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PGC Digital: Taking user acquisition and retention to the next level

"As UA managers, we have the tools to decide what KPIs we pursue"
PGC Digital: Taking user acquisition and retention to the next level
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User acquisition and consumer retention is crucial to being successful within the mobile games market.

As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5, we had a group of experts come together to discuss taking user acquisition and retention to the next level.

The industry specialists were Ubisoft UA expert Aileen Bergman, Rovio performance marketing manager Gustavo Viegas, Kolibri Games vice president of marketing Paul Le Bas and Funday Factory product manager and partner Emil Kjaehr.

The future is "full of opportunity," according to Le Bas. A sentiment that is shared by Viegas as he also believed that opportunities would arise going forward as changes come into the market, such as Apple's change to its data policies.

"The most challenging part of  this new era will be for people that are new to UA," said Bergman.

Though, alongside her fellow panellists, Bergman does believe opportunities will arise for those who are new to user acquisition and those that have been around for a long time.

Types of approach

"As UA managers, we have the tools to decide what KPIs we pursue," said Viegas.

Depending on what direction a company wants to go in, it will have to consider various metrics when it comes to user acquisition.

The same strategy needs to be in place when it comes to optimisation, "the whole package needs to make sense," claimed Le Bas.

When it comes to data analysts, they can be crucial in deciding upon what strategy to take as they can offer insights into what is working. There are several tools out there that are designed to provide developers with various insights.

They can aid in choosing the correct KPIs, such as retention and players, "you can definitely do it on your own; you just need to master the field."

"The team can provide valuable feedback from multiple angles," said Viegas.

Bergam went on to explain that "Sometimes executives want to see growth, and they are not in the details."

It is not always easy to explain growth and how the campaigns are performing. On occasion, a data analyst may not be able to determine the difference in different strategic campaigns.

Moreover, different teams need to have a connection as their primary concerns will be their KPIs.

Moved along

Times have changed, and as such, it is important to adapt to changes to continue seeing success when it comes to user acquisition.

"Nowadays it is totally different," said Bergman.

It is important to understand different metrics. Mathematics and economics could prove useful to the mobile games industry due to a greater understanding of insights. Bringing additional expertise together will help.

Moreover, experts need to truly understand their craft to make the most of the market opportunities.

"There are definitely two ideas of the UA manager" one is creative going over the strategies for a campaign. However, for this to work, a true understanding needs to be had of various metrics.

"We need to either evolve as analysts or become a creative director," said Viegas.

Essentially, in UA, down the line, it will be crucial to be able to adapt when it comes to mathematics and data. However, knowing trends and sociology will aid when it comes to user acquisition. Teams will eventually go in this direction, bringing engineering and creativity together.

Shifting focus

When it comes to different moments in a product's life, such as soft launch, different approaches need to be considered.

"Approach most certainly changes dramatically from soft launch to live ops," said Viegas.

Product owners may want to focus on retention, and others may focus on CPI. Different cases will see a different business approach; sometimes, different KPIs need to be prioritised based on the product stage and the market.

During soft launch, do not just build the campaign around a single user KPI, rather have more of a broad campaign.

Informed data decisions

If data is limited, then a developer could fall into a trap, thus leading to bad decisions.

"As long as you stick to your KPIs in an objective manner, your decisions should be simple enough," said Viegas.

To determine how good the numbers are, there is a simple way to divide the KPIs, simply consider your business model. For example, session time could be more important than retention, as a retention rate could be relatively low, but session time could be high.

PGC Digital #5 will run from February 8th to February 12th. To keep up to date with all of our coverage, check out the roundups here. There's still time to sign up - to find out more and book a ticket, head to the website.