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Ad monetization and user acquisition: Q&A with Tapps Games

Ad monetization and user acquisition are two sides of the same coin.

For example, UA teams are dedicated to realizing true app growth, whereas monetization teams are driven to generate revenue. Taking this into account, it’s almost logical that gaming companies will have these teams separated. Each team has different goals that at face value don’t seem to overlap much. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

UA and monetization teams should not be siloed. It is essential that both teams are constantly in an active conversation with one another.

We spoke with Felipe Hayashida from Tapps Games about how their UA and monetization teams work in tandem - hey, their teams even sit side by side.

What does the UA team at Tapps Games look like? What about the monetization team?

Our UA team, made up of 3 people, is responsible for managing our external partners and channels, analyzing and executing our UA efforts, and managing the creative teams.

Our ad monetization team, also made up of 3 people, is responsible for maintaining partnerships, liaising with technical teams, and doing business analysis on a daily basis.

When it comes to our performance marketing teams, we run a really tight ship.

How does the monetization and UA teams work together?

As both teams sit side by side in our offices, the majority of their work is done in sync. Our company culture revolves around working together to achieve global KPIs, such as ROI, rather than individual or team KPIs.

How do you build a UA strategy with monetization in mind?

Our UA efforts are guided by return on investment, meaning that we invest based on the quality of monetization we get from each cohort and pay accordingly - for both our ad monetization and IAP monetization models.

The UA strategy that we employ relies on predictive models that quickly let us know whether we’re getting adequate results on our campaigns - optimizing our investment. It’s imperative to grasp both user-level optimization and LTV prediction.

Furthermore, optimizing towards monetization events (or monetization-inducing events) is a large part of our efforts. However, this poses major challenges when measuring ad monetization given that most of our partners don’t provide user-level data that’s reliable enough to attribute value.

Editor’s Note: ironSource offers a new solution called User-Level Ad Revenue that provides our clients with the user-level data they need in order to monetize effectively and bid accordingly.

Are there specific ad units on the UA side that deliver higher paying users (in terms of both IAP and ads)?

Overall, users who watch rewarded video and view native ads have higher LTVs, as they tend to be more engaged. That said, we don’t focus on specific ad units when it comes to UA - we buy across all units.

How important is ARPU when mapping your marketing channels?

As I mentioned before, our analyses are based off of our internal LTV models rather than ARPU. Getting accurate revenue attribution is one of our key success factors, instead of using secondary metrics like retention and CPI.

We tend to use ROAS, return on ad spend, as they key metric when it comes to investment.

What tips do you have for developers struggling to sync their UA and monetization teams?

First, consult with data, as measuring is key. Make sure that you’re monitoring your results closely and that you’re using appropriate data.

Second, make sure that your UA and monetization teams are communicating clearly - leveraging both sides of the stack.

And lastly, never forget that at the end of the day, you need to have the right goals for both sides of the operation. Your teams should be working with each other, not against one another.

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