Michael Jessen is the User Aquisition Specialist at Social Point and a dedicated contributor to the Mobile Masterminds. The impulsive Netherlander made Barcelona home after many adventures abroad (the United Kingdom, Ireland and China) and has been creating innovative advertising strategies and staying on the cutting edge of mobile marketing in the sunny city. In the following short interview, he shares some insight into his latest challenges, new market expansions, and playable ad exploration.
How did you get into mobile advertising?
Directly after university, I got my first job at Facebook. Later when I returned to Barcelona I started working for the Spanish startup eCooltra and got more into mobile marketing.
How did you end up at the gaming studio Social Point?
I began working at Social Point earlier this year after doing a similar role at eCooltra the 2,5 years before. As I have an affinity for gaming and I wanted to advertise on a more global scale, it was the ideal next step for me.
And what attracted you to Social Point specifically?
Social Point has several live games and I get to manage 3 of them myself (World Chef, Tasty Town and the latest addition to our portfolio: Word Life). All three are unique in their own way, but Word Life is a cool mix between learning languages, training your brain and testing your word knowledge with friends. The game was globally launched recently and it was part of an internal side project.
And what is your main focus right now?
Right now our focus is on scaling (fast) in tier 1 countries while keeping CPI’s low. Another thing we are heavily focussing on is D1 and D3 retention which has been challenging. We are also looking to scale in Japan. It is a really good market for the games I am managing but tends to be expensive. We are exploring new partners for this geo lately and trying to culturalise as much as we can to make the ads appealing to locals.
What would you consider to be your marketing specialty?
I would consider myself a jack of all trades within the mobile marketing space. We work in small teams per game and this gives me the opportunity to tap into different areas of marketing. However, if I had to choose a favorite area, I prefer ASO and UA. I love to experiment with creatives and ad-copy and see how I can give the user the best possible experience. Lately, playable ads are something that I really enjoy working with, as their development is quite interesting and the user feedback is great!
What are your favorite tools and resources for mobile game marketing?
Appsflyer without a doubt! It is my day-to-day platform to get insight into my campaigns and gives me the data to perform the actions when needed. As for resources, I keep myself up-to-date with Pocketgamer and LinkedIn.
Where do you see your app in a few years, any big plans?
The gaming sector is a very competitive area in mobile. As a user has so many different apps to choose from it is our challenge to encourage users to come back to our games. That means having continuous live-ops and updates to keep the game interesting and make it stand out from the rest in the app stores.
The main strategy this year is to grow markets like Japan. Also, we will be focusing on creating more playable ads in-house. Besides that, there are a few new games coming up that have the potential to be big, we are really excited about that!
Read Michael’s article on how to build a user acquisition strategy optimized for gaining users with long-term goals.