First-Party Data: A Gaming App’s Way To Go Beyond Behavioral Targeting

Millions of installs for your gaming app do not support sustainable business profit in the long run if your retention plan is not in the right shape. A retention plan needs you to go beyond the basic ‘demographic and browsing history’ approach as gamers respond differently to various touchpoints. To drive meaningful interactions and worthwhile goals, advertisers need to adopt data-driven advertising methods to go beyond behavioral targeting and drive more meaningful retention.

Behavioral Targeting: Quick Introduction

Behavioral targeting is an online advertising model that uses the browsing history to show them ads of your products in which the user has shown interest. So, if a user visits any particular product page in your app, you can leverage behavioral targeting to show your ads on the websites and apps that the user browses.

The Need to Look Beyond Behavioral Targeting

Behavioral targeting relies on the top-level data of the users, such as basic demographics and browsing history. It can miss out on the intent or conversion proclivity of the users.

Example: John, who is using your app, may not be interested in every product/feature they checked on your website. But your behavioral targeting campaign will still be bidding for John to see ads of the product. Not only you spent the ad budget for no returns, but you also miss the chances of offering the right product to John and convert him into a paying user.

Another challenge (and probably more gruesome) with behavioral targeting is its inability to adapt to the requirements of specific app categories, such as gaming. Gaming category apps don't exactly sell a product, and their retargeting ads are more focused on bringing the user back to the game. Its different subcategories, including casual, mid-core, and hardcore games, rely on in-app purchases to monetize their user base. However, these in-app purchases cannot be advertised like shoes from an ecommerce store.

Various data points (like when the gamer is likely to play and stage/level at which gamer is) are required to make the users get engaged, which means the basic behavioral targeting won't make a good impact. In our earlier blog, we discussed that the average retention rate across the gaming category (including all subcategories) is below the industry standards.

The Role of First-party Data In Increasing Gameplay & In-App Purchases

First-party data or the data that an advertiser already owns can help to build deeper audience insights. Added with the data points available in the behavioral targeting, the first-party data (such as emails, device details, and in-app events) add more potential to your campaigns. Particularly for the retargeting ad, it can increase the campaign performance as displayed ads are user propensity-oriented.

The inclusion of first-party data points with your advertising platform ensures that specific ads for gameplay and in-app purchases are served on the right channel at the right time with the right messaging.

With those benefits, there are some concerns as well. Advertisers are always reluctant to share their data, and that is understandable for many reasons. Rising awareness of data privacy among users and regulatory bodies adds more to their concerns. Hence, the advertisers have to be sure about the capability and security practices adopted by the advertising platform.

Data Security Practices Adopted by RevX to Safeguard Advertiser’s Data

RevX, Affle’s Demand Side Platform, respects the privacy and security of advertisers and their users. In order to protect their data from any misuse, we adhere to a series of security steps at various levels. Some of the standards and best practices, we follow are listed below:

1. Accredited by IMDA

The IMDA (Infocomm Media Development Authority) accreditation by the Singapore government provides the potential end-users with the assurance of the accredited companies' product core functionalities and ability to deliver. It accredits after a series of rigorous compliance and privacy checks holistically converging Infocomm and media sectors. Read more here.

2. Information Security Policy

RevX maintains an Information Security Policy (ISP), which is approved by management, published and communicated to all employees and third parties that we work with for various service delivery reasons.

3. Human Resource Security

All personnel who handle sensitive information undertaken by RevX on behalf of the advertiser are informed, trained, and agree to operate within the defined framework.

4. Access Control

RevX maintains a strict access control policy that defines how access to data is shared, who approves the access, and how the access is monitored at regular intervals.

5. Encryption

Where sensitive data is being processed on behalf of the advertiser, RevX utilizes secure encryption to protect the data while in storage. Along with that, we offer a choice of encryption in transit as well.

6. Assessment

RevX conducts an independent review of its Information System (IS) posture at regular intervals (or when significant changes take place).

Final Note

While utilization of first-party data in advertising brings promising opportunities and advantages, there are some challenges as well. You must be cautious with your choice of advertising partners to ensure that you are addressing the challenges in the correct manner. Going for advertising with an advertising partner that adheres to every possible data security check, you will find yourself in a sweet spot in terms of ad performance as well as reliability.

To know more about our mobile advertising platforms, write to us at

Nishant kadian

Nishant Kadian takes care of content marketing for Affle. With RevX, he likes sharing his learning on the programmatic ad technologies that enable advertisers with branding, user acquisition and retargeting.