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How to win a successful relationship with a gaming client

The ASO & Publishing Agency, Lab Cave, talks about their experience and brings important insights on how to deal with a great mobile games customer
How to win a successful relationship with a gaming client
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Lab Cave, the ASO and publishing agency for mobile, and the games developer Digital Legends, have a remarkable success story.

The game The Respawnables developed by Digital Legends recently reached 45 million downloads in five years. Lab Cave actively participated in building these results through ASO strategies (app store optimisation) over the past year.

As one of the great clients that Lab Cave works with, Digital Legends is truly a special customer with revenues of approximately $2 million in the last year. In addition to their own games, they have also published Apps for companies such Adidas, Nokia, Disney Interactive and EA.

After working together for one year, Lab Cave confirms how much they have matured:

"We have learned a lot about how to work with such companies, the fears that may arise and how to deal with this until we gain mutual trust," says Lab Cave Project Manager Team Leader Belén Gómez.

Here's a little bit of what this journey was like and what insights Lab Cave learned along the way!

"We start to see the results early"

We have no doubt that the most effective way to build a solid relationship with any company is by showing that you can truly deliver the services that you presented.

With this challenge in their hands, one of the first changes that Lab Cave implemented was to change the strategy of updating the icons, which was made every fortnight, and sometimes took advantage of seasonality, such as Halloween or Christmas.

After several tests, it was possible to identify why Lab Cave wanted to start with an easily recognisable and powerful icon - some countries achieved an improvement prediction of 84 per cent of daily downloads in A/B test results, with the new proposal presented by Lab Cave's creative team.

A/B Tests “The Respawnables” (Winning icon: B). % improvement prediction/country: Germany 84% | Russia 44% | United States 52%
A/B Tests “The Respawnables” (Winning icon: B). % improvement prediction/country: Germany 84% | Russia 44% | United States 52%

Another fundamental change to improve the results for Digital Legends was the optimisation of keywords, taking into account the particularities of each language.

While it is common to only provide keywords in English, keywords in other languages can bring significant traffic, and Lab Cave estimates that it can improve downloads by 50 to 80 per cent.

Normally, after indexing the keywords in different languages, it is possible to notice an immediate rise in the App Store and Google Play (although the indexing may take a few months, the upward trend begins to be noticed promptly).

“Lab Cave team has achieved, in a few weeks, a five-times organic install growth in our top territories and has set those new levels as the new baseline for our recurrent organics downloads.”
Xavier Carillo - CEO at Digital Legends

Trust: The most important link between client and agency

Even when the results come quickly, gaining the trust of a client is a long term process and must always be done with awareness.

An example of a major concern among mobile companies trying to attract more users to their apps is an update in the Apple App Store and Google Play store rules, as this involves changing app strategies and can cost valuable time.

Lab Cave chief ASO officer, Ido Schoonen, says that to avoid such setbacks, the entire ASO team is constantly on the lookout for updates, from a new screen format to the detection of an algorithm change.

"The moment we detect a relevant change, we begin an investigation and correction of the workflow," says Schoonen. "We prepare a plan of action that will be sent to our customers and with that, we save time and avoid possible headaches."

The Lab Cave team also highlights their ability to adapt to the work needed for each company and the specifics of each application; which has been growing after working with different global clients and games with different audiences and strategies.

With Digital Legends, Gómez points out: "Our relationship is excellent. We manage metadata campaigns, as well as promotions, search campaigns, UA, monetisation and UI enhancements. We have earned the confidence to be a reference to any subject related to app stores."

The reason for this trust is easy to identify: Lab Cave has a large team highly specialized in mobile, through their technology, what was once done "by hand" and would take two weeks to update, today is done in a matter of minutes; eliminating the possibilities of human error.

Schoonen points out: "Digital Legends can focus on a perfect game and leave it to us to work with the application solutions."

Perpetuating the relationship and expanding opportunities

After achieving results, demonstrating and establishing a relationship of mutual trust, what every agency seeks to achieve is the expansion of opportunities to continue working together on new projects.

As part of the continuation of the ASO project, Lab Cave was chosen to be responsible for launching a flagship product from Digital Legends called Afterpulse.

Lab Cave, which normally works to optimise the ASO of a game that has already been released, took up the challenge of taking the first steps in keyword research and strategy development: "We continue to work to optimize ASO and are dedicated to improving the design through A/B testing, as well as investigating new possibilities with Search Ads", says Gómez.

The project manager team leader tells us that the decision came after Digital Legends began to notice the positive results with "The Respawnables" and the confidence of working with Lab Cave’s team.

Keep in mind

Lab Cave experienced a successful relationship with Digital Legends, but not without learning and adapting a lot during the process.

While everyone knows that each client (and each agency) has its own particularities, we hope that this brief text can be used as a instigating insight into your relationship with a customer in the area of games.

It is tempting to continue offering the same services and solutions, having everything perfectly planned and working well; especially if it is for a customer that has already enjoyed working with us.

However, for absolutely any business the competition exists and in most cases it is fierce. Perhaps this is the situation that drives us to think of innovations every day and to always keep an eye on any opportunities that may arise.

Try to separate a few minutes from your routine to think of things that you can improve or that could do differently and make it a recurring exercise to keep your head fresh and ideas sharp.

About Lab Cave

Lab Cave has achieved more than 200 million organic downloads with its own titles and provides ASO, Publishing and Ad Mediation services for mobile Apps and games. Part of Fibonad Group, the largest Spanish digital advertising group offering Branding, Performance and Publishing services.