, was joined by Toya Brown, Head of Account Management of Chartboost, and Yulia Smirnova, Head of Marketing US for Bidalgo. Together, they focused their attention on how to attract the best users, as well as the importance of attribution. Here’s a snippet summary of the webinar below. For the whole thing, go straight to our dedicated webinar page here, and for the entire presentation, follow this link.

What are some best practices around acquisition?

  1. For starters, focusing on quality creative is a must. Following extensive user research, you should plow time, budget and testing into your creatives, as they are the primary point of contact you have with your audience.

  2. The second fundamental principle that Bidalgo follows is mastering lifetime value (known as LTV). It’s easy for developers to fall into the trap of low CPI buying, and thereby losing momentum. Bidalgo gradually increases CPI as more users are bought, and they set a volume of initial CPI targets and iterate from there.

  3. Setting attribution properly is vital. Without it, you can’t optimize and make the decisions you need to.

Why should you focus on accurate attribution?

Attribution allows you to find out where your users come from. If you don’t have attribution you’re flying blind, as your data would be scattered across networks, rather than in one central and impartial place. A single location where you focus your attribution allows you to compare different marketing channels, and show you which work better according to your goals. For instance, if you have UA focused campaign, attribution lets you see how many installs your campaigns receive and how they do against each other. Furthermore, allocating budget to better-performing channels boosts your ROI.

In a nutshell, that’s the benefit of attribution - only through it can you evaluate all your channels effectively.

Q&A: Answers from the Experts

Our live webinars are all about the audience, and we respond to questions in detail from all our webinar attendees. Here are some excerpts from the Q&A session with Toya, Yulia and Simon.

What do you see achieve better performance: campaigns which run on an algorithm or those which are run manually?

Yulia: We have our performance team here at Bidalgo that offer a full service, running campaigns manually. However, many of our SaaS clients use our algorithm for 90% of their campaigns, and it generates good results. Mainly, we see a clever combination of both. The algo drives the performance and creates better results, but the human optimizes input so that, overall, it delivers better work.

If you have a smaller budget, is it valuable to invest that budget in high-quality users knowing that it’s more of my share?

Toya: That’s a great question. If you have a smaller budget, I would say that it’s down to what your goals might be. If you think that going after those high-quality users who you think are going to turn into payers but also, you know, return to your game and drive daily active user metrics then I say, go for it. But realistically if you’re a smaller studio what you want to do is get awareness, and get eyeballs. Start getting users, and use Adjust to see whether you are getting payers, or where maybe you are losing users. Getting that insight will bring you to a place where you can add in-app purchases after.

What are some of the best cohorts or segments to target when thinking about the game audience?

Toya: It depends on who you’re using: at Chartboost we have two different types of user segments and funnels through which you’re able to get high-quality users. We have what we call “Player Group Targeting”. What this does is look at players based on categories that we’ve created. With it, you’re able to target users who are engaged based on data we’ve collected on the back-end. We also have “affinity targeting”, where we use machine learning to create segments that are dynamically updated. Everyone should have the ability to segment and target, even down to whitelisting certain publishers who are doing well for you.