Gamesforum Meet: Sven Jürgens, Mobile Growth Consultant

Gamesforum Meet: Sven Jürgens, Mobile Growth Consultant image
By Josh Vowles 4 June 2024

Hi Sven, thanks for joining us! Can you introduce yourself?

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the interview. Sure thing. I am Sven and I help mobile publishers grow their game portfolios. I started working in the mobile industry in 2015 and worked with classic games, kids games, but also on the ad network side.

Talk to us about your career in gaming so far.

Over 8 years ago, I started at LITE Games. We published classic mobile card and board games with a relatively small team. This niche might sound boring to some people, but they are really sticky 😉. From there the responsibilities were growing, the budgets were bigger. 

At AppLike I was promoted to lead a team. Leading teams is an entirely different skill set that I had to learn. How do you hire the best talents? How do you set the right goals? All of these are things that you need to figure out. At this point, it is more about growing people and make sure that they have the tools and skills than to only grow the app. 

What is your go to mobile game?

The most time I ever put into a mobile game was Stardew Velley. It’s not mobile-first and a paid game, but it totally hooked me. I spent over 50 hours building my farm.

Let’s dive in! First UA. What tips do you have for advertisers in breaking beyond the first 1 million users?

Keep it simple. 

When I talk to clients for the first time, they want it all and want it now. Which I can understand, but it’s not how things are working. There needs to be a process behind it. Product and Marketing teams need to work together. You want to understand how good your game really is. 

Do you know your LTV, retention, onboarding-funnel? How good is it? Do you have a creative-strategy and pipeline? Where does the next video ad come from? Do you have in-house designers? Do you have the budget?

In User Acquisition, there are many ways where things can go wrong, and only a few to succeed. This discipline, for me, is where creativity meets data. This is usually a unique to find people who can combine both skills. Some might be Excel and data power users, but have no idea what makes a good ad. Creative and design people oftentimes have a hard time interpreting a CSV export with one million rows. Having an understanding of both areas is helpful.

Creative Ideation & Testing remains a great challenge for UA teams. What advice do you have for an effective timeline in competitor creative analysis and producing copy-cat creatives designed to reproduce results?

There is a lot of inspiration out there. “Doing what works” is a good starting point. But also only gets you so far. When you only copy-paste from your competitors, you will never train your creative muscles. And what Marketing teams have to keep in mind is that this video ad from your competitor did work for a reason. Maybe it is linked to a specific brand or feature. Perhaps it is part of a bigger social media campaign.

Publishers should invest more into understanding the users and what really drives them to use your game. When you can get into the users' mind, you will win.

What can be done to better understand user behaviors in the interest of improving retention metrics?

The best lever to increase retention is to understand what the user wants, does and needs. Is the onboarding clear enough? Does everyone understand the text pop-up? Did you explain the progression system?

It is said that “A confused mind never buys”. You can rephrase that to “A confused player, doesn’t play your game”. You need to provide the right piece of information to the right player at the right time. 

Furthermore, you also want to make sure that the player can experience “flow”. So the game needs to be balanced in the right way. Right in the middle of too boring and too difficult to play. Otherwise, the users will churn away. You want to have the right events and tracking setup to understand what is going on in your game.

Can you dive into more detail on prediction models you are using to understand user LTV and churn change?

The first step is having the correct data points. The MVP to your Lifetime Value prediction is the retention-rate and average revenue per user. I built a free and open-source tool for this problem. You can find it here:

You don’t need a login for that. Publishers can just plug their numbers into it and experiment with some scenarios. What if you can increase your day 1 retention by 12%? What if we redesign the shop and get 20 cents more per user? All of that is what you can quickly model within a few seconds. The math is done for you.

As one of our speakers at Gamesforum Hamburg, what can our audience expect to hear from you?

In my talk, I will dive deeper into LTV predictions and user clustering for smaller publishers. Usually, there is an unfair advantage for big game publishers because they have Data and BI teams solving issues for them. I want to show simple mechanics that everyone can use to better understand the monetary value of their user base. 

As a Hamburg local, what restaurants, bars, and activities would you recommend for our out-of-town attendees?

You have to sit down at Jungfernstieg, get yourself an ice-cream and enjoy your view across the Alster lake. If you have more time (and kids), you enjoy Miniaturwunderland. It is the world's largest Model Railway. My son enjoyed it. 🙂 If you want to go party. Then there is no way around Reeperbahn. Hamburg's party mile. Lot’s of bars and clubs.


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