Learn about user acquisition in Russia from a publisher who knows the Russian market – Mail.Ru Group, the largest Russian publisher. As the owner of domestic social networks VK (Vkontakte) and OK (Odnoklassniki) hear the best practices and case studies from the global publishers that are already increasing revenues in the Russian market. Stanislav Sychenkov and Irina Tripapina of myTarget helped to explain how user acquisition should be approached in the Russian market during this Casual Connect Europe session. When it comes to monetization, Stanislav explained one of their suggestions, “As you know, only a small percentage of users pay for in-app purchases. It is just how free to play works. Our suggestion is quite simple. It is just show ads . . . that helps you monetize on every user you have.”
Stanislav Sychenkov is head of publisher development at myTarget, the mobile monetization platform of the Russian internet company, Mail.Ru Group. They were looking for someone who could assist them in their focus on becoming the leading monetization solution for this region. Stanislav’s previous experience as monetization manager with Zeptolab was the ideal background to help reach that goal. Through a recent project, myTarget has already multiplied its number of apps by fifteen and revenue by six.
Stanislav points out that it is now impossible to imagine a world without devices, apps, emails, messengers, etc. So they enjoy helping publishers develop exciting products that assist us every day or entertain us when we are bored. Stanislav is impressed by the many services and games myTarget works with.
Strategic Analysis, Marketing and Sales
Working in business development requires a combination of strategic analysis, marketing and sales. The beginning of Stanislav’s career had sharpened the analytical skills. But Stanislav was fascinated by the seasoned marketers and business developers who knew how to land and promote an outstanding product. Although it took some time to realize they wanted to become a business development manager, working at Game Insight and Zeptolab allowed the necessary time to grow. At Zeptolab Stanislav became involved with advertising and monetization and learned what publishers want and what challenges they face. As a result, Stanislav is now able to approach and handle negotiations with them from an ad platform perspective.
While working as an analyst at a public energy company and tired of the dull office days that entailed, Stanislav became excited by everything connected with mobile, marketing and games and dreamed of joining the industry. Fortunately, as long as a person is skilled in their own area, it is not necessary to be experienced with games, so Stanislav applied to their first game company.
In this industry Stanislav has enjoyed working with many interesting, open-minded people while working on projects that will steal time from real people, saysing, “Games are fun, game development usually is not, but if you are passionate about what you do, you won’t change it for anything else.”
What Makes a Good Game?
Stanislav plays a lot of mobile games since they are involved with mobile advertising. The game Stanislav has been playing for the longest is Hearthstone. As a fan of Magic: The Gathering, Stanislav instantly became addicted to this card game by Blizzard., and, amazingly, after two years, still plays Hearthstone for an hour a day. Stanislav claims the reason is obvious; random generation of dissimilar moments makes every battle a unique experience.
When evaluating a game for myTarget, Stanislav looks for those with new mechanics and examples of successful ad placement, as well as sticky gameplay and an unusual gaming experience. An example of the right kind of game is the latest Color Switch game, already being called the new Flappy Bird; it is both easy and fun.
Adjusting Marketing to a Particular Area
As a large, diversified company, Mail.Ru Group must adjust the type of marketing it uses to the particular area and department involved. For myTarget, viral marketing and word of mouth have been very effective. Of course, it also helps to be the largest Russian internet company and able to promote yourself through all local social networks. But that is of no value if it is a bad experience that brings poor results for the partner.
Relevant Ads and Monetization
When working with developers, Stanislav insists, it is important to remember that they care about their users. In the long term it isn’t profitable to harm the user experience by showing more ads or forcing users to pay. Inappropriate ads are equally harmful. But monetization is still important if developers are going to have the creative freedom they need for future projects.
It benefits a developer to use a publisher because of their expertise, but it is important for developers to find one who has expertise in their specific genre. The publisher should be flexible and able to help with PR and marketing. It is always useful to ask for help with monetization and tips on overall product review and how to get featured.
Stanislav believes relevant ads and expanding to emerging markets will be essential for the game industry in the next few years. Emerging markets such as Russia, India, Latin America and South East Asia are expanding incredibly fast. It can be worthwhile to partner with local people who can help with adaptation, promotion, distribution and monetization. In the Russian market, myTarget is the main source of traffic for promoting oneself and their aim is to become the best local monetization solution as well. Relevant ads are crucial because they lead to a better experience for both users and advertisers; ads must not disrupt the user experience. This is why myTarget builds on data from social networks to understand users and show only relevant ads.
As a first time attendee at Casual Connect, Stanislav is proud to have been selected as a speaker and also proud to have represented myTarget to some of the biggest and oldest companies and get their positive feedback. This favorable position is the result of teamwork throughout the company as they work to develop the platform to meet the needs of these companies.
In addition to a passion for their work, Stanislav is also zealous about wildlife conservation. Stanislav emphasizes, “When we conserve and protect the natural habitat of wildlife species, we enrich our planet. To do so, we must keep the animals in their natural place. Conservation of natural habitats will also be beneficial to humans since it helps keep the essential watersheds intact, ensuring clean, fresh water.”
You can follow Stanislav on Twitter: stanislavss15
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.