Data is the key to attaining and retaining loyal players who pay: Join VB’s own Dean Takahashi, Thumbspire’s VP of Product Stefano Melucci, Appsflyer’s Shani Rosenfelder and deltaDNA’s CEO Mark Robinson—and find out how one developer doubled ad revenue and landed on the top ten charts in 29 countries.
The main challenge in free-to-play games is finding a balance between engagement and monetization, says Stefano Melucci, Thumbspire’s VP of product—and that’s usually the developer’s Achilles heel.
“Developers focus on great gameplay, and then think they can launch it by just throwing it in the app store and hope it’ll rise up,” he says. But with over two million apps in the iOS and Google Play stores, that’s pretty wishful thinking.
Melucci, who works closely with developers finalizing their game for launch and then optimizing it, emphasizes that data is the only way to drive sustainable, long-term success. The level of revenue you get from each of the monetized segments of your users needs to sustain ongoing user acquisition, which sustains your game’s success and longevity.
The secret is to find the connective tissue between marketing, analytics, and live ops.
“Maybe I’m biased because my role is on the product and analytics side,” he adds, “but it requires a tight connection between marketing and data—a tight loopback between how much you spend on user acquisition and how much you spend on marketing.”
Integrated analytics, including engagement of daily active users (DAU) and monthly active users (MAU), milestone retention, conversions, and revenue per user and per paying user (ARPU and ARPPU), allow you to precisely measure and project the lifetime value of users, and link that to changes and opportunities in the game.
As you offer new content in response to KPIs you increase revenue, which you funnel back into marketing, which boosts new users, which launches your game up the charts, which boosts organic user numbers, which boosts revenue—and most importantly, sustainable success.
Those KPIs also reveal creative ways to monetize all the categories of users.
“You want to give high spenders a lot of depth of content or aspirational content,” Melucci says, “But you also need to think about how to monetize the users who are determined to play for free without putting up barriers that have them leave in frustration.”
When the data in an optimization test for one of Thumbspire’s clients showed that many users who were not previously monetizing would watch 5 to 12 videos in exchange for content—without that mechanism affecting paying users—they rolled that change out and doubled their ad revenue. They then funneled the money back into marketing, which landed their game on the top ten lists in 29 countries.
Neglecting the data is one of the biggest mistakes a developer can make, says Melucci, so his most important advice: launch with a solid analytics plan. Join Melucci and our roundtable of pros to understand exactly what a plan like that looks like—and how to implement it.
Don’t miss out!
In this webinar, you’ll learn how to:
- Target the right players and leverage the right engagement strategies
- Maximize profits from ads and IAP
- Predict the lifetime value of players by acquisition channel
- Apply the killer strategies behind the most successful games
- Unlock the lesser-known data secrets behind monetization
- Dean Takahashi, GamesBeat editor, VentureBeat
- Jon Burg, Product Marketing Lead, AppsFlyer
- Stefano Melucci, VP of product, Thumbspire
- Mark Robinson, CEO, DeltaDNA
This webinar is sponsored by DeltaDNA.