How we layer our expertise atop Sensor Tower data

August 11, 2023
Chelsea Africa
min read

Navigating the complexities of the mobile gaming market demands a firm grasp on the industry's data landscape and the expertise to interpret these insights accurately. That's why at Kohort, we constantly innovate and adapt, validating our industry knowledge with leading-edge data partners like Sensor Tower.

However, even as we tap into the wealth of information that Sensor Tower provides, we also understand that the dynamics of mobile gaming are incredibly nuanced, with countless variables at play. To fully appreciate this complexity, we have found that enhancing Sensor Tower's insights with our own proprietary forecasting tool and years of industry experience is where the true advantage lies for our clients. Here’s a look into why and how we integrate Sensor Tower data into our offering.

1. Market relevance

To remain ahead of the curve, we regularly update our analysis with fresh data from Sensor Tower. The continuous integration helps us keep track of current trends, monitor market shifts and identify emerging opportunities for clients. As a result, we ensure our forecasts and strategies reflect the current state of the market.

2. Reality checks

Benchmarking is a critical aspect of any target-setting exercise. It allows us to understand where a game, genre, or even the entire market stands compared to its peers, historical performance, and potential growth.

Leveraging Sensor Tower’s data, we are able to compare and contrast data across different segments. By doing so, we are not only able to identify outliers and potential areas of growth but also to conduct vital reality checks. This prevents any "pie in the sky" unrealistic targets that can lead to misallocated resources and failed strategies for our clients.

3. Growth scenarios

By measuring against industry benchmarks and taking into account market dynamics, we can test multiple scenarios using our platform — allowing us to identify not just what is likely to happen with a game, but also what could happen under different circumstances.

Using Sensor Tower’s data to make certain inferences based on similar titles, genres and regional data, we are able to manipulate the input parameters of our forecasts to answer the “what-if” questions that will empowers pre-emptive decision-making.

To help explain this, let’s consider a hypothetical case of a newly launched mobile game: 'Adventure Quest X'.

The game has gained initial traction in the market, but its developers are uncertain about future revenue and growth trajectory. They approach Kohort for advanced analytics and revenue forecasting.

Step 1:

We begin by collecting data from Sensor Tower about similar adventure-based mobile games, their growth patterns, regional popularity, and more. Sensor Tower's data allows us to accurately set benchmarks, comparing 'Adventure Quest X' with its contemporaries and predecessors in the same genre.

Step 2:

Next, using Kohort’s forecasting tool, we begin formulating various growth scenarios. We look at the 'high', 'medium', and 'low' scenarios for 'Adventure Quest X', adjusting various parameters like marketing spend, user acquisition rate, retention rate, etc.

Step 3:

The resulting forecast helps the game's developers understand the potential outcomes under different circumstances. For instance, they learn how a boost in marketing spend might influence their user acquisition and, subsequently, their revenue.

In the end, the combination of Sensor Tower's data and Kohort's forecasting expertise enables 'Adventure Quest X's developers to strategise effectively, using informed predictions to fuel their future plans.

Balance between data and expertise

A key point is that we don’t present Sensor Tower’s data as is. When it comes to large datasets, the chances of irrelevant or even errors increase. For this reason, we prioritise a balance between the data we’re able to harness from them and applying our own expertise to ensure accuracy and reliability.

It’s very rare that we’ll get the full picture from just seeing the numbers of other titles. There are still unknowns — including what marketing strategies were involved, the technology leveraged and what financial backing there might have been to expedite results. So while this data offers an overview and a good starting point for target setting, there’s still an entire process that requires monitoring and management of the actual performance of our clients games versus their business expectations.

Layering our expertise and tool offers many benefits to studios, but it really comes down to the below:

1. Granularity of forecasting

Before diving into the data, our first step is to thoroughly understand our client's goals. Whether it's breaking into a new market, optimising in-game purchases, or enhancing player retention, our expert analysis is always rooted in what our clients aim to achieve.

Combined with our cohort-based forecasting model, we're not just predicting general market trends; we're modelling potential trajectories based on a client's past performance, current strategies, and future aspirations at the most granular level. This ensures that our forecasts are directly applicable to their unique situation, and are vastly more accurate.

2. Time-saving

Targeted insights lead to faster decision-making. By receiving granular forecasts and insights, studios spend less time trying to decipher which parts of a generic data field apply to them. This clarity speeds up their decision-making process, allowing them to focus their efforts more strategically and avoid the “analysis paralysis” we so often hear of.

With cohortised modelling having a higher accuracy rate, studios also spend less time re-adjusting or re-strategising based on trial and error when relying on other forecasting methods.

At the end of the day, it’s not just about passing on a level of expertise and data that our clients can benefit from, but it’s about passing on the right level of expertise, the most accurate data, and doing so as quickly as possible.

This can only be achieved through transparent and insightful reporting that provides a clear understanding of the market dynamics at play, and how these may have been factored into our forecasts.

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