Welcome to “The Business of Fun” podcast, episode #1: The science of organic acquisition

May 1 · Jonathan Fishman · 5 Min read
In this episode, we discuss the science of organic UA with business leaders from Zynga and Mavens, including organic channels and tips to maximize ROI.
The Business of Fun podcast
User Acquisition

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Welcome to Chartboost’s new podcast, The Business of Fun, where we go behind the scenes with mobile gaming experts to learn the secrets of their success, including how they work and what they’ve learned along the way.

In our inaugural episode, we explore the science of organic acquisition with Shoham Lashkar, Director of ASO at Zynga, Amy Monier, Director of Product Marketing at Zynga, and Katie Blechner, Client Services Team Lead at mavens. Listen as they review the state of organic attribution in the mobile gaming industry, discuss different types of organic channels available for marketing, and offer tips on maximizing returns on investment with organic user acquisition (UA).


00:00 / Intro

01:55 / About Shoham Lashkar

03:08 / About Amy Monier

05:40 / Defining organic user acquisition

08:52 / Exploring organic channels

12:47 / How organic relates to storefronts

15:40 / Organic versus UA users

20:28 / Leaning into brand trust and credibility

22:18 / How to understand your audience

28:54 / Key measurement metrics for organic UA

33:41 / Why organic marketing is a long-run game

41:48 / Analyzing data to identify saturation point for branded keywords 

51:51 / Unifying tracking across all marketing channels

57:45 / Forecasting user base mix and spending habits

01:01:07 / Leveraging Apple’s Today tab placement in ASO strategy

“It’s important to work closely with your product team, work closely with your CI team, and figure out characteristics that could help identify buckets of users. And then almost use those buckets of users to inspire UA and ASO teams to see, hey, can you guys help us narrow the top funnel and try to find people that have these characteristics. And I think that that is going to be predominantly the future of finding users that have high LTVs no matter what funnel they may convert from”
— Amy Monier, Director of Product Marketing at Zynga

The rundown

  • Organic UA is often defined by activities that do not involve marketers paying for users who are acquiring an app or service for free. This definition is not entirely accurate. Organic UA activities can include buying traffic for creative tests, localizing app stores for different regions, and investing in branding campaigns. Therefore, organic UA is really the act of obtaining users not attributed to a direct acquisition channel tracked by marketers.
  • At the top of the funnel, even before people get to your website or store, there are various channels that influence users and help build brand, including app store optimization (ASO), performance marketing, growth marketing, brand marketing, influencer marketing, and social media marketing. 
  • Brand marketing must look at traditional channels — such as television, radio, and newspapers — to bring people into the funnel.
  • If your app’s primary source of traffic comes through browsing, it’s essential to develop a tailored marketing strategy, optimize your creative content, and convert more users, as this is likely their first interaction with your product. If most of your users discover your app through brand-specific searches, you should focus on targeting additional search queries to drive growth. 
  • The optimal marketing strategy for your app depends on a nuanced understanding of its unique growth potential and identifying opportunities for improved discoverability in app stores.
  • Your app or game needs to understand whether to focus on organic or paid UA. To determine which to prioritize, you must first understand your audience. Who are they? What are their interests and behaviors? What do they look for in an app or game? Answer these questions to identify your unique place in the market.
  • Generally, organic users are more valuable because they have a higher intent to use your product. These users are actively seeking out apps or games like yours and are more likely to engage with your content immediately. It’s therefore essential to optimize your app store listing, improve your app’s user experience, and leverage social media and other marketing channels to drive awareness and engagement.
  • Paid advertisements are also powerful for building brand awareness and driving UA. By targeting specific audiences and demographics, you can create effective campaigns that increase the visibility of your app or game and generate interest among potential users. A comprehensive growth strategy for your brand will likely include both organic and paid methods.
  • Engaging users in the first three seconds of their experience with your brand is crucial. You have to work with all teams to create an optimized funnel, get to know an audience through directional data from competitors or qualitative surveys, and focus on defining events and characteristics of users as a cohort or archetype. Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store’s in-app and live events can be utilized to showcase products from within these environments.
  • Installs are the key metric for organic UA, which is crucial to maximizing returns on investments. 
  • Organic marketing requires patience to build brand awareness but can last for years once visibility is achieved.

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