As part of a session at Casual Connect Europe called User Acquisition in Russia: Insights from the Largest Mobile Publisher, join Irina Tripapina for an in depth look into the largest Russian publisher – Mail.Ru Group. As the owner of domestic social networks Vkontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki (OK), there is much to learn about their best practices and case studies from the global publishers that are already increasing revenues in the Russian market. Listen and learn how to acquire and benefit from millions of Russian mobile users, using advertising platform of myTarget (Mail.Ru Group). Irina pointed out that one fact to keep in mind: In Russia. “We have very big Android reach. Android is almost three times bigger than iOS.” Tune in below for more ways to succeed in the Russian market.
Irina Tripapina manages the international development of the myTarget advertising platform, part of the Mail.Ru Group. While studying for a degree in marketing from the Universities of Moscow and Madrid, Irina became inspired by the power of promotion through social networks. After graduation, Irina began working for VK, the largest social network in Russia. The 2014 acquisition of VK by Mail.Ru Group led to many changes, including the launch of myTarget, which unites all of Mail.Ru Group’s mobile traffic, including that of VK. Irina took on the position of Head of International Development.
In this position, Irina particularly enjoys sharing insights about the Russian market with international companies. “It is amazing to see an unknown publisher coming to the Russian market and shortly becoming incredibly popular”, Irina says.
The Challenge of International Development
International development is both interesting and challenging for Irina, involving lots of business traveling and the opportunity to learn from amazing professionals from global companies. In some cases it is necessary to overcome stereotypes, such as “Russian people drinking vodka for breakfast, hunting bears and using Facebook.”
Branding has been an additional challenge. myTarget is an entirely new brand on the international level. Although people are aware of Mail.Ru Group, VK and OK, they do not all realize there is a platform that allows access to all Russian traffic from one interface.
Intrigued by the IT Industry
The IT industry intrigued Irina, this was the place they wanted to be. Irina’s friends were working at Microsoft and Google, and, “It looked like they were living in another world: they had a deeper understanding of the popular apps and IT products we all use.” And Irina wanted that understanding too.
Irina became involved in the game industry because gaming is one of the top three categories for promotion in Russia. It has turned out to be one the most interesting categories as well, allowing to meet incredibly educated professionals who not only understand their goals, but also love what they are doing.
International mobile conferences are a particularly enjoyable aspect of Irina’s work. Irina says, “It looks like a Disneyland for professionals from the mobile industry; networking and stands are fun nowadays! Playing football using Kinect technology, riding a VR surfboard – you do that while networking with partners. It’s a great option for setting up that first contact.”
Different Cultures and Different Languages
Irina’s previous experience in working with different cultures to be a real asset in the current position. While attending university, Irina had the opportunity of working at the Embassy of Nicaragua. Communicating with people at different professional levels required good understanding of cultural differences. She also gained valuable marketing experience through promoting the Moscow City Pass card on both the B2B and the BCB levels.
Another reason of enjoying this work is passion for learning languages. For the past six months Irina has been learning Chinese and finds it exciting to be speaking such a difficult language. Irina claims, “When you do things like that you feel a bit like a magician.”
Reaching International Opportunities
Just eight months after Mail.Ru Group released myTarget, their international clients made almost 70% of the total. “Reaching this level is a really cool thing for a Russian based company”, Irina says. “Most of this success is about having great english speaking team, localizing the interface for different countries, making payments available in foreign currencies and many other service and technical details.”
Irina believes the future of the games industry will see the explosion of VR and augmented reality, creating fascinating new mobile games to play. At myTarget, they are following the industry and devising new technical advertising opportunities. Since Mail.Ru Group owns social networks as traffic sources, they already have plenty of targeting options, but Irina expects to see many more options in the future.
As Abraham Lincoln said “The best way to predict your future is to create it”, so there is much to do today!
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.