August 4 2016

When you created your game, you imagined a certain section of smartphone users playing. You also took into consideration their general demographics, usage, interests and a lot more data when designing various levels to keep them captivated. But what happens when you finally have them onboard?

Unless you continue to further understand your players and personalize their in-app experience, you’re going to end up losing them as soon as another interesting game enters the market.

In this post, we’re going to talk about why segmentation and targeting is an important aspect that game developers and marketers should look into.

Understand app personalization

The mobile market is currently booming with apps. There are practically hundreds of apps across different industries, being added to the app stores ‘every day’.

While this is good news for the smartphone users as every interest of theirs is being taken care of, it is the app developers and marketers who are facing a challenge in establishing themselves! Point in consideration, games.

Launch your app store right away, take note of the games in what interests you today and compare it with what you have in a day or two. You will notice that you have different options than you did on day one!

Out of curiosity, you’re probably going to try out the latest game added to the store. So, if you’re a developer, why wouldn’t your players do the same?

This is where the importance of personalizing your player experience comes in – not just to acquire them, but to keep them from going away!

Recently, Pokemon Go practically took away majority of players from various games. They had a new experience to offer to mobile users and immediately got popular in the market. The side effect of this being, is that other games would need to up their game to keep up in the market and not lose their players.

Personalization focuses on creating in-app experiences for players that they most relate to. Using the previous interaction data and predictive modelling, game developers and marketers can strategise their engagement as well as monetization strategies accordingly. The primary goal of this tactic is to make something so contextual and relatable, that it becomes hard for the player to not convert on.

In games, personalization is more about how you acquire the players, onboard them and tailor their experiences to in-app conversion. The more you tailor their journey, the more likely they are to remain hooked to the game!

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The importance of personalization

“Everyone is different, why treat them the same?”

Each of your players has a certain characteristic to himself. There are going to be those who have frequent sessions with your app within a day, some who interact with it once a week, a few who readily make purchases and some that need a slight push to do it.

This only goes to say that people have different ways of using an app – even if it is a game, they will have a different approach to different levels. And the data, is worth looking into!

For games, it is important to understand what aspects of it keep players engaged the most and optimize more from it. Knowing what interests your players the most, will not just help you create a better game and enhance their in-app experience, but also monetize better from it.

Here’s taking a look at how personalization can help your game grow faster:

1. Identify the most active players and keep them motivated

There are going to be some players who interact with your app often and also recommend it in their circles. These players are your game’s advocates and you need to keep them motivated to continue leveraging from word-of-mouth marketing.

By offering them an in-app incentive, giving them a shoutout or unlocking a special level in the game from them, will give them a reason to continue playing on the app as well as get more people to join it. Organic growth and lesser user acquisition costs!

Also read: How to succeed in in-app referral marketing in 5 simple steps

2. Group players as per their activity

Since everyone has a different approach to the various levels in your game, you can group players according to their activity. Understanding their journey through the game via Activity Feeds, you can create segments according to their needs (hardcore players, players stuck in a given level, newjoiners, etc).

This benefits you in two ways – you can further personalize their journey based on their gaming capabilities and also group together like minded people to keep each other motivated.

In our previous post, we spoke about how Facebook pointed out the importance of having communities if you want to monetize better from games. You can read all about it here.

3. Create custom conversion journeys

Once you know how each player interacts with the game, and have segmented them accordingly, you can use the data to personalize their journey to make an in-app purchase. Right from purchase recommendations to push notifications that encourage them to catch-up’ to another player, marketers can tailor their messages to make purchases seem more natural.

The players should not feel like they ‘have to’ make a purchase to continue in the game; it should be more like ‘the purchase will make my journey to the next level way more fun!’. This includes creating dynamic pricing models to suit the player’s conversion triggers and abilities.

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Over to you

Making use of your player’s data to further segment your audience helps you create custom campaigns and monetize higher from your game.

Be it retargeting them via push notifications or social advertisements, or driving them to complete an in-app action, it lets you create the right message and send it at the right time via the right channel to convert.

The aim is to offer an in-app experience that makes you the player’s go-to game every time he has some time on hand, makes him convert in-app and continue engaged with your game.