Competing with Candy Crush: How non-game apps win inventory and users that pay (VB Live)

VB LIVE: For demographic-specific apps, every single download needs to count. James Peng, Head of Mobile Acquisition at dating app powerhouses Tinder and Match, breaks down how to make it happen in our latest free 30-minute mobile user roundtable.
Register here for free. 

Here’s the problem: Specialty apps are competing against such games as Candy Crush for the same web and inventory space, in an epic battle of mass-market appeal versus highly targeted niche audience.
“And when you’re a publisher of ads, making money off of ads, who are you going to sell to?” asks James Peng, Match Group’s head of mobile acquisition. “And if you’re selling your ads on a performance basis, meaning you’re making on an install, you’re obviously going to want to sell it to the one that actually converts.”
Even worse, while traditional ad networks and channels emphasize their data modeling and probabilistic targeting capabilities, in Peng’s view they’re more or less useless for developers who need to reach very specific audiences.
“It’s been surprising how inaccurate and ineffective some of these approaches and technologies are at this current state. It’s disappointing,” he says. “It’s very important for us to reach a very precise demographic. But you can’t actually target your 24-year-old male in a certain area with certain interests, because publishers don’t know who that is.”
Unfortunately, traditional ad networks and channels dominate mobile acquisition inventory.
To tackle the problem, Peng says, Match overindexes on platforms with robust demographic and intent targeting. But more importantly, he says, “We’re always trying to preempt the marketplace. I partner closely with my ad networks and partners in order to develop solutions that don’t exist there in the hope to be the first ones there.”
That means innovation and smashing the box — finding creative, beyond-the-networks ways to access your users, including, he says, creative partnerships with other companies or businesses that are directly in line with yours, partnering with major events to promote your app, such as Tinder did with Coachella, and directly accessing influencers who are aligned with your demographic.
“We want to acquire valuable users anywhere we’re able to efficiently reach them,” Peng says. “This means I need to be smart enough to be able to find users in every pocket and niche that they can be targeted in.”
For precisely targeted apps, Peng says, there is a huge advantage in the end. “When you do find the right users for an app or a product within each audience, there’s a tremendous multiple on performance,” he explains. “If you’re able to reduce wasted impressions on irrelevant users, you will be able to spend significantly more than your competitors while driving high returns at the same time.”
To learn more about unlocking the value of users, harnessing the power of your ad networks, and nailing your cost per acquisition strategy, join our free VB Live event. Peng will be joined by CRO for Ketchapp Games and VB’s Director of Marketing Technology, Stewart Rogers.

Don’t miss out!
Register here for free.

In this VB Live event, you’ll learn how to:

Acquire high-quality users, not just large quantities
Use the power of analytics as a mobile acquisition strategy
Identify how to uncover the secrets of effective acquisition
Build loyalty amongst users


James Peng, Head of Mobile Acquisition, Match Group
Christian Calderon, Chief Revenue Officer, Ketchapp Games
Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology, VentureBeat


Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat

Competing with Candy Crush: How non-game apps win inventory and users that pay (VB Live)
Competing with Candy Crush: How non-game apps win inventory and users that pay (VB Live)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *