Trackingbird CMO Answers Questions on Marketing at GMIC Beijing

Trackingbird CMO Answers Questions on Marketing at GMIC Beijing
Prior togoing to GMIC Beijing, (held last month) our CMO, Snake Chen, was asked to share his feelings about user acquisition, monetization, and some suggestions for mobile app businesses prior to his roundtable discussion at the show. Here are a few of the answers he prepared for the show that we thought would interest everyone that didn’t come to the conference:


Who are you? What do you do?

Hi Everyone, I am Snake Chen, CMO of TestBird, We provide two products, one is attribution analytics TrackingBird, being launched today at the event and the other is mobile game compatibility testing,  TestBird. One of our main focus now is to help our 2500 Chinese mobile developers to go global with our products and partner networks. Before TestBird I was a creator of GMIC’s Mobile Game Conference.


What is the top user acquisition channel that work for you? Any tips for our audience?

First, our biggest user acquisition channels is using EDM, PR, exhibitions and social networks. Another good way is to acquire users are data accumulation and social networks for the brand. Acquiring organic traffic through social networks is also a good approach but achieving this requires certain skills and resources. Whichever method you choose, it is important to consider 2 aspects:

  1. Make your app promotion-friendly to quickly catch users

Minimalism. The western users prefer minimalism. As a result, when Chinese app developers design apps that target westerners, it is important for them to take minimalism into consideration. For example, unnecessary elements on the UI should be avoided, color matches in a refreshing manner and the operation system should be user friendly.

Localization. The majority of oversea Chinese apps are doing a good job on localization, such as Clean Master. It supports more than 30 languages that pretty much covers users all over the world.

  1. Analyze data

Analyze real-time data from ad networks and adjust advertising strategies. Ad networks partners work with complicated sub-channels. You should advertise certain unit based on locations. Each unit should carry different ad strategy and image. By monitoring each unit’s performance to find the best optimization solution.

Pay more attention on quality KPIs, such as LTV, WAU, MAU, paying capacities and other app & game related KPIs. Find out the sources of the users that fits in your customized KPIs and adjust your advertising strategies.


How do you make money today in this market?

Our success depends on our customers’. When our customers’ apps are optimized and bring them revenues, we gain profits too. We believe that advertising is an investment towards more sales.No matter which business you are in, the key to any business is ROI. You need to find the most rewarding way to spend your money to make money.

In order to gain profit, developers need to consider their users as investment. Every penny you spend should bring you suitable app users. These users will generate more money so that you can keep gaining profits. As a result, if you could nail down your data analysis and acquire valuable users, you will never lose money and your ROI will increase.

At the moment, Chinese app developers approve two methods to gain profits, which are in-app purchases and their partners’ advertising platforms respectively. If you can do that right and build up your data collection, ROI will increase and you will make money.


What geographies (i.e. country or region) have the highest potential in terms of monetization and why?

Europe, U.S., Japan and Korea monetize the best and have high ARPU. However, the user acquisition cost is high and competition is fierce.

Russian speaking regions, India, Southeast Asia and other emerging markets saw sharp increase in the number of users. Even though the ARPU is low, user acquisition cost is also low and there are less competition.

There are many profitable markets out there. If you don’t have budgets, you can’t do everything. You need to know which segments brings you money. The most important thing you can do is to understand where to invest.

There are many ways to gain profits, such as in-app purchases and game credits. However, the most practical parameter to look at is analytics. Without accurate analysis you cannot optimize. Your analysis depends on device models, regions and cohorts. You need to find out which sources bring you valuable users. App developers can find the right users based on data analysis. If this can be achieved, no matter how much each CPI costs, they can accept it because paying users bring them ROI.

Select an area and localize. Monetization can be achieved when you acquire valuable users and optimize your payment system. I suggest that developers can find partners who truly understand analytics and optimization and know how to reduce risks to the minimum.


What geographies (i.e. country or region) have the highest potential in terms of user acquisition and why?

The user base in Europe and America is huge but advertising costsare high. If you have limited budgets, you can leave these markets out first. Russia, India, Southeast Asia and other emerging markets are growing fast. If you get into these markets now, it’s relatively easier to make money and user acquisition cost is low.

User acquisition needs real-time optimization strategies. If your attentions are on LTV and other KPIs, you should analyze the sources of each users and how much they mean to you in order to optimize and acquire valuable users because these countries are still maturing and user attribution is complex. When you are advertising, don’t just focus on certain channels. They may work today but there is no guarantee that they still work for you tomorrow. You have to keep exploring new channels and optimize your strategies. You’ve got to follow the new trends because this markets is constantly changing.

Pay attentions to your potential users. Acquiring a new user cost ten times more than re-engage an old one. Deeplinking and re-attribution analysis are two important methods to re-engage old users.

Also be aware of compatibility issues. When it comes to user acquisition, many people over look this issue. The Android market is highly segmented. Each country has its own Android hardware systems and devices. The developers develop their apps only based on certain hardware. As a result, compatibility issues are inevitable and will lead to gamer loss and DAU decrease because when gamers have problems turning on your game, they quit.


How do you structure your user acquisition and monetization team?

When it comes to UA and monetization, we think of globalized service including attribution and compatibility testing. We need people who truly understand the oversea markets in order to provide better service for Chinese developers who set their eyes on the global market.

Our customers understand their products very well and there are professionals working in UA and monetization. But what they usually overlook is the importance of attribution analytics especially as a service. Attribution service should work hand in hand with their UA and monetization teams. This is very important.


Seasonality of user acquisition/monetization – any specific months that drive the most users or make the most money for you?

User acquisition is high when people are staying at home or when they spend time with their co-workers, friends and classmates. About other countries, I think other speakers know better than me.

We want to share the situation of our business with you guys. Normally there is a big increase during Q1 and Q3. Chinese mobile game & app developers choose to monetize during these times because it’s much easier to advertise on social platforms.

The situation is different for every country. If you want to be truly global, you need monitor quality user acquisition, optimize user acquisition channels and look at your data every day. The reason is that mobile internet globalization is happening so fast and it is constantly changing. The data you receive this month might be completely different form the data you receive 2 or 3 months ago. Only by constant optimization and analysis the sources of valuable users can you grasp the opportunity to monetize.

Here is an example from a story told by one of our customers. It’s a Chinese mobile game developer who wanted to release their game in Thailand. A coup happened last year in May in Thailand. People stayed at home and as a result, app downloads reached a record high. This mobile game company acquired a large amount of users but the monetization did not turn out very well. If they’ve had a professional partner to help them with their KPIs, find the correlation between data and user sources and find the best strategies to optimize and monetize, they would’ve made a lot more money.


Can you share with us one future mobile trend you are most excited about and why?

Chinese apps and games are globalizing. They care about LTV, paying capacities and other KPIs because these data help them find valuable users. Products like TrackingBird will bring in huge opportunities into the market. We predict that this market is worth billions of dollars.


What are the obstacles when Chinese mobile games go overseas?

Due to the difference in politics, economies and cultures, Chinese mobile games are facing 5 issues when they overseas. These 5 issues can decide their fate:

  • Information: There are massive amounts of information out there in the oversea markets. It’s hard to tell which ones are real which ones are not.
  • Channels: Understanding on quality and efficient advertising channels are lacking.
  • Payment: How to make a payment depends on where you are and who you are. There are a lot of variables.
  • Quality: The quality of the game decide whether you can compete in the markets or not.
  • Localization: Localizing is difficult when there are a variety of cultures.

A simplified strategy for Chinese game developers to go overseas: high quality advertising channel is the only legit answer.


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