The CBDO of Imperia Online JSC gives her opinion about the influence of Digital Marketing in the gaming industry

Mariela Tzvetanova talks about her work experience in front of V3Media

Thе text has been taken from an interview which Mariela gave for V3Media, a website discussing the latest Marketing trends and tips, provided by specialists from all around the world.

Tell us about your role and journey so far?

I am the CMO / CBDO at Imperia Online, one of the biggest game production companies in SEE, part of Stillfront Group, where I lead the successful presence of our games in different portals, platforms, social networks, messengers and telco apps. I hold an MBA degree from Autonomous University of Barcelona.

What made you get into Marketing with a business development role?

I grew up playing video games with my cousins when we had summer break. But during my university years, I completely forgot how fun it was. When I met my husband, I didn’t even realize what a geeky gamer he is. He is the one who opened my eyes for games again. I have been a CMO / CBDO at Imperia Online for 7 years. Previously, I have been in the tech industry, but having the support of my husband, I decided to try my luck to become a Biz Dev manager at the biggest Bulgarian game studio.

How has Digital Marketing evolved since the time you first started?

I started my Digital Marketing career in Barcelona almost 10 years ago. I used to work for a Russian company, called “España Rusa” in Spanish. There, I was offering the company’s full product range to real estate agencies and hotels. The thing is that we would always start by selling offline presence into our monthly fancy magazine; digital banners on the website were just an addition to the deal in case they decided to spend a huge amount of budgets. Researching over 300 companies to identify new potential customers every month in a different city in Spain, I saw that people were actually more willing to pay for digital presence only. Today with the crisis, everyone has online presence, so I think that the world is definitely digitized.

How does social media influence Digital Marketing? How does it play an important role in the world today?

My team actually maintains all corporate social media channels, starting from Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Crunchbase, Facebook, Instagram, to Twitter, even Pinterest. And this is because I strongly believe that in this way, our digital print is positive. When you connect with the audience by giving them more stories from behind the scenes, proudly sharing awards and all kinds of content frequently, they start to like you on a whole different level, not just because you develop their favorite games but because you create love brands.

Do you support startups in any way?

Moni and Dobri, our founders, are mentors of start-up projects at Launchub and Eleven. Cvetan, our COO, is a mentor at game conferences like IMGA, Indie Prize, etc. We are trying to give them ideas on how to get their projects to the next level.

One word that best describes how you work?

Getting things done.

What apps/software/tools you can’t live without?

Appsflyer, JIRA, and Zoom these days.

What is your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

Keeping my mailbox empty.

What are you currently reading?

The Hard Thing About Hard Things.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Don’t be a perfectionist.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

I strive to get the best practices not only from the game industry, but also from other businesses. This gives me many great ideas that are out of the box.

Tag one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read?

Marvin Eschenauer from Bytro.

What according to you is the most important challenge faced by the digital marketing industry? How do you see GDPR? Do you see it as boon for Marketing?

It is an opportunity. Lots of efforts to be GDPR compliant but customer experience improves. Also, we are concentrated on spending more with the biggest players, in particular Google and Facebook. We think is more beneficial in terms of time and effort spent than on other relationships with ad networks we previously had. So, we consider those two platforms to be more relevant and effective regarding digital marketing campaigns.

Who are your competitors and how are their Marketing strategies different from yours and how are you planning to bridge that gap?

All other MMORTS developers are our competitors. We are extremely performance driven and we have our own softwares for tracking. We do not aim at junk traffic or traffic volume to reach top positions. We strive for loyal users to have very niche campaigns and audiences.

Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?

All of them are in-house software solutions.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?

Time spent on educating others will be reduced, so there will be more time for quality management, development of new processes and performance metrics. I definitely try to spend more time on those duties even from now.

One word about the global Covid-19 spread?

Increased DAU in most games. The world after COVID-19 will likely be more digitized.

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