Affiliate Marketing, In-Game Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Online Marketing, Performance Marketing, Social Marketing

Life Time Value (LTV)

Most companies nowadays regard users as their most valuable asset, simply because good, loyal and long-term users are not easy to find. There is no doubt that customers are the bread and butter of every company’s business model. However, too many businesses tend to focus more on transactional customer value, without dedicating enough thought and resources to the user experience that takes place after the conversion.

Needless to say, it is important to invest in making your product or service better. However, it is equally important to focus on finding ways to ensure your existing customers are satisfied, and stay with you for as long as possible after the conversion is made. Otherwise, the cost of acquiring each and every customer can seriously outweigh the amount of revenue that could be made from them. Specifically when referring to the world of mobile applications, in which both users and budgets are plentiful.

So how do you actually measure their value? Quite easily, through LTV (Life Time Value). In a nutshell, LTV describes the amount of profit that could be generated by a customer throughout their lifetime. Many companies are already using this business metric to help them understand how much a customer is really worth to them, in terms of actual revenue. It is broadly based on the concept that investing more money in early stages and ensuring a high-quality experience can help in gaining loyal customers whose increased business and engagement will yield more profits in the long run.

In other words: If you know that a certain customer is three times more valuable, for example, than some other customer, it would be wiser to invest more in the first one and make sure they fulfil their potential. When it comes to the competitive world of mobile applications and games, measuring users’ LTV may be a highly challenging task. However, once you manage to have it figured out, you will be on top of things and know where it would be most effective to invest your attention and marketing budget.

In order to help our partners gain easy access to these useful insights, we have developed a unique technology-driven platform: The LTV Optimizer. By tracking in-app events and analyzing user behavior, this tool finds and targets the optimal users who are most likely to engage as much as possible with a specific game or application. The optimizer features advanced targeting options, and can provide valuable information on users, including OS, device type, category, and country. It can make your life as an advertiser pretty easy, as all optimization is carried out on our end.

Every time a user completes one of the tracking points, their action is measured and evaluated. The points we measure may slightly vary from time to time, but the general idea roughly remains the same. For example, in order to assess a user’s value in a game, these are the typical four stages that are measured:

1) Tutorial completion: The user receives an initial explanation of how to play the game and explores its features.

2) Registration: The user registers and starts playing the game, becoming actively involved in it and engaging with in-app events.

3) Stage completion: After the user becomes initially involved in the game, they continue playing and progressing within the game, completing more and more stages.

4) Significant in-game stage: Eventually, the user reaches a certain point within the game, which is difficult to complete without making an in-app purchase. This is the most crucial stage in terms of ROI, and a user who completes it receives high ranking. These are the optimal users, as they have made an in-app purchase once, and are likely to do so again. This is why they usually receive the highest score.

The more advanced a stage is, the smaller the amount of users who reach it. I.e., some 70%-80% of users reach the first stage, while only 3%-5% reach the final stage.

The optimizer tracks the users’ action in each and every stage, and analyzes the accumulated information. Factors such as in-app events and social engagement are important as well, and are mapped and categorized, along with all other parameters. These are then added up, weighed and measured, and essentially lay the foundation for a comprehensive user profile. The evaluation and ranking are then carried out accordingly, based on the profile. The concept is fairly simple: The higher a user ranking is, the better their engagement with your app.

The in-app behavior analysis is executed in real time, thanks to our proprietary technology, based on complex large-data driven algorithms. The platform’s metrics-based predictions allow precise optimizations to be carried out per our partners’ requirement, according to factors such as performance, user engagement with the app, social interaction, and potential revenue. Knowing in advance which users are likely to receive a high score can assist in ensuring that more marketing efforts and budgets are allocated towards their direction, in terms of reach and segmentation. This will ensure that your apps/games reach the right customers, who will remain active and loyal in the long-run and increase your ROI.

For more information on how to get that edge over others and seize the future, contact us at info@m-m-g.com

In-Game Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Online Marketing, Performance Marketing

Shopping Around For Cheap Prices [Not Mobile Payments] Is The Most Popular In-Store Activity Among Mobile Users, Says Google

By Ingrid Lunden, techcrunch.com

Most people may not yet be using smartphones to pay for goods when they are out shopping, but that doesn’t mean that they are not glued to their handsets anyway. Some research out today from Google indicates that among smartphone owners, some 79% can be classified as “mobile shoppers,” using their devices for some aspect of the shopping experience, from finding store locations through to finding goods. On top of that, among those who use smartphones for any kind of shopping or browsing, some 84% do so in physical stores. And when it comes to investing in experiences that consumers like, retailers should stick to mobile web sites: 65% of consumers prefer these to apps.

This means that while we are still slowly inching towards for one of the holy grails of mobile commerce — using devices for actual transactions at the point of sale — there are still plenty of retail opportunities to snag people along the way.

“Some stores promote their expanded inventory online or implement a price match guarantee to retain savings-hungry shoppers. Others are putting smartphones to use with QR codes that share more information about products, or apps with store maps and real-time inventory,” writes Adam Grunewald, Mobile Marketing Manager for Google, in a blog post. “Whatever tactics marketers choose, it’s clear that smartphones are changing the in-store experience, and that winning the key decision moments at the physical shelves mean owning the digital shelves too.”

And while Google didn’t spell this out, this research also speaks to how Google appears to be spending less time these days pushing its own mobile wallet solutions, and more time presenting itself as an enabler of more holistic mobile shopping experiences.

Working with retail research group M.A.R.C. Research, the Google Shopper Council surveyed some 1,500 consumers who indicated that they use their smartphones for some form of shopping activity. Apart from finding that the vast majority of them use the devices in stores, they found the average time spent on shopping-related activities devices was around 15 minutes. Within that, the most popular service was not so much shopping, as it was shopping around: some 53% of respondents said that they used their devices for price comparison searches. The second-most popular service was closely related: it was looking for offers and promotions (39%). After that it was store practicalities — finding store locations (36%) and opening hours (35%).

Google and M.A.R.C. also looked into how users were using handsets in the lead up to going to stores. As you would expect, some of those practicalities around store logistics are more popular at that time. (These results also closely mirror some of the predictions that Google made about how mobile shopping was likely to play out in the months ahead.)

In reality, retailers potentially are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to mobile commerce. Short of them gaining the expertise and making the investment to capitalize on this themselves, there are a number of third parties tackling the opportunity of targeting shoppers who use mobile devices, and capitalizing on it. Startups like Shopkick, which in January of this year told me it was already profitable, has built a business partnering with major retailers like Best Buy and Target to offer users deals on goods while they are in store, with the offers pushed to them just as they are in the vicinity of the products. Shopkick says that usage of its app contributed to some $200 million in sales in 2012.

On the other hand, there are others that are actually seizing the opportunity afforded by smartphone usage to offer users cheaper alternatives that can be found via e-commerce channels. When Amazon launched its price check app in 2011 — a way for shoppers to quickly look up items just before buying them in store to see if they can find cheaper alternatives online (and on Amazon) — Forbes noted that it “may be evil, but it’s the future.”

The Google research seems to indicate that there is a clear opportunity to target avid smartphone users, as well as to encourage people to use their smartphones more: in general people using their mobile devices for shopping turn out to be bigger shoppers in general, with those buying health and beauty products increasing their median “basket size” the most, by some 50%. (Incidentally, Google doesn’t give any breakdowns between how males and females fare in these categories.)

In the wider world, apps have come to dominate how many interface with their mobile devices, but interestingly when it comes to retailers, mobile web experiences appear to be preferable to consumers. This may be because it is far more likely that a user will just want to look up information about something quickly rather than take the time to download an app in order to obtain information. Unlike Instagram, e-mail or your favorite game, it may be less likely that you will be returning to a retailer’s app on a regular basis enough to merit parking it on your handset.

Some of the research seems too directly self-serving to Google’s own interests — for example the stat that some 82% of mobile shoppers use mobile search to help make purchase decisions. But on the whole some interesting insights into the ever-growing connection between our smartphones and our wallets. The full research report can be found here

 

Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, In-Game Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Online Marketing, Performance Marketing, Social Marketing, Video Marketing

Engagement – Not just a hollow commitment

In today’s online market, the biggest problem websites face is keeping their users interested and loyal. In the online advertising world, we refer to this problem as Engagement.
A lot of people don’t know that there are many easy and simple ways that they can keep their users engaged, and by doing so, increase their websites income and exposure.
In this first article of a series we will elaborate on just a few of the ways you can engage your users.
When you want to engage your users you need to ask yourself one very important question: “What do they want?”
In order to keep your users engaged and loyal to your brand you need to supply them that certain something they are looking for and in the best case scenario, what they can’t get anywhere else.
In today’s market, people are mostly looking for the social utilities- a way to let the whole world know what they are doing, what they are thinking and share any little piece of information- relevant or not.
A website that wants to stay in touch with his users must supply them with the social tools and let them express themselves in a creative matter.
One of the most popular tools for social engagement is the Toolbar. We will split the toolbar tool into 2 different but equally important tools: The downloadable toolbar and the online toolbar.
The downloadable toolbar is very popular and you can find many websites that offers users to download the toolbar for free. After they download it they can add apps, links and tools to the toolbar and make it more accessible for them. Great, but where is the engagement part? Well, you need to remember that the toolbar comes fully branded and with several built in links and tools that allows the website to connect with the users via live updates, pop ups and many more. The bonus part is of course the profitable side of the toolbar. The website earns from the ads and searches users see and performs in the toolbar. Not only do you get a great way to stay connected with your users, you also get an amazing monetizing tool.
The second one is what we call a WebToolbar and is a toolbar that sits in the website and doesn’t need downloading. This toolbar supplies users with an immediate way to act socially and let anybody know what they are thinking. You can find on this toolbar the most common social tools like Facebook, Twitter and more. This tool lets you enjoy real time engagement from your users.

Affiliate Marketing, In-Game Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Online Marketing, Video Marketing

Is viral video really a good advertising method?

Whether it’s on Facebook or via e-mail, people today enjoy sharing everything with their friends and even total strangers.
A picture, a song or a video- everything today is quick and on the air. Advertisers have realized the power of social engagement and many campaigns are designed to go on-line only.

We see many companies today choosing to advertise their product on-line rather than the classic T.V. method.
One of the most popular campaigns is that of Old Spice. The famous “Look at your man, now back to me” ads were very popular and ran mostly on-line. The Old Spice YouTube channel had more than 11 million views and over 160,000 subscribers. Those are really huge numbers that regular T.V advertising just cannot compete with.

Unlike classic video ads, on-line video ads allow advertisers to engage their customers with many simple tools like links, likes, surveys and more. Advertisers get immediate response on their campaigns and can revise their ads accordingly.

Today, when subscribers data is the most important piece of information you need, on-line video advertising is a must have platform for any advertiser.

In-Game Advertising

Is Virtual Currency equivalent to bribe?

Not long ago we met advertisers in the traditional way – they offered and offer and we had the option to take action or not. It could have been a great deal, a new service, or just saying “hey, we’re still here” but nowadays things are different. In-Game advertising is still very new but it promises a lot and delivers even more. Thanks to a large variety of users and the amount of hours spent, the social gaming platform is a must have for any advertiser. New technology offers advanced targeting options and fraud detection mechanisms, giving advertisers the ability to reach their targeted audience in a simple way. Offer that to an advertiser and you’ll witness a very big smile suddenly appearing on his face, saying “yes, I would like to do business with you” however, there is more to it.

What’s the best approach when trying to draw the user’s attention while playing a game?
This is where virtual currency comes in.
Offering a user virtual currency and game credits that will help him reach the next level is a great offer, but how effective is it for the advertiser?
There’s no doubt, the user gets what he wants, so does the publisher, but is there a real benefit for the advertiser as well?
Actually, it’s not a question if it’s effective or not for advertisers because it is, the only remaining question is do you think that offering a user virtual currency for the purpose of driving him to action is equal to giving him a bribe? Or do you call it a little incentive…

Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, In-Game Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Online Marketing, Performance Marketing, Social Marketing

Amazon – the first ever affiliate program, or not

Amazon announced on February 2000 that it had been granted a patent on all the essential components of an affiliate program, as the patent application was submitted in June 1997. There’s a myth about the establishment of the first ever affiliate program and it goes like this… Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon.com had a nice chat with a woman about how she intends to sell her new divorce book on her website and then he came up with the idea – the woman will link her site to Amazon and receive a commission on the sales, making this model what we call today an “affiliate program”. The initial launch of “Amazon Associates Program” took place on July 1996, however digging up a little deeper we find that there might be more to it.

Experts in the field say that Amazon did popularize the idea of affiliate marketing but they were actually a bit late to be officially announced as affiliate program pioneers. Websites like PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Epage (April 1996) and others took the first steps in the affiliate market a little before Amazon. In addition, experienced folks on the web mention the adult industry as the first or among the early innovators in affiliate marketing.

While Amazon claims to be the first ever affiliate program, we believe that the answer is not that clear, so it depends on who’s answering.