Posted by , VP Communications & Marketing Partnerships
8th June 2015

This is the third post in our Developer Insights Series, in which we talk to a variety of freemium app developers to get insights into how Tapjoy’s Marketing Automation and Monetization platform is working to help optimize the lifetime value of every user in their app. You can find the first two interviews here and here.

This week, we caught up with Youngbeok Jeon, Business Project Manager at South Korean developer NTREEV. Youngebeok primarily works on NTREEV’s latest app Wanna Be Summoner, and is responsible for all business matters for the title, including data analytics and daily operations. Below are some highlights from our conversation with Youngbeok. We hope you enjoy it and encourage you to let us know what your think, and what you want to hear about in the comments below, or on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Why did NTREEV start using Tapjoy?
As with many developers, most of our internal developmental resources are focused on creating the actual game — the mechanics, art, engine etc. But there is obviously a critical need for business operation components that need to be in place to make the game succeed. We found ourselves searching for a real-time analytics solution that could help us monitor all areas of the app. We initially tried using services like Google Analytics, but while these tools were useful for checking basic information, there were limitations such as empowering us to quickly respond to our users.

We looked at quite a few providers, and Tapjoy definitely stood out, as it not only provided us with thorough analytics, but also offered tools for operations such as push notifications or in-app notifications all from the same dashboard and interface. Tapjoy allows us to target specific user groups and communicate with them based on real-time data, and to us, that is incredibly important.

How have you been using Tapjoy for your latest app, Wanna Be Summoner?
We integrated Tapjoy early on in our app development process for Wanna Be Summoner…actually during the closed beta. We integrated many elements of the Tapjoy platform, including in-app purchases, custom events, session analytics, push notifications – you name it. We spend time everyday checking things like daily retention, DAU information, and custom event data to determine things like how many users are engaging in battle, strengthening their Summoners, or how they’re using virtual currency in the game. We have also been testing different solutions for the issues we have discovered through data analytics using marketing tools like push notifications.

Is there any insight you could share on the test results you’ve received on push notifications?
To be honest, we used to care very little in regards to the actual content of the push notification – after all, it was just a few words of text and we didn’t know if it was working. However, our test results showed that even with a short message, user reactions and conversions changed immensely. For instance, we saw that push notifications about free virtual currency events were most effective and drove retention and action in the game. Since implementing Tapjoy, we are able to make more informed decisions on how we’re using messaging, what we’re saying, or what type of items we’ll give to the user. All of this was done through understanding and tuning our push notifications. Furthermore, it has provided us with insights into what our users want in the game, helping us with future content update decisions.

What are some other advantages you’ve gained through using Tapjoy?
As Wanna Be Summoner is a role-playing title, one of the most important trends to track is how users are building their Summoner characters in the game. Once we integrated Tapjoy, we were able to set a bunch of custom events — such as the number of battles fought based on user level, character building and evolution, or the number of active users. Of course, we could manually pull this data from the internal game database, but Tapjoy made that process easier, and on top of that, Tapjoy provided us with additional insight on user trends. There was also an instance where we had an issue in the game…Tapjoy made it easy for us to track how that specific issue affected churn rates and in-app purchase trends, especially with our high-paying users. That was critical for us to know, and as I’ve mentioned already, Tapjoy has made it possible for us to make smart, informed decisions based on real-time data in our everyday business operations, so we could immediately target and respond to our users to improve our game.

Do you plan to utilize other features of Tapjoy?
We’ve been mainly using Tapjoy for analytics and operations, but we plan to monetize as a publisher in the near future. Our only revenue stream at the moment is in-app purchases, but that will eventually decrease with time, and we need to find additional ways to monetize. By adding Tapjoy’s monetization solution, we expect to see new types of user behaviors and actions that could potentially change how we interact with some of our users as well.

Please tell us a bit more about Wanna Be Summoner.
Wanna Be Summoner is a mobile board RPG, inspired by the PC online game title Trickster. Mixing the classic genres of Trading Card Games and Board Games, players can select and build their Summoner through exciting adventures in the game. We’re very excited about it and have seen a great response to the game.

What are some of the major challenges you’re facing at the moment?
Our first major update is for Android and the launch of our iOS version is coming up — so that’s pretty huge! Some of the challenges we’re facing at the moment are in regards to user acquisition and efficient allocation of marketing resources. In order to do that we need thorough analytics on the different marketing channels we use.   Ultimately though, the major challenge we’re facing and working towards is increasing our Product Life Cycle (PLC) by making smart marketing and business operations decisions. We plan to integrate Tapjoy’s Future Value Map into these efforts by adding custom in-app notifications for different cohorts. We are currently exploring different ways on how to make this option work in the sensitive Korean market, where the gaming communities are extremely active and users are vocal about their concerns.

What are you looking forward to that could help you address some of the challenges you’ve mentioned above?
We’re looking forward to having analytics on additional user acquisition channels, such as messenger platforms or social marketing channels. Of course there are the current options such as Google referrer analytics, but in Korea messenger platforms such as Kakao have a very strong presence, and it will be helpful to see how many users we have acquired through marketing activity on the platform or through friend invites.
We’ve also been using auto push-notifications quite a bit with strong results, and we look forward to continued variety in marketing automation options. For instance, when we send push notifications giving out in-game items, some of our users end sessions after receiving the item. If we could seamlessly follow up with a different action, we could prolong the session time and keep the user interested, ultimately increasing gameplay, and that is exactly what we want and plan to do!

NTREEV is a developer and publisher for PC online, console, and mobile games based in South Korea. They are best known for their online multiplayer golf game PANGYA, and mobile hits such as Pro Baseball 6:30 and Wanna Be Summoner.

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Tapjoy’s Marketing Automation and Monetization platform is designed to help app developers see meaningful lift in their revenue and the metrics that matter most to them. By combining predictive analytics, marketing automation, IAP driven monetization and our rewarded advertising solutions, we’re providing the industry’s most comprehensive mobile marketing automation platform.

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