Gabriel Oltarz from Moonee

Test, iterate, then test again.





Gabriel Oltarz,

Head of Growth

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We met with Gabriel Oltarz, Head of Growth at Moonee, who’s in charge of getting their games in front of as many eyeballs as possible, to discuss the market, the challenges it presents from its ever-changing ways, and his top tips for others in the industry.

The journey

Unity: Tell us a bit about how you got started in the gaming industry and how you made your way in mobile marketing.


Oltarz: I did my bachelor's degree in economics in Uruguay and then my masters in behavioral economics in Israel. 

In 2019, I was working in finance and looking for a change. I started to research to understand what industries had potential and concluded that three industries were growing fast: Gaming, fintech, and cybersecurity. However, I wanted to try a different industry, so fintech wasn’t aligned with my expectations back then.

I started to analyze which was more suitable for my set of skills, and I decided that I wanted to start working within the gaming industry as it was the best match. I joined Moonee early in 2020 as a UA (user acquisition) and monetization analyst. Since then, I’ve been (and still am) involved in various growth areas, such as UA, ad monetization, in-game monetization, ASO, and many other projects.

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The industry

Unity: Could you speak to the key challenges you see in mobile marketing according to your experience?


Oltarz: The first one that I’d like to mention is that usually, in the day-to-day, it’s hard to remember that you’re part of something bigger: The market. It’s hard to talk about mobile marketing, isolating it from what is happening worldwide. 

I’ve heard many times people talking about how crazy Q4 is due to the budgets companies are devoting to advertising, etc. However, right now, in the middle of a financial crisis that generated a drop in CPMs, I’m hearing more the expression “bad performance” rather than “financial crisis.” 

Having said this, one of the biggest challenges is that to beat the market, we need to understand it. Here at Moonee, we developed predictive tools that, based on all the available information in the market and our expertise, are allowing us to have higher growth rates than our competitors. 

On a separate note, another thing that is a big challenge for marketers is to keep themselves updated with the latest trends in the market. Mobile marketing is very dynamic, and things can change from one day to another, so we must always keep ourselves updated and react fast to market changes.


Unity: What makes you wake up and go to work? What’s your favorite area within mobile marketing?


Oltarz: My motivation is always to do things better, and I honestly believe this can be done daily. Every time I wake up in the morning and go to work, I know that today things should be better than yesterday, and that’s always a challenge. And what can motivate one more than a challenge? 

It’s complicated to talk about one specific area within mobile marketing, it’ll be unfair to other areas. If I need to mention one, I’ll go with growth because it involves many different mobile marketing topics and all the strategies behind them.


Unity: Give us your educated guess on what the future looks like for mobile marketing.


Oltarz: There are many new formats, such as audio ads and in-game ads, and new inventory sources, including metaverse and web3. Right now, it’s tough to know which one will win the race for becoming the next big thing, and even more, it’s hard to tell if some of them will be adapted to others, for instance, the audio ads to the metaverse. 

Based on what is in the market right now, I’d say that the one that can solve the supply and demand issue will have a considerable advantage.

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The strategy

Unity: What are the tested and proven strategies you have for acquiring users, retention, and ROAS?


Oltarz: I can say that it varies a lot specifically for the hypercasual subgenre within the gaming industry. In some cases, we’ve seen that the best strategy is to scale a game fast by opening it in all possible UA platforms. At the same time, we also understand that based on the specific characteristics of a game, it may be better to scale it slowly and reach sustainable growth over time rather than scaling it at once.

The first strategy is the most common for the hypercasual subgenre as it allows the publisher to scale fast in the app store and take advantage of the organic effect generated by this massive scale.


Unity: How do you keep users engaged past the initial install and keep them returning?


Oltarz: I think you can look at it similarly to other media types. For example, a TV series that makes you return after X days could be due to uniqueness, a clear and exciting loop, etc. The same applies to hypercasual games. They need to keep the audience engaged, so they come back for more.

On the other hand, there could be blockers like the number of ads, crashes, performance issues, and more. The goal is always to keep a balance between monetization and user acquisition without hurting the main gameplay. 


Unity: How do you optimize for revenue on ad spend (ROAS)?


Oltarz: After running app installs campaigns, it is possible to understand the realistic goals for your app. When utilizing ROAS campaigns, there is a trade-off between the return you’re looking for and the scale your target ROAS will allow you to reach. The higher the target ROAS you aim for, the lower your scale will be, as fewer users will generate a high ROAS while more competitors are bidding on this specific user.

The important thing is always to set realistic goals that will get traction on the platform. When starting the campaign, always start with a target below your expectation to allow the algorithm to go through an exploration phase and identify the audience that will meet your desired ROAS.


Unity: What are the ad creative trends you see?


Oltarz: The most important thing about creatives is to keep yourself updated on the leading social media trends. This involves pop culture, songs, viral videos, etc. Additionally, it’s important to understand what our competitors are doing and what types of creatives are popular on the top charts. 

Specifically for creatives, iterating is a must, as small changes can drive considerable differences in terms of results. We have seen over 50% CPI decreases in some titles only by changing scenes or colors. 

My main advice would be to keep updated with what is happening on social media and the top charts and iterate a lot.

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Paying it forward

Unity: If you had to share just one tip, what would be your recommendation to increase performance for user acquisition?


Oltarz: Keep trying. At the end of the day, the user acquisition manager is competing against other UA managers trying to acquire the same user, and it’s working under certain rules defined by a specific platform. To increase performance, it’s really important for the UA manager to always try to be one step ahead of the competitors and understand how every UA platform works to maximize performance in each of them. 

The only way to achieve this is by testing and retesting everything until we find the golden formula that will tell us the most efficient way of spending money and allocating budgets. Upon seeing it, we need to try to improve it as it’ll be naive to think that we found the best possible solution in a crowded industry. 

On a separate note, I also want to emphasize the importance of working together with account managers. They know what is happening in the market and their platforms, and collaborating with them usually drives higher performance.


Unity: What advice can you offer marketers to acquire mobile app users successfully?


Oltarz: Don’t get frustrated, and keep trying! Following my answer to the previous question, it's worth mentioning that one out of every 50 or 100 tests may end up working, so it’s really easy to get frustrated when the results are not the ones we’re expecting. 

However, it’s essential to understand that for every test that it’s not succeeding, we’re closer to finding the one that will succeed. Always keep trying!

Gabriel lives in Tel-Aviv, and you might find him working out around the city, playing chess, or hunting for the best pizza in town while preparing for his next strategic move for user acquisition.

Connect with Gabriel

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