Tag Archives: Mobile Marketing

GDC 2018

Gaming & GDC

Game developers are gearing up for the Game Developers Conference 2018 in San Francisco. Many are excited to experience the expo, attend networking events and, of course, represent at the coveted Independent Gaming Festival and Game Developers Choice Awards.

This year we’re sure to see new innovation within the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality spaces, but there’s also going to be a plethora of great information and inspiration for every aspect of gaming!

This is why Gummicube has decided to create a series of blog posts dedicated to gaming and GDC. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing articles on marketing AR/VR, an in-depth look at three popular mobile gaming genres, a guide to what to expect at GDC and an update to our popular Gaming Cheat Sheet.

This post will serve as your “one-stop shop” for content regarding the upcoming conference and provide you with links to each post once they are published.

Check back over the next few weeks to make sure you have all the information you need to make GDC 2018 the best experience possible!

What to Expect at GDC

Whether it’s your first GDC or you’ve been every year, there’s always something new and unique to experience. In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can expect to see in the expo and during the panels. We’ll also give some tips to making the most out of your GDC experience.

Genre Showcase: Casual Games

Our first gaming genre showcase will focus on casual games, an ever-growing app category that populates millions of smartphones. Games like Candy Crush, Minion Rush and more have loads of competition, yet an app with just a few differences can stand out from the crowd and quickly gain popularity. We’ll take a look at why keyword choices are so important with casual games and how finding the right keywords can improve your app’s visibility.

Tips For Marketing Your AR or VR App

With the ever-increasing popularity of VR and AR, it’s no surprise that Gaming is leading the way in those fields. As with any new technology, new ways of marketing emerge as the tech and the markets around it develop. This article will take a look at the current state of the industry and where we predict it’s going over the next year. You’ll also receive some tips and tricks on unique ways to market an AR/VR app.

Genre Showcase: Puzzle Games
March 13, 2018

Before smartphones were smart, we had phones that played simple games, many of which were puzzle-based. As one of the most common genres, mobile puzzle games have come a long way since the days of Snake and Tetris clones, but they still tend to be simple and fun. With such a rich history and frequently similar gameplay across many of the apps, standing out often times depends less on the gameplay itself, and more about the creatives. We’ll look at the genre as a whole and analyze commonalities and differences between popular apps’ icons, screenshots and preview videos.

Genre Showcase: Action Games
March 15, 2018

With smartphone technology allowing developers to create nearly console-quality experiences, it’s no surprise that action games have become so popular. Games like MARVEL Contest of Champions, Dragon Ball Z DOKKAN BATTLE and Rules of Survival are great examples of how advanced the gameplay has become. We’ll look at the most popular games in 2018 so far, break down what makes them popular and how they use their title and descriptions to make a niche for themselves.

Cheat Codes to Market Your Mobile Games (Update)
March 20, 3018

The final article for the series will be an update to our popular ASO for Mobile Games Cheat Sheet from early 2017 that showcases ASO best practices for mobile games. This will combine the concepts we talked about in the Genre Showcase posts and put them into one place to easily access and reference.

Looking Toward the Future

2018 is promising to be an amazing year for mobile gaming. Augmented Reality has become the focus of many developers, while Virtual Reality is still a major interest for PC and console gaming. The Gaming Industry will continue to grow, with new players frequently entering the scene. While having a solid game is most important for success, strong ASO strategies will help you drive downloads and get new users to try, and hopefully keep using, your app.

What is CPI  Mobile Terms Defined

What is CPI? Mobile Terms Defined

The launch of the iPhone and the App Store in 2007 heralded a new era in mobile technology. More specifically, it led to the explosive growth of smartphones and related technologies such as app development.

The expansion of the smartphone space led to the creation of new terminologies and vocabulary specific to the industry.

Here are some of most common terms and acronyms in the mobile app space and mobile marketing:

Cost per install (CPI)

Cost per install (CPI) or cost per acquisition (CPA) is the money an advertiser/marketer pays an advertising network after a consumer downloads and installs a specific app.

This is irrespective of the number of impressions an app generates. It is important to note that some advertisers use the term cost per download (CPD) to refer to cost per install.

However, CPI and CPD are different terms because a consumer may download an application and fail to install it.

Cost per impression (CPI)

Cost per impression is the amount a marketer pays an ad display network whenever an online ad is displayed on a web user’s device.

Every time a consumer sees the ad, the display network counts it as one impression.

Nevertheless, cost per impression is highly controversial for several reasons. For instance, an ad could be displayed on a webpage part that is not easily visible to site visitors such as the footer section. As such, an advertiser could end up paying for ads that consumers never saw.

To resolve this problem, some modern CPI programs exclude actions such as page reloads and failure to scroll by the section where an ad is displayed.

Lifetime value (LTV)

Lifetime value or customer lifetime value (CLV) is a measure of the total worth of a customer to a business over a given period (usually over the entirety of a business relationship).

This is a key metric because it enables business owners to make reliable future operational plans and allocate their financial resources more appropriately.

Moreover, you can also use this metric to determine whether a young and growing business is financially viable over the long term.


Simply put, retention refers to the ability of a brand to attract repeat customers.

Retention is closely tied to the term “retargeting,” which refers to activities aimed at re¬-attracting customers who were loyal to a brand and abandoned it at some point in the past.

Some of the strategies businesses use to improve their retention rates include better service delivery, replying customer queries fast, competitively pricing goods and services and continuous innovation.

Cost per mile (CPM)

Cost per mile is the amount of money marketers pay ad display/delivery networks per 1,000 impressions.

Unfortunately, all impressions under this category are valid irrespective of whether a consumer takes an action or not. As such, most marketers do not consider CPM a reliable and effective marketing method.

In fact, tech savvy entrepreneurs use CPM impressions to keep their brands in front of consumer eyeballs. Nevertheless, you can include a CPM strategy in your marketing plan if prior usage resulted in high click through rates (CTRs).


Cohorts or cohort analysis is a mobile analytics technique that enables entrepreneurs/businesses to identify consumer segments that fit a specific description or fall into industry-specific/different categories.

In most cases, cohort analysis focuses on consumers that took a desirable action within a specific period. For instance, you can use cohort analysis to determine the number of unique mobile device owners who use your brand’s app monthly.

You can also use it to determine the average revenue per new, the number of repeat customers and churn rate. Most of the free and paid mobile analytics solutions have a cohorts feature.

A good example is Google Mobile App Analytics that has an easy to use cohort analysis feature (you can use it to evaluate the behavior of customer groups in relation to a common attribute).

Software development kit (SDK)

A software development kit is a toolkit that programmers and developers use to create mobile apps.

As such, it contains all the tools required to build a fully functioning application including supported programming languages, relevant libraries, coding language documentation, and a few examples.

Although there are platform agnostic SDKs, some are platform-specific, meaning they only support the development of apps unique to a platform or mobile OS ecosystem. Of course, some SDKs support open source or paid software design tools.

In fact, Apple’s mobile SDK supports a programming language called Swift that was designed solely for developing iOS, OS X, tvOS, and watch OS apps.

What’s more, Apple has released the Swift programming language under an open source license, meaning programmers and developers can tweak its source code to suit their app development needs.

Application programming interface (API)

Application programming interface (API) is probably the most widely mobile technology term. In simple words, an API is a set of protocols, rules, and commands that govern the way different software tools/programs should interact with each other.

The aim is to enable one software programs to access and deploy the functions of another program using a universally applicable set of rules/commands.

For instance, social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), B2C platforms (Uber and Airbnb), and business solutions (Salesforce and Slack) have APIs that developers and programmers can use to access specific resources like consumer data.

Some APIs also enable web users to access server-side resources such as login details (usernames and passwords). Moreover, APIs have become popular and essential because you can use them to build a business on top of another established company’s web platform.

For example, Salesforce allows developers to access its API and use it to build business solutions that are hinged on its cloud-computing infrastructure.

Key performance indicator (KPI)

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric used to measure the performance of a brand or its ability to achieve pre-defined goals.

KPIs vary widely depending on market/industry segment, target audience, type of goods/services on offer, and business size.

Examples of common mobile KPIs include total app downloads, revenue per user (RPU), monthly active users (MAUs), LTV, session length, cost per lead, traffic-to-lead ratio, and lead-to-customer ratio.


The growth of mobile marketing and mobile app development has led to the creation of industry-specific terms and acronyms.

Examples of popular mobile terms include CPI (cost per install), CPI (cost per impression), LTV (lifetime value), CPM (cost per mile), cohorts, SDK (software development kit), API (application programming interface), and KPI (key performance indicators).

Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Lessons Learned From Successful Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Pause to look around and you’ll see the same thing practically everywhere you go — people staring into their phones.

For companies trying to promote products or services, these people are all potential customers. If developed correctly, a strong mobile marketing campaign can provide a company a lasting return.

Companies thinking about implementing a mobile marketing strategy can learn numerous lessons from some of the most successful campaigns to date.

Successful Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Statistics show that approximately 84% of companies don’t have a formal mobile marketing strategy, however, some have found enormous success by implementing one.

Two of the most triumphant mobile campaigns to date were developed by Starbucks and Nivea.

Starbucks Mobile App

Their mobile application, aptly named Starbucks, allows the customer to see a store locator, a rewards program, and gift card information.

The company found that they could best engage their customers by offering special bonuses and incentives like birthday gifts, discounts, and complimentary beverages. This strategy helps customers engage because they are constantly using the app to receive free stuff.

Everyone loves free stuff.

Starbucks also seamlessly incorporated a loyalty program into their app. They found that users are likely to continue buying beverages with the goal of earning a free one.

As a result, the company is able to continuously gather information about their customer base and buying habits. The incentive program works by collecting stars each time a purchase is made. When customers collect a certain number of stars, they can redeem them for more benefits or prizes.

Another important element of the mobile campaign was the addition of short message service marketing (SMS). Audiences can fill out surveys sent through the phone and, with each survey filled out, more stars are given to the customer.

The latest feature to be added to their mobile Starbucks app is Mobile Order and Pay. This allows a customer to pay in advance before picking up the actual beverage.

It is estimated that 7 million people are currently signed up to the Starbucks mobile application, and that sales have increased 22%.

Lesson Learned from Starbucks

Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned from this app is to research the motives of your customers.

Be aware of how you can make the customer happy while guiding them towards buying something at the same time.

Understand the desires of your customers and use them to your advantage.

By using mobile tactics to reward their patrons, Starbucks has increased customer retention, lifetime value, and loyalty.

The app also entices the audience to participate in surveys for stars.

Most people fill out the surveys because they know it will bring them one step closer to earning another paid reward. Without the app, chances are slim that customers would take the time to fill out anything, depriving the company of valuable marketing information.


Another example of an amazing mobile marketing campaign is the Nivea Sun Kids range app.

The Nivea ‘protection ad’ wasn’t just a mobile project. It combined mobile marketing with print ads to create a one-of-a-kind campaign.

Print advertisements in magazines had a removable “protect strip”, similar to a wristband, to be placed around the child’s arm, when they were out at the beach.

Then the parents download the mobile app, which communicated with the arm bracelet. If the child strays too far outside the range of the bracelet, the app beeps, alerting the parents that their child is wandering away.

The campaign was developed by Brazilian ad agency FCB and has generated tons of excitement for it’s out of the box thinking.

Lessons to Be Learned from Nivea

This campaign was so successful because it makes the customers feel like they’re genuinely being helped, not merely sold to.

Nivea thought of a campaign that didn’t focus strictly on it’s products. It focused on what their customers wanted — the protection of their children from getting lost and sunburned.

They are still receiving requests for wristbands and skyrocketing sales associated with the campaign are an added bonus.

Clearly, preparation is the key to a successful mobile marketing campaign. The most important lessons learned from these two successful campaigns are:

- learning what your customer wants and needs
- being able to gather information on their purchasing habits
- making them feel involved and part of the process
- gaining their loyalty and trust

If all these objectives can be achieved, your mobile marketing campaign is sure to be a hit. Study other successful, and unsuccessful, campaigns to learn as much as possible, and be able to adapt to the ever growing mobile consumer market.


Mobile Marketing Software

From marketing your mobile app to reaching your target audience on their smartphones in any app, taking advantage of the breadth of opportunities in mobile requires the right software tools.

Finding the best mobile marketing software tools begins with an understanding of where the mobile opportunities are – which could mean in-app SDKs or software used externally like app store intelligence data.

In-App – Essential Services

No matter the type of mobile app or what the KPIs are, all mobile apps should have services for push notifications, analytics, deep linking and user intelligence.

Push Notifications

Notifications are one of the best tools for increased engagement and retention in part because users prefer them over emails or SMS/text messaging.

Done correctly, notifications are short messages for immediate action or awareness – there is no saving for later like email. Users can quickly decide if a notification is relevant and take action or ignore.

With the shuttering of Parse as a service, many apps who used Parse for push notifications must look elsewhere.  Urban Airship, LeanPlum and One Signal are among several push notification services worth a look.


As time spent in mobile apps continues to grow at the expense of print, TV and the web, the value of a mobile app user increases.

Acquiring users in the increasingly competitive app stores requires a well-built app even in very niche subjects.

Downloads have been considered a vanity metric for some time, and to get the metrics that matter – your app needs a comprehensive analytics service and setup.

Free tools from Google, Apple, Facebook and Flurry/Yahoo are fine for many app publishers.  These tools support creating events, segments and funnels – but lack more valuable information like attribution.

If attribution is not critical (you are not running paid install campaigns), free services implemented correctly can provide insights into how users are interacting with your app.

App optimization for retention, engagement, social sharing, email signups, purchases or any other KPI is impossible without setting up analytics in your app and using the data to drive feature development or other improvements.

Deep Links

Deep linking and app links create the opportunity to add metadata to in-app content that can be indexed by Apple and Google, tag content that is available both on the web and in an app, and route users to specific locations in your app.

While the ability to route users has been adopted by many app publishers for new user onboarding and for ad-specific landing screens, the indexation of in-app content is brand new.

Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter all have their protocols, which makes working with a mediary like Branch.io and DeepLink.me helpful.

Audience Insights

Google and Facebook both have tools to help app publishers and advertisers explore demographic and interest details about their users, or a segment of their users.

Audience Insights enables a publisher to target an audience similar to the highest LTV segment in their app (for example). Being able to track ad spend through to app monetization helps marketers identify which acquisition channels have the best ROI.

Audience Insights helps marketers identify which audiences regardless of channel are the most valuable. Combining attribution with Audience Insights can be an extremely powerful tool.

External Mobile Marketing Services

App Store Intelligence

This is called different things by different services, the key being that app store publishing decisions require actual app store data.  The main solution an app store intelligence partner should provide is the acquisition of high-LTV users organically by developing and executing an ASO strategy based on app store data.

App store intelligence can also provide insights to underserved feature requests, app competitors, behavioral trends and which countries to localize for and support.

Google Mobile Analytics

Google Mobile Analytics

In the early days of mobile apps, marketers used Flurry Analytics in their iOS apps and Google Analytics in their Android apps.  Apple released an analytics module in iTunes Connect (where marketers and devs manage their apps) that only worked for iOS apps. Then Facebook started offered event-driven analytics as part of both Parse and the Facebook SDK.

The mobile analytics space has been fragmented by platform, and challenged with incorporating app data back to a multi-channel marketing campaign or a web property.

There were signs that Google was going to start to view their (primarily web) analytics service differently when KPIs like “visits” – which describes a web site visit – were changed to “sessions” – which was the way most referred to opening/starting a mobile app.

Google’s aim is to have access to data – which they monetize by organizing and aggregating for discovery.  Google did this with the web and became one of the most valuable companies in the world.

Social media and their walled gardens, and mobile apps and the information essentially hidden from Google in the app silos presented real challenges to Google being able to collect and aggregate data.

To make things worse for Google, the market was flocking to mobile apps, not just for games but for reading and watching videos and even search.

One of the places Google is uniquely positioned, Google Analytics is the most popular website analytics service by far.  GA offers all the basics one would expect from an analytics package – like number of sessions, when and from where, how long a session lasted, where they came from etc..  But GA also provides (free) tools for attribution, funnels, segmentation and more, all tied back to AdWords and AdSense.

Where Apple provides a basic analytics service for just iOS apps, Google’s mobile offering works across Android and iOS (connecting data from the same app across platforms), and the web.

A content publisher who both sells ad space and promotes content can now see how an article (for example) performed on their website, and in their app (both iOS and Android).

This is all free from Google.

If app downloads are the ultimate vanity metric, then user lifetime value (LTV) is the ultimate KPI. It is just that measuring LTV is not so easy, especially across marketing and consumption channels.

Google’s Mobile SDK gets marketers closer to a holistic view of their digital business and marketing efforts.

How Google Mobile Analytics Can Help Your Mobile App Marketing Campaigns

More than just merely providing data the volume of users of a given app, Google Mobile Analytics help marketers segment their audiences and maximize their mobile app marketing efforts.

Quick Quiz:  who knows you better?  Google, Facebook or your spouse?

They each know you in different ways, but the three (2 companies and your partner in life) are  probably closer than you think.

What that means here is Google can provide insights to who your audience is by broad demographics, but also with very specific personas.

LTV takes on a whole new meaning when you can not only track user LTV by source or funnel, but by persona.  Persona X converts with the highest LTV from Facebook ads, Persona Y via web ads, Persona Z shows the highest LTV when acquired organically in app store search.

  • Which channels created the highest number of downloads and which drove the most in-app purchases?
  • Which channel and persona showed high downloads but low retention?
  • Which channel can you scale, or what other channels can you use to reach a valuable target persona?

Google Mobile Analytics enables marketers and app developers to wade through data and make informed decision for better apps and better marketing.

Google Mobile Analytics Features and their Benefits

Marketers using Google Mobile Analytics stand to benefit from the data gathered from seven major features. This data when gathered provides the marketer with important information regarding the success or lack thereof of a given marketing campaign. Google Mobile Analytics features include the following:

Install Attribution

Mobile app install attribution tracks user interactions with an app that has resulted from specific marketing campaigns or activities.

The user interactions that can be measured include anything event driven:

  • App installation
  • In-app purchase
  • Repeat launch app
  • Level completion

Mobile SDKs

Native Android and iOS SDKs help marketers measure the level of user interaction with an app and its content.

For app publishers that have content parity on the web (a website), this feature helps connect in-app events and locations with the corresponding location on the web.  An example question – Did users read the recent article on Tesla longer in your app or on the web?

Cross-Device Data

Cross-device data employs a Measurement Protocol that uses a user ID feature to monitor data across devices and sessions when they are logged in. Measurement Protocol measure usage across digital platforms beyond apps and web log ins. This allows marketers to measure a user’s online activity and offline conversations.

Event Tracking

Events in the world of mobile apps measure in app activities by users. These events can include passing levels, adding items to cart (in the case of ecommerce) or up-voting. All of these and more are measured by Google Mobile Analytics’ event tracking feature.

Demographics and Remarketing

Demographics and remarketing is a two-fold feature of Mobile Analytics that provides marketers with data regarding:

  • The gender, age and interests of a user
  • Tools to build audience lists for retargeting

Facebook’s SDK is amazing at building audiences, but any app that spends to acquire users should use both Facebook and Google SDKs for analytics if for nothing more than the insights to users (in aggregate) these services provide.

Lifetime Value and Retention Analysis

As the name suggests, Lifetime Value and Retention Analysis is a report feature that allows developers and marketers to get insight regarding just how much revenue a given cohort have brought to the app since making their first visit.

The report shows retention rates for different groups and uses and allows developers and marketers to develop a long-term picture of how users value the app and the features therein over time. This feature supports making positive long-term marketing decisions.

Your can learn more about Google Mobile Analytics here, and check out our other posts on mobile analytics here.