+2 votes
I come from a creative background with marketing experience in the tech/gaming world. I'm currently transitioning into user acquisition. What type of training/hard skills should I acquire? I was an english major at college, so no deep economic or technical knowledge going into this, but eager to learn and progress. What would you recommend to get to an advanced level?
by (340 points)

2 Answers

+2 votes
There isn't anything like learning by doing in this field, especially with the pace of change, and I found most resources to be really scratching the surface and lacking the depth required, probably the reason Eric created this site in the first place.
That said, the good point is that you can learn realtively fast!

For starters, you might want to focus on developing a particular area: "user acquisition" is pretty broad. You could start with a particular channel (Social? Programatic? Content?), try to excel at interpreting creative data, mastering ASO, increase your analytics skill etc. Nail it down to something that either interest you, look promising or seems easier from your background. And only then expand broader. (in the mid term, I recommend strongly against keeping only one deep skill)

For resources beyond practicing, I found the best for me was to build a network of peers to ask to when in doubt. Ask your colleagues, join a few groups/slack, but better even build your own trusted network in the field: most of the times, you'll learn things that you can never see in blog post or account managers recommendations. Reading posts, talking to reps, looking at webinars, attending conferences, taking courses doesn't hurt, but in my opinion  only helps marginally or as a complement. Maybe a bit more if you are getting started. That's partly what https://mdm.academy is also trying to cover

by (2k points)
To add on to Thomas' answer, some basic SQL knowledge can come in handy, depending on the company you will apply to. It definitely helped me to be able to quickly find the data I needed without having to ask anyone. sqlhabit.com is a great resource to learn everything you'll ever need (made by a colleague of mine, so I'm biased).
0 votes

This is what I'd look for in the profile of someone I was considering for a "Senior UA" (not team lead / people manager) role:

  • Experience with all relevant channels (and especially FB and Google);
  • Deep, hands-on experience with at least one MMP;
  • Knowledge of Google Sheets;
  • Experience with some sort of data exploration / reporting platform: Tableau, Amplitude, etc.
  • SQL knowledge if needed.

A lot of this is very practical.

I don't think UA managers need to be extremely technical unless the company is very small and they'll be doing a lot of analysis to calculate metrics that aren't available from existing reporting (eg. if they're building their own ROAS curves). You can add Python / R / data aggregation + processing experience here if the UA manager will need to own that analysis (eg building data pipelines, aggregating data and owning the ETL process, building ROAS curves, building LTV curves, etc.).

by (13.7k points)
edited by
What additional skills would you look for in the team lead/Head of UA position?
People management becomes a lot more important than hands-on experience with various platforms / tools at the Lead / Head Of stage (which is why a lot of UA managers have a hard time shifting into a management role: How to navigate a career in mobile marketing https://mobiledevmemo.com/how-to-navigate-a-career-in-mobile-marketing/).