AKA How to make money in a crazily competitive business.
Monetisation is core to the mobile game industry, from IAP’s (In-App Purchases) to incentivised ads almost every game you play has some form of monetisation. That is why our Product Manager, Solal Le Gall, hosted a series of monetisation workshops, inviting every department to attend and providing an insight into the basics of monetisation.
We caught up with him to find out more.
What was the aim of the session?
To help people better understand how free-to-play games can be monetised smartly, as well as discover some of the triggers and cognitive bias we all experience as customers. A good example is the way we are unable to estimate absolute value, so we need reference points to estimate the value of an item. Changing that reference point can, therefore, change our own perception and influence our decision-making. We humans are not as rational as we think we are, as Dan Ariely explains it in his book Predictably Irrational. The gaming industry, being young, provides a massive playground to apply some key learnings from other older industries like retail. A lot of good practices in sales were researched years ago, we just need to refresh them and translate them to the online world/mobile marketplace.
Why was it important for you to run a session like this?
There are a lot of preconceived ideas and/or prejudice around monetisation. It was an opportunity to challenge these and show that monetisation is not about manipulation but is rather about offering the right type of offer at the right moment to the right user. We are all faced in our daily life with some instance of monetisation, sharing knowledge can help people question their own understanding and professional practice, as well as protect themselves from being influenced as customers.
What were the main key points of the learning?
Through this session, we went through a lot of topics related to the gaming business, but here are some key points:
- Always question your initial business model choice and make sure it is adapted to your goals and product.
- Designing fun and endless compulsion loops is a key element of any successful mobile free-to-play game.
- Customer-centric approaches are naturally adapted to the gaming environment and allow us to cater to each user desires and needs.
- A fair price is the price a customer is willing to pay, no more, no less.
- Since value cannot be easily evaluated by users, we have to rely on perceived value. Changing the way we communicate our value and offer can be a game changer in terms of performances.
How did the session go?
There were quite a lot of discussions both during and after the sessions. Monetisation is a topic that surrounds us all the time, but that we rarely spend time thinking about. The groups were very varied and each discipline in the studio was represented, from Designers to QA Testers, Marketing, Customer Support, even HR, which made these sessions quite challenging to prepare since everyone had a different experience of monetisation at a professional level. During the sessions, we talked about some situations everybody found themselves in at least once, like for example how hotels make us think that we should book immediately, if we want to make sure there will still be a room for us to book, or how airline companies sell us each element of a trip individually in order to break down the final price.
By going from theoretical concepts to how they are applied in the real world, I hope I managed to help people come up with some ideas for their game, or even just being more aware of what makes themselves behave the way they do as customers.
It was amazing to see the attendance at these workshops and the interest that was sparked throughout the company. We will be hosting more workshops in the future and hope you will join us for them too!
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