"Expect to lose A LOT before you win” | Gamesforum

“Expect to lose A LOT before you win”

Warren Woodward talks to Gamesforum about striking the right balance when it comes to marketing campaigns and changes in the industry.


Gamesforum: Hi Warren, Thanks very much for taking the time to talk to us today. What’s your day to day role at Nexon?

Greetings! I serve as Executive Director of UA here at Nexon M, working with a team of eight brilliant analysts and media buyers. We work closely with our Creative, Marketing and Data Engineering team to run Nexon’s performance-based mobile advertising in the Western markets.


Gamesforum:  If you could have a conversation with yourself on your first day on the job in user acquisition, what advice would you give?

Expect to lose A LOT before you win. Think of each failed campaign or tactic as “buying data” to paint a larger picture of the ecosystem. It’s not about every campaign or creative working, it’s about testing thousands of ideas, identifying potential and scaling those up until you have enough wins to create a sustainable performance marketing portfolio.


Gamesforum:  Looking at user acquisition, what has been the biggest change in the industry over the past 18 months?

We are in the middle a of a large consolidation phase. You will continue to see this in every part of the chain from app developers, to traffic sources and ad tech tools. Winners are rising to the top quickly as the mobile performance marketing industry matures


Gamesforum:  Heading up the department, how do you strike the right balance between analytical and creative driven approaches to campaigns.

Always be on the lookout for the weakest link in your chain, the low hanging fruit. For example, if your creative team is only delivering four new video concepts per quarter, it is very possible you would double your ROI by doubling this low creative output, but you would not similarly 100x your ROI by 100x-ing your creative output. Simultaneously, if you can identify the biggest areas for improvement in your data pipelines or methodology, focus on those first. If moving that final 10% from 90% efficiency to 100% efficiency in a given area is going to take exponentially longer than getting up to that 90% efficiency, instead identify the low hanging fruit in another part of your business and move on to that.

Don’t limit your scope of what it means to be a UA professional, it’s all fair game in the name of improving campaign performance, so build camaraderie across all internal departments as well as across the industry.


Gamesforum:  What do you foresee being the biggest challenge facing your team in 2019?

The barrier of entry for doing performance-driven buying is getting lower as the buying algorithms of the major players become more robust. A team having a great buying model is not the edge it was a couple of years ago. Only a few years back so much of the industry was focused on CPI that a team with a focused commitment to ROAS based buying could have their way with the high quality pools of traffic, leaving scraps for the others. What it means to be ahead of the competition in our industry is always changing and our areas of focus will always need to be quick to adapt to this.


Gamesforum:  What lessons have you learnt from marketing Nexon Korea’s games in North America?

Finding your audience is essential. Often, our biggest Asian-market games don’t find Western UA success in the sources with broad targeting, but when we can find the audience and show them great creative these games can have excellent results in the UA ecosystem.


Gamesforum:  And finally, what new releases on the horizon are you most excited about?

Marvel Battle Lines is launching globally this Fall. It’s been exciting to work on the Marvel IP and craft a launch plan around it. In early 2019 we’re excited to bring AxE to the west, a Nexon MMO that has shown incredible performance in Korea throughout 2018. We have so much more we’re preparing for 2019 and I can’t even mention the biggest project yet, so keep an eye on Nexon!


Gamesforum: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Warren.


Join Warren and all our speakers at Gamesforum Seattle in October. Purchase your passes for the event here

Back to Blog
20th September 2018