Matt Bruch commented on ROI during a panel at Casual Connect USA 2014. “In order for a campaign to work, both sides need to be winning,” he said.
Matt Bruch is sales manager at Liquid Wireless, a Publishers Clearing House company. The sales team he manages powers monetization for all PCH’s mobile properties. They work directly for a number of direct response advertisers, including Big Fish Games, Playstudios, Buffalo Studios, and Zynga. Most of their campaigns run on CPI pricing, allowing partners to minimize risk and find quality users.
A Mutually Good Fit
Bruch came to Liquid Wireless after connecting with the founder, Jason Cianchette, through mutual acquaintances in 2010. They discovered they had a good fit to work together, and, since it seemed like the mobile industry was positioned for strong growth, he decided to jump in.
Building Strong Relationships
Being part of the team that sold their company to Publishers Clearing House is a time in his career that he remembers with pride. He says “Looking back, I’m glad I took the risk to join a small startup focused on new market opportunities. I’ve been fortunate to learn a lot about the mobile advertising industry over the past few years and to help build a company we are all proud of. There were times when cash flow was pretty tight, but we found ways to continually scale our business and build strong relationships with our partners.”
“Promoting” New Business
An important new direction for Liquid Wireless was when they switched from focusing exclusively on lead promotion and expanded to app promotion. They discovered that they could give users entries into the PCH sweepstakes for downloading apps and still generate very high quality installs for their partners. Originally, they ran simple display ads for their partners in an attempt to prove that their audience could provide strong quality. Then they showed that they could provide more scale for their partners by giving users an entry for downloading an app. They found repeatedly that the quality of the sweeps entry ad unit is no different from the standard display ad unit. The company as a whole is working to expand their audience so they can provide advertisers, especially their app partners, with quality inventory at scale.
Liquid Wireless now has their app install business representing over half of their mobile ad revenue. One year ago, they were generating less than 5,000 installs per month. This May, they had grown to 250,000 installs per month, and expect that number to continue increasing.
Data Is The Key
Over the next three to five years, Bruch believes improved targeting through first party data is going to be critical to this industry. He is already seeing major networks trying to partner with them to get data. He emphasizes, “We’re really interested in using our data more effectively to put together stronger performing campaigns for our advertisers.” At the same time, they are trying to grow their audience at a rapid rate through improved content, games, and daily chances for their users to win. He feels that continuing to improve their content and targeting abilities will put them in an excellent position.
Puzzle Games and the Great Outdoors
When Bruch has a few spare minutes, he enjoys playing games on Android. His favorite game at the moment is Candy Crush. He has also been playing a lot of 2048 recently. He likes these games because you can pick them up for a few minutes at a time and they are really entertaining. He says, “I’m a casual gamer who loves the puzzle games, and I usually don’t play games that require large chunks of time to make progress.” And, although he used to play a lot on Xbox 360, he no longer owns any console.
Bruch especially enjoys free-to-play games because he can play the game and decide if he likes it before buying anything. When he played more console games, he became frustrated after buying a game and then discovering he didn’t like it. But free-to-play gives him the opportunity to try more games and either love them or leave them. However, one aspect of free-to-play he dislikes is that the games are so good at trying to get him to pay. He admits, “Sometimes, I wish I could buy a paid version at a certain point instead of making one-off purchases that don’t unlock all the content of a game.”
When not fully occupied with his work, you will find him hiking, biking, playing pond hockey, and going to the beaches near Portland, Maine.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.