Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Marja Konttinen, Marketing Director at Decentraland. She speaks about the Finnish games industry, current NFT trends, and the creation of Marketing campaigns for kid friendly apps. Read more about Marja in this interview:
Hi Marja! How would you describe the Finnish games industry?

The games industry in Finland is something quite unique! It’s hard to explain how it came about but I guess a mysterious mix of long dark winters, a group of friends that loved games, and the mobile phone ecosystem laid by Nokia. That was the right growing bed for an industry that grew from the “Snake” game to a global multi-billion industry. 

What is very distinct with the industry here is that it has always been about friends helping friends, and based on values like collaboration and figuring things out together, sharing failures and winnings alike. There were no playbooks, best practices, or even tools to start with, but now we have successful companies working not just on games but the full ecosystem from entertainment brands to tools and analytics. I should also mention how institutions, the government, and the media have been very supportive in building the industry, which helps a lot.

Decentraland is a virtual social platform built and governed by its users. When creating marketing campaigns for educational or kid friendly apps, where do you start?

I’m a firm believer in user research. Detailed attention to the overall user experience and how the interface is designed are essential for any product that wants wider adoption. Working with products for kids adds a whole new layer of challenges – what if they can’t read or understand symbols, how does the UI work? Audio prompts?

The same goes for marketing – who do you actually sell the product to, and how? Kids don’t have credit cards but they certainly want to have fun and play. Parents want to provide their kids with the best possible start in life and ensure they pick up the right skills – but this can often be quite the opposite of fun and play. Marketing can deliver the right message to the parents to help them understand that a playful product will be both fun and educational, and worth the investment. So I’d start by understanding both the audiences alike, meaning kids and parents, and test different selling points to see which ones resonate the best. 

What are your thoughts on the current NFT trends in gaming?

NFTs are a fun entry to a bigger topic of Web3. I’ve participated in a few interesting NFT projects that showed me the power of community and how a token can empower its owner. My collection ranges from profile pictures (PFPs) and fine art projects to gamified communities on Discord that act as a launchpad for the actual game launch, to investment-driven decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) that vote and collect NFTs together. I’ve participated in proposal voting, hanging out with people on low-key Twitter Spaces, and drawn some random fan art in competitions, and this is what makes me excited for things to come. It’s not really about owning a thing – it’s about the limitless opportunities to innovate on how to get your fanbase and community together, to collaborate with them and for them in the long term.

Thanks for this interview, Marja!

Marja’s links: LinkedInDecentraland

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Sophie Brugmann