Interview

Appfluencer's Brett Bauer on how collecting the right data at the right time can make your game more profitable with less work

"Collecting the earliest data will tell you more about the users who were organically attracted to your game and who could provide the most valuable insights."

Appfluencer's Brett Bauer on how collecting the right data at the right time can make your game more profitable with less work

Making a welcome return for 2021, the first PocketGamer.biz MasterClass sessions of the year are coming up in just a couple of weeks.

These deep-dive workshop sessions take an in-depth look at practical games design topics. The finest industry experts bring you professional, half-day activities featuring tutorials, lectures and breakout groups, all accessible from the comfort of your home office.

There are five workshops taking place on March 9-11 where you can expect to explore a range of key games design topics, from game design to monetisation and investment.

Today, we'd like to introduce Brett Bauer, Co-founder & CEO at Appfluencer by Shared2you, who will lead a session titled Collecting and Using Data - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly on Tuesday March 9th from 15:00-18:00 (UK time).

Brett Bauer has been instrumental as the CEO and Co-Founder, leading the company in an ever-evolving marketplace, with an emphasis on the role that data transparency plays in counting every impression delivered while ensuring the privacy rights of the consumer are protected by not accessing or using personally identifiable information (PII).

In the last several years, Brett led the company’s creation of internal data and analysis solutions and integrated the company's predictive targeting information into a fully automated data management platform. This combination laid the foundation for 'IDFA-less' targeting and fully automated campaign management. In addition, the Appfluencer Platform optimizes bidding and budgeting across a variety of campaigns.

Prior to Shared2you, Brett worked in the securities and investment industry.

The ability to create and launch hundreds of campaigns in minutes allows UA professionals the ability to spend more time analysing the results to improve campaigns rather than completing the detailed work necessary to create them.

Tell us a bit about your company

We started the company with the belief it was important for each individual to specify who could access their information and that each person be allowed to participate in the value it created. Our belief was that each individual would benefit to the degree they wanted to share their personal information and that the right thing to do was ask the user for their permission to collect their data, as well as limit what was collected to as little as necessary for the app to function.

Along the way, we found it necessary to validate our predictive targeting information in user acquisition campaigns. In 2017 John Boog-Scott, COO of Peoplefun, agreed to try our data in the company’s Facebook campaigns. We provided the data to their agency and they found our predictive targeting information outperformed Facebook lookalikes.

Realising our process was effective, we integrated our predictive targeting information into DSP/RTB environments. Moreover, we automated the collection, processing and analysis of our predictive targeting information with data returned from the exchanges. This allowed us to simplify the UA process by automating the time intensive, manual tasks required to create, launch and optimise campaigns. By leveraging technology, we were able to accomplish more with a substantially smaller team.

When COVID hit, the benefits of the automated platform could be easily explained to and realised by others, especially in the work from home environment. The ability to create and launch hundreds of campaigns in minutes, with fully automated management and optimisation - including automated bid optimisation and budget reallocation - allows UA professionals the ability to spend more time analysing the results to improve campaigns rather than completing the detailed work necessary to create them.

What does your role entail?

My responsibility includes development tasks; maintaining the vision for the company and moving the company towards its objectives. It requires a great deal of communication with partners, team members, investors and board members. It includes making sure capital needs are addressed and that we are working towards a common objective.

It's also very important to engage directly with others in the market to gain a deeper understanding of what’s happening. This means identifying experts to learn from and includes reciprocation by sharing knowledge to help others.

Is there anything you're working on currently that you’d like our readers to know about?

We are currently in the process of building out our automated platform by adding additional functionality across a larger group of DSPs and ad networks. Our primary objective is to reduce the time and effort required so game companies can focus on making games.

With an enhanced understanding of data, we can shift our focus to increasing the frequency of analysis and improve decision-making by key pieces of information that have the biggest impact on results.

What topic will you be covering in your Masterclass?

We will discuss the importance of acquiring knowledge from data by understanding the available data sources, identifying a process for gathering data and a method for identifying insights to move you towards your objectives as you focus on actionable information to drive business decisions.

We’ll discuss objectives for learning and questions we want to ask of our data to arrive at a basic understanding that our initial data analysis needs to answer our questions and discover new information. With an enhanced understanding of data, we can shift our focus to increasing the frequency of analysis and improve decision-making by key pieces of information that have the biggest impact on results.

Once we know that, we can begin the process of automating the collection and processing of data.

Who is this Masterclass for?

Anyone concerned with increasing productivity and profitability while reducing costs from any level of seniority from growth (UA), development, design, product, live ops business intelligence, strategy, etc.This workshop is suitable for teams within almost any genre.

We will not be discussing privacy regulations or iOS 14 updates. However, discussions regarding data collection will be in the context of appropriate data collection and use in light of the new privacy requirements.

Why is it important for your games industry peers to gain a deeper understanding of your chosen topic?

You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression is universally understood to mean that a person decides in the first seven seconds whether or not they like you based on their opinion of what they see and how they feel. Even if the initial impression is wrong, people will most likely never change their opinion.

Apply this same kind of thinking to your game or creatives. The user's impression is formed very quickly, as they develop an opinion about your game. The impression of the creative is formed in under seven seconds, while the user is forming an opinion of your game in the first 60 seconds after launch.

Having a process in place to begin collecting the earliest data will tell you more about the users who were organically attracted to your game and who could provide the most valuable insights – even if you don’t begin to analyse the information until later.

If you fail to capture information on those initial users, you could be losing your most valuable information when the market for new users is most fertile because few people have had the opportunity to experience your game.

What key takeaways can people expect from the session?

Attendees will learn:

  • When to start collecting data
  • Where to get the data
  • How to prioritise data to be collected
  • Identify the available source data
  • Determine which data to capture, where to store it and how much data to keep before archiving or deleting
  • How to make the data actionable
The objective is to align the interest of the games company with the interests of games industry participants while placing an emphasis on the benefits to the consumer and betterment of the industry to act as fiduciaries of the user information.

Finally, what are your thoughts on the games industry going forward? What major trends do you predict over the next 12 months?

I believe all participants in the games industry should work together to create an industry-wide set of best practices for data use, that focuses on protecting the interest of the consumer and prevents the abuse of their data. The objective is to align the interest of the games company with the interests of games industry participants while placing an emphasis on the benefits to the consumer and betterment of the industry to act as fiduciaries of the user information.

The key trend over the next 12 months will be continued consolidation in response to Apple’s privacy change and in anticipation of a similar change by Google in the next 12 months.

Book today!

If you like the sound of Bauer's MasterClass, be sure to book your place now - tickets are limited so purchase your ticket today to avoid disappointment!

Individual multi-buy discount: book for three and get fourth free.

Corporate discount: a group of six or more from one company can get 30% off if booked together.

To take advantage of multi-buy or group discounts, please email sally.kevan@steelmedia.co.uk to discuss your bespoke package.

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