V3Media Interview with Mariela Tzvetanova the CMO/CBDO of Imperia Online Jsc

Tell us about your role and journey so far ?

I am the CMO / CBDO at Imperia Online, one of the biggest game production companies in SEE, part of Stillfront Group, where I lead games successful presence in portals, platforms, social networks, messengers and telco apps. I hold an MBA from Autonomous University of Barcelona.

What made you get into Marketing with a business development role?

I grew up playing video games with my cousins during our Summer vacations, but then in my university years, I completely forgot about how fun it is. When I met my husband I didn’t even realize what a geeky gamer he is. So he opened my eyes for games again. I am now a CMO / CBDO at Imperia Online for 7 years. Previously to that I was in the tech industry, but decided to try my luck as a Biz Dev at the biggest Bulgarian game studio, having my husband’s support on my side.

How has Digital marketing evolved since the time you first started?

I started in Barcelona with my digital marketing experience, which was almost 10 years ago. Working for one Russian company: España Rusa in Spanish, I was offering the company’s full product range to real estate agencies and hotels. The thing is that we always started by selling offline presence into our monthly fancy magazine, and digital banners on the website were just an addition to the deal, if they decide to spend a huge amount of budgets. Studying over 300 companies to identify new potential customers every month in a different city in Spain, I saw that people were actually more willing to pay for digital presence only, and now with the crisis everyone has online presence, so the world is definitely digitized.

How social media influences Digital Marketing? How does it play an important role in the world today?

My team actually maintains all corporate social media channels, starting from Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Crunchbase, Facebook, Instagram, to Twitter, even Pinterest. And this is because I strongly believe that this way our digital print is positive. When you connect with the audience by giving them more stories from behind the scenes, proudly sharing awards and all kinds of content frequently, they start to like you on a whole different level, not just because you develop their favorite games- we create love brands.

Do you support startups in any way?

Moni and Dobri, our founders, are mentors of start-up projects at Launchub and Eleven. Cvetan, our COO, is a mentor at game conferences like IMGA, Indie Prize, etc. We are trying to give them ideas on how to get their projects to the next level.

One word that best describes how you work.

Getting things done.

What apps/software/tools you can’t live without?

Appsflyer, JIRA, Zoom these days.

What is your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

Keeping my mailbox empty.

What are you currently reading?

The Hard Thing About Hard Things.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t be a perfectionist.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

I strive to get the best practices not only from the game industry, but from other businesses, which gives me great out of the box ideas.

Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read.

Marvin Eschenauer from Bytro.

What according to you is the most important challenge faced by the digital Marketing industry. How do you see GDPR, do you see it as boon for Marketing?

It is an opportunity. Lots of efforts to be GDPR compliant, but customer experiences improve. Also we concentrated on spending more with the biggest players, in particular Google and Facebook, which is beneficial for time and effort spent on other relationships with ad networks before, so more relevant and effective digital marketing campaigns on those two platforms.

 Who are your competitors and how are their marketing strategies different from yours and how are you planning to bridge that gap?

All other MMORTS developers are our competitors. We are extremely performance driven, having our own softwares for tracking, not aiming at junk traffic and top positions in terms of volume, but striving for loyal users, so very niche campaigns and audiences.

Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?

All of them are in-house software solutions.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?

Time spent on educating others will be reduced, so there will be more time for quality management, development of new processes and performance metrics. I definitely try to spend more time on those duties even from now.

One word about the global Covid-19 spread.

Increased DAU in most games. The world after COVID-19 will likely be more digitized

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