Tea-riffic insights from mobile experts
Over the past months Adjust has been hosting an Afternoon Tea Talks series in partnership with UK-based mobile agency Redbox Mobile, getting expert marketers to share their insights over a (virtual) warm cuppa. Here, we’ll break down some of the key insights from a recent talk, and introduce our upcoming speakers.
In the first installment of the Afternoon Tea Talks, Runtastic’s Head of User Acquisition Michael Bork joined Nadav Ashkenazy, General Manager Supersonic Studios, Kindred’s Head of Biddable Media, Angelo Di Lascio, and Tina Zhang, Digital Acquisition Manager at Memrise to share how their apps approached the challenges of the COVID-19 upheaval.
Michael from fitness app leaders Runtastic explained that the lockdowns hit in March, just as running season would start: “Usually it’s a time where we start promoting running more in most markets.”
At this point, people were still allowed to go outside in most countries — especially for exercise — but Michael and his team felt that it wasn’t a message they were comfortable sending.
“I just didn’t want to advertise,” Michael said. “‘Hey People! Go outside and take a run!’ It was the wrong message.”
On the organic side, Runtastic was already seeing an increase in running users and installs, as users turned to their app in the absence of gyms or organized sports. The company decided to shift their US performance marketing budget towards their training app — where people can do their work-out at home. Within the app, they launched a challenge for users, the ‘Fit From Home’ challenge.
Michael said that they chose a performance marketing strategy that dovetailed with their wider messaging: “We said ‘OK, what can we do?’ We started giving out premium subscriptions for three months for free to the workout users. Basically a classical deep link approach on the paid UA side advertising, saying: ‘Hey, there's no hook behind it. Just use the app, work out from home, stay safe.’”
Angelo from gambling app experts Kindred outlined how his company made some radical decisions to keep providing a valuable service to their users.
“It was a significant shift because we had to shift away from what was a sport-centric focus”, Angelo explained. Kindred managed this by concentrating on its casino offerings, looking to keep customers engaged by providing a reason to still enter their apps despite the lockdown’s impact on sport fixtures.
“We saw a peak in casino activity as users obviously wanted to be entertained at home. Casino, poker and bingo, that all added a little bit of thrill for users to spice up that boring stay at home.”
Kindred also saw an increase in sports activity, despite the absence of the usual televised sports fixtures. It accomplished this by focusing on eSports such as Dota 2 and FIFA. This was aided by the fact that Kindred also has streaming rights to some of the games, allowing users to view them live in-app. “If this was even five years ago, we wouldn’t have had these kind of events,” Angelo said.
The great escape
Nadav from IronSource’s mobile game studio, Supersonic, said that metrics in the hyper casual vertical rose across the board during COVID-19. However, Supersonic had to prioritize which products to bring to market, in keeping with the changed reality.
“Because we’re launching a new product every few weeks, it’s a must for us to adjust our products to the market. And if games can help during COVID, that’s a valuable philosophy. It was a kind of compassion for many people, many of them are stuck at home, and it’s an escape for them to play again. So what we tried to do is bring games that will help them get through this period of time,” Nadav said.
The most successful game for Supersonic over the past few months is based on the concept of relaxation.
The game is about “clearing your head”. The only thing you need to concentrate is on the timing of the different actions, “in a very relaxed way.” Nadav said that the company is aiming to bring as many of these kind of games to the table as possible, and will continue to adjust their games to what users are feeling at any time.
The Afternoon Tea Talks series continues next month with a close-up view of the gaming vertical, with speakers from Supersonic Studios and Gram Games. Sign up now!