Diversifying Ad Spend Outside the United States — A Game Daily Connect Recap

The proliferation of mobile devices is making gaming more accessible to anyone, anywhere. Mobile gaming revenue already surpasses PC and console gaming revenue, and the development of mobile gaming markets in Greater Southeast Asia and South America (and the continued growth of these markets in North America, Europe, South Korea, Japan, and China) will further tip this balance. 

This year, digital spend will account for half of the global ad market and 54 percent of the U.S. ad market. The continuing shift toward digital advertising makes it increasingly important for global brands to invest in international User Acquisition (UA). 

Today, we’re sharing a few tips on diversifying ad spend around the world from Skillz UA Manager, Justin Sampson, who was featured on a recent Game Daily Connect panel alongside industry professionals from Seriously Digital Entertainment and Jam City. Moderated by Abraham Leibovitz from Vungle, panelists discussed key industry trends and techniques for success by localizing creative, looking to areas with less advertising competition, and leveraging soft launches to help advertisers learn global markets. 

Identify Lifetime Value of a Customer

Player lifetime value (LTV) for a mobile game can vary based on geographical location. When deciding where to expand your marketing spend, assess how optimized your product is for each area with respect to those LTVs. 

For example, Skillz tournament entry fees begin at $$0.60. The U.S. dollar converts to about 72 rupees. In India, that buys nine cups of coffee, a round trip on public transportation, or a McDonald’s Big Mac. As a result, players in India may think harder about spending $1 compared to players in the United States. Wherever players are more cost-conscious, it’s wise to consider paying less to acquire them. 

Localize Games & Ad Creative

Localizing games and creative content is essential when diversifying ad spend outside the United States. The Skillz software development kit (SDK) is available in nine different languages, which enhances localization efforts and enables developers across the globe to build competitive esports. Our seamless integration process ensures game makers everywhere can build unique experiences for every kind of player.

Additionally, the creative team at Skillz is part of the larger user acquisition team, so it’s relatively simple to work together on localized ads for specific geographical locations. We consistently test different ads and measure their success based on geographic targeting. 

It’s also necessary to work with product and engineering on localization to determine potential product improvements and confidently increase our investment. We ask important questions related to the cost of localization and the potential gains from localizing marketing budget. 

Create an Expansion Strategy

A successful UA expansion strategy requires a sustainable and systematic approach. Use a trusted analytics platform to make smart, data-driven decisions to acquire and retain users. 

Put simply, our expansion strategy consists of three phases: 

  1. Test ads at a small scale with an existing U.S. partner 
  2. Increase scale (spend) with the existing U.S. partner
  3. Increase scale with localized (rest of world) partners 

Decide Where to Soft Launch

Skill-based games need a certain level of player liquidity to jumpstart the competitive environment. Like playing tennis against a wall, it’s less exciting to play a mobile game against yourself. Creating a competitive environment translates into greater monetization. Therefore, when deciding where to soft launch new games on the Skillz platform, we work to build enough player liquidity to support the level of matching required for a positive user experience in a competitive environment. 

In capturing a significant number of users from different countries, we can decrease the time it takes to match players. Think about catching a rideshare to work through Uber Pool or Lyft Line. If you’re awaiting a driver while there are few passengers requesting a ride, it will take a long time to be matched for the rideshare. If there are many passengers actively looking for a ride, you’ll get matched much more quickly! Similarly, with more competitors playing Skillz games and consequently less waiting time, the competitive experience becomes more accessible and enjoyable for players around the world. 

At Skillz, we aim to enable fun and fair digital competition for ALL of the world’s mobile gamers. We currently work with 20,000+ game developers, leveraging our patented technology to host over 3.5 million daily tournaments for 30 million mobile players worldwide. To learn more about us, visit www.skillz.com. To compete in Skillz games, visit games.skillz.com.