User Acquisition Expert interview: Three minutes with Product Madness

By Sukey Miller - March 08, 2023

Bango Audiences talks with Stefana Pesko, UA team lead at games publisher Product Madness.

Stefana shares her industry knowledge and gives insight into how she goes about creating a sophisticated UA strategy, acquiring high-value, high retaining users and her approach to different platforms.

About Stefana

I’m Stefana Pesko, UA team lead at games publisher Product Madness. I work mostly on social channels, that's your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Google, so on.

Product Madness is part of Aristocrat, which is a tech company. We specialize in making mobile games, specifically social casino games.

How do you monetize your apps?

We develop free to play social casino games. Most games that are similar to ours use two types of monetization.

One is in-app purchases, this is where most of the spend goes to, usually.

Then you have ad monetization, where you monetize your mobile app via advertising revenue: insert ads into the app and collect revenue.

Mostly, we focused on in-app purchases and that’s where Bango helps us a lot.

When you're spending your ad campaign dollars, what's most important to you?

In the last few years, especially with the loss of data visibility with changes in iOS thanks to Apple, a lot of the user acquisition strategy, not just for us but for most tech companies, has been to increase your geographic footprint.

We know a lot of social casino game players are in the US. They're high value, high retaining users.

You want more of those and to also increase your presence into the geos that you haven't broken into yet.

Potentially, certain competitors work well in geos in Asia, that's where you want to increase your presence and that's something you dedicate a lot of your marketing budget to.

And here, Bango has been very useful for us. It increased our spend and our return on that spend in geos outside of our tier one geos, which is very important for us.

What KPIS do you use to measure campaign success?

Mostly, they're broken into three categories. You have your upper funnel metrics such as your conversion rate. You want to see how many users click on your ad and then install the game. You want to see your install per amount of impressions. You want to see how much your ad costs you.

Then you have lower funnel metrics which are your revenue metrics - your return on ad spend, your depositor percentage, your average revenue per user (ARPU), average revenue per paying user (ARPPU).

And then you have your long-term metrics which determine the amount of time it takes each user to pay you back the money that you invested into them, there is also your lifetime value or in case of advertising on iOS, it’s your predictive lifetime value.

How do you use purchase behavior targeting in your campaigns?

We started with something very generic such as targeting lookalike audiences. We listed competitors that we enjoy a percentage of their audience that we would like to target, and we target them in specific geos using Bango Audiences.

Then we evolved the strategy into something much more sophisticated.

This is where help from Bango's client partner support has been amazing, looking into data, helping us to target segments of audiences which are not even in our vertical like players who play bingo apps or cards apps. Or high LTV users or the top 5% of users who spend $100 in a certain app, during a certain period.

After three or four months of working together, it's quite a refined process where we target very specifically and Bango helps us with that a lot.

What’s your experience of working with Bango to target your UA campaigns?

When you work with partners, you usually work closely with your own data science team to formulate which audience you’d like to target and it takes some time to get it right.

With Bango and their API connection with Facebook, you request an audience, it takes only a day or two to create that audience and pass directly onto your account. We use the audience and whenever we are finished, it's withdrawn.

Not only that, but the Bango team that we work with is very knowledgeable. They look at the data, which has been an amazing experience.

Not all of your partners necessarily look at your data as closely. They offer amazing insights. The turnaround is super quick. We do really like this wonderful team.

Facebook versus TikTok - how does your approach change when using different ad platforms?

Between Facebook and TikTok specifically, you have a lot of overlapping audience. We get a lot of assisted installs.

Those installs mean that the audience has seen the ad on one platform but then seen another ad on the other platform and installed there.

The cross pollination between the two is high, but the type of audience and the type of behavior that they exhibit is different.

TikTok is a newer app. It still has a few years to go until it becomes what Facebook is. The advertising platform interface is very similar to Facebook.

But, the audience is younger. They're not necessarily as likely to spend as they are on Facebook.

Facebook has an older audience with a higher propensity to spend. And that's where our audience segments come from.

TikTok exhibits a different behavior but shows that in a long term they're almost as valuable as Facebook is.

How do you think privacy changes will impact your user acquisition campaigns?

I think the new changes that we're expecting, again on the iOS side and then later on Android side, are not going to be as troublesome for the industry as they were a year and a half ago when Apple completely changed the amount of data we can see.

Instead of having user level data, now it's aggregated data. That's a big change. It took a while for the whole industry to work through.

It increased everyone's costs, not only on iOS but also on Android because a lot of people flocked to Android when they couldn't see the data on iOS. It increased the competition. The auction became harder to bid on.

After a year and a half, I think the industry is quite stable. There are always challenges.

There are going to be more challenges whenever Apple releases new updates. Within a year or so Android will do the same.

But we've learnt from what happened a year and a half ago, and I think now we're at a good place where we can use the data that we have in whatever capacity we have it, so it shouldn't be such a troublesome process anymore.

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