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Justin Sampson

Head of User Acquisition

Justin is Head of User Acquisition at Skillz, where he grows a worldwide user base of over 2 billion mobile gamers. Skillz is a market leader in the booming eSports industry. Justin began his mobile marketing career at Skillz three years ago, first as a marketing analyst and then moving into user acquisition. Previously, Justin worked as a strategy analyst at Accenture.

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In your own words, tell us about the apps that you manage?

The portfolio of apps I manage are, at their core, casual mobile games: Solitaire, puzzle, bubble popper, and trivia. What sets them apart is that they are all competitive eSports titles. Players can enter live, bracketed, or head-to-head competitions against other players. This competition layer for a more casual population is driving Skillz’s mission to bring eSports to everyone.

How did you get started in mobile marketing?

I started my career as a consultant at Accenture. I quickly realized I wanted to be part of the technology industry in San Francisco and identified Skillz as a prime opportunity for growth. I joined as an analyst and began working on growing our user base along with a plethora of other initiatives. It was a sink or swim moment for me when I could settle for knowing the basics of mobile marketing or really dive in and truly understand how to grow mobile apps. I chose the latter.

What do you like most about mobile marketing?

I love that in its most basic form, mobile marketing is just optimizing a system of numbers. I also love being creative, coming up with different messaging ideas to test and exploring new ways to grow and expand our user base.

What does it take to succeed in mobile marketing?

More than anything, an understanding of data, the ability to think creatively, and a mindset of always wanting to grow.

What does a quality mobile user look like to you?

A user who transacts in the system and then goes on to play everyday.

What strategies work best to convert installs into engaged users?

I’ve found the best strategy to convert installs into engaged users is to ensure our creatives speak to our respective audiences. Creative is the difference.

In the past year, what is one tip you can share which made the biggest performance difference with UA or re-engagement of your apps?

Understanding who your users are offline, in the real world, helps generate creative and messaging that not only improves performance on current audiences, but also helps expand into new audience pockets.

How do you stay ahead of changes in technology?

Being a nimble and fast-paced team, we are able to test and learn how to use new emergent technologies. A strong diversification strategy and close relationships with our partners enable us to have the best information and the flexibility to act on it.

What do you see as the next big thing in mobile marketing?

Reduction in optimization levers, automated creative generation and optimization, continued growth of the DSP space, and the emergence of the Samsung store.

What advice can you offer to help marketers combat mobile ad fraud?

Work closely with your partners to help identify fraud. Having conversations about fraud issues is the first step to fighting it.