Revving up mobile growth with alternative channels

Another year, another impactful MAU (Mobile Apps Unlocked)! Thank you to our partners, clients and friends who joined us in making MAU 2023 as impactful as it was. Along with attending and hosting some fantastic events, we had the pleasure of joining a panel at MAU this year titled “Revving Up Mobile Growth With Alternative Channels”. In this discussion, LifeStreet CEO Levi Matkins, joined Willis Nelson, Sr. Director of Revenue, Mobile Apps at Fluent, Brett Patterson, Director of UA  at Influence Mobile, and Dana Melamede, UA Team Lead at Playtika to discuss incremental growth through rewarded experiences, influencer marketing, and content.

Below, read our top takeaways from the panel discussion.

From growth to profitability

Experts discussed the effects of the current economy and how the mobile gaming space has matured. Rather than expansive ad budgets and wild M&A activity, today, many game developers have more limited UA budgets. This has shifted their focus from growth to profitability. In practice, this has looked like stricter ROAS goals. Furthermore, game developers are also investing more resources into monetizing their ecosystems and enhancing the quality of their traffic.

In the face of these economic pressures, game companies will have to prepare for an uncertain future in which people have less disposable income to spend on games. This could lead to lower RPUs (revenue per user) and a greater interest in deals and promotions.

The importance of a diverse marketing mix

To confront a slowing economy and privacy changes like the deprecation of the IDFA, experts discussed the importance of a diversified portfolio. The advantages of a diverse marketing mix have also increased because of the rise of Meta CPMs. Dana Melamede, UA Team Lead from Playtika, mentioned Playtika’s new partner program in which they onboard and explore new channels. Brett Patterson, Director of UA at Influence Mobile, echoed these efforts noting “the long tail mix of [their] partners [had] doubled in the last year” contributing to an additional 15% in growth.

All experts agreed on the potential for independent, private, and niche pockets of inventory to fuel growth. They also agreed on the importance of investigating alternative channels and media owners to diversify their ad spend, testing new channels and extending inventory marketers’ already have. This will help game companies stay resilient as the economy continues to shift and more privacy changes (like the deprecation of GAID) make waves in the mobile space.

The AI opportunity

Multiple panelists noted the emerging opportunities of artificial intelligence. Melamede noted how Playtika is currently integrating AI into their growth strategy. LifeStreet CEO, Levi Matkins, described the vast changes generative AI products like Chat GPT would have on the mobile advertising space and beyond. In particular, he noted the AI’s capability to make the production of content free or close to free. This will unlock cost efficiencies and make the large scale personalization of games, ads, and more — possible for large and small game developers.

Robust data is a team sport

All speakers noted how they currently work together and transparently share their data. The takeaway? They noted that the more information marketers share with trusted partners the more they can enhance their targeting and optimization overall. This especially rings true as campaigns become more algorithm-based versus based on manual optimization of campaign factors.

As the industry evolves, so does fraud

Just as the industry has evolved, so has fraud. Patterson noted the increasing sophistication of fraudulent conversions as the ecosystem gets more complex. Fraud also presents differently on different types of traffic — whether rewarded or free to play. Strategies and tools like Appflyer’s Protect360 are invaluable in this regard to validate engagement both on the front end and back end of brands’ conversion funnels.

Thanks again for joining us at MAU 2023! If you’d like to schedule a follow up meeting with us to talk about your game or performance marketing agency’s programmatic growth strategy, contact us here.

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