Q&A with Harry Bienenstock @Playtika
Harry Bienenstock, Mobile Hero and Lead Digital Marketing Manager at Playtika, recently caught us up on his latest thoughts on mobile app marketing. Harry manages user acquisition and retargeting for the World Series of Poker, a popular free to play app. Based out of Montreal, Canada, Harry shares some great advice having worked at Playtika for over four years.
How did you get started in mobile app marketing?
I started marketing on the mobile web initially. At my previous company, I worked with a lot of clients in the gaming space, and they had mobile web products. Mobile apps weren’t that big yet. Instead, they had a mobile web product with an icon which you’d add onto your iPhone home screen. That would essentially be the “app” which someone could launch directly from the screen, like you’re used to doing, but it would open a mobile web app. I now work with Playtika, one of the top gaming companies in the world.
What qualities do you think are most important for app marketers to have to be successful?
Hunger and passion. You can use them interchangeably. You really have to care about what you do or you won’t have the motivation to dig into your data across partners, campaigns, publishers, creatives, ad sets, ads, keywords, etc… An analytical mind also helps—there’s a lot of data to review & analyze.
What do you consider the number one biggest challenge in mobile app marketing?
The app ecosystem is always changing and often creates lots of challenges for marketers. CPM’s are always on the rise. Also anyone can launch a new app, take over the charts by getting featured & buying a whole bunch of inventory. You can’t always anticipate that. When you are responsible for hitting certain KPIs every day, the changing nature of the business can be tough. It certainly keeps you on your toes.
What do you think it takes to succeed in app marketing?
Success in app marketing comes from a strong marriage of product and marketing.
You have to be surrounded by a good team & have a strong product (or offering). We have a very strong team—starting with the product itself, then branching out into marketing & CRM activities like user acquisition, engagement, & monetization.
I’ve seen strong UA teams struggle to sustain DAU or daily revenue targets due to a lower quality product. On the flip side, I’ve seen really good products not succeed because they don’t have an experienced UA team to drive new user acquisition.
What strategies work best for you to convert installs into engaged app users?
As UA managers, we’re responsible for bringing the right users to the game. So, if we don’t bring the right user to the game, there’s no chance that they’re going to be engaged. It starts with finding the right people and driving them to your app. Then once they get into the game, get them playing as soon as you can, keep things super simple, and find the right time to introduce them to more features and more complicated aspects of your app.
Over the past year, what is one thing that made the biggest performance difference in UA or reengagement?
I think geodiversity is very important. There’s a lot of different countries across the globe that we can market in. Luckily in the app space we’re able to market basically anywhere in the world and on any mobile or web platform.
What is most top of mind for you right now?
Being better. Whether it’s generating better creatives, getting better at testing on different platforms, or generating better conversion rates. This will in turn help reduce our acquisition costs which are always rising as we see more competition in the market.
What advice can you offer to help marketers combat mobile ad fraud?
All the MMP’s out there now offer some sort of tool with their platform, so definitely start there. It’ll save you money and time. There are third party solutions out there as well, but as a baseline, make sure that you use the fraud detection tool of your MMP.
What resources (blogs, websites, podcasts, conferences) would you recommend for other app marketers to check out?
We tend to focus on events related to performance marketing rather than product. Because of this, we tend to go to conferences like Mobile Apps Unlocked (MAU) in Vegas. I’ve attended four straight years. The content is always very strong. A lot of the top people in the industry attend from all sides of the business.
I also like attending Mobile Growth Summit (MGS) in Canada, which is organized by my Marketing Director, Jeet Niyogi, as well as other MGS events. The Mobile Hero Summits are very strong as well from what I’ve seen & heard. Some content I like to read:
- Grow.co newsletter
- MobileDevMemo newsletter
- Liftoff Mobile Heroes newsletter
- Apptopia newsletter
What one tip can you offer to new mobile marketers to help grow their careers?
It starts by asking a lot of questions. There’s a lot of knowledge to absorb and learn from others. After that, I would say read as much as you can about the industry, and work closely with those that have more experience (and knowledge) than you.
Read other insightful Q&As with leading mobile app marketers in the industry.