5 key takeaways from Gamescom 2018

The Koelnmesse in Cologne has closed its doors after another fantastic edition of Gamescom, and what a week it’s been. We’ve been lucky enough to meet dozens of mobile masterminds in charge of user acquisition at top-grossing mobile gaming apps. In doing so, we’ve got the lowdown on the hottest topics and trends in mobile marketing right now. We thought it was only fair that we share:


1. UAC is a black box

Last September, Google shook the mobile marketing status quo with the announcement that AdWords would be moving all app install campaigns to a new Universal App Campaigns (UAC) format. Meaning that Google would no longer support standard mobile app install campaigns across their search and display networks. From then on, if marketers wanted to drive mobile traffic via AdWords, they could only do so through UAC. Built with gaming apps in mind, the move towards UAC was supposed to simplify the process of ad creation and optimisation through automation. However, many marketers view UAC as a black box that’s difficult to operate. The biggest pain point amongst those we spoke with is the lack of visibility on creative insights.


2. Devs are struggling with ad revenue attribution

When 50-80% of your in-app revenue comes from showing ads, you want to make sure that you’re able to correctly measure the ad revenue generated by your paid marketing campaigns. It seems many developers are struggling with this, particularly amongst hyper-casual gaming apps. It’s difficult to monitor cohorts monetisation and attribute it to spend data, due to the fact there isn’t an industry standard for attributing ad revenue. Most companies find they need to estimate this, therefore it can never be 100% accurate.


3. Rewarded video goes beyond mobile gaming  

Big brands are seeing positive ROAS on rewarded video and more traffic is becoming available outside of gaming apps traffic. The benefits of rewarded video extend beyond it being a top monestation tool. They also deliver increased engagement and greater customer loyalty. It’s a flexible format which while widely recognised as the best performing format in gaming, can be integrated into any type of app.


 4. There is increasing native ad traffic and it works

As the mobile ad ecosystem evolves, we are seeing newer and more innovative methods of advertising arrive on the scene. Intelligent ad placement is crucial to boosting ad revenue and user retention. Native ads offer an opportunity to monetise your app effectively by blending seamlessly into the gameplay environment, matching the look and feel of the original content. Many gaming devs we spoke with reported strong performance in using native ad placements.


5. Now is the time to try influencer marketing

Many marketers are finding smart partnerships with the right influential brand advocates can drive seriously powerful results, as long as the measurement of ROI is done properly. We spoke to many app marketers getting to grips with influencer measurement: setting robust metrics, including social reach and impressions, social sentiment, engagement and expressions.