Mobvista - Traffic Takes It All

Mobvista - Traffic Takes It All

July 31, 2023
Life & Work

Table of Contents (Click to show/hide)

Data Analysis Skills |

Active User Rate

Daily Budget

Campaign Budget

Click-through rate increase

Click-through Rate

an icon shows a lightbulb that indicates being creative |

Return on Investment

Data Analysis Skills |


Daily Budget

Prioritisation of
Limited Resources

Click-through rate increase


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Mobvista was founded in Guangzhou, China, in 2013, and listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (01860.HK) since December 2018. It has over 700 employees with offices in 16 cities across the world. Now,  its primary service - Nativex, is a performance-focused agency that provides a gateway to a full spectrum of digital channels. Their core advertising proposition is to give maximum access to strategy-revolutionising insight and ROI.

  • In 2017, Mobvista became an exclusive ad reseller for games on Snapchat in China.

Move Forward on My Mobile Game Journey

In 2015, I joined Mobvista as a mobile game marketing specialist. In January of the same year, my former employer - NetEase led a US $12 million A round financing. 

At that time, we focused on programmatic advertising technology and game publishing, providing mobile advertising and mobile analytics services to the app developers globally. I was assigned to the mobile game department, managing affiliate networks, Facebook advertising and payment channel optimisation in primary south-east Asia countries.
I was honoured to have the opportunity to explore the player shopping behaviour while doing paid social campaign and event operation. This experience helps me to gain a holistic view of marketing localisation.

South-east Asia Country Market Preview
Source: Sohagame 2015

I was in charge of three mobile games : 

  • Dragon Blade
  • Anime Arena
  • Fantasy Chronicle

In three different marketing channels:

  1. Paid social campaign 
  2. Event coordination
  3. Payment Channels

The Power of Pay Per Click (PPC)

Facebook was the primary channel for conversion, especially for application download. With the rapid development of mobile technology, South-east Asia countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Philippine, Indonesia and Thailand showed a significant increasing trend in mobile phone procession. With that in mind, the mobile game became very popular while showing low CPM in advertising platform.

My event in Singapore

As a Facebook marketing specialist, I need to come up with engaging designs and innovative creatives. With some data analytics, it was proven that three significant creatives perform the best in clicks and download.

  • before-after, 
  • female character 
  • incentive creatives 

These three types of creatives always reflect a lower Cost per mille(CPM). As such, it delivered a tempting desire to the customers who saw the ads. The quality of download results in a high retention rate.  

<Dragon Blade> achieved many good outcomes: the CPI was 3 USD,there were about 4000-5000 installs per day, daily revenue was approximately 20,000 USD, the pay rate was around 4%, ARPU 30-40 USD and the 1-Day Retention was around 40%.


With the following two analysis: 

  • In-depth statistics analysis for potential improvement in every creative reaction. And utilise cross-department communication coordination to understand the individual taste in each advertising platform. 
  • Retrieve advertisement data metrics for better optimisation, including contents and creatives.

I was able to achieve 1.3%-1.8% click-through rate(CTR), average return on investment(ROI) rate on 13% with 28% of 3 days retention rate (RR).

Media Buying in Game Websites
Media Buying in Game Websites
Media Buy in Game Websites
Media Buy in Game Websites
Dragon Blade shows high social engagement in Thailand
Dragon Blade shows high social engagement in Thailand

Tinkering With More Innovative Ways To Gain Clicks

Besides the paid social campaign, media buying and offline events were two other vital channels for engaging impulsive-purchase and brand attachment. With that in mind, I reached out other game publishers (Reseller) in SEA who were also looking for great products and then granted the publishing right with a particular revenue-share agreement. 

The reseller will utilise their resources, community, and human resources to promote the product. As such, I was able to gain extra revenue without sacrificing internal resources. 

What's more, due to the undeveloped mobile technology, the mobile game user in SEA are highly engaged with local payment methods. With that mind, mapping local payment channels and take the ownership in channel resource will help me to engage more in-app purchase. Overall, I was able to achieve $A30,000 sponsored online media resources with five offline event establishments (over 200 attendees scale). I managed to find five partnership projects and lobby sponsorship to receive over

$A15,000 for marketing use each quarter.  I finished integrating global payment channels (Credit card, MOL, DCB) to over 150 channels and achieved 13% operational margin growth per month.

Payment Pattern in Vietnam
Payment Pattern in Vietnam
Payment Pattern in Singapore

Event Coordination and User Engagement

Coordinate an event requires excellent organisational skills with the ability to multi-tasking. But what about coordinating a 97-attendees-scale event with only US $300 budget by yourself? Like the partnership and sponsorship mentioned above, I was able to hit the planning and execution of three fans meetings in Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta from scratch. In the meantime, the opportunity of attending game conferences in different countries helps me in business development for potential partnership and promotion.

Magazine Media Coordination For Event Promotion
Magazine Media Coordination For Event Promotion
Casual Connect Singapore 2016 Mobvista Booth
Casual Connect Singapore 2016 Mobvista Booth
Fan Meeting in Singapore
Fan Meeting in Singapore
Fan Meeting in Indonesia
Fan Meeting in Indonesia
Fan Meeting in Indonesia

The End

A journey always has an end. I left Mobvista for another career opportunity (ESSA.CN). Mobvista will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I can honestly say it's a unique company that I LOVED working for (no disrespect to others of course). I was extremely passionate about what I did and whom I was doing it with. But two years of long nights and weekends take its toll so now it's time to move on.

To read my insights on top payment channels in south-east asia:

Brand Communications
Case Studies
Marketing Strategy
Dean Long | Expert in Growth MarketingHongxin(Dean) Long

Dean Long is a Sydney-based performance marketing and communication professional with expertise in paid search, paid social, affiliate, and digital advertising. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Information Systems and Management and is also a distinguished MBA graduate from Western Sydney University.

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