If you didn’t make it to Berlin last week for Mobile Spree, you missed a lively meetup of some of Europe’s brightest leaders in mobile marketing. Driven by the experiences of our 250 attendees, together we rolled up our sleeves and got down to the meaty details of what we do best.
For a single day our keynote speakers and panelists delivered the crowd their stories of triumph, gave us an honest look at their greatest challenges and were willing to share their predictions and hopes for the future of mobile advertising and data. Throw in a scenic location, a few cocktails and some swag, and that was Mobile Spree 2018.
This year we set out to focus on a few key themes: mobile user acquisition, retention, and doing more with your data. But some of the most profound takeaways of the day focused on marketing in a changing, challenging landscape – how to navigate amongst increasing regulations, how to change up your strategy in a big way when it’s just not working out, and how to cut through the marketing gibberish to find out what’s really behind someone’s words.
How can you be sure of your performance was a major theme for many speakers this year. Janos Perei, CMO of TreasureHunt, walked the crowd through his best practices for a soft launch. Having launched over 20 games, his advice for the crowd was succinct and significant:
Get your teams synced up and at the same table early on. Look at the soft launch as having three stages of testing –– technical testing, product testing, and marketing testing. A soft launch should be heavily driven by data and take three to six months. It might sound daunting and expensive, but it’s worth it in the long run. The three key things to remember are:
- Good planning is paramount.
- Data discipline is everything.
- Plan to iterate heavily: “Response is the cornerstone of the process"
In the end, the goal is to determine whether have a commercially viable product, and proactively prepare for what happens if you find out that you do not.
Moshi Blum, Head of User Acquisition at Viber, spent his time on stage nailing down the specifics of incrementality for the crowd. He shared with the audience that in 2016, Viber invested their marketing budget in a particular country. They hired an agency and increased their spending. They set clear KPIs and limits. In the first month, they spent over $200k acquiring a half million installs. The next month they spent $400k acquiring a million installs. But they realized something remarkable – they didn’t increase the total number of installs at all; they’d just redistributed their pie, ‘acquiring’ their own organic traffic.
This is the opposite of incrementality – when your paid installs are gathered atop your organic installs. What they had to do was go back and look at their data and find out how and why their paid traffic was cannibalizing their organic traffic.
Viber ultimately discovered more than ten reasons for the cannibalization, and shared three reasons with the crowd. To find out what they are and more about incrementality, keep checking back in with the blog, when we make Moshi’s entire keynote address available to the public!
Several presenters looked towards mobile gaming for marketing inspiration. Michael Bork of Runtastic and Funda Yakin of InnoGames both focused on strategies that have worked well for mobile game marketers and how to translate those takeaways to other verticals. Aras Şenyüz, Chief Operations Officer at Netmarble EMEA, took care to point out that there are also some big differences between gaming and non-gaming apps:
There’s so many variations of creatives and iterations on them happening in gaming. You can just do it so easily! You test all of your available formats – you have so much available, so you can change the advertising so easily. Compared to non-gaming verticals, where you might make a single tv spot. You’re limited by format, by the quantity of your ads. It limits your flexibility. So what can you actually do? You can try to increase the amounts of your ad. Do simple recuts. If you do a single fancy tv spot, you’ll have a lot of extra footage. Try to use it. Try to iterate. Try to find out which elements are working, and keep using them. I had some Christmas elements in my campaign, but they kept working, so I left them in! Why would I turn them off? They were still working, so I let them keep working.
Head of User Acquisition,
In a world of fierce competition, we asked ourselves, 'how do we keep finding new and sustainable users'? This got us looking at pre-installs. Could we take this shortcut directly to mobile devices and bring games directly into their hands? Here are the key benefits of working with pre-installs: the marketing costs are similar compared to advertising, but we see increased user engagement. Beyond that, It’s not a win only for the app provider, but the phone carrier and manufacturer. It’s a welcome cooperation from their side as well. One more benefit is that there's no fraud. Yet.
Director Media & Market Development,
Most of the time in gaming, we don’t try to create brands first. That’s what different about gaming. We try to push the game first and if it goes well enough, we try to build a brand on top of it. It’s a big difference.
Chief Operations Officer,
In the afternoon, we assembled a special panel to take a closer look at everyone’s favorite topic: marketing bullsh*t (versus marketing reality).
The panelists- Sebastian Goldt (Head of Performance Networks at InnoGames), Misael Lopez (Lead User Acquisition at Funstage), Martzel de Domingo (User Acquisition Lead at Ubisoft) and Jonathan Winters (Head of User Acquisition at Miniclip) each had plenty of stories to share.
Here was one of our favorite questions about fraud, posed by the panel’s moderator, Michael Paxman (Product Development Manager at Adjust):
Michael: When it comes to choosing a partner, what should they be telling you about fraud. What are some things they could say that would make you happy?
Sebastian: There’s nothing that a network can say about fraud that will make me happy. I want to see their stats. I want to see the data.
Jonathan: I want to ask them how they define different types of fraud. Ask them first without giving your definition. If they answer with something that doesn’t align with your baseline, you will run into some issues down the road, when you’re arguing about what is fraud and what isn’t.
We closed the afternoon with some success stories from marketers who have done their time in the trenches. Laura Veuillez, Marketing Manager France at Blablacar, ran us through a massive rebrand they undertook in the past year in order to reset their brand around human connections with two dimensions: social and travel. How were they able to transform their top-performing marketing templates without dropping in performance?
They zeroed in. “When rebranding, testing everything is impossible and inefficient. All you do is waste money testing the same thing again and again. You have to narrow your scope. We tested each new template in only one channel, in one country, and iterated from there.”
By making micro decisions along the way, Laura’s team was able to get out of their comfort zone and meet their reach goals.
As part of our panel ‘360º Mobile Marketing Mix— today you need more than direct response’, Jim Liu, Senior Brand Manager at Babbel), described a journey similar to Laura’s. In response to Katie Madding (Adjust’s Director of Product)’s question, ‘how do you make the transition into branding and offline marketing?’, he had this to say:
It flows quite naturally. Most online channels are not infinitely scalable. At some point you’ll see incremental decreasing returns. In Babbel’s case, when we first launched on tv it was a big step forward. We were reaching a mass audience. We weren’t targeting; we needed to take a leap of faith. But the benefit is that once you start reaching that mass audience, you see the effects of it across all of your channels.
Senior Brand Manager,
We capped off the day with shuttle buses to one of our favorite local venues – Freischwimmer – for an evening of dinner, drinks, and a sunset over the canal. And that was Mobile Spree 2018! Stay tuned on the blog in the coming weeks for updated slides and videos from the big day.
Want to meet us in the USA? Join us in San Francisco on October 11th, 2018 for the next edition of Mobile Spree. Hope to see you there!