Thomas Sommer, Content Marketing Manager at AppLift was interviewed by Chris Reynolds at App Promotion Summit London 2014. Thomas shared some insights on user acquisition and monetization based on his experience working with some of the world’s leading mobile games publishers and marketers over at AppLift. Thanks to Thomas for doing the interview and for the useful analysis.
AppLift Content Marketing Manager Thomas Sommer on User Acquisition , Video:
AppLift Content Marketing Manager Thomas Sommer on User Acquisition, Audio:
AppLift Content Marketing Manager Thomas Sommer on User Acquisition, Transcript:
We’re here at the App Promotion Summit 2014 and we’re talking to Thomas Sommer, senior marketing manager at AppLift. Thomas nice to see you.
Thomas Sommer: Good day.
Firstly can you just explain a little bit about what AppLift does and what services you offer to developers?
Thomas Sommer: Sure, AppLift is a mobile games marketing platform. On the one hand we offer user acquisition and re-engagement services to mobile game publishers and on the other hand we enable our media partners to efficiently and effectively monetize their mobile traffic through flexible, native integrations.
Right, and when it comes to monetization and user acquisition how do mobile games differ from regular apps? Is there much difference between the two?
There are a lot of things that which similar in terms of App Store optimization, campaigns, etcetera. But I’d say that for most types of games the main difference is that the audience is global. Therefore the acquisition efforts should also be global. There is one [inaudible 00:01:07] specifically to games as well in terms of acquisition and re-engagements. For instance we specialize in lifetime value optimization and when we talk about games of course it’s a bit different because the way that we perform optimization through lifetime value assessments is that we’re going to look at proxies within games. And these proxies are very, very specific to games. For instance it could be tutorial completion or first in-app purchase or reaching a certain level. So for each specific game there are specific achievements within the game which we are actually using to optimize lifetime value.
I would say, for instance, for re-engagements it’s the same. We are looking at specific user behavior within games to assess when a user has dropped out of the game. I could as a simple example, for instance, the user had dropped out of level eight and we’ll use this specific information to re-target and re-engage the user on this specific piece of information. For instance we’ll have a banner that says, “Stopped at level eight. Unlock this booster for free.” And go back to the game.
What do you think are the main challenges right now when it comes to successfully monetizing and promoting a mobile game?
In terms of promotion the competition is fierce. There are more and more players around the world, competition from Asia, competition also from the local markets here as well. I would say the main challenge for mobile game publishers today is to acquire users which will actually be retained and monetize. We’ve seen over the past two years the focus has completely shifted from quantity, not to quality, but to quantity with quality. That’s something that we’re trying to help game publishers with at AppLift.
I would say on the monetization side it’s become more and more difficult to monetize because the freemium model is extremely hard to achieve. There’s a [inaudible 00:03:37] that says that less than 1.5% of users actually monetize through an app purchase so the challenge for mobile game developers is choosing the right balance between for free to play games, of course, which is the majority of games at the moment, to get the right balance between monetizing through in-app purchase and advertising.
Do you think it’s sort of a no-brainer to go freemium now or is paid still worth it?
No, it’s not a no-brainer. I think each model has its strengths and it’s weaknesses of course. It’s just about choosing one. I am always a bit surprised that we compare so much the freemium model with the paid model because there are two completely different products. It’s comparing two different things. I think for mobile game developers and publishers it’s about finding the right business model early on and taking the right decision early on.
Thomas, thank you very much.