With millions of competitors, how are the top game companies growing and acquiring high-quality users at scale? Pocket Gems has been working since 2009 to perfect their equation. Join our free VB Live event to learn more about the metrics they rely on most.

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“We’ve always been a really ROI-driven company,” says David Rose, director of performance marketing at mobile game giant Pocket Gems. “Even back when it was hard to do attribution. We built our own attribution system to make sure we were always driving toward that goal.”

Pocket Gems, which launched in 2009, has used their focus on ROI to grow a company with 200 employees, and games that have been downloaded over 250 million times globally.

One of their recent successes, Episode, is a storytelling platform that allows user-generated animated stories to be created by any author via their online portal. Since launching in 2014, they’ve had over 2 billion chapters read and 4 million writer sign-ups on the platform.

“Episode has 3 million WAUs [weekly active users], and people are really highly engaged and reading all the chapters of the stories every day,” says Rose. “We have in-app purchases but we also monetize through advertising.”

While they’ve focused on creating high-value content, collaborating with third-party IP partners such as Demi Lovato and Mean Girls as well as allowing creators to write and publish their own stories, they also focus on obtaining high-quality users to drive their robust ROI.

“The thing that’s changed the most is the degree to which we’re targeting in a highly granular way now, versus the broader strategies we used to employ two or three years ago,” Rose explains.

Their strategy is to target in ways that correspond to their users’ potential affinity toward the product. Episode, Rose says, has a demographic that is heavily weighted to young women. “And so finding people who are of a younger age group, finding people who are female, those tend to correspond well to people who have higher retention, who are really interested in the product, who are willing to spend money within the product,” Rose says.

But they’ve been getting extraordinary results with rewarded video. “People opt into the experience,” Rose says. “You know that if they click and it’s not incentivized, you’re getting people who are actually interested in your product and have watched a video — and they’re knowledgeable about what they’re clicking on. So we find that the people who install from those tend to be fairly high quality.”

“That’s on high level, how we tend to think about it,” he adds. “In terms of specifics, the one constant in marketing is that there is no targeting strategy that will give you outsized returns for very long. The effectiveness of any strategy will always decrease over time, as more and more people figure it out and the market becomes more competitive.”

To learn more about finding the KPI that resonates for your app and nailing the strategy to keep it growing, join this free VB Live event! The webinar will also feature essential, in-depth insights from the most recent App Install Marketing survey, which polled 100 of the top-grossing app developers today.

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

In this VB Live event, you’ll learn:

  • The top app install formats — and the most effective
  • App install budget allocation by channel
  • Key KPIs of top advertisers and the top 5 campaign trends
  • Best drivers of app install scale and quality, and the targeting methods that work
  • What’s changed in mobile apps, and what’s happening for 2017

Speakers include:

David Rose, Director of Performance Marketing, Pocket Gems

Kevin Teng, Sr. Director, User Acquisition, AdColony


Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat

This VB Live event is sponsored by AdColony.