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Speaker Spotlight: Applovin's Pankaj Choudhary talks 360 strategies for successful app marketing

"While developers in MENA tend to prioritize IAPs over ads, it's crucial to grasp the value of an IAA mix."
Speaker Spotlight: Applovin's Pankaj Choudhary talks 360 strategies for successful app marketing
  • The Dubai GameExpo Summit powered by Pocket Gamer Connects is now just days away
  • There’ll be insightful talks, panels and seminars across every topic facing the games industry, from new technologies such as AI, web3 and the metaverse and all the latest techniques and trends in development and monetisation

The Dubai GameExpo Summit powered by Pocket Gamer Connects is just days away… On May 1st and 2nd the event - running alongside the Dubai Esports and Games Festival at the Dubai World Trade Centre - will play host to over 70 star speakers across 10 different tracks, live from the heart of the world's fastest growing games market for 2024.

And at the event there’ll be insightful talks, panels and seminars across every topic, from new technologies such as AI, web3 and the metaverse to all the latest techniques and trends in development and monetisation. All topped off by THE hot topic for discussion - the unprecedented growth of the MENA market.

And joining our lineup of speakers will be Applovin's Head of INSEA - BD, Pankaj Choudhary

In his talk he'll be highlighting the importance of selecting the right user acquisition channels for casual game ad monetization. "This is because your ad revenue hinges on the number of daily active users your game attracts," he explains.

"Our focus extends to striking a balance between In-App Advertising (IAA) and In-App Purchases (IAP), both globally and within the MENA market. While developers in the MENA region tend to prioritize IAPs over ads, it's crucial to grasp the value of incorporating an IAA mix. This involves employing the right campaign strategies to broaden your user base., which has become particularly important as current trends indicate a decline in IAP year-on-year."

We caught up with Pankaj in advance of the event to get his take on the state of play.

PocketGamer.biz: Where do you see the next big opportunities in the mobile games market?

I see networks on Mediation Stack moving to 100% bidding. More networks transitioning to bidding will elevate overall improvements in Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (ARPDAU), reducing further latencies, increasing efficiencies in network bidding auctions, and requiring less or zero operational effort in managing networks.

AI advancements tools - such as Applovin’s AXON 2.0 - our UA app discovery engine - support game developers in reaching the right audiences with proper campaign learning and accuracy while driving more scale.

CTV advertising running in tandem with mobile campaigns supports app marketers in reaching 93% of U.S. internet users and tapping into a $25 billion ad spending market.

“We typically see ourselves as game consultants, supporting game developers in their growth, and we consider ourselves fortunate to be part of their journey.”
Pankaj Choudhary

What’s the most common mistake you see being made in the games sector?

There are a few common mistakes primarily observed in the gaming sector. The first would be focusing on a Cost Per Install (CPI) based model to acquire users, whereas platforms in the current scenario offer more robust offerings with Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)-based campaigns, Cost Per Engagement (CPE), and Cost Per Purchasers (CPP) campaigns. This allows developers to reach and scale with the relevant audience using a multi-campaign strategy.

Secondly, you need to be targeting specific countries where the opportunity lies in running global campaigns, which helps in scaling and faster calibration to obtain early performance data on User Acquisition (UA).

Thirdly you should be adding In-App Ads (IAA) at a later stage in the game and starting with In-App Purchases (IAP). Adding IAA into the mix from day one helps game developers read early metrics like retention, user ad behaviors, and stickiness towards games, along with understanding ad placements to optimize the ad economy.

What do you feel is the single biggest challenge facing the mobile games industry today?

The single biggest challenge faced by the mobile industry is in adopting the right marketing strategy to successfully launch mobile apps. You should be focusing on a 360-degree approach (user acquisition, ad monetization, and reinvestment in UA) to scale campaigns with accuracy while adopting a balanced approach to In-App Advertising (IAA) and In-App Purchases (IAP)

What’s your favourite ever mobile game?

Being an Indian, of course cricket would be my favorite mobile game which I enjoy during my pass times

Do you believe that hypercasual gaming here to stay?

I believe it depends on studios to provide more stickiness for their audience, encouraging them to stay in the game for longer durations. Focusing on a low-cost approach has become a challenge. Additionally, as we observed in the current environment, particularly in mid-2023, many gaming studios have adopted a transformational approach, shifting from hypercasual to hybridcasual, which offers deeper gameplay, live operations, and a mix of in-app purchases (IAP) and ad-based monetization.

Providing a deeper gaming experience to the audience is relatively difficult in hypercasual, as users continually seek deeper content to engage with as they progress, a need now being met by hybridcasual, and the overall casual genre.

What do you enjoy most about working in the mobile games industry?

Gaming is a significant source of entertainment in the current mobile entertainment space. As a leading mobile platform provider, we consider ourselves privileged to work with the gaming community and game developers to help them carve out the right approach to scale their game from day zero, even during the game development phase. Thus, more as business facilitators, we typically see ourselves as game consultants, supporting game developers in their growth, and we consider ourselves fortunate to be part of their journey.


Don't miss out on your opportunity to attend this summer's most exciting B2B event for the global games industry – GameExpo Summit powered by PG Connects. Book your ticket here.