Remember: Southeast Asia is considered the hottest mobile gaming market of 2016
Google’s Consumer Barometer dubbed Southeast Asia (SEA) as a “mobile-first” region, an area where the smartphone is the device of choice for more than 80 per cent of each country’s population. Combined with the fact that the region is made up of six hundred million people, it is easy to see why SEA is considered the hottest mobile gaming market of 2016.
Growth rates are truly astonishing; according to Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report, gamers in China, Japan, South Korea, and Greater Southeast Asia will generate 45 per cent of the US$99.6 billion global games market revenues in 2016.
More impressively, these 11 markets, which represent 29 per cent of the world’s population, will account for 55 per cent of all mobile game revenues. With 36 per cent, or US$16 billion, smartphones takes the highest share of revenues in key Asian markets in 2016.
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While there is no question that SEA is indeed a strong market, how can businesses tap into the region and really understand the needs of players here?
The data behind customer acquisition and retention for mobile games
As the mobile games marketplace becomes more saturated with a wide variety of gaming applications, game developers often turn to game user acquisition and analytics tools to improve user retention, engagement and, ultimately, monetisation.
In the mobile world, it is a more agile approach to push out updates and rethink the game again and again, steadily improving its performance and optimising player experience based on observations made through collecting big data. It is a great source from which to learn, analyse and understand the real value players get from a game.
Winning gamer attention with Big Data
Understanding the preferences of players is imperative. Acquisition campaigns are only effective if game companies find out who their players are, what they’re interested in, at what time they’re most responsive, and then set the right targeting for their campaign. If gaming publishers want to improve their app’s visibility within the store, data helps in understanding what description, keywords and screenshots would appeal to their audience.
Data plays a significant role in dictating mobile gaming performance. It helps to choose beta testers and it shows how to optimise an in-game screen, which has high churn rates. With the data aggregated, game publishers can continue developing the best player experience and think ahead of the curve on what is next for their fans. Game Analytics analysed 400 free-to-play mobile games with more than 1,000 installs, and found that the very first players who enter the game are the most valuable users. When publishers know who they are, they can invest resources in retaining them.
Now that we know that the secret recipe is Big Data, the question is what ingredients are game developers looking for? Some basic factors developers should look at include geography, time, player ID, gender and age. Once publishers in Asia know these parameters, they can define possible behaviour patterns, and increase chances of offering paid content. It is also critical to be aware of the life-cycle stage of players – new/dormant/engaged player, risk of churn, etcetra – and to target them accordingly. Conversion will differ depending on time of day an ad is displayed. Every event gives food for thought – clicks, likes, reposts and even uninstalls speak volumes about the players.
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Leveraging Data Management Platform (DMP)
An optimal approach to utilising valuable data sitting within applications is through a Data Management Platform (DMP) that aggregates the players’ entire journey within the applications.
Game developers can still collect data from their users without compromising user privacy. In fact, app permissions are a great resource, as most users don’t mind what information they are asked for. Even if there is no need for certain data, it might improve monetisation or add value further down the line. Adding a social login button or creating a community within the game can reveal a gold mine of data.
Moving forward with data driven marketing strategy
The gaming industry has reached a very exciting time with big data spearheading user reach all over the world. As the industry gets saturated, it is critical for gaming developers to think ahead about their marketing strategy.
One of the ways to leverage this untapped potential is to engage advertising and analytics partners to collect as well as analyse data to make business decisions. However, to run a powerful campaign, gaming developers have to be transparent in collecting the data, respecting user privacy and using data with caution. A holistic approach in developing marketing strategy will support the sustainability of a gaming app’s market performance.
Image Credit: Matt Lee on Unsplash
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