Episode #45: Driving Growth in the Mobile Gaming Industry with Enric Pedró

In this episode of Mobile Growth & Pancakes, Jonathan Fishman is joined by Enric Pedró, VP of Growth at Tilting Point, to discuss Enric’s role and his approach to mobile growth, UA, ASO, and analytics.
Enric Pedro Episode 45

In this episode of Mobile Growth & Pancakes, Jonathan Fishman is joined by Enric Pedró, VP of Growth at Tilting Point, to discuss Enric’s role at Tilting Point and his approach to mobile growth, UA, ASO, and analytics.

Check out all the other episodes of Mobile Growth & Pancakes here.

To connect with Enric and Tilting Point:

Listen to the full episode here:

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“Yes, today, you still do need an MMP. But should I pay for the MMP, or should I go for the free version? I strongly encourage you that if you’re serious about your app development, you definitely want to look into doing an expenditure for getting a third-party MMP.

Enric Pedro

Key takeaways:

  • Enric has over ten years of experience in digital advertising, mobile, gaming, and business development. Today, he is the VP of Growth at Tilting Point, a leading award-winning free-to-play games publisher. Some of the company’s most successful games include Star Trek Timelines, Warhammer: Chaos & Conquest, and SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off.
  • The new changes and features presented by iOS 14.5 have brought more challenges in user targeting, attribution, and measurement. Many developers switched their focus toward Android. However, Tilting Point has tried to leverage that by focusing more on iOS.
  • Using cross-promotion may be a solution to balance negative UA metrics. However, it only makes sense for the games the developer owns. Companies with many games in different genres can start to analyze data and metrics in terms of affinity.
  • iOS 15 brought new features like custom product pages, product page optimization, and more, which gaming companies are still testing to understand their potential.
  • Today, developers still need an MMP. If you want to achieve great results, you should rely on a paid one.

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    Full Transcript:

    Jonathan Fishman: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of Mobile Growth & Pancake. I’m your host, Jonathan Fishman. I’m a VP marketing and growth here at Storemaven. Today I’m really excited to have here with me Enric Pedro who’s VP growth at Tilting Point. Hi, Enric.

    Enric: Good morning, good afternoon, good evening everyone.

    Jonathan: Cool. I’m really excited to do this, but before we start, you have a really interesting path, the way that you got to be Tilting Point VP growth. Can you tell us a bit about that?

    Enric: Sure. I always start and stating that I’ve been lucky enough to leave and work in five different cities. I started my professional career in Barcelona. Then I moved to London to do a master’s on interactive media by the London College of Communication. In fact, not a well-known fact, but my MS thesis was about the opportunities of in-game advertising. That was about 12 or 13 years ago. I guess it was, but back then I was already interested in what I’m doing right now, which is always a good sign.

    Jonathan: Was there an interesting conclusion to the thesis?

    Enric: Yes. Back then I was looking into big brands, Coca-Cola, or Dominoes on what they were doing online. It wasn’t the off the walls and mobile gaming was on its infancy. Back then what is being done right now it was inconceivable. It wasn’t an option. Summary is that brands back then they had to do a leap of faith and take the risk and try to understand that new medium. It’s interesting because it was a 12 or 15 years later, the market changed a lot. I believe that you will still need to make an interesting pitch to a big brand, but now we talk about, I don’t, Fortnite, everyone is going to know about it.

    15 years ago, I was trying just to push for getting brands to somewhat relate to what I was trying to accomplish with my thesis. Most people I was talking to they had no clue whatsoever what to do with games. I guess after 15 years, it’s good to see the things have changed there. In London, after my masters I was working for WildTangent, which is a company based in London. I’m assisting on their media front, which was basically doing in-game advertising first on PC, and then on mobile.

    After that I joined a startup, which is called Linking Mobile. They were part of a group called Mobile Future Group, which they were the same co-founders as AD-X, AD iPhone X, which was one of the first MMPs in this space. We’re talking about were not just didn’t exist. I think App Store was just starting. HasOffers wasn’t even TUNE. It was HasOffers. Talking about when marketeers were running on a cost per click and CPM basis rather than cost per install.

    Cost per install wasn’t an option. That’s where I started on mobile. They got acquired by Criteo. I stick with Linking Mobile, which was the mobile network. With that I moved after a couple of years to New York to open their office and be their head on their expansion in the US. I did that for a couple more years. Then I moved to another mobile network called Mobusi, which was a big huge mobile affiliate network back then. I moved to LA, so, London, New York, LA. I was in Los Angeles for two years and a half or so.

    Then the opportunity, the same group, Fibonad Group owned back then Mobusi, owned as well a [unintelligible 00:04:19] co-owner of a gaming company called Lab Cave Games. That’s where I started my proper college inception in mobile gaming growth. I’ve been saying for the last few years I’ve been working with mobile, but that was with Lab Cave where I’ve been Hands-on and exclusively with the gaming. I was in Madrid for this position for about two years and a half. Then an opportunity happened to open or offered here in Barcelona.

    After being abroad for over 10 years, I thought that was a good decision to get back home as in Barcelona. I joined a casino company called Zitro. They develop the big machines like two meters or six, four or six, five feet tall and rings and bells and whistles the ones you see in Las Vegas, that’s the type of machine that they developed, but I was leading the mobile front. Doing social casino, I was there for about a couple of years. Then Tilting Point offering was there. I saw it. I discussed with a few people that I know in this space.

    I knew Tilting Point from– Well, who doesn’t know Tilting Point now? I knew Tilting Point from years in the space as well, and I thought it was a great company to join. After a few interviews I was lucky enough to accept the offer or get the offer. I’ve been with Tilting Point for nine months now as VP of growth.

    Jonathan: Awesome. Of course, everybody know Tilting Point, but probably less their portfolio of games. What kind of games Tilting Point is publishing and developing?

    Enric: We currently manage about 40 different games. Recently there are a news as well that we acquired a developer called Budge Studio, which they develop or they have a portfolio of more of kid-focused games, so younger demographic. To your question, we touch pretty much almost every genre except hyper casual. We have some games that might be close to what you would call hyper casual, but it’s from a match puzzle up to a forex game like Star Trek or Warhammer. With that, in terms of the games that we look to work with, we don’t have any constraints. We ultimately look into the game performance as well as the capability that we believe that our team can bring on the table to this developer to actually help them grow their game and ultimately change–

    The mode is for Tilting Point to be able to change a developer’s life. How we change their life is making their title skyrocket to high revenue or high number of installs. Then they can either choose to keep developing on that title or perhaps work on other titles, as well as we can provide from the growth team. All this is that we can provide UA and organic optimization analytics, as well as cash flow. Some companies and it’s not two people, three people operation. They just had a good game that has good metrics, but they do not have the means to actually scale the game effectively.

    Where you’re talking about, hey, I need, I don’t know, 50, 60, $70,000 to an engine developer that’s the life– No, that could pay I don’t know their life for the next three years probably what you are looking to spend in a month. Obviously, when you’re talking to these smaller game developers it does make sense as well to have an entity such as or a company like Tilting Point brings the expertise, but as well as the financial means to help them grow their game.

    Jonathan: Great. Wow, that’s a really interesting path. I would say that you’re one of the most experienced people in mobile these days, given that you started really early on. I really love the fact that you got back to where it all started in your hometown of Barcelona.

    Enric: It’s good to see as well that Barcelona is becoming a gaming hub. I’m feeling your [unintelligible 00:08:32] talk about 15 years ago, but the truth is 15 years ago, there were some gaming companies, but Socialpoint wasn’t Socialpoint. There was no Gameloft. They’re now deep and– No Tiling Point. The heavyweights weren’t here. I do wonder if it was the Enric now today 2022, if I will ever move out from Barcelona because these opportunities weren’t here when I started in this space, but I was glad that I travelled around. It opens getting exposure to different cultures, different ways of work. That definitely helps you grow as a professional, but as well as a human being.

    Jonathan: For sure. I had the same type of experience. I lived in the US for some time in New York. I’m from Tel Aviv. Looking at Tel Aviv and seeing that it’s also growing to become a pretty significant gaming hub. I’m really happy to see that. It was impossible to think that gaming companies would exist in Israel 15, 20 years ago, just like unheard of. It’s really fun to see.

    Enric: Big companies actually, one of the few biggest ones in the space as well are coming from Israel, big guys or company [unintelligible 00:09:46] for sure.

    Jonathan: A company like Moon Active if somebody would had the idea of starting a game company like that 20 years ago folks would laugh. It would be unheard of. It was known that Israel can’t be in gaming. Then it happened. It’s a really nice journey to see from being in Tel Aviv. I’m sure it was the same in Barcelona.

    Enric: That’s right.

    Jonathan: Cool, so what a lot of people are interested in is given that every mobile gaming company is different is how the team is structured. You’re leading growth. How does that look like? How many people you have on your team and what kind of responsibilities do you have and how do you structure it?

    Enric: In terms of the structure, I hinted a little bit when we were talking about earlier. We have within the growth team separate departments, which is the user acquisition, the organic and monetization, insights and analytics. With that, each team function, obviously as the name states have a different to do by them, but ultimately what I’ve been trying to accomplish in the last nine months is to get each one of these teams to work and head and hand or closer together. Now, it’s one of those things that is easier said and done because Tilting Point is a big company.

    We have hundreds of employees. A team is over 30 people. When you’re managing these many people, you need to rely on your leads, but you need to make sure as well that the team under the leads are as well talking to each other, not within the same department, not within the UA team, not within the organic team per se, but between both departments. As in, organic talking to the UA, UA talking to monetization, insights team providing the rationale while working with this game. All of these that people who are going to be hearing this episode and there’re a small team of like 5, 10 people, these are growing pains.

    When it gets [unintelligible 00:11:55] like people thinking, how is it possible? These teams are siloed or what I’m witnessing right now, this will never happen to me. Well, trust me, I was thinking the same, but then what you become such a big entity, it’s the growing pains that you need to make sure that we are all aligned. It seems that are no-brainers. For instance, I’m just going to give you a random example. Let’s say that we drop the installed number or the spend that we’re going to make in the US for a specific game for the next week by 30%.

    Obviously the organic team is going to be directly impacted by that and monetization might be as well because lower number of installations too. The no-brainer will be, hey, the UA team is going to inform each one of the end leads or whoever is managing that game that as of next week, 30% of the investments is going to reduce in the US, et cetera, but making sure that this is actually following suit, where we draw a line, which benchmarks we’re looking into, at what point I’m setting 30% is a lot of budget being decreased.

    Is it 30% of $1,000? It’s 30% of $100,000? Because the impact is going to be different as well. All these nuances as well is that where we’re currently and focus is on. What’s been really beneficial and just a key take that I will give people listening to the episode right now is weekly, biweekly try to– You cannot force people to talk to each other, but you can try to showcase or lead by the example and try to maybe throw some ideas or showcase why there is a need to get each team to talk to each other. On some instances, people get really focused on their own duties, their day-to-day.

    Hey, we’re all super, super busy. The manager has many campaigns to optimize, and created the requests. Many [unintelligible 00:13:54] et cetera. It’s normal that some people will get fixated on the day-to-day, but we need or try to help them to see as well the bigger picture and how their day-to-day impacts the other teams. Once they see that– Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that at Tilting Point you don’t see that.

    It’s just that once you make it more clear then, and there is no question on why there is a need to make sure that each team talks to each other and we all are synchronous, we work hand in hand, that’s when you actually see the best results happening in our titles.

    Jonathan: I totally agree. I think that it’s just by communicating or making sure that folks know that their job is impacted by other teams to the better and for the worse that they would agree to work with each other closely. They have to understand how it impacts their own day-to-day and the fact that they’re measured on it. Even outside of mobile, even in B2B marketing you see that all the time. There’s somebody managing the social account, let’s say on LinkedIn and the number of followers are really influenced by the amount of hiring activities.

    The more hiring activities exist, you get more followers and that’s how these two teams within marketing influence one another. Only when they understand the dynamic, they would sit down and plan and agree to work with one another. Let’s take some stock of what happened in the past year, which is a lot. You’ve been in mobile for so long. I can’t remember. Maybe I was 11 when the App Store design changed and they started to actually to report on search, browse and refer traffic separately. That was a big change, but it’s nothing compared to what happened in the past year with iOS 14.5, the deprecation or the de facto deprecation of the IDFA.

    I was 15 with all the new App Store marketing capabilities and more data within App Store connect. Then, of course, Google announcing their own version for privacy. They call it the Privacy Sandbox. It’s not going to happen this year. They’ve set the timeline for two years, but it’s going to reach Android as well. I do know that Android was a safe haven where some folks just changed the mix of how they spent and shifted it towards Android as a way to battle the challenges in iOS.

    I’m interested to learn what Tilting Point and what you have done to handle these challenges, starting from iOS 14.5, which is more challenges in getting targeting rights, and of course, attribution and measurement and everything that stems out of the loss of the IDFA?

    Enric: We tried to make them most of the fact that as you mentioned, Jonathan, that many people will be leveraging, or they will focus more on Android, Google, or things didn’t change as much in iOS. We try to leverage that and actually focus more on iOS rather than Android because here was a room of opportunity of a few months where rates were actually lower on iOS than on– Even from an optimization perspective, you could tell from the CPMs Android were going higher, iOS were somewhat not decreasing, but they weren’t as high.

    On the first few months, we tried to leverage that and basically just making the amounts of available traffic, because those developers who made their homework, or tried to [unintelligible 00:17:49] their homework whilst– because we knew that iOS 14.5 and IDFA deprecation was coming and it was delayed, gosh, three, four times. Probably, Jonathan, you remember better than I do. I think it kept dragging on. It was October. Then it was supposed to be January. It just kept dragging on.

    If even through the warnings you had a bit of time to work it out despite the black blocks on how Apple tend to operate. With that said, on the first few months we focus on that. Then ultimately what we realized is that some games either given a set of events that we were sending up, given the nature of the type of game that we are managing or that we own, we obviously realized that some events are not as easy to be sent as other games. I’m just going to give you an easy example. I’m talking on say, a social casino game where I might be aiming to target or I want to attract more people who spend money. People, buyers, ultimately wilts.

    The problem with social casino games is that in order to hook the player, you tend to give away many, many credits or coins or whatever hard currency you want to call it on the game for maybe five days a week in hopes that the user gets used to the game and decide to join the gameplay and the next thing you know, they’re hooked to the game, they end up doing the acquisition. Before iOS 14.5 that was straightforward and big social casino companies [unintelligible 00:19:37] really once they were making a lot of money with that strategy.

    Now these completely changed or shifted with IDFA deprecation because that signal of who is a buyer, the time period that you have in order for you to be able to send an event to, call it Facebook, for instance, saying, hey, this player actually converted is limited. What I’m trying to spend– Probably this I was giving you an example of social casino. Now I will use an example as a casual game, puzzle, the conversion is definitely shorter. You can as well maybe work on other events.

    I’m actually going to give you the answer to what I would do if I was managing a social casino game. It will be just I’d focus on events that might not be revenue directly unrelated, but do have an impact on revenue. If a player hits level number 10 on the first two days, I know that it’s a super engaged player, and therefore, I’m going to call it a custom event called Super Engaged, and I’m going to send this email to Facebook, so I attract more type of super engaged players and just make this app, this example on the go.

    What we came up with a realization on the [unintelligible 00:20:54] deprecation is that we had to apply a different strategy by the type of game or genre. Now this is easy if you are one developer who focused on one [unintelligible 00:21:05] Hey, we only do racing games. Hey, we only do upper casual games. Hey, we only do casino games. Tilting Point, the beauty of it is that we are seeing, as I mentioned earlier, almost every single genre in the space outside upper casual, which we do not touch and match. The rest of genres we have had our fair amount of experience, which gave us a pretty good understanding.

    That’s what I was saying happened before that we had different performance based on the type of game as well as in the type of events that we’re sending over and as well as the type of optimization that we’re going after.

    Jonathan: Cool. For a company with such a large portfolio of games, did you also lean into cross-promotion as a way to basically balance the potential hit from just bad UA metrics?

    Enric: Sure. We thought about it. The “problem” is that as I mentioned to you earlier, we have our own inhouse development games or games that we own, and on those I said Warhammer, or Star Trek, et cetera. On those, it could potentially make sense for us to work on a cross-promotion. On the rest of our games, which are on the publishers, we are effectively their publisher going to the developer and say, “Hey, I’m going to a cross-promotion from your game, so I take up your audience and I throw it in a different game that’s under our publisher funnel.”

    It doesn’t come across as a good thing. I want to think and maybe some developers get it, but it’s ultimately on the paper, it doesn’t make that much sense unless it’s your own portfolio and it all falls under the same PNL that ultimately is paying the same salaries. I’m trying to say is that a developer under this publishing funnel, it might not be as open or as willing to discuss promo because ultimately, hey, maybe we’re managing another one of their games, and then you could argue, “Okay, we might try to get some of your existing audience from game A to game B,” because they own both games, but different developers, that’s not going to–

    Well, tell me your thoughts on how you can, “Hey, I’m going to put a cross-promo. I’m going to put it to someone else’s,” and they’re like “Yo, you’re stealing my audience.” Technically, I am.

    Jonathan: It’s really interesting because for companies I think Eric Seufert calls it content fortresses. Companies that have their app level, for example, is one of these. When they have a lot of in-house games. They have a game studio. It doesn’t really matter because as you said, if the user switches from game A to B, it actually is going to do great things to the PNL because you’re going to get more revenues out of that player because you get them playing for longer. The alternative is that that player would churn. They would just stop playing.

    Enric: He churns, or you lose to another competitor, whereas you maintain them within your catalog of games. Hey, I might be losing from game A, but there’s a new player now and even I can track A as well. I expect this player is going to spend at least $500 in the next three months on a similar game or title. It makes sense for some developers, again, when it falls on the same PNL, Tilting Point, on the publishing funnel, no. Not for now.

    Jonathan: No, I agree. I agree. It’s very problematic when there are different developers and they do want to keep the player in the same game. They don’t get anything if the player continues to play game B.

    Enric: There you go. Even our own games, you can talk to a game manager, SpongeBob game manager. I’m just going to make a random example.

    Jonathan: For sure.

    Enric: Then I talked to the Star Trek game manager, and said, “Hey, I’m going to pull a cross-promo even though it’s different–” let’s say it’s the same target audience. “Hey, I’m going to take and put a cross-promo from a Star Trek to SpongeBob.” “Wait. No way. Because you’re going to sell me on my players, but it’s hard for me. No way.” Hey, maybe it might make sense in some instances. Maybe it’s an evergreen game or is an arcade game that we have on harvest remote, as in, we know that these players are going to churn.

    It’s the last benefit, or hey, this game it’s not falling, but it’s [unintelligible 00:25:51] or 10%, 15% performance quarter by quarter. We know in a couple of years it’s going to be a dead game. We might as well just try to leverage existing active audience and just actively cross-promo some of our other games.

    Jonathan: Yes, definitely. I totally understand your specific situation. I think that one interesting thing here, just in general, maybe, not for a Tilting Point, but companies that have a lot of games and a lot of different genres can actually start to do a lot of interesting things with data and analytics in terms of affinity. They just can have a lot of data about what kind of genres people have affinity. If somebody is playing a Detective themed match-3 game, what else would they probably want to play, even if it’s in different genres?

    That data and analytics that they have from their first party data, as long as they have a really, really sizable audience size, like more than 100 million MAUs, they can actually start becoming their own exploration or own discovery platform. Some companies are doing that even from unexpected places like Netflix, with their own venture into gaming, starting to build their own discovery platform for mobile games within Netflix. They know a ton about preferences based on what people watch.

    Enric: We tried as well with mediation tools. I won’t drop any names. You mentioned one of the biggest ones. The mediation tools.

    Jonathan: Yes. The mediation battle is very [crosstalk]

    Enric: We tried some tests with them, they did not perform as expected. So as a result it didn’t perform and we had to go back and forth to the different teams. We looked into it. We thought about it. It’s not something that we have been actively deploying as a means to contract the IDFA deprecation.

    Jonathan: Got it. Cool. Moving forward to iOS 15. It has two sides of it. One of them is the new marketing capabilities, I would call it, in app events that I know that you folks, we had an episode with Johan focusing mostly about that, and of course, custom product pages that are in the middle, I would say, of rolling out in terms of support by different ad networks. I do hope that Facebook support it in the coming months. Those are at least the rumors.

    Enric: It sounds like. Yes, we heard there is some beta going on.

    Jonathan: Yes. There are a lot of rumors of some Alpha program being–

    Enric: Alpha. Not even beta. Alpha. You said better than I did. Alpha, yes.

    Jonathan: It’s happening. Probably they’ll roll out support in a few months, maybe towards the summer, just my guess. There’s custom product pages. There’s, of course, product page optimization, so the ability to A/B test to some degree creatives on the default product page for mostly organic traffic, because that’s the intention behind this feature, and a lot more data within App Store Connect. Apple, after they took away– I think it was Simon Thillay from AppTweak that said sometimes they take something away and then they bring something back that is different.

    They took away the IDFA, which broke the way that attribution is done through MMPs, at least on the self distributing networks, because a lot of ad networks, let’s just say the truth, are still doing a lot of things with fingerprinting so they maintain the same status quo.

    Enric: Clock is ticking. I know you know, and I know most of our audience knows, but fingerprinting, there’s a deadline on that.

    Jonathan: There is. There’s a lot of opinions on the market. I definitely hold the opinion that it will go away. It’s just a matter of when Apple would be pissed enough and when they have the best way to enforce it. I think if folks want to look at clues about that, you can just look at Google Privacy Sandbox because they announced they’re just going to have a runtime environment within apps that is specifically for SDKs. SDKs won’t even have physically the ability to read all the device parameters they need for fingerprinting, and it can be enforced.

    All of the SDKs will be reviewed by the team, so it will be separate to the code review of the app. Once they figure it out, fingerprinting is going to go away. Analytics and measurement or the data stack of most teams also has changed a lot in the past few months, and I know that you guys have a lot of thoughts about that. How are you viewing all these changes? What are you doing to leverage them?

    Enric: With the organic team, I know you had a podcast episode with my colleague about a month ago or so. We have been looking a lot into leveraging CPP and custom product pages. As you said, we have been testing several tools for partners who had something available to test the CPP. I wouldn’t say inconclusive tests, it’s just that the implementation to date has been, I wouldn’t say, a nightmare because a nightmare is really, really bad. I would say not great. It’s early stages. As you said, with the Facebook Alpha, I think that’s going to really unlock a lot of that potential as well with Apple Stores that’s true.

    First, it comes a time when Apple or Google releases something new, and then it’s, one, how long it takes for the industry to catch up as well as how feasible it’s for anyone who’s willing to say the possibility that they’re actually doing so. Even say our team is ready to start working on CPP, to have [unintelligible 00:32:30]. Okay, but how do we deploy these? How we’re tracking the results, each URL that Apple gives me, how I’m tracking this back to the server to the network. As I said, there’s some solutions in this space, but they are by no means [crosstalk]

    Jonathan: They’re very limited. I think that Apple basically showed at least the way they want to tackle this.

    Enric: We’re moving towards the right direction. I will say this, I think.

    Jonathan: Definitely. I think that Apple showed us a bit. They unveiled their plan of what they think or how they think you should be measuring custom product pages, and marketing in general, which is through App Store Connect. Of course, it’s still early days, so there’s a lot of things that are still being implemented there or bugs that are being fixed. We all know App Store Connect bugs that haunt us from time to time, but eventually, they’ll figure it out. Custom product pages, for example, they immediately added a way to not only measure the amount of first-time downloads or redownloads but also revenue.

    When they combine these two things, as long as you monetize through in-app purchases, of course, they can see your revenues from ads. If you do monetize through in-app purchases, and you know which campaign is set to be or destination of which campaign goes to which CPP, you can actually get back privacy first, aggregated revenue metrics, which is half of the ROAS calculation for a certain campaign without an IDFA. Technically, they rolled it out. It exists. They’re still working out on the implementation, but it existed in App Store Connect.

    I think what they brought back is a lot of data, which is revenue and cohorted revenue within App Store Connect. They wish list would be adopted by the industry as an alternative way to measure UA performance.

    Enric: There was as well the means for the developer to test, and you mentioned that too on the product page and different assets before you had to update the iOS app itself, so you had to do a new release. Whereas in Google, we all know about our beloved Google Experiments. If anyone on the audience is not yet using Google Experiments, or they’re wondering what the hell Google Experiments is about, I suggest you to pause right now and just do a quick Google search because that’s going to be one of your most beneficial tools available for free.

    It’s good that Apple is following suit, or at least starting. They’re providing tools who are more useful, I would say, to a [unintelligible 00:35:17] developer of an iOS developer. What we used to do in the industry in the past, or at least today I think it’s the norm, is you do the test first on Google Android, you draw the conclusions, and then you update the app with the winning assets or variants on iOS so on the next release, you come up with the new icons and the screens on iOS. Now with this App Store and Connect product updates, this might be a thing of the past, but still, it might take a while for day-to-day to change. People get used to specific methodology.

    Using certain tools to say I’m using certain processes. I’m proving, for instance, I’m doing an A/B test on an icon. Now changing that and applying directly to Apple, et cetera. It may take a bit of time for people to feel confident like, “Hey, I’m just going to apply ultimately directly on Apple, or “Hey, we’re changing completely the way how we approach this?” My take is that the closer you are from the source, the better. As in, I would rather draw conclusions from results coming from the App Store and Connect page rather than relying perhaps on a third party, or maybe drawing conclusions from my results on Google experiment, which is on Android Services as a different OS.

    Jonathan: Yes. As a disclosure, we are one of the third parties that offer the A/B testing on a replicated App Store environment. We definitely agree. The closer you are to the source, the better. We just believe that you need to do the best possible thing. It’s not always the optimal thing. It’s just the best possibility, which included replicated apps or testing the app to some point, because one side of it is that testing on Android and taking the conclusions to the App Store in terms of creative optimization was a bit dirty, because the audience on Android is completely different than the audience on iOS.

    For folks that question that, I would just ask you where your revenues are coming from. Look at the monetization profiles of iOS users and Android users. It’s just completely different audiences for clear reasons. On the App Store with product page optimization or PPO, you can actually test on organic traffic, which is something that was impossible to do in the past. You can run an A/B test that gets actual search and browse traffic, which is amazing. We’re really excited to see folks are leveraging that. Similar to the other features, it is being rolling out.

    It’s not there yet in terms of product page optimization. I think somebody from my team just collected feedback from the industry and challenges that folks are experiencing, so it’s just clunky. In order to run a test, you can’t submit a new version of the app while the test is running and if you do, it stops the test.

    Enric: That’s what I was saying. We have the tool, but it’s the beginning of. Now, there’s all that troubleshooting, and people are getting quite used to that and what you’re pointing out as well, Jonathan, one of the reasons why we use a third-party tool i.e. for instance, [inaudible 00:38:48] One of your competitors because ultimately you save time and you don’t have to go through all these ordeals because you know it’s a tool that it’s working, and that many developers in the space uses. There is a reason or a rationale behind why would you rather use a third-party tool versus going directly to the source because on some instances, managing the source is a pain in the ass.

    Jonathan: Sure. We do have a few minutes left. I want to just ask you one thing about the data and analytics or the insights and analytics side of things. Do you have any tips for somebody that is trying to now think about their data stack or their analytic stack in terms of mobile growth for the next year? Because a lot of people are in the planning stage. What kind of tools we need? Is an MMP enough? Is the data and the insights that an MMP provides us is enough for us to make good, educated, intelligent decisions on budget allocation?

    What about the organic side with the new data coming in? Do we have a better possibility to measure the impact of different marketing activities, anyway on organic? Do you have any tips for folks thinking about that?

    Jonathan: Sure. Absolutely. The first and foremost is, do I need an MMP or not? We generally we’re talking about deprecation or Google and Apple becoming more friendly with this stuff. Yes, today, you still do need an MMP. Okay, next question is, should I pay for the MMP or should I go for the free version? I strongly encourage you if you’re serious about your app development, not necessarily a game, but just maybe you’re an app developer and you’re serious about it, you definitely want to look into doing an expenditure of getting a paid MMP. Just do a quick Google search for apps that are similar to each other. These are the most common [crosstalk].

    Enric: The top, yes.

    Jonathan: Good. Correct. What we have seen in the past is that, yes, Google, Firebase, Nginx and the likes can be useful, but if you want to take it to the next level, what I mean, for example, you’re actually going to take a data centric approach on how you’re managing your app growth. You definitely need to rely on a third party and who is reassuring you that what you’re tracking is correct and ultimately it makes up your life or your team’s life easier because then you don’t have to rely on clunky or not fully working tools, which could be, as we were referring just now, the App Store Connect or the Google Console.

    They are getting better, but day-to-day should be from a data insights perspective, and at least for growth, most of it should be coming from the MMP. That being said, there was a [unintelligible 00:41:53] this year.

    Jonathan: I waited for this.

    Enric: That being said. Footnote is that on the organic side, for instance, you could argue that be in insights or what you’re going to see given– without getting into much detail. Given the way and how the App Store and Google Play reports and as you said before, browse and explore and data installs or [unintelligible 00:42:20] as well. They call different ways or I prefer working this. This is becoming more and more a black box. I’m just put things in perspective. So if you’re looking to Google, we’re talking about Google Android Console.

    We still need to keep in mind that Google as well does advertising with Google Ads, which is where they’re make most of their money. If you look into Google Ads history, they’re becoming more and more of a black box to the point where you don’t actually get to pick where are you running your campaigns nor what’s–

    You see the split afterwards and between their different properties, I would say their formats, but that isn’t the case. Before you used to be able to go down and decide where you want to run on what you’re doing. I’m just giving these examples is good because that’s likely what’s going to happen with the Console as well, where ultimately you’re relying on what the source of tool is telling you. On some instances even though yes, they’re reporting and as I said before, yes, you have to rely and the closer you are to the source, the better, yes, but when it’s time to work out the data behind it, the details that the Consoles give you are not enough.

    If you’re running a campaign, if you have a minimum amount of users and acquisition spend per month, minimum over $5,000, definitely, I suggest you to seriously consider a paid MMP. In fact, many of these, yes, there is an extra cost there, but I’m aware that many of these MMPs offer, they’re not cheap but they’re not non-affordable either for small and small [unintelligible 00:44:08]. They are aware that they’re the key on some instances, as I explained to you now. They’re [unintelligible 00:44:14] success, and as such they want to encourage developers to get the MMP, so it’s not that–

    They’re looking forward for a developer to grow, so that’s when they make the money. When you are getting those $20 million downloads per month, but before that, when you’re getting $20,000 downloads per month, they will offer you a more affordable package. To wrap it up with the MMP front. [unintelligible 00:44:40] on that, but I’d rather be transparent with this. To start with, it’s unlikely that a developer needs all the other tools that they tend to offer. I’m referring to anti-fraud. I’m referring to data– It was the data [unintelligible 00:45:00] called the API.

    I don’t want to give names because MMPs feels like [unintelligible 00:45:04] specifically to one MMP. My point being that to start with, get the basics correct, which is tracking your main events. Make sure that you are getting those feedback to your MMP so you can track back what campaign is doing what. Try to leverage as well the money that you’re paying. You’re going to have an account manager, so you should be discussing with him or her how your conversion schema is set up for your [unintelligible 00:45:29] network campaigns, i.e. how you’re running campaigns with the IDFA being deprecated.

    If any of the last 10 seconds didn’t make sense to anyone, that’s what you want to look into and that’s where an MMP can definitely assist you in saying, “Hey, you should be setting up these conversion values, or I suggested to work towards an event or revenue base and conversion schema.” There are many examples, but obviously they see many, many developers as Tilting Point does with the game developers. We specialize in managing games. We do it so well because as I said before, we see many genres and we get better and better at pinpointing what works best and on which one.

    The same goes with MMPs. They see many, many app developers and as such they get a really good expertise or insights on what seems to be working or what most developers or marketeers are currently doing. I’m referring to the schema, for instance, so try to get that support, but do not bother yet with those upsells, I would call it. Wait until your app or game is doing better, and that’s when it might make sense for you to look into those or otherwise, if you’re a game developer and it’s a good game, reach out to Tilting Point and then we cover the MMP for you.

    Jonathan: Great conclusion.

    Enric: I got to throw it to the article somewhat. 

    Jonathan: For sure. For sure. If you’re successful and have a good game, you can have access to Enric.

    Enric: Sure. Yes, sure.

    Jonathan: [unintelligible 00:46:58]. Cool. We have to wrap it up because we’re running out of time. I felt this was a good conclusion for the conversation with really good tips to folks at different levels of scale with their games and apps. There are a few questions we ask all of our guests. The first one is what’s your favorite mobile growth resource? A content recommendations that folks need to– I don’t know, somebody that they need to follow, something they need to read.

    Enric: If someone had seen Mobile Dev–I think it’s the Mobile Dev Memo which is a recurring item on ongoing.

    Jonathan: Yes, everybody’s saying that. Eric Seufert is cool, and he’s really– I read his stuff all the time, but if you have any–

    Enric: I got to say for non-English speakers– I think I talk about it I don’t know when. Non-English speakers the articles might be a bit overwhelming, so take it easy because–

    Jonathan: Oh it’s tough for every– Again, nothing against Eric Seufert.

    Enric: No, by no means. By no means.

    Jonathan: I need a dictionary to read the article.

    Enric: Hey, it’s good. There are many words that– Look, English, not first language, but I consider myself native about 15 years and there are many words that I read through that and like, gosh, I never heard of that word before. That’s good. Mobile Dev Memo, that’s a channel. There’s that channel which is open. It’s for free and from Eric Seufert’s website. That’s hopefully one of the really good source. Probably the best source. Then there is this role and if you are related with organic, the guys at Phiture, which is an ASO agency, they have as well, I think, it’s called the ASO Stack or ASO [crosstalk]

    Jonathan: The ASO Stack.

    Enric: Yes, correct. These would be my main sources of information day-to-day to see what’s going on there. Beyond that, podcast. Obviously, I’m talking to this one today. Mobile & Pancakes is a good one, but there are many, many others and it’s really cool to see that podcasts maybe became a trend in the last couple of years. You get to hear now people like me, but other folks in the space who have really good expertise. Even though on most podcasts, you cannot go down into a lot of detail, it is still, I think, really cool for you to be able to pique someone else’s brains through an interview.

    Jonathan: For sure.

    Enric: Most of the strategies and the insights are like, “Okay, I knew about this,” but there are some golden nuggets every now and then that are good to keep an eye on. There is the last one. It’s the, I think it’s called mobile and Growth Gems I think it is, come from Sylvain.

    Jonathan: Oh yes. Sylvain from Babbel. That’s right.

    Enric: I know he started that.

    Jonathan: He listens to a lot of podcasts and goes to a lot of webinars and conferences and stuff and just summarize like these gold nuggets you mentioned so I would definitely recommend.

    Enric: Correct. If we don’t have the time, yes. Then I will argue that actually could be a good way for you to actually get a brief summary of what’s cooking in the space. Mobile Growth Gems. That’s the one I will aim for too.

    Jonathan: Cool. Almost last question. What is your favorite flavor of pancake? Let’s see if you’re time in the US have ruined you or you’re–?

    Enric: It’s sweet and savory. When I used to be in the US, I normally ask for it was the sandwiches with egg and bacon, but then add syrup on top. It’s going to be a bit of the maple and a bit of the work with bacon. That was, to me, the perfect pancake. To my wife that is horrible and she’s rather happy with blueberries, but hey, that’s a different taste, right?

    Jonathan: That’s my selection. I’m still with bacon and maple. You can’t beat that. Lastly, if people want to reach out and chat either they’re a game developer and they have a game they want to reach out about or just talk about growth or anything else, where can they find you?

    Enric: The easiest one is just going to be on LinkedIn, Enric Pedro. Another one going to be via Twitter. You look as well for Enric Pedro. That’s going to be me, although there I’m more rather mobile and lately more on the NFT or crypto wagon, but that’s just a personal interest. You drop me a dm there, it’s like to be the fastest way. Either that or LinkedIn.

    Jonathan: Awesome. Cool. Thank you very much for doing this. This was a pleasure. I really enjoyed talking with you.

    Enric: Well, thank you for having me. It is great. Absolutely.

    Jonathan: Thanks. Talk to you soon.

    Esther: That was Mobile Growth & Pancakes. To find out more about Storemaven and how we can improve app store performance visit storemaven.com and then make sure to search for Mobile Growth & Pancakes in Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, or anywhere else podcasts are found and click subscribe so you don’t miss any future episodes. On behalf of the team here at Storemaven, thanks for listening.

    About Ron Gordon
    Ron is Storemaven's Head of Marketing, the one person you would have guessed will know what this mobile growth talk is all about. A misguided law student and journalist, Ron brings to the table some lack of seriousness the Hitech realm is desperately in need of. In his spare time, he's mainly trolling Whatsapp groups.

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