Director of Engineering with Augmented Reality, Gaming and SW+HW industry experience. Technical lead in scaling and growth of several high profile products in MySpace, Guild Wars 2, Kingdoms of Camelot, MSN.
I was in a similar place when I was first exposed to the advertising industries. One of the most effective ways I found in familiarizing myself with AdTech was by teaching it. So I ended up handling all of the onboarding of new product managers, engineers and designers in our company.
The lumascape is meant to scare folks not familiar with the industry away. At the basic core of advertising, it is simply about connecting advertisers with their target audience through content sites and various mediums. Everything else in between are middlemen with varying degrees of effectiveness.
Some of these players make a business out of optimizing an advertiser's campaign on metrics that matter to them (eCPM, CTR, CPE, etc). Others move the needle further by removing the human aspect (i.e. sales, campaign managers, etc) by connecting advertisers with publishers programmatically.
I am happy to go over this crowded and somewhat confusing advertising ecosystem if you have specific follow-up questions.
I have a technical background from the advertising industry and in monetization on mobile.
There are several monetization loops that can be employed on iOS. If you already have the tracking app implemented on other platforms or is cross-platform compatible, you can achieve similarly successful yields from Android with a different set of best practices.
If you point me to your app, I am happy to review it and have detailed follow-up discussions over clarity.fm.
I dealt with similar challenges for mobile and web games that I have managed.
It really depends on where you are in the game lifecycle and the outsource team in question. If your game is in a well-understood genre and similar to popular hits or card/casino games, then the likelihood of an outsource team having enough background context to answer questions is much higher.
Even if your game is in a unique genre or has its own spin, you can mitigate the risk with outsourcing your Q&A by starting off small. For example, perhaps you outsource only Tier 1 level support to begin with or non-paying users only vs. whales (high paying customers). Based on the initial sample size of answers, you can assess the quality of your outsource team without compromising your game community.
If you would like to discuss this in further detail or review specific outsource Q&A teams, I am happy to discuss via Clarity.fm.
I have encountered similar challenges when both hiring for a company on a tight budget as well as when implementing my own product ideas. There are a few paths you can take here depending on what you are trying to create.
For well-known domains with tight specs, you can go with fairly inexpensive contractors offering their services via elance.com or odesk.com.
If you have a high level vision of your mobile app but still need to identify product market fit, you have a couple options:
1. Build it yourself even if you don't have a technical background. The barrier for entry on mobile prototyping has been lowered thanks to WYSIWYG editors such as Appery.io which will work across Android, iOS and Windows Phone platforms.
2. Participate in a Hackathon. Folks at most of these events are young, friendly and looking to network. So if you have a compelling idea and can offer value towards the project (i.e. design, art, etc), you will find many like-minded folks who are willing to pair up with you. If you are not located in a tech centric city, you can always join virtual hackathon events via Hacker League https://www.hackerleague.org/.
If you have additional questions, ping me via clarity and I am happy to discuss further.