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GDCE 2012: Apsalar's Sarah Teng on what data to measure and what to do with it

GDCE 2012: Apsalar's Sarah Teng on what data to measure and what to do with it
After lunch you need some time for digestion: or as we experienced at GDC Europe, an in-depth talk from Apsalar's director of marketing Sarah Teng on the value of mobile app analytics.

Given that the company is all about analytics and engagement, she started out defining the six required features for mobile analytics.


  • A mobile-centric solution: mobile is not an extension of web

  • Acquisition campaign measurement

  • Cohort and conversion analysis

  • ARPU and revenue analysis

  • Cross-app tracking

  • User segmentation - personalise apps, find high value users


Of course, measuring stuff is all well and good, but you to think what stuff you're measuring.

Teng highlighted five key what she called 'actionable discovery metrics'.


  • DAUs/MAUs - basic loyalty measure, and a useful benchmark measure - Zynga's is 24%

  • Retention and churn - provides more granularity on loyalty

  • Engagement - what users are doing in your app. This can provide better visibility than KPIs.

  • LTE (Lifetime value) - to do this properly you need to segment your users and compare LTE across different groups of gamers across variables such as OS, geography etc.

  • ROI - this is important in terms of working out which of your acquisition channels are working the best and optimising your marketing.


A key part of the process of building an audience for your games is what Apsalar calls "Audience Targeting for Acquisition", which is ensuring you get the right users.

It's the first stage in the three stage process that the company advises developers to focus on; the acquisition stage being followed by Analyse and Re-marketing. 



The final thing Teng spoke about was re-marketing your game (or cross-promoting new games) to existing users.

This is all about segmentation as you'll likely only want to re-market your game to certain high value or highly engaged users.

Apsalar's own tool for this - ApEngage - is in private beta and uses network partners such as Nexage, Mopub and Smaarto to build a wide audience. 
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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