Casual Connect Asia speaker Dmitry Shkolnikov gave game developers actionable advertising advice during the recent event in Singapore. “Game development is fun, but it’s also a business, and you need to obtain the revenue,” he says. See the video below for an introduction to large user acquisition campaigns.
On an ordinary evening or weekend, you might find Dimitri Shkolikov out riding his bike or enjoying his favorite single-malt whiskey with friends at a bar. Or he could be relaxing at home, reading a book or playing with his cat. There is relatively little to suggest his intense focus on advertising technology.
Yet, as a product manager for advertising technologies at Mail.Ru Group, Dmitry emphasizes that advertising provides him with amazing insights, not to mention lots of fun, every day. Not a bad arrangement for someone who claims he stumbled into this job almost by chance!
Choosing the Unexpected
Six years ago he was looking for work when he received an offer from Begun Ads Platform. There he met his team, people he still values highly and appreciates working with. Two years later they moved to Mail.Ru, where he is responsible for advertising API, custom solutions and custom audience targeting. The technical background he brings from 10 years of IT experience is an enormous help to him in understanding and managing the development process.
Although he is not directly involved in game development, his contribution to the games industry comes through the technologies of user acquisition. This is another direction in his career that occurred unexpectedly when a colleague who became ill asked him to take his place speaking at a conference. After studying many articles and internet sites about game development, he discovered, “This is really cool!” Now the part of his job that he enjoys the most is seeing his technologies help developers realize more revenue so they can continue creating more exciting games.
Unreal Challenges and Constant Change
Dmitry’s work comes with many difficult challenges. For example, he describes one such challenge as “almost unreal”: when he and the team had to develop a complex report within a very short timeframe. They brainstormed for 30 minutes and discovered that a previous report, known only to the oldest developers on the team, was very similar to what they needed. With this advantage they were able to get the report out on time.
The greatest challenge he finds in developing his advertising tools is that the documentation is frequently inaccurate. So he must personally examine everything. Even then, things can go very wrong, but he persists with “a lot of coffee and curiosity” and making sure he has plenty of fun.
Constantly changing technology in the industry might appear to create obstacles for the company, but Dmitry claims they handle the problem simply by getting ahead of the curve, developing faster than the technology changes and expecting everyone to learn every day.
The launch of Dmitry’s myTarget ad platform has been the apex of his career to this point. The successful launch was the outcome of many hours of intense development. And since then, myTarget Ads Platform has proven to be the most effective mobile marketing tool from Mail.Ru Group.
He notes that those in the games industry are hungry for new knowledge and new insights. At networking conferences, he sees people coming to learn something new just as much as to make contacts.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.