Mobidictum Interview with Geeshan Willink, the CEO of Nefta

In this interview, we’ll explore Nefta’s approach to mobile advertising and its efforts to mitigate the impact of privacy frameworks on revenue generation and cover the specifics of some of Nefta’s solutions.

In the current landscape of mobile advertising, Nefta has emerged as a notable player, particularly in addressing the challenges posed by evolving privacy regulations. Through its mobile advertising platform, Nefta aims to assist mobile game publishers and advertisers in navigating these challenges while respecting user privacy.

In this interview with its CEO, Geeshan Willink, we’ll explore Nefta’s approach to mobile advertising and its efforts to mitigate the impact of privacy frameworks on revenue generation. We’ll delve into the specifics of Nefta’s solutions, including its use of machine learning to develop behavioral models based on users’ in-game behavior and examine Nefta’s commitment to building partnerships within the mobile gaming industry and providing support to its customers. Finally, we’ll touch on Nefta’s future plans and developments aimed at further innovation in the mobile gaming and advertising space.

Can you explain what does Nefta do, and what services in provides in general?

Nefta has created a mobile advertising platform that looks to mitigate the impact of privacy frameworks on revenue generation for mobile game publishers and advertisers, while respecting the privacy of gamers.Specifically, we are trying to bring back the 20 to 50% reduction in iOS revenue caused users opting-out of information sharing via Apple’s ATT. Our privacy-by-design solution processes a users in-game behviour via machine learning to develop behavioural models which both publishers and advertisers can access to customise their monetisation and user acquisition activities.

Via SDK integration, publishers are able to easily manage all aspects of ad unit creation and activation within their games, and with the integration of our standardized game event tags, they are able to glean deeper insights into the behaviours of their players and use this information to not only improve their games and user experience, but also deliver more relevant adverts to individual users improving eCPMs and generating higher revenue.

Advertisers benefit from Nefta’s behavioural models which provide completely anonymous but detailed information about users.They are able to select the behavioural models they wish to target in their campaigns, add their creative, and track campaign performance all within the platform. 

Can you provide an overview of Nefta and its role in the mobile game industry, particularly in addressing privacy concerns?

Nefta functions as a direct advertising network working with supply and demand together. We provide publishers and advertisers better insights on users without compromising any of the users information. We understand the difficulty that increased privacy protection has caused, but also fully believe that privacy and the protection of consumers information that privacy frameworks provide are good for the industry. Privacy is good. This is one of the reasons that we developed our ad network to be 100% compliant with existing privacy regulations and futured proofed to the best of our ability.

There is no collection, storage, or transit of any information that could be used to idividualize a person. No PII, no IP address, no linking or mixing of data, no fingerprinting, no universal identifiers. Nefta has no way of seeing who the player is. This data comes to Nefta completely anonymised, we know that some player has done an activity within this game at this stage of their play through.

What sets Nefta apart from other ad networks or platforms regarding its approach to privacy-first advertising and monetization strategies?

Nefta was created because we wanted to help game developers grow in the new privacy-first era. We believe that to do this requires a new approach to existing advertising and monetisation processes. Privacy regulations are not going away, they will only continue to get stronger. 

Less information is the new normal but it doesn’t have to be one way or the other. Data or nothing, signal or silence. Nefta’s approach was to analyse what privacy regulators are outlining and then evaluate what information was available to improve advertising activities. 

The data we do utilise is publishers’ first-party data, which regulators, including Apple, expressly state can be used. This data, how users behave in the game, what they get, what they spend, and progression form patterns which we use machine learning to analyse, forming behavioural models which our partners can then use to better advertise and monetise. Nefta’s ML algorithms are constantly iterating, improving the models

How does Nefta work one-on-one with partners, and why does the company emphasize building solid relationships with partners?

Studio closures, mass layoffs, stiffer regulation, and funding challenges make it one of the roughest periods in the gaming industry’s history. Its causing isolation between partners, walls are being built to protect against possible risks. Being a good partner in times like this is more important than ever, and at Nefta we take this very seriously. We are a small ad network and believe that having strong relationships is the best way to help eachother grow and see mutual benefits in the future. 

Nefta’s platform works best for both publishers and advertisers when publishers integrate our standardised in-game event tags, so we work one-on-one, game-by-game with publishers to make sure the SDK integration is right, make sure that tag integration is right, to be available to answer questions and deal with problems as soon as they discover them. No sitting and waiting to hear from support. To Nefta, each partner is distinct, and should be helped that way.

 How does Nefta’s ad network utilize first-party data to provide relevant advertising to appropriate audiences?

Nefta’s platform analyzes uses first-party data to generate behavioural models of users groups within a game. This is done on a game-by-game basis, first, because under privacy regulations you aren’t allowed to mix data, and second, because the kinds of players and the behaviour of players in a puzzle game will be distinctly different than players in a shooter. 

Nefta then analyzes performance variations of different adverts with the various behavioural models. If advert 3 performs better with behvioural model group C, Nefta delivers the higher clicking advert 3 to users who starting to display the same behaviour as model group C.

Could you explain how Nefta’s Ad Tech solution uses first-party data for behavioral analytics to deliver better user acquisition and ad monetization results?

The ‘quality in, quality out’ axiom holds true for data especially when you are looking to monetise it.  Utilising Machine Learning for data analysis is not a one and done proposition, it is constant iteration and evaluation. The first-party data that Nefta receives in completely anonymised so it can’t be used to identify a user, however, it provides a detailed story of a users choices and actions – Group A collects the coins after opening the door and click on interstitial ad R21 , group B opens the door and moves to the next room, doesn’t click on IA R2 but clicks on IA F3. Observing these behaviours and grouping them allows Nefta to deliver interstitial ad R2 to a new user who is beginning to display the same behviour as Group A. 

WIth increased quantity, continued progression, and constant iteration these interactions with the game produce clear and identifiable behavioural groups. Integrating Nefta’s in-game tags allows even greater detail, the deeper the detail the more refined the models become and the more personalized advertising experience delivered to the user, better insights for the publisher on how players play their games, and better eCPMs and ROAS.

Can you elaborate on how Nefta’s ad network mitigates the impact of ATT opt-out and improves targeting for advertisers?

Advertisers basically accepted that they would no longer be able to deliver relevant adverts to users when Apple launched ATT. The signals were gone, targeting is gone, so that’s it. You still advertise but you suffer from lower revenue and slashed ROI. Nefta’s ad platform can deliver more relevant ads to users who are more likely to click, even if they have opted out. We are able to do this because the network is completely compliant with privacy frameworks and still deliver actionable user signals.

WIthin the platform advertisers can select which models to include in their campaigns, they can select custom campaign types depending upon their goals. They are able to see which behavioural models their adverts perform better with. Sure, they might not have names and faces anymore, but they are able to deliver an advertising campaign to a group of users they can see are more likely to click than just hoping and praying. 

What challenges does Nefta aim to solve within the mobile game industry, especially concerning privacy regulations from Apple, Google, and other privacy-conscious gamers?

Publisher/Advertiser relationships have been in a tough patch since the introduction of privacy regulations and we want to help mend that dynamic a little. We want to to bring back some of the revenue that has been lost, to bring back the transparency in the publisher/advertiser relationship. To rebuild the trust and provide an opportunity for everyone to grow. Nefta believes privacy protection is a good thing, we want to work within privacy regulations to improve the growth in a way that is compliant, that works for regulators, and our partners in the industry. 

How does Nefta ensure ease of access and support for its customers, both in terms of product demonstrations and ongoing assistance?

Because Nefta is a small organisation we are able to prioritize our relationships with our partners and communication is next to instantaneous not a chain to work through. Consultation is just one slack/email/telegram message away. Our Chief Cusomer Officer, Fernando Pernica is our customers touchpoint and is in instant contact with our development team to deal with any issues that arise. 

Can you discuss any future plans or developments Nefta is working on to continue innovating within the mobile gaming and advertising space?

Right now our priority is on establishing and fine tuning the Nefta Adnetwork and delivering on our promise of improving iOS ad revenue & UA targeting options. We do have two additional products in our roadmap to be released over the next year. These products are still in stealth but they are intended to improve revenue and transparency with the mobile gaming ad industry.

Geeshan Willink
CEO, Nefta

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