Health Pack Games, a publisher of mobile games, has been using Nokia Ad Exchange (NAX) to cross-promote its apps, and monitor its global downloads and in-app advertising results, and they like what they see. The game publisher has seen higher click-through rates, higher conversion rates, and substantial revenue improvements.
Health Pack Games has so far racked up more than 2 million downloads, making the games top-sellers in France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, and the U.K. The company has also created a cross-platform social network that lets mobile players track their game achievements, share user-created content, and connect with other players around the world.
To monitor game usage, Health Pack Games uses NAX, a private mobile advertising exchange from Nokia that offers app developers and publishers access to more than 120 advertising agencies and networks worldwide. NAX lets publishers incorporate in-app advertising, and provides a dashboard to track app performance. Also, NAX can be used for both free house campaigns aimed at cross-promoting apps and paid campaigns in which developers bid for advertising space within other publishers’ apps.
Michael Kloubkov, owner of Health Pack Games, calls NAX his ‘go-to tool’ for monitoring country-specific performance. The NAX dashboard shows him country-by-country results for requests, impressions, fill rates, click-through rates, and eCPM (cost per thousand impressions). As a result, Health Pack Games can now quickly identify markets where it needs to focus. ‘We need to make sure that performance is optimal at all hours of the day’, Michael explains, ‘and that usually means tinkering with various ad platforms’.
For example, NAX lets Michael adjust demand control for in-app advertising. This feature, which he calls ‘one of the most important tools on the dashboard’, lets Health Pack Games try different advertising agencies and networks, then select those that are most effective.
Another NAX feature is discoverability, which is important because consumers are less likely to download an app they don’t know. To address this, Michael created two house ads that run on free versions of the company’s games to promote the paid versions. ‘It was straightforward’, he says of the setup. ‘Add a couple of different-sized ads, pick where to display them, and you’re set.’
Integrating NAX into its games was similarly easy, Michael says. ‘It only took us about two hours’, he adds. ‘It’s as simple as downloading the SDK, pasting a snippet, and changing a few lines.’
Health Pack Games is careful with its ad placements, making sure the ads are hidden during actual gameplay so they don’t annoy users. ‘We found that users don’t mind them too much’, Michael says. ‘And if they do, they have the option of paying $0.99 (USD) to unlock the VIP version of the game.’
Because NAX works with a wide variety of phone platforms, Health Pack Games has also used the exchange for versions of its game that run on Android. Initial results have been good, with high rates for both demand and fill.
How successful is the overall NAX campaign from Health Pack Games? The numbers tell the story. House ads now have a click-through rate of 3 to 4 per cent, ‘higher than the average ad’, Michael says. The conversion rate – that is, the percentage of clicks on an ad that result in a game being downloaded – runs as high as 1.5 per cent, which is ‘very high’, according to Michael. ‘Since the apps we are advertising are paid, we would still be happy with even a 1 per cent conversion rate’, he adds. In addition, he says the cost per user acquisition is ‘excellent’.
‘The best part’, Michael says, ‘is that all your ads are located in one place. And the number of ad networks is great.’
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