Cross channel game advertising and the holistic approach
|Richard Harris in Marketing & Promotion Thursday, December 1, 2016|
Surprisingly for a mobile-centric world and an industry dominated by mobile games, game marketers are still spending a hefty amount of marketing dollars on television ads. TV isn’t dead yet, but ‘cord-cutting’ is a phenomenon among the millennial generation that can’t be denied. For those still tuned in to TV programming, their attention is increasingly divided between the big screen and the small ones – smartphones, tablets, and computers. In such a competitive space, more and more game marketers are looking to optimize media campaigns through a cross-channel approach that puts smart technology and data to work to target individual users.
Matomy, a marketing technology company founded in 2007, offers customized, data-driven performance and programmatic solutions, supported by internal media capabilities, for both advertisers and publishers.
Matomy's holistic mobile advertising agency, mtmy, is fueled by an in-house Data Management Platform (DMP), and offers a fully-managed service across channels including video, display, social, email and search. Matomy's programmatic platforms include the MobFox SSP, the video advertising platform Optimatic, and the mobile demand side platform myDSP.
We recently caught up with Sagi Niri, COO/CFO of Matomy Media Group, to chat about why game developers and marketers should rethink their media strategies and optimize cross-channel advertising through behavioral profiling and lookalike targeting in order to reduce wasted ad-spend.
ADM: What is cross-channel advertising and how does it differ from traditional advertising today?
Niri: Traditionally, marketers work with multiple media partners for a diversified campaign that targets TV, Facebook, YouTube, and various mobile and display publishers. For example, 40% of an ad budget might be dedicated towards TV, 30% towards Facebook, 10% for YouTube, and so forth depending on the company's available marketing budget. However, brands are missing out on a huge opportunity to target customers throughout their personal journey – on the various devices and channels they use during the day – and therefore wasting advertising dollars.
This is why we’re seeing an increased interest in a cross-channel approach, where marketers seamlessly and interchangeably use multiple channels to market, sell, and interact with customers no matter what platform they are using. For instance, when a customer uses your mobile app to look at a product but doesn’t complete the purchase, you can use a cross-channel approach to remarket that product by serving up ads for it even when the customer is on another channel or platform (say email or social media). Marketers can adapt their media campaigns for each customer segment to target them on the channel they are on in order to increase the likelihood that the ad is actually being viewed and engaged with.
ADM: Why should game developers and marketers shift their media strategies to a cross-channel approach?
Niri: The mobile gaming market is exploding with 1.75 billion smartphone users expected to frequently play mobile games in 2016 and revenue to surpass console and PC gaming for the first time. Yet, mobile game marketers are still spending millions on TV advertisements each month. They need to recognize that traditional advertising channels have been disrupted by new media. Today’s gamers are juggling multiple-devices, often using their phones while watching TV – so it makes more sense to reach gamers on the devices they’re on and where advertisers have the power to track user activity across channels.
Hundreds of thousands of game apps become available each year in what is already a highly-competitive market. As such, user lifecycles are often short with gamers downloading an app, playing for a bit, forgetting about it, and moving on to something new in a matter of days – but this problem can be overcome with a cross-channel approach. The lifetime value (LTV) of mobile game users can be maximized along with the efficiency of campaigns by targeting users wherever they are and whenever they’re on in order to re-engage them to play the app, entice them to reach the next level, or make an in-app purchase. TV ads might raise game visibility and attract users, but they do nothing for meaningful engagement and effective monetization.
ADM: Where does behavioral targeting come in? How can it be used to optimize cross-channel media strategies?
Niri: Developers, publishers, and advertisers have an incredible amount of user data at their disposal. From which we can gain an understanding regarding app-specific user behavior – especially high-paying users – and identify “lookalikes” with similar profiles to widen the pool of potential customers. By analyzing their virtual and physical behavior, we can know what device and channel they’re most likely to use at any given point in their day. With the right technologies and a holistic approach, we can target them across platforms with the most relevant ads.
While one can advertise by looking at the varying demographics for TV channels depending on the program or time of day, there is no way to accurately track viewer engagement or link it to customer action. Whereas, through behavioral targeting and a cross-channel approach, we know who, what, where and when to spend advertising dollars so that brands get the most bang for their buck.
ADM: We continue to hear more and more about the need for a ‘holistic approach’. What does this mean? Why is it the future of advertising?
Niri: The holistic approach is becoming increasingly popular as we continue to see consolidation within the advertising industry and a growing convergence between ‘creative’ and ‘ad-tech’ offerings. A holistic media agency offering a full-spectrum of advertising services can leverage insights from
both publisher data and app-specific user behavior, and apply them across multiple channels in order to optimize audience-targeting. This cross-channel integration of marketing activities also maximizes return on investment for real-time bidding (RTB) buys and streamlines the process of working with multiple media partners.
Sagi Niri,Matomy Media Group
Sagi Niri,Matomy Media Group
ADM: What are key concerns for advertisers and media partners when it comes to cross-channel ads?
Niri: Although cross-channel ads offer greater penetration, engagement and high-value results, the industry still needs to overcome some barriers before advertisers and media partners will fully turn to this approach. These include variations in how ads are consumed on different platforms from news sites, to social media platforms, or game apps; a lack of standardization across desktop, mobile and connected devices; as well as challenges in measuring and attributing ad performance. However, the benefit of working with a holistic ad agency, is that there is less complexity in the media campaign process and an agency offers creative marketing solutions that can adapt ads for the appropriate platform.
ADM: What other opportunities does ‘new media’ offer game advertisers over traditional channels like TV?
Niri: In addition to more penetrative ad campaigns, game simulation or ‘playable ads’ are the next big thing in game advertising –essentially mini game demos within the ad. Unlike TV, mobile devices create opportunities for a personal, interactive experiences. Users can trial games with playable ads before downloading, resulting in fewer wasted installs. I expect the game industry will see many more simulation advertisements in the coming year.
Editors note: As chief operating and financial officer of Matomy Media Group, Sagi Niri is responsible for all operational, financial and fiscal management aspects of the Group’s global operations. He joined Matomy in 2008 and provides leadership in the administrative, business planning, accounting and budgeting efforts of Matomy. Sagi was previously the chief controller at McCann Erickson Israel Group, and a manager at Deloitte Israel. Sagi holds a BA in Corporate Finance from the College of Management, an MBA in Finance from Manchester University and is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Israel.
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