One single source of truth for creative performance
What is Gameloft?
Gameloft is a French video game publisher based in Paris, The company operates 18 development studios worldwide and publishes games with a special focus on the mobile games market.
The magic of the Gameloft team
Fiona Lauredi is the User Acquisition Director and manages all user acquisition managers, as well as all tracking-related topics, across the global portfolio. Their focus has traditionally been on mobile but has now expanded to PC and console.
On the creative side of things, Arthur Cordier Lassalle is the Global Creative Team Director, managing around 100 people working on creative production for UA, marketing, and social and divided between studios all over the world.
Fiona kicks off by explaining that at most companies, the creative teams and UA teams are pretty disconnected, and the content teams will usually brief the designers. One side usually drives the other, and the creators are often disconnected from the performance of what they produce, while the UA managers/content teams have little understanding of what creative elements are actually working.
Gameloft has turned this on its head and built a collaborative team of designers who have an understanding of data, and UA managers with an understanding of creatives. Today the heart of their collaboration is that they define what makes a “best creative” based on common benchmarks and common brainstorming with the data at the center.
According to Arthur, every artist has access to all the performance data, knows how to read and understand it, works in total collaboration with their respective UA team, and understands what they do, how they work, and what the UA goals are. “We keep a balance between testing what we know works well, or has worked well in the past, and tweaking; and testing new things. We always work to keep a balance between the two. All of our work is about cross-company knowledge sharing [between the artists and UA managers around the globe], trying to maintain this testing balance, and maintaining a data-minded approach to our creative strategy.
The Singular Solution
When Fiona started at Gameloft, the UA team worked on their attribution internally and used a Singular competitor for their SANs tracking. With the realities of ATT and Apple attribution challenges, they realized they internal attribution wasn’t going to cut it, and they needed to combine all attribution – SANs and non SANs – under one umbrella, which was when they made the move to Singular.
An added value for the UA team was that Singular’s cost aggregation product covers every single partner, so it gave them the visibility they needed for their creative reporting.
The move over was gradual. While adopting new tools is always challenging, at the time, Gameloft also changed the entire structure of the creative team from one centralized team to split teams integrated within the product and within UA.
“It became clear to us very quickly that creative reporting would need to be the central piece in this structural shift.”
Fiona explains that the easiest way to transition the creative and UA teams to the collaborative, interwoven structure that they have now was to use Singular’s dashboard.
“Singular’s creative reporting is complete and very visual, which was a good first step to onboarding the artists at the beginning. We gave the entire creative team access to Singular, set them up with specific reports focused on the KPIs they needed to look at, and trained them to go and check their own creatives so that they could learn what was working best and should be reproduced, and what to let go of.” This was all done alongside training on “what is UA?” and what is important and what not.
What is an intention within a gameplay?
What is the Core gameplay loop?
What is the impact of wordings? And so on.
The second step was to give the artists visibility on creative benchmarking. “We trained our creators to take what they learned and understood from our own Singular reporting and measure that against that the best creatives reported on Sensortower to understand how their creatives compare.”
Now that the system is in place and all creators and UA managers are working within this structure, Gameloft has moved away from using Singular’s dashboard and pulls all of their advanced creative reporting into their data visualization tool, Lookr, for one single view of performance across the teams and all stakeholders. “We’re able to combine all our production metrics with our performance metrics pulled by Singular, and really understand what’s going on,” says Fiona.
Arthur explains that when it comes to UA, every day, the artists check out Lookr to see how things are performing on each network, and what on a regional level, and what globally, and then have the choice to either iterate and test; or choose from from a backlog of concepts that is waiting to be tested (from brainstorming, benchmarks, etc.). “We also like to foster confidence in that ‘gut-feeling’ of what they want to try. It’s a constant balance between old and new all the time, every day.”
Gameloft + Singular Success
“A key added value of working with Singular is that our comments, as clients, are listened to, and the Singular team works to improve and modify the product according to our feedback,” says Fiona.
She adds that, in her opinion, Singular’s cost aggregation and creative reporting are crucial for mobile developers (and “the adaptation that Singular went through to fit cross-platform needs has definitely helped too.”)
Arthur adds that “data availability is the key to how we can perform as we do today. For me and a lot of artists who were not data savvy, having the possibility to do this internal review and check our creatives for correlations between creative elements and performance has been a dream. This is the only company I have been able to do this at, and it’s because of Singular.”
Full performance visibility and understanding
Saving time and effort
Macro view on creatives
According to Fiona, some of the key success factors for the Gameloft team include
-Full performance visibility and understanding
“I have worked with other tools at other companies and can say that in comparison, no one is offering a full understanding of UA KPIs at the creative level. On top of that, artists usually have no real visibility, and if they do, they have to make the effort to jump from platform to platform to manually pull the insight they need.”
-Saving time and effort
“Having all our data in one place makes everything so easy, and the level of integration with our internal tools has allowed us to automate the reports we need across the board. No manual pulling.”
-Macro view on creatives
“Our teams are spread in studios globally, but Singular allows for a single view for company-wide learning while teams are in local studios.”
“If we had to train every person to go into every partner’s dashboard, it would be impossible to function. With a process built around data from a single source of truth, we have been able to ensure incremental learnings by our teams of artists and UA managers simultaneously.”
Within 6 months I was able to bring my UA managers from a team of 20 people who had zero creative knowledge to a team with one of the highest understandings of what a creative is in the industry, what works and how best to work with our creative team to make the magic work. It would have been much more painful without something so seamless as Singular.”
Fiona summarizes that “Singular provides us with structure, gives us back time in our day, and improves our capacity to produce better creatives.”
Top 5 takeaways for creative strategy success
Ensure that your UA and creative teams are on the same page and working as a collaborative team
Train your creators to be data savvy and empower them with the reports that need to make good optimization calls
Give all your stakeholders one clear view of your performance
Maintain a balance between testing and iterating on what has worked before, and testing new ideas
Foster a data-driven gut feeling for the creative team; once we know what’s working, it’s easier to step outside the box and innovate