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Socialpoint levels up UA measurement with incrementality insights

About client

Socialpoint is an acclaimed video game developer and publisher based in Barcelona. The company was founded in 2008 and specializes in free-to-play mobile and social network games for iOS, Android, Amazon, and Microsoft. As of 2021, Socialpoint boasts 6 million unique daily users and over 35 million downloads. Its most popular titles include Monster Legends, Dragon City, and Word Life.

The arrival of the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework and iOS 14.5 has compelled advertisers to investigate new ways of measuring the performance of their app marketing campaigns on Apple devices. The loss of IDFA for users who opt-out of in-app tracking means they must now work with SKAdNetwork to monitor installs for anonymous users. This attribution method only provides aggregated data, meaning many advertisers are attempting to optimize their activities with far less information than what was previously available.

As a result of this industry-wide change, many app marketers are beginning to move away from traditional forms of user acquisition (UA). Socialpoint, for instance, has already embraced new methodologies by partnering with us in 2021 to test our Incremental Impact product for one of its biggest titles: Dragon City.

Watch Remerge Real Talk
Episode 3: Entering a new chapter in user acquisition campaigns

« We are doubling down on building tools that will enable our UA teams to measure actions with 100% incrementality in the event that all other types of measurement move away. »


Making sense of campaign data with incrementality measurement

SKAdNetwork is not enough to succeed in the no-ID world. At Remerge, we use a causal impact analysis methodology to provide insights on the performance of app marketing campaigns that target users without an ID.

Our product distinguishes between paid and organic marketing activities by revealing the incremental cost per install (iCPI), incremental cost per action (iCPA), and the incremental uplift of an ad campaign. The methodology is based on running campaigns on identifiable sub-markets (treatment), while leaving other sub-markets unexposed (control).

Speaking about this type of measurement, Alexander Noirot-Cosson said that “causal impact enables you to look at the entirety of the actions you take and the entirety of what happens in your game as you try to make sense of everything.”

“We find it fascinating to understand how our marketing actions have an impact on tracked and organic installs. Everything around K factor, brand recognition and so on. You have the keys with causal impact to be able to measure them. With direct attribution, if it’s outside the attribution window it doesn’t exist. We like to know what it is in order to take the best decision, and causal impact offers that.”

Conducting tests for Dragon City

Socialpoint has become one of the early adopters of incrementality. The team decided to test our solution to gather insights for optimizing future app marketing campaigns. They started with Dragon City, one of their biggest titles with 15 million downloads in 2021.

We ran a total of 14 tests with Socialpoint during an 8 week period, splitting the treatment and control groups by device model; this approach allowed us to build similar and stable groups which are less likely to change over time. We experimented with multiple creatives to identify the best-performing assets and discovered that video performed significantly better than static and native ads, in terms of both CTR and conversion rate.

Looking at the iCPI and iCPA, we achieved the lowest ever number seen by Socialpoint for UA. During the test phase we reached competitive performance based on their goals – an impressive feat given the short timeframe of the tests.

The importance of data science

One of the highlights from the incrementality tests was the coming together of data scientists from both Remerge and Socialpoint. This was not only key to the success of the project, but also important for validating the methodology, exchanging ideas, and establishing a trusted working relationship.

As Alexander noted: “We shared the risk and there was a lot of transparency in the exchanges of the model. It wasn’t only sales teams speaking to each other, but most of the time, scientists speaking to each other. This is a good proxy to how interesting this test was.”

“Having scientists sit alongside you helps in two ways. One, it is good to have methodologies challenged and compared to each other. [Two], we have our current probabilistic or deterministic attribution, which is the source of truth. This enables us to say ‘this is the truth’, this is what we are seeing, and then compare this [with incrementality results] to see how accurate we are.”

« We see Remerge as a like-minded group of smart people, with a great tech stack and good account management. It is a winning combination to consider working more closely together. »


The future of measurement in a
no-ID world

Following the initial test phase, we will continue partnering with Socialpoint to run incrementality tests to gather UA insights for the no-ID world.

Alexandre said: “Incrementality is the future. Incrementality is what we should have our eyes on and what we should push our marketing to be 100% attributed with. And this is what Socialpoint is pushing towards.”