In our most recent market study, our objective was to learn which types of marketing services, and how many different ones, are used within games in the context of smartphone apps. Nowadays, developers have the option to implement a bulk of services, starting from simple analytics tools right up to fancy marketing automation tools. You will actually be surprised in regards to the plethora of SDKs hovering about in games; all of these collecting and pushing different kinds of data to and from the user. To this end, our experiment design spanned freemium Android games of 10 of Germany’s most renown and successful mobile game studios.

So let’s go ahead and outline our approach of this market analysis:

  • Amount: 10 games
  • Source: Made in Germany
  • Amount of time played: 2 x 30 minutes on consecutive days
  • Specific actions: In-game-items added to shopping cart

We decided to go for two sessions à 30 minutes and added one or several in-game-items to our shopping cart as we were eager to know if developers “react” to this kind of action. The type of services we found are primarily analytics, marketing and ad-network tools. Flurry appears to be the most prevalent SDK, nowadays offering a combination of analytics and advertising services. Also, Chartboost is right up there with its fairly well-engineered monetization platform. Attribution network services such as Adjust and MobileAppTracking also seem to play an important role. For reasons of comparison and validation, analytics platforms (such as Mixpanel or Crashlytics) as such are frequently used in combination with each other.

Marketing Services Used by German Mobile Games

Some further insights we discovered:

  • On average, 4.5 services are implemented per game.
  • 9 out of 10 games used push notifications; most of these, however, are not being sent via additional service providers but are rather distributed natively straight from the individual game.
  • Overall, the contents of the messages are repetitive and automated. Personalized targeting is non-existent and the messages are generally perceived as spam.

Intelligent services were not discovered in any of these games. Especially in the context of users susceptible to spam (as in mass-messaging), we want to emphasize the importance of carefully designed personalized messaging. Instead of pushing automated content long after the last gaming session, you should be thinking about utilizing the churn probability and targeting those in advance who are losing interest.

By the way, stay tuned for further studies from goedle.io, up next with mobile games and apps from Great Britain and the United States.