After trying, and ultimately failing, to create a mobile game of his very own in the early Java days, Paolo Rizzardini of mobile cloud specialist Infobip can't help but look back and wonder if things would have been different had he conceived his idea during today's mobile boom.
“Looking back, I always think, what would happen if I was facing the same challenges today?” asked Rizzardini.
“We are all going mobile today, it's undeniable. Looking at the projections for 2017, mobile will have a 22 percent slice of the market. So, in today's market, I'd go mobile, and I'd head for Asia.”
A brave new world
Fundamentally, Rizzardini is right. Mobile doesn't show any signs of slowing, and getting into such a prosperous market has never been easier.
Of course, blindly stumbling into the mobile market, or hoping your limitless passion will secure success will, 90 percent of the time, only guarantees failure.
There are more competitors today, and visibility is suffering.Paolo Rizzardini
“I can create a game more easily in today's market, and I know I can distribute my content more easily. There are so many distribution options, and most of them are offering monetisation possibilities,” said Rizzardini.
“Things are much better now than when I had my dream, but there are also some new challenges.
“It might be easier to create content, but creating good content is never easy. There are more competitors today, and visibility is suffering because of that. It's difficult to stand out.
“Unless you are selling Angry Birds, you need to think about specialising content in each country you want to release in. Market research is incredibly important.”
Outside the box
Tailoring monetisation techniques can be incredibly rewarding for both consumers and developers, and by looking at what works in specific regions its possible to encourage more spending.
On top of that, it's imperative that developers don't overlook any distribution techniques, because, according to Rizzardini, they can be more influential than many have been led to believe.
“Monetisation needs to be efficient, you need to have a monetisation method that caters to a global audience. It's simply a matter of giving people the option to purchase your product,” explained Rizzardini.
“[You then need to] identify and subsequently reach your potential users. If I was to start a mobile game I'd utilise the normal channels, but specific markets can be more advantageous.Do not forget to consider the Operators App Store, and Independent App Store. It's also worth exploring Device manufacturer's preloaded content. Get your app or game on a device right out of the box.
“Once again, you should try and break into Japan. The revenue per user in Japan is currently at $6, and while it's a challenging market, with the right approach it's a goldmine.”
It might sound obvious, but it's crucial to remember that that existing users mustn't be brushed aside. After all, they are the people who will, perhaps unknowingly, advertise your game for you.
Retaining users, keeping them happy, engaged, and active is a must, but doing so without falling into any traps is a huge undertaking.
“User Acquisition is one of the most expensive things we do in our industry,” offered Rizzardini.
“Making a user happy helps a lot, because a happy user is the best way to attract new users. There are a number of ways to spread your message, but social invitations are the best way.
“It's also worth considering the SMS. I know it's old-school, but SMS messages have an average read rate of 99 percent, and with a conversion rate of nearly 25 percent they're well worth a try. Just don't forget to reward your user with something, and, again, please don't forget to monetise.”