World leader in mobile gaming, Kabam, used Google Search and YouTube to help launch Marvel: Contest of Champions to the Asia Pacific market, gaining millions of dollars in revenue in under a year and a top 10 placement in the market’s download charts.
Since its launch in 2006, San Francisco-based Kabam has grown to be one of the world’s leading providers of mobile games. The launch of Marvel: Contest of Champions saw it become the company’s most popular game with over 100 million downloads, representing 95% of the company’s revenue, and making over $400 million in sales.
When Kabam set its sights on expanding Marvel: Contest of Champions into Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, it knew the importance of leveraging key learnings in these markets to inform their strategy as well as the need to localize their campaigns to reach their target audience.
Calling all (super) heroes
So, Kabam asked Google’s international team to help launch its most popular game. The team created localised campaigns for the game’s launch, and provided invaluable cultural insights and industry benchmarks for each of Kabam’s target countries. They developed a go-to-market strategy centred around YouTube because of its wide scale reach across Asia Pacific. The team also used Search campaigns to engage users who were interested in the Marvel Comic Universe.
The strategy deployed by the Google team allowed for a quick, effective scaling of the game in all markets. YouTube proved to be the strongest driver of the launch downloads for Marvel: Contest of Champions in terms of volume and high-quality users. As a result, the game reached top 10 in the download charts for its category on both iOS and Android in the focus markets.
Focusing on core strengths
Google's international team helped Kabam analyse the results of their marketing performance. They focused on prioritising Google’s ad channels and products based on how they performed in each market to increase the lifetime value to their new user.
“We didn’t know the potential of our own marketing until we explored and tested. Now we know the strength and potential of each of the products, which allows us to plan our launches more creatively and effectively,” says Senior Marketing Manager of User Acquisition at Kabam regarding Google's analysis of Kabam's marketing performance.
Kabam's Google Search campaigns were a great success, with the channel growing from $0 to $3 million in under a year. The cost-per-install metrics were among the lowest of any Kabam campaign, and the high quality of users coming through Search made it the company’s highest ROI channel.
Thanks to the results of the Asia Pacific launch, Kabam plans to continue to expand their YouTube marketing alongside Search, and continue their expansion into new countries.
“We wouldn’t have been able to scale as quickly and effectively without Google’s help.”
Kabam Senior Marketing Manager of User Acquisition