Mobile Segmentation Approaches - Translation

Alyssa Perez from the Google Play Dev team wrote an article that we translated. It has a lot of useful information about approaches to user segmentation: user targeting and its relationship with business development.


The main goal of each mobile game is to create something interesting and addictive for players. Your priority as a developer is to take into account the life cycle of a single player, come up with something innovative and convince the audience that it’s worth paying specifically for your game.

It is important to remember that there is no single method that will help predict the behavior of absolutely all players. Attracting different categories of people to the game needs to be completely different. Segmentation will help us with this: a powerful tool that allows you to create individual experiences for each player and thereby contribute to the development of your business.

While I was engaged in mobile game development, I repeatedly used segmentation to increase the involvement of players and, accordingly, the growth of monetization. Then I became a development consultant on Google Play and had the pleasure of watching how segmentation in the most positive way affects the profit of many developers. Today I will share my experience with you and tell you about the benefits of segmentation, different approaches, methods for tracking data and how to implement such a system.

Segmentation benefits

Before discussing how to implement segmentation, we should talk about the benefits of implementing it. It:

The basic principle is self-evident: you can give the player what he needs at the right time. For this, we need segmentation.

So, what do we need to know about players for their effective segmentation? We will need to read the engagement and monetization signals in order to better understand the behavior of the players and what they need at one stage or another. This, in turn, will help us divide the players into large groups, which we will try to interest in our game.

Engagement segmentation

Engagement is a key component of effective segmentation. If a player is not involved, then he does not see personal value in the game and any attempt to sell something to him will be doomed to failure. The more time a person spends in the game and the more he likes it, the higher the chance that one day he will make an in-game purchase. Segmenting by involvement is also better in those projects in which more or less honest competition between players is highly desirable.

A player’s engagement rate allows him to analyze his gaming preferences and his motivators, and a engagement history will help predict his playing behavior in the future. In other words, engagement helps you understand what is important for a particular player and how his preferences change as the game progresses, and engagement history helps to personalize offers and increase this indicator.

Segmentation by engagement allows us to:

How to measure engagement?

It is very important to think about what is affected by involvement in a single game. Somewhere it affects the total playing time, somewhere - the time spent in a specific significant area in which the player performs key actions and which can be successfully monetized.

Evaluate the indicators of engagement and interaction: your game probably has a set of key actions that you expect the player to perform, and this metric just shows whether the player performs them - which means that he is involved in the game and burns with desire beyond it pass.

Below I will give examples of key actions in different genres:

Engagement rates are highly dependent on the game and what you want to end up with. Charts can help you divide the players by the frequency of entry into the game, by the zone in which they spend most of the time or spend most of the money, by the day of the week with the highest frequency of entry to adjust the update calendar - there are many options.

Let's try to give an example of segmentation by engagement. Suppose we need to create or optimize an in-game quest system. Here the engagement indicator will help us create interesting and important tasks for each group of players. There are many ways, but I recommend trying different approaches to segmentation, for example:

Engagement is a powerful and important tool for user segmentation. The greater the player’s involvement, the greater the likelihood that he will make an in-game purchase. The number of in-game purchases directly correlates with profit and, accordingly, consumer engagement: if your players are more likely to buy game goods, then there is a demand for them, therefore, your income will inevitably increase.

Monetization Segmentation

The main purpose of monetization segmentation is to maximize profits while avoiding situations where the customer regrets the purchase. Such segmentation helps to understand how to motivate players to make purchases and save, or even increase revenue, from those who already make them. Here's what you need to do when segmenting by monetization:

As with segmentation by engagement, different games require a different approach to segmentation by monetization, but we can highlight three main points:

  1. Motivators for the purchase. These are the factors that determine buying behavior. They can be related to game progress, the size of the game wallet, the recruitment of a newbie, promotions, game events, new content, and much more.
  2. Solvency level. After a player has made an in-game purchase once, we need to determine how much he is willing to spend in principle and how often. To do this, we can calculate the average amount spent (for 4-6 weeks) and subsequently offer him only those conditions to which he potentially agrees.
  3. Frequency of purchases. This information will help us maintain our current frequency of purchases or, possibly, increase it, as we will begin to understand how often a player is comfortable spending money. If a player made several purchases in a row, then perhaps it is worth offering him something else extra.

It is precisely these moments that should be relied upon in the process of modernizing your monetization strategy. For example:

Let's try to explain with an example how to correctly formulate a sentence. Suppose we have a user who made $ 10 purchases in a month. We can offer him goods for $ 50, but! Firstly, he is unlikely to buy them: the amount is noticeably higher than the amount that he usually spends. Secondly, even if he buys them, he may decide to start saving and stop buying in-game goods for a while. Moreover, there is a possibility that an unusually large number of goods will be enough for him until the next promotion, which will form his habit of making exclusively promotional purchases. We recommend making such a user two offers at once: less valuable for $ 5 and very valuable for $ 15.


Most likely, the player will spend more, because the proposal will be more interesting and the amount slightly exceeds the amount that he usually spends. So we can form events in which the player would pay more and form a buying habit.

We also note that it is not necessary to choose one system. You can always combine monetization with engagement to create personalized offers for a specific player. For example, you can increase solvency by knowing:

“At Vlogger Go Viral, we tripled the number of payers, segmenting our audience and offering different groups different offers,” - Guillerm Campbell, Production Manager, Tapps games.

Storage Approaches for Segmentation

Data is the most important tool for any mobile game developer. You probably already collect a wide variety of data, and all of them can be useful in the process of segmentation of the target audience. It is better to collect more information than it seems useful - you can always simply ignore the unnecessary.

We figured out the principles by which to engage in segmentation by engagement and monetization, now let's talk about the main questions that should be asked when collecting data:

With such data, you can easily segment the target audience on the go, but I recommend spending time creating an understandable plate that will collect all the necessary information. For example, like this:


If we have collected all the necessary data, then we have countless opportunities: we can customize offers, minimize profit drops, personalize push notifications, optimize game functions for the behavior of the average consumer and tailor pop-up tips to his level of interest.

You can start with a small amount of input, and then experimentally find out which ones are important and which are not. It is worth paying attention to the player’s life cycle, involvement and buying behavior, but perhaps additional data will dramatically change the vision of the segment. Or not. It is rather difficult to say something specifically without a thorough analysis.

Segmentation Approaches

There is an opinion that segmentation is absolutely useless if it is not tailored to a specific user by 100%. In some complex games, this percentage is achievable, but your project may not be related to such games.

Even large groups of users whose offers have not been fully personalized can significantly increase profits and give your team food for thought. I advise you to start with a small number of groups: it will be easier to experiment and see an immediate response, as well as provide you with a sufficient number of players in each of them, which helps to optimize the process.


All developers have their own approach to player segmentation, and there is no single solution, however, this tool can help raise engagement and monetization indicators. I want to believe that you found in this article something useful for yourself. Perhaps your main goal is to create a fully personalized offer for each client, but try to start small. You know your product better than anyone, so you can probably correctly use the collected data to correctly divide the audience into groups and, after conducting the necessary testing, make the necessary changes.


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