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Winnie Wen "If you think about how long the industry has been around, I feel like we’re just scratching the surface."

Winnie Wen from Jam City speaks on the games industry and reaching audiences

Winnie Wen "If you think about how long the industry has been around, I feel like we’re just scratching the surface."

In a recent Q&A with Liftoff Winnie Wen the senior director of user acquisition at Jam City an award-winning mobile games developer, discussed marketing, reaching audiences, standing out from the crowd and where the industry is heading next.

The mobile games market is a vastly growing one with thousands of titles available to you at the touch of a button. Standing out from the competition is a crucial part of the industry and using efficient marketing to target the correct demographic means not only bringing in users but ensuring they come back.

What is the market trend? What is the industry trend? What are our competitors doing that we know is engaging?

Speaking on Jam City's approach to setting themself apart and reaching audiences such as casual players Wen commented that “Ultimately, creative is the first touchpoint. It’s the first area where we connect and speak to the users — tell them what our product is, how we can appeal to them, what our value proposition is, and how to get them to the next part of the funnel.”

Expanding on these thoughts Wen commented on the importance of target audience and trends “It’s important to identify the core demo’s persona and understand their gameplay motivations. On top of that, it’s good to stay on top of current market and industry trends, and competitors’ strategies.”

Wen went on to speak about something most of us have experienced which is misleading ads, seeing an advertisement for a game hitting download only to find it is nothing like the advert.

“There’s been an influx of misleading ads in the industry.” Wen expanded on the comment saying “I am curious, for those products, about their downstream KPIs. At the end of the day, we are striving for a balance of top-of-the-funnel metrics in addition to downstream KPIs.”

Audience Response

Wen went into details on what creative assets should aim to do “We want to make sure that the creative asset we’re using is exciting and it grabs your attention.” Wen returned to the earlier point that most audiences are used to a bombardment of ads and become numb to them then stating that “A creative asset needs to captivate their attention. It needs to be a thumb-stopper. It’s a balance of being aspirationally captivating while incorporating gameplay from the product.”

Wen also gave details on what tools Jam City uses to make measurements on their creative assets “We evaluate performance based on top-of-the-funnel metrics, such as click-through rate, conversion rate, and IPM. Then we also evaluate downstream metrics and look at various KPIs” this topic was rounded off with Wen explaining that healthy top-of-funnel and downstream metrics are ideal however sometimes potential trade-offs will balance things out.

Past and future

The interesting thing is, if you think about how long the industry has been around, I feel like we’re just scratching the surface.

Touching on the changes in the games industry Wen said “Oh, it’s changed drastically! I remember when I first joined the mobile space, it was all about downloads and installs. It was all about charting. Once you hit the top X spot on the app store, then the organics will follow. We didn’t look at LTV. We didn’t look at downstream KPIs. Fast forward to now — we’re looking at the metrics (top and downstream) in such granular detail that UA managers are essentially data ninjas.”

Wen then expressed some thoughts on the future of the industry and where it could be heading “I see us moving forward with a unified marketing approach. I don’t think it will be performance marketing versus brand marketing versus awareness.” continuing from that Wen added “Developers need to come up with a solution for how they are going to measure performance as a whole.”

Jam City is apart of our current top 50 game makers list.


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