Case Study: Donuts

About Donuts

Since the establishment in 2007, Donuts has focused on user-oriented products with "Product First" as their corporate vision. The company's gaming app division has released a number of successful games including the long-life title "Tansha no Tora" with over 3.6 million players which will be marking the 10th anniversary in 2021, "Tokyo 7th Sisters" going into the 7th year of operation, the popular rhythm game "Black Star -Theater Starless-" with its featured album topping the music charts as well as "D4DJ Groovy Mix" by Bushiroad.


Migrating agencies-dependent operations to internal resources without creating an extra burden

Donuts attempted to insource the operations and creative making process which were left to the agencies, however they faced issues with their internal resources in the migration stage and struggled with optimization of creatives.

  • Migration to in-house operation

Initially, Donuts were outsourcing all of their advertising operations to the agencies who produced the creatives and held their know-hows of operation. As the company grew, however, accumulation of internal knowledge became a challenge and they decided to undertake "migration to in-house operation" as a crucial project.

  • Lack of resources

Things did not go quite as planned. After the migration to in-house, the workload of team members in charge increased significantly as they had to look after the products and its services in addition to their daily work — highlighting "shortage of resources" as another challenge.

  • Reduction of operation workload

Along with building the in-house operation system, Donuts also set "reduction of operation workload for staff in charge" as an issue to be tackled. Since one of the objectives of the insourcing was to cut down the cost for the agencies, they explored ways to manage the operations in-house without recruiting new team members.

  • Optimization of creatives

Production of creatives was also outsourced to the agencies previously, however "optimizing creatives internally" became crucial due to the increased workload after the migration to in-house. Taking the example of "Black Star", the popularity of the game characters does not mean successful advertisement performance. As a result of trial and error in each campaign, they made many findings including the importance of obtaining data for seasonal campaigns such as Halloween and Christmas. With reporting also done by the agencies, the in-house project revealed how agencies-dependent their operations were.


Introducing Adjust Automate to solve all the existing challenges

Together with the support from the agencies, Adjust Automate made discovering successful campaigns, budget adjustment and performance verification of creatives much easier.

  • Leveraging Adjust Automate features

Adjust Automate enabled Donuts to see the overall performance across the campaigns and they found the ability to sort data online particularly useful.

"Report Automation" lets you check KPIs across multiple ad networks and apps. Its best feature is the ability of creating a customized report using the flexible pivot table in the dashboard.

Adjust's "Control Center" and "Rule Engine" are convenient tools which can be used to determine whether your campaign is performing well at a glance. You can also adjust campaign bids instantly.

Yoshifumi Ogawa

Marketing Division, Donuts Co. Ltd.

With Automate Donuts can manage everything in a single dashboard, increasing the operation efficiency significantly.

Donuts releases about twenty static images and ten video creatives each month in the first one year and half after an app release. This was previously done by the agencies who helped them a lot by reporting different data for each network and providing in-depth data to be used at regular meetings. However, they realized that doing all this in-house would require so much workload. Just. checking performance of creatives for each ad network meant numerous hours spent on these additional work.

In Donuts, they put the biggest significance on ROAS for game apps and other services. Although KPIs such as current month's ROAS vary depending on the title, the final performance evaluation is done based on ROAS.

This let them discover high-performance campaigns, adjust budget and verify effectiveness of creatives more easily.


Successful campaign streamlining with x1.8 media effect and 1 hour/person workload reduction

Verifying the effectiveness of creatives for titles that have various creatives in a dashboard such as "Black Star" became smooth, making it easier to fine-tune them according to the verification result. It was a surprising discovery for them that effective creatives can deliver a performance that is five to ten times better. Also, being able to see the numbers as an entire project team was a big advantage.

  • Campaign streamlining

Adjust helped them increase efficiency of operation as well. High performance campaigns had significantly better efficiency compared to low performance campaigns. Those campaigns were adjusted weekly, enhancing those with good performance and holding back on those with low performance. It would have been ideal to make adjustments everyday, however their focus was to run operations efficiently.

By determining the effectiveness of those campaigns instantly with Adjust's Report Automation and changing bids and budgets in real-time with Control Center, they could achieve 1.8 times higher efficiency with the same budget even though there was ten times difference in efficiency between the campaigns. It also became clear that adjusting those campaigns took just about half of the cost which was previously necessary for the same number of campaigns.

Using Rule Engine, they could automate their operations with only one approval per day. This function improved the cycle of analysis and action dramatically, delivering results as calculated.

This gives them great effectiveness compared to when they were adjusting campaigns manually every week. Automation was a game-changer for Donuts and they are very happy with the results it provided to them considering the advantages of workload reduction and campaign streamlining.

  • Workload reduction

Adjust Automate helped them save so much time spent on campaign evaluation. With Report Automation, they could filter campaigns meeting/not meeting the KPIs at creative levels for all of the networks at once. This allowed them to take actions immediately such as increasing, controlling and stopping budgets and bids.

As they previously had to access different dashboards of each ad network and make adjustments manually, they had always wanted to make this process more efficient. Now with Adjust, they are able to control budgets and bids for each ad network in a single dashboard, saving about an hour of manual work per person everyday (20 hours per person every month). This means saving 200,000 yen per person a month even calculating other costs such as office maintenance cost.

With five marketers working on Adjust dashboard at Donuts, they can save 1 million yen per month or even more considering what they can do in those hours freed up by automation.

As a result, Adjust provided an easy reporting and enabled them to evaluate campaigns quickly, achieving higher effectiveness and efficiency as well as workload reduction.

Taku Senda

Head of Marketing Division, Donuts Co. Ltd.