You might be monitoring ROI daily but the mistakes you don’t know you’re making will surprise you. Our panel of top gaming experts covered this and a whole lot more that will help you leverage ROI for best results.
The experts have convened and the resounding agreement is that ROI should be your core metric. Where they start to diverge is not only how you get set up, but what you should be measuring, why you should be measuring it, and most importantly — the pitfalls you don’t see, lurking directly ahead of you, ready to sink your profit margin.
“For those of you who that are already doing it — well done. I’m pretty sure that you’re enjoying a competitive advantage because of that,” says Stewart Rogers, director of marketing technology at VentureBeat.
For companies about to start right out of the gate, there’s no playbook when it comes to getting an ROI that has any useful meaning to you, says Paul H. Müller, co-founder and CTO of adjust. You have to find for yourself what makes sense for your business model and what you’re trying to achieve.
“There is one thing that is absolutely important to do to is find out what your actual revenue is,” Müller explains — the all-important R of the ROI formula. For example, in ecommerce, your revenue doesn’t actually represent your actual profit; you need to factor in your profit margin, your return rate, and accurate attribution metrics, where you track purchases from the top of the funnel and across devices. In games, your in-app purchases are your lifeblood — are you verifying their veracity and connecting all your data points?”
“If you don’t set it up correctly, there’s a good chance that your revenue factor is not only off by a factor of ten, you’re also targeting the wrong users,” says Müller. “Because you’re saying you want to track the whales in your app, but you’re not distinguishing between the people who are defrauding you and actual users.”
And the cost per acquisition — all the strategic targeting you shelled out for, to find high-value users with the long-term value that’s the foundation of your ROI — is money wasted.
To combat this at Miniclip Games, says User Acquisition Specialist Jonathan Winters, “We gather all the data in one place and evaluate and verify everything with the game server data, so we know all the device IDs and user IDs from our games.”
“This way we can verify the actual value of the revenue, calculate the LTV, and make better predictions,” he adds.
“You don’t need this data on a yearly basis — you need it on a daily basis or even more,” agrees Sebastian Goldt, senior online marketing manager at InnoGames, “because you actually need to know what you’re spending and what your campaigns are looking like.”
And while the technology and analytics are sophisticated, it’s not only out of reach for smaller developers, it’s absolutely crucial.
“It’s amazing how many tools are available, and it’s essential for small developers, indie developers — there are tools out there that are very cost-effective,” Winters says. “They’re either free or very, very cheap to start with, for low-scale analysis. There’s always a good starting point, even for the smallest developer.”
Because in the end, it always comes down to the tracking, from unifying your attribution model to ensuring your ROI calculations encompass the full spectrum of your marketing efforts, both paid and organic.
But never just rely on your data and results, warns Winters. Always double, even triple check your data and the results that you see on each dashboard. Double check that the tracking is right. Double check that the revenue that you’re seeing is true — as a caution against the risk of fraud or false attribution.
Don’t miss out.
For more on revving up, busting through ROI roadblocks, and staying on course, catch up on our free ROI VB Live event.
- How the best of the best measure ROI
- How to solve key challenges and roadblocks to getting great results
- Why and when ROI should become your core metric
- Sebastian Goldt, Senior Online Marketing Manager, InnoGames
- Jonathan Winters, User Acquisition Specialist, Miniclip Games
- Paul H Müller, Co-Founder and CTO, adjust
- Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology, VentureBeat
This VB Live event is sponsored by adjust.