360 Session: Alexey Gusev, Lead Game Marketing at Goodgame Studios

Published by Richard Bond August 2, 2021
360 session: Alia Lassal, Wooga - using date for better creatives

Transcription below:

Richard:
You were actually able to get some pretty decent returns from it? Yes, absolutely. Well, that's amazing sitting on a goldmine, Alexey. This interviews from Alexey, he has loads of information about creative testing the does, the do nots the why's and the why nots and brings on a load of experience in that as well. It was only supposed to be six minutes long, but it was just too good. And we had to go for the whole 10 minutes. I'm Richard Bond from Replai, and this is expert 360. All right, great. So I'm joined here by Alexey Gusev, Alexey why don’t you introduce yourself.

Alexey:
So I'm Alexey Gusev. I work in online marketing for a bit over eight years already started a long time ago back at also a big company here in Germany, and then switch to in mobile games, work there for ad networks and social networks. And now I am at GGS leading a team of user acquisition.

Richard:
Amazing. So you actually made that transition into mobile games from performance marketing elsewhere. I didn't know that we should be talking about that, but let's find out what we're actually going to be talking about today. So let's choose a couple of different subjects. And first up we have lessons in creative testing. So let's kick off, let's address the elephant in the room, right. With all the changes that have happened this year, what should or shouldn't people be thinking about with regards to creative testing?

Alexey:
Absolutely. First of all, lovely topic. Lucky am I, I can talk about that for hours.

Richard:
Well, ideal let's dig in, man. I'm excited to hear what you have.

Alexey:
Yeah. First of all, in terms of the do's and don'ts or shoulds and shouldn’ts in terms of the creative testing, I think the biggest should would be please do do the creative testing. I think that that's the most important one, independent of how did the recent changes in the mobile marketing environment has affected you, no matter if you're a factoring in CAT campaigns, what is your conversion schema, how, how did it affect you, whether the Facebook misleading ads policy had an effect, I think the most important thing here would be you should have a systematical creative testing framework. You need to understand your core KPIs and the need for the creative testing and, and adjust the framework according to your needs and wants. And how would you like to be doing that? You need to understand your creatives tag them. You need to document the results in terms of the shouldn't I, to be honest, I wouldn't really go as far as to say that there are some threes, no goals in terms of the creative testing, however, the results that you're getting should be readable and comparable in the future. So there are rather simple hygiene factors let's say, choose the go-to platform of platforms and stick to them rather than not mix them up in the, in the length of the test, try to go for the homogeneous audiences as much as possible, try to go for the single geo approach, just because their results afterwards would be way more readable in comparison to you, let's say testing and the worldwide environments. And so on as the fourth, let's say those would be the core things.

Richard:
So not so much that all the things you shouldn't do, but certainly a couple of things that you should do to try and at least give yourself a fighting chance. Definitely. Okay, cool. So it sounds like you actually have like a pretty interesting process with this without obviously revealing your secret sauce, but how were you actually tackling creative testing today?

Alexey:
Yeah, I, to be honest, I wouldn't say that it's really a secret. I think on the matter of the creative testing been talked talked quite a lot in the internets at the moment, we have a dedicated creative testing campaign within several partners and we are regularly uploading our creatives that we are coming up with with our creative team every week. And we're basically pulling the winners from that every other week and putting them into live campaigns. It sounds simple as it is. However, it took us some time to flesh it out and to come to that a specific approach that kinda fits for a portfolio of our products.

Richard:
Give me a kind of an idea that you say it took you quite a while. It sounds like it's constantly changing, you know, so how much kind of work, how many years or months or weeks of work are we kind of talking about?

Alexey:
I’d say within half a year, there were several iterations of the process that we had to make also because of the recent changes, however, the more or less decent results you can be getting from step one, I have to have to be honest, it's more so that the products that we were working with has changed itself as well. And we had to accommodate those changes within the creators tested for anything else

Richard:
As there's a lot of moving pieces here, it's, it's really exciting. So let's talk about like kind of output. So thinking back to the testing you were doing say over the last six months, have you had any major wins, big takeaways that you can kind of share that either you're proud of, you were like, wow, this is a game changer we should do this more often.

Alexey:
Yeah, absolutely. I think the biggest things where the biggest breakthrough from my point of view was we essentially went through rather lengthy backlog of creatives and some of the creatives that were deemed unreliable for the marketing campaigns, with a previous testing process, with an updated one, we managed to push them through and made them let's say not the hero creators, not the best performers, but average to best performers so those strong titles that were bringing in the revenue and the profit for hour. And that was done really without investing any additional budget for the creative production. And that's the best part.

Richard:
So let me get that straight. There was a, there was a, a creative concept that was there that showed potential, but for some reason it was kind of overlooked and you went and found it again. And then by kind of relaunching or kind of working with that, you were actually able to get some pretty decent returns from it. Yes, absolutely correct. Well, that's amazing sitting on a gold mine at Alexey live, living the dream. And if talking, if we're talking about that, let's talk a little bit about money. So in terms of creative testing, like I'm starting from nothing, I'm starting from scratch for me to get to the point where I'm actually getting decent results, that I can make some decisions from like how much money are we talking about here?

Alexey:
That's a very hard questions I have to say. And it very much depends on the core KPIs of your product and the metrics that are the most important to you. So let's take a look at two examples if you care the most about the volume of installs. So let's say your product is driven by the amount of active users that you have, whether it would be a game that is ad driven. Let's sit on that. So I would assume that the IPM is going to be the most important in my experience generating at least hundred installs per tested creative in order to have some rough directions with the results being statistically significant is required. So you can factor in the amount of testing creatives hundred installs, at least for the, the ones that are top delivering and multiplied by the CPI. But ideally you would have to let it run for a period of several days in order to get rid of the day of the big bikes.

The other example would be the registration to pay rate. Like if your product is more so driven by the purchases within that. So I'd say director pay is going to be the most important metric and here, of course, optimizing towards purchases will be a way more interesting optimization method, but this will be substantially more expensive. I'd say ideally going for something like 50 purchases would be really nice. However, I think in this case, majority of the decisions should be done based on the proxy events, like how the retention within the products is looking, how other core metrics that are leading to the purchase, looking for you and make your decision based

Richard:
On it. Amazing, good answer. Very, very political, but I love it. Just even listening to you talk, it's really clear that you know, this isn't your first rodeo. This is something that you've been doing for a long time, right? So what would you say to someone around creative testing if they're just trying this out for the first time or just getting involved in it properly for the first time,

Alexey:
I'd say were very much lucky living in the current day and age, there are plenty of wonderful talks and blog posts and videos that are covering the topic of the creative testing in many different industries and in many different ways, read through them, come up with a framework that fits your needs the best, and then test iterate and post the process easy and complicated as it is.

Richard:
It's going to say you almost made it sound easy, then there's so much work involved. Listen, Alexey, I know time is short. Your time is super, super important. So I really appreciate you giving this today. It's been great talking to you. If someone wanted to reach out to you, what's the best way to get into touch with you. Now I'd say

Alexey:
LinkedIn is the easiest platform for me to reach out to me. So I welcome all the, all the new people we'll say tomorrow.

Richard:
Fantastic. But listen, Alexey, thanks so much for your time. Have a good one and we'll speak to you soon.