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PUBLISHING FUNNEL (Part II) - Performance Marketing

This is the second installment of the Publishing funnel and in this post we talk about Performance marketing

Remember the days when “organics” came in troves?

Back in 2010, if you were able to release a game in the App Store (iOS) or Google Play, 1000’s of users would flood in because of the lack of content in the app stores.

But now, the market is so saturated with content you can kiss the good ol’ days goodbye

With well over 6000 + mobile apps getting released on a daily basis Publishers are either still scrambling to find the new Organic growth strategy or completely changing their marketing strategy.

"This post is about the ladder."

Releasing new games on any platform these days yield very close to "0" organics if no marketing, IP or publishing efforts are put behind it.

What this means is that we’ve reached saturation point in the app market and the fight for market share has begun. The wild wild west has turned into a full fledged fighting ground with top publishers armed to the teeth with the best Analytics tools and engineers to take on any competitor who dares to take over their keywords.

So what to do now?

Luckily, we don’t live in the 60’s or 70’s where you really couldn’t do anything to compete against the big corporations as they were able to black ball opportunity and control the dynamic on how business was done. Things are different with the internet, more autonomy means, there is space for the little guys to win. More opportunity and more data to find success in your space, no matter how crowded.

Out with the Old and in with the new they say, adapt or die, <insert all the motivational jargon you can find on the net> but the new now is Performance Marketing.

How effective your Performance based Marketing Strategy is will directly affect the success or failure of your product.

Let this sink in….

What is Performance Marketing?

Performance Marketing are tools that measure the effectiveness of what you are trying to establish with your marketing efforts, whether it be, awareness, engagement, conversion, adoption, Loyalty, CTR, performance marketing is a publishing approach to validate your marketing efforts with data points.

These tools are readily available on the top advertising platform therefore with the landscape being how it is, defining your marketing goals is fundamentally the lifeline on whether your product will find success or not.

So what are you saying?

I’m saying the games you make, will be dependent on how well you publish your game after global launch.

How you spend your marketing dollars is broken down into these main types:

  • Creative Creation

  • Creative testing

  • User Acquisition Cost

ROI Positive is a term that is used quite often in this space but I usually break down the investment piece into 2 sections as it helps depict a clearer road to a profitable business.

  1. ROAS (Return on Advertisement Spend) Positive,is a subset of the ROI family where you look to earn all the money earned from your UA cost. This is the first step.

The reason for the breakdown is because not all ad campaigns are scalable. Meaning a publisher can run ROAS positive Ad Campaigns but cannot scale, for example, setting your CPI so low that the ad platform has a difficult time scaling due to the CPI constraints, or your Audience size is too small that after a few months, you’ve dried up this audience and are forced to look elsewhere.

These variables are constantly changing and the hurdle to find a profitable ad campaign is the first hurdle every publisher wants to clear.

2. Scalable Ad Campaigns for an ROI positive Product

The second step is from all the profitable ad campaigns that were identified during testing, to find out if they are scalable as well. Scaling up your ad campaign can be as easy as increasing your daily budget, or running Ad Campaign Optimization, or Look Alike campaign but these are all strategies that will be covered in a different post.

Fundamentally this process is to see whether you can scale up the business to potentially become ROI Positive which covers all your fixed and variable costs

Performance marketing is fundamentally re-shaping the way Marketers and advertisers are approaching the content business and highly astute and deeply socially connected publishers will find themselves winning the UA game more often than not.

Good Luck

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