Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Radostina Zhekova, User Acquisition Manager at Jam City. She explains how to get started with UA as a company and to overcome personal challenges. Read more about Radostina in this interview:
Hi Radostina! You’ve participated in many conferences and podcasts, could you share any personal advice on how to find the courage and get prepared for such events?

Public speaking was one of my biggest fears but at the same time I was looking at it as something new and challenging. I’ve struggled with social anxiety since I was a kid and over the years I’ve worked a lot on overcoming it, however, I still often experience it. I believe a lot of people do. When I started a job in sales, I had to face my social anxiety and fears in order to be good at my job. This experience helped me a lot and also made me want to challenge myself further, so naturally for me the next step was public speaking.

I consider myself a newbie but here is my advice on how to go about it:

  • Prepare yourself. Take your time to think through the topic you will be talking about, discuss it with peers and/or friends. Even write everything down. Back in the day when I was going to a client’s meeting and was supposed to present, I was writing down the whole conversation and the potential questions, so I felt confident that I am ready. There won’t be any surprises. Practice makes perfect!
  • Coordinate the topics/questions you will be talking about in advance and make sure you only take the ones you feel comfortable with. Don’t feel pressured to say “yes” to an agenda that gets sent to you, feel free to amend it so it also suits you.
  • Being nervous is inevitable, at least for me it was. Especially the first time. So nothing to really do about it, I just went with it. But after my first conference appearance, I sat down and watched the video several times; and I took notes on things I didn’t like. This helped me become more conscious of my behavior and avoid these things the next time. Do that every time! 
  • Make sure you wear clothes that make you feel good and comfortable.
    A killer outfit could really boost your confidence.
  • Use every opportunity you get for public appearance – it helps you practice, it develops your personal brand and it builds your network.
How can mobile game companies initially approach paid User Acquisition?

In the past I normally recommended to gaming companies (or any company which just started with User Acquisition) to first go with the big social channels Facebook and Google. I still think these platforms are great when you start, especially FB because of their targeting capabilities & algorithm. These channels can provide high scalability and good performance. UA initiatives need to be tightened very closely to product development. This is essential for your success in the long term. So make sure you get to coordinate well between these two parts. Get your data and tracking right! I can understand that in the beginning things can be messy and dirty. But at least have a plan – running UA or product without proper data is possible in the beginning if you got lucky, but that won’t be the case if you want to be around for longer.

In your opinion, are there differences in running UA for games versus other apps?

Essentially, UA is the bridge between the product and the users. Regardless if we are talking about games or any other apps, there should be a good understanding of the product USPs and identifying the right target groups. So I think, when it comes to the basics there are more similarities than differences.

In most of the cases games are more agile. There are no actual operations such as physical goods production, delivery, logistics, etc. That in my opinion actually makes the UA for games on average easier than for other products. The whole ad tech industry is more catered towards gaming so again that helps a lot on the UA front. 

Also initial UA testing for games is way more straightforward, there is a lot of data you can directly use to tweak your product. Where the biggest challenge lies is in the great number of games out there, the competition is fierce and the market is highly saturated.

Thanks for this interview, Radostina!

Radostina’s links: LinkedInJam City

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Sophie Brugmann