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Playdemic Achieves 100% ROI on Facebook Ads with Nanigans Revenue Optimization

Written by: Dan Lyttleton, Account Director


Playdemic-LogoFounded in 2010, Playdemic is one of Europe’s leading mobile games companies. They focus on creating innovative, meaningful mobile games that engage and delight players worldwide. Such titles include their casual strategy games roster: Village Life and Gang Nations.

Playdemic started their Facebook advertising using Power Editor, but in 2013 they found the need to work with a Facebook Marketing Partner whose technology focus was on ROI maximization and user quality, instead of the many cost-per-install (CPI) focused platforms available. Because user acquisition was core to Playdemic’s business as a game developer, they made the strategic decision to take control of Facebook advertising in-house. With a shared view of the way user acquisition performance should be measured, they saw Nanigans advertising automation software as the perfect fit. In November 2013, Playdemic launched campaigns for their Village Life mobile game through Nanigans, targeting all mobile devices.

Metrics that Matter to Playdemic

While maintaining CPI targets is important to Playdemic, their games are free to install, so they care most about ensuring their paid acquisition efforts are driving quality users who not only install, but also make in-app purchases and generate high lifetime value. With an emphasis on this value, Playdemic used internal business insight data to obtain a deeper knowledge of what purchase behavior and ROI to expect from their users over time and at various intervals after installing their mobile games.

Using Nanigans to Scale Success

Playdemic Village Life

Mobile SDK to Close the Loop on Attribution

With these clear cut benchmarks in mind, Playdemic implemented Nanigans’ mobile SDK into their apps to close the loop on mobile ad attribution at an ultra-granular level. Doing so enables Playdemic to measure the in-app behavior, such as purchases, driven from their advertising efforts and placements, and automates in real-time the optimization of future ad spend to find similar high-value users. With the Nanigans SDK in place, Playdemic’s in-house team also no longer suffers from data fragmentation. They instead benefit from viewing Facebook spend and revenue in one interface, the ability to tie ROI to every single segment variable, and automated optimization of their campaign’s lifetime value.

Revenue Optimization to Acquire High Value Players

To assist with in-week optimization, Playdemic has created Nanigans conversion events for 3-day and 7-day ROI, the latter of which has been used to set a tough but achievable core KPI using algorithmic revenue optimization. After the annual post-holidays new device activation boom, Playdemic enjoyed record success—at one point approaching 100% ROI in only 3-day mature cohorts!

Constant Creative Testing to Avoid Saturation

Able to generate high quality creative imagery frequently, Playdemic continuously tests new themes and is open minded in their approach to using “out of the box” ideas, such as using real-life human elements alongside their game characters or producing seasonally-relevant image content. These efforts have helped reduce audience saturation and further combat ad blindness.
Playdemic Facebook Ads

Custom Metrics to Report on Viral Revenue

Through a combination of driving very high quality user acquisition with Nanigans and Playdemic’s consistent care and attention to maintaining their fantastic mobile games, the company has achieved significant viral activity. By leveraging custom metrics in Nanigans’ reporting tools, they are able to easily assess the effects of viral activity on their revenue streams.

The Power of Long-Term Partnerships

Since working with Nanigans, Playdemic has seen steadily increasing ROI, and as a result they have reviewed goals and raised the bar higher in order to drive further profits from Facebook advertising.

A healthy upward trend: 7-day ROI, from launch in November 2013 to March 2015

Their internal data analysis has highlighted the particularly high quality of traffic via Nanigans as a result of a focus on revenue optimization—and this shows in the numbers. In July 2014 Facebook spend through Nanigans accounted around 45% of Playdemic’s overall mobile ads media plan, and this has grown to a staggering 75% by March 2015. With strong progress from Village Life campaigns in Nanigans, spend has grown 300% just since the start of Q3 2014 alone. After a successful launch with Gang Nations in Q1, 2015 is shaping up to be a promising year for further investment in Playdemic’s newest titles.

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