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Ottawa International Game Con.: Don't fall for the hype (Marketing iOS Apps)
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Ottawa International Game Con.: Don't fall for the hype (Marketing iOS Apps)



What you need to know about marketing your game without losing your shirt.There's a lot of hype about the mobile game business. Don't fall for it. 50% of app revenue is going to 0.1% of all apps. This ...

What you need to know about marketing your game without losing your shirt.There's a lot of hype about the mobile game business. Don't fall for it. 50% of app revenue is going to 0.1% of all apps. This discussion will go into the realities of the mobile game market and cover the strategies you need to make your game profitable. 45min presentation



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Ottawa International Game Con.: Don't fall for the hype (Marketing iOS Apps) Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Marketing Your iOS GameAvoid Disaster, Don’t Believe the Hype ...William Volk, CCO PlayScreen LLCMonday, May 27, 13
  • 2. But First, A JokeMonday, May 27, 13
  • 3. Teenage Boys Show Little Interest inAnthropomorphic Turtles.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 4. 30+ Years In One SlideUnderstanding where we’ve been helps us know where we’re going.Box games, Consoles, Carriers (B.A.) and App Stores.(B.A., Before Apple)Monday, May 27, 13
  • 5. Seven Years of iPhone AppsEvolution of iOSWeb apps in 2007/8.App Store, early years 2008/9.Freemium takes over, 2010.Publishers move in, 2012.Premium games appear, 2013.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 6. 1m Apps, 200k DevsI Miss The NES785 carts, USA and PALMonday, May 27, 13
  • 7. The App Gold RushThe Dream.Instant Riches.Fame.Quit your day job.The Reality.0.5% of Apps = 50% of $Monday, May 27, 13
  • 8. Successful MinersThe Few, The Proud, the Viral Successes.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 9. Who’s Making $$$?Suppliers.Ad Networks.Analytic Companies.Tools.Publishers.Conferences.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 10. Acrophobia!CPI: Cost per install.CPU: Cost per user (dailyetc.)Retention and Churn.K-Factor: Viral Coefficient.ARPU: Average RevenuePer User.ARPPU: Revenue PerPaying User.DAU: #of daily users(MAU).Monday, May 27, 13
  • 11. iAd NumbersRevenue Example: 16,087 Impressions..29% Click Thru Rate = 46 Clicks.Ad Revenue = $8.00, $0.17 Per Click.Apple Charges Devs. $0.25 Per Click.Profit Margin = 24%Monday, May 27, 13
  • 12. Video Ad CampaignAcquire Users: 1,008,896 Views.21,047 Clicks, Click Thru Rate = 2%$20,177.56 Cost of Campaign.Cost Per Click (CPC) = $0.9613,303 Installs, 63% Converted (Oh Really?)Cost Per Install = $2.07 (Sounds good, yes?)Video $0.009/view, same CTR ... CPC = $0.46, Profit 108%!Monday, May 27, 13
  • 13. Marketing Starts With DesignWhat Game are youbuilding and why?Study the App Store.Branding, Naming.That elusive “iPhone-ness”Design Strategies: Niche,Copy?Free or Paid?Publisher or Not?Launch Strategies.Marketing Strategies.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 14. Discovery!Word of Mouth.Top Charts (WAS the #1way).In other apps (advertising).Search.Apple Features.Social Invites.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 15. Freemium & Ad BasedLifetime Value=ARPU x RetentionCost based on CPU and K (Viral?)CPI for FREE apps? $1.15 to $8*Volume of the channel?K-Factor is critical, Positive = HIT! VERY RARE!Retention is critical.Paid apps are HARDER?Monday, May 27, 13
  • 16. Good Retention!This could workMonday, May 27, 13
  • 17. Not So Good Retention!Maybe notMonday, May 27, 13
  • 18. THE KEY TAKEAWAYThe Most Valuable InsightCPI is NOT CPUNot everyone who downloads your game will become adaily or even monthly player. Don’t believe the projectionsuntil you figure this out.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 19. Cohort AnalysisLook at users that came inthe same way at the sametime.Use this, to figure out howto attract the users who willbecome daily players.Measure channel efficiency.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 20. The Charts (Free Apps)Daily Downloads and Ranking(free apps)Games/Word: #5, ~8,500Games/Puzzle: #10, ~15,000Games Top 10: ~40,000All Apps #6, ~60,000PAID Games Top 25: ~23,000Monday, May 27, 13
  • 21. It got harder!iOS 6 App Store Changes EverythingMonday, May 27, 13
  • 22. And Harder ...iOS 6 App Store Changes EverythingMonday, May 27, 13
  • 23. Things to RememberCategories are hidden.5 vs. 3 taps to get to an app.25 apps/page, now 1 app.SEO, Screen Shots.Burst far less effective.Channels more important.All about the Meritocracy!Monday, May 27, 13
  • 24. Paid apps are hard.Ad Channel CPI > price.FreeAppADay etc.Lite version?Heavy social aspect helps.10 of 10 top grossing, FREEYou may want to do thisanyway!Monday, May 27, 13
  • 25. Why Paid apps ...Small budget titles - simpler.Strong brand (classic remake)You have channel (other apps)Enhanced version of free app.You’re sure you have a hit.BUT Multiplayer Apps? NEEDSCALEMonday, May 27, 13
  • 26. Freemium DominatesMonday, May 27, 13
  • 27. Premium Apps$4.99+ Apps.What works?Name Brands/Ports.Niche apps.Big Adventure Games.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 28. A ‘Niche’ is GOOD.Find an audience that’s notbeing served.Example: ROGUE fans (see100 Rogues - Opportunity).Example: Bocce.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 29. Product just takes off.Apple features you.Press loves you*.Your video is a hit (TinyWings)You fill a niche (Bocce-Ball)Then A Miracle OccursMonday, May 27, 13
  • 30. Get Featured by AppleMake the iPhone look coolBe excellent, 4.5 stars orbetterGet luckyMonday, May 27, 13
  • 31. Dumb Luck?A ‘Brand’ matters!SAVE THE TITANIC Game?Monday, May 27, 13
  • 32. Branding MattersMonday, May 27, 13
  • 33. Advertising ChannelsMonday, May 27, 13
  • 34. iAds and Banners25¢ Per Click.Download in the ad.CPI of $1.20 to over $2Vary & test creative.Good for the relationship :-)Converts to Daily Playersbetter than others.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 35. Incentive VideoAdColony, Flurry andTapJoy.Earn credits by watching.NO obligation to download(but?)Pay per view as low as 2¢.GREAT Creative matters.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 36. Incentive Downloads?Not dead yet!Tapjoy (kinda) blocked byApple, Native-X.FreeMyApps.CPI 50¢ (> volume)Volume is LIMITED.GET INTO THE CHARTS.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 37. Incentive Downloads?Apple not a fan of this - WHY?Incentive Users are ...Useful for a BURST, not as much now.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 38. Not all CPI is created equalIncentive users hurt MP gamesAd driven users, do they convert?Organic downloads goodSocial downloads bestVERY few games grow via invites.Who becomes a daily player?Monday, May 27, 13
  • 39. Non-Ad StuffPress and Reviews, DO NOT DEPEND ON THIS.Co-Promotion with brands.Contests - Social net integration.Viral - get the players to do it.Use your channel (if you have it)CTR: >12% and 60% completionMonday, May 27, 13
  • 40. Co-PromotionChartboost.Revboost.Do it directly.Once you have a success ...You have a channel.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 41. How to FAIL!Didn’t study the store.Spend without measuring.Depend on PR.Don’t have the resourcesfor revision and marketing.Don’t nail Monetization.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 42. Example - Punch QuestFreemium App.Over 600k Downloads (inone week).9 months of development.Just over $10k revenue.Moved to a paid model.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 43. Example - BombcatsFreemium App.100k Downloads (in oneday).100 IAP (Purchases).Will get to a milliondownloads.What could they havedone?Monday, May 27, 13
  • 44. Example - Bocce BallBocce-BallConcept: Paper Toss +Bocce, Ad Supported.#1 in Italy (organically), #6USA (advertising).1m downloads.Guess what the problem is?Monday, May 27, 13
  • 45. How to Win!Really know the category.No ad spend w/o test.Launch in limited area.Had the resources forrevision and marketing.Nailed Monetization.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 46. CSR RacingUnderstood the need forsimplicity.No ad spend, 100% organic.Viral that worked.Great in-app items.$12m/month.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 47. Puzzle and DragonsGungHo spent yearsworking in the category.Focused on Japan.Existing titles - channel.Awesome job onmonetization.Now $4m/day.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 48. Tuning MonetizationWhere are the ‘funnels’ inyour title.Why a “limited launch” canmake sense.Product financial models.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 49. Maybe a Publisher is agood idea?Monday, May 27, 13
  • 50. Why a Publisher?The truth about ads.Channel is valuable.You don’t know everything.Half of something ...There ARE goodpublishers.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 51. The FutureDesktop sales outnumbered smartphone sales. Mobile internet traffic was 1% ofoverall traffic. Tablets did not exist.This distant point in time was 2009.Fast-forward four years, to 2013. The world changed. Mobile now accounts for over12% of overall traffic. Smartphone sales have eclipsed desktop sales.Tablets not only exist – but 122 million of them were shipped last year.Tablets are going to grow.TV Platforms? Here.Premium Apps? Now.Publishing model grows.Monday, May 27, 13
  • 52. Don’t ForgetMarketing At The STARTARPU, RETENTION and K-Factor = LIFETIME VALUEIf K-Factor exceeds Churn? You’re golden.CPI is high, CPU HIGHER! don’t give away $$$Get a ****+ rating (really)Study existing games (charts)If you get any sort of hit ...Monday, May 27, 13
  • 53. This is Hard StuffiOS and Android App Stores are ‘meritocracies,’ thequality required is very high.Marketing is difficult.Nobody knows nothing.Monday, May 27, 13