Puli's Target Audience, Marketing Plan, and Sales Strategy are Vital to Long-Term Growth
According to the Glassmeyer/McNamee Center for Digital Strategies, "The mobile game industry is currently worth $68.5B, and many of the largest gaming companies are investing heavily in the space. Many of these larger companies have entire teams dedicated to managing and optimizing their mobile offerings, but smaller developers often do not have the same resources and institutional knowledge."
Fortunately, a comprehensive playbook is available for smaller teams such as those at Puli Token, to develop a proper go-to-market strategy covering important topics such as marketing, managing intellectual property (for example, we have filed for trademark protections of our logo), business models in AAA gaming, and financing and pricing strategies. Through our use of the guide provided by Digital Strategies, we have developed the following go-to-market strategy:
Marketing Partnerships for User Acquisition: The mobile game industry is unique and requires a special brand of advertising. The team as Puli Token has partnered with an independent full-service mobile marketing agency focused on games: Udonis. Of special note, this particular agency is also smart in the ways of Web3 and can intelligently speak to the topic of crypto currencies and navigate the turbulent waters often associated with advertising with crypto-centered applications. The motto at Udonis is, "Making User Acquisition Work."
Soft Launches: Each game at Puli Token is soft launched in order for us to gather important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The first and most important KPI to hit prior to a soft launch is Day 0 retention. Day 0 retention targets are approximately 30%. If in the course of testing we are near this Day 0 retention figure, we have a product ready to soft launch.
Picking the right market is essential for a soft launch. Ideally, the selected region should reflect the same language and user habits as the primary launch market to ensure that similar users are playing the game. At the same time, the soft launch market should be small since there will be a lot of inefficiency in the game’s initial state. In the time it will take the developers to optimize the game, many users will drop the game never to return. It is thus risky to conduct a soft launch in a large target market, because developers risk alienating a large portion of a potentially lucrative user base. It is much safer to test the game in a smaller market where revenue potential is limited, so that when the game does finally launch in the larger markets it is poised for greater success.
Demographics for User Acquistion: The demographics collected in our games thus far have indicated that a soft launch is best with Canada, UK, Australia, and the United States. Demographics that are culturally close but cheaper to soft launch include Ireland, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. Other cultures that are appropriate to our soft launches are the Philippines, India, and Turkey. For a soft launch in the Asia market, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore are considered best practices for collecting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on product performance.
Measuring Marketing Success: Based on a report from Glassmeyer/McNamee Center for Digital Strategies, a game that performs very well in the soft launch phase is likely to be successful in a general launch, and therefore a higher marketing budget will not go to waste as the game has proven its ability to retain and monetize users. Meanwhile, a game that performed poorly during the soft launch phase may not be worth spending a lot of marketing money on, since that money could potentially be put to better use elsewhere. It is important to note that a launch is the most cost-effective window to acquire users, given that re-acquiring a user can be up to 3x as expensive as acquiring a user for the first time. Therefore, it is important not to under-spend during the launch window.
A rule of thumb for marketing a mobile game soft launch is to spend around 70% of game development costs in marketing. As such, the typical cost for a soft launch of a game developed by Puli will be between $15K - $20K USD. These costs have also been confirmed by Udonis as the proper amount for a product and community of our size.
Marketing Success Metrics: KPIs that are essential during a soft launch as well as a hard launch are related to:
Return on Advertising Spend - This metric can help understand which marketing channels are performing well and which ones are not.
Engagement - Understanding long-term trends can help understand what the lifetime behavior of a user might look like and can also help predict when users are most likely to be lost. We can then attempt to re-engage users before they drop the game by targeting them with promotions, discounts, special events, or other strategies to keep them engaged with the games.
Monetization - There are many KPIs used for tracking revenue, but some of the more common ones are ARPU (average revenue per user), ARPDAU (average revenue per daily active user), ARPS (average revenue per spender), and ARPS (average revenue per spend). Which KPI we will use will depend on the nature of the game and the users.
Business Model: There are several business models that are popular in mobile games such as buy to play, free to play, DLC / Premium, season passes, battle passes, in-app purchases, and pure subscriptions. Each game developed by the team at Puli will apply one of these concepts along with concepts unique to blockchain gaming such as play to earn and win to earn. In fact, it is the combination of the traditional and blockchain gaming business models that have ensured our current game is self-sufficient.