Celebrate International Women’s Day With 11 Insights From Women in Mobile Gaming Liftoff blog

Celebrate International Women’s Day With 11 Insights From Women in Mobile Gaming

By Liftoff | March 8, 2024

Mobile gaming relies on numbers, whether it’s downloads, engagement, revenue, or utilizing data from ever-shifting trends. But behind these figures are brilliant minds and mobile professionals who transform data into actionable mobile gaming strategies. This International Women’s Day, we celebrate the women whose insights fuel success, turning raw numbers into captivating mobile marketing campaigns and player-centric mobile gaming experiences.

Below, you’ll find 11 tips, tricks, and insights from some of the most exceptional women in mobile games today. You’ll hear from the likes of Mattel163 CEO Amy Huang, Jam City VP of User Acquisition Winnie Wen, DoubleDown Interactive Director of Growth Marketing Faith Price, and many more.

1. Behavioral economics is everything on mobile

Paula Neves has over 15 years of experience in the mobile gaming industry, which she applies in her role as Senior Product Manager at Zynga. But before she got to grips with user acquisition and pocket-sized devices, Neves was an intern in sports psychology at her favorite football club. That unusual intersection has given her a unique perspective on free-to-play games, where understanding player motivations is the key to success.

She says: “Behavioral economics is huge in gaming, and in mobile free-to-play, it’s on another level. If you’re selling a single-player game, you only have to worry about what will make users want to buy it. But when you’re delivering games as a service, you also have to worry about what will motivate them to keep playing.”

2. Mobile marketing demands creativity

Solid user acquisition campaigns require creative approaches to interpreting data. Radostina Zhekova, Senior User Acquisition Manager at Jam City, finds endless opportunities to experiment. She says that some of the most effective marketing strategies come out of the lessons learned from being willing to innovate and make a few missteps along the way. Mistakes aren’t always a bad thing!

She says: “Finding innovative ways of attracting more users is key, but the mistakes made along the way are just as important. It’s often only when you break something that you understand how it works, and from that knowledge, you understand how to hack it and find new growth opportunities.”

3. Be casual in your community communication

As a Communication Specialist at Nordcurrent, Laura Savickaite knows a thing or two about speaking the language of players. She’s done everything from creating engaging content for social media and the Nordcurrent website to responding to player queries and user reviews.

Two things have helped her to succeed: One is having an in-depth knowledge of the games that can only come from playing them yourself, and the other is always using language that players are familiar with rather than overloading them with technical information. She says: “The main thing to remember when communicating with players is to keep things casual rather than formal.”

4. Success on mobile is a team effort

With increased competition and new privacy regulations, achieving results on mobile has become far more challenging for marketers. Despite that, Winnie Wen, VP of User Acquisition at Jam City, says that the expectations remain higher than ever. According to Wen, the answer lies in teamwork. You’ll deliver outstanding results by working with your teammates to give all areas of a campaign the proper care and attention.

She says: “One of the more challenging parts of our jobs is letting go and trusting others to take on various projects and initiatives. It’s easy to stretch yourself too thin and try to tackle everything alone. That just simply isn’t feasible in today’s environment. I know my team is fully capable and will crush it.”

5. User acquisition and ad monetization work in tandem

As VP of Partnerships at Candywriter, Gabby Bradford Pigott knows what she’s talking about when she says there is plenty of space in this industry to build strong relationships with third-party providers. In her experience, developing successful partnerships improves the bottom line by increasing market share, expanding DAU and downloads, and bolstering brand recognition.

She says: “User acquisition and ad monetization are interdependent. Studios must buy quality users and effectively monetize those users to grow a game. Ensuring that both teams work together will create a positive feedback loop, resulting in better ROI and faster growth.”

6. Studios should be representative of their audiences

One of the notable things that thousands of casual games on the mobile market share is their primarily female core audience. Despite that, statistics show women make up just a tiny percentage of the gaming workforce. From what she’s observed as Director of Growth Marketing at Big Fish Games, Janice Gao says that mobile games are often more successful when created and marketed by teams that are representative of their user base.

She says: “Like so many other casual game developers, our core audience is mostly women, which is why it’s so important that women have a strong voice when it comes to presenting ideas and making decisions. Having gender diversity on the team ensures we’re generating ideas that best serve the interests of our users.”

7. Don’t underestimate A/B testing

Ayse Betul Ozdemir, User Acquisition Manager at Product Madness, stresses the importance of constant A/B testing — particularly when it comes to creative and ad copy. She reports that the key to unlocking peak performance lies in small, strategic changes and that the right combination can only be uncovered through relentless testing. Add in audience segmentation and retargeting to boost conversions further and maximize cart value.

She adds: “It’s crucial to build ad creative that resonates with your potential players. Comprehensive data analysis and a coordinated approach across multiple marketing channels is a vital part of that. To optimize campaigns effectively, you must measure key performance indicators throughout the user journey.”

8. Partnering with well-known franchises can amplify marketing

Anyone familiar with Mattel will know it’s home to more than a few beloved brands and IPs — Barbie, Uno, Phase 10, Hot Wheels, and many more. As you might expect, as the CEO of developer and publisher Mattel163, Amy Huang has overseen the transformation of more than a few of their renowned brands into mobile game powerhouses. However, she notes that success relies upon more than brand recognition — it also depends on crafting an experience that resonates.

She says: “There’s a reason certain games and brands have been around for decades, and that’s because they’re hugely entertaining. Having an established cultural IP behind your title contributes to brand awareness and marketing. But you also need an engaging game experience that speaks to that brand and its audience.”

9. LiveOps is the future of mobile gaming

According to Faith Price, Director of Growth Marketing at DoubleDown Interactive, many mobile games fail because of retention issues. Overcoming this means figuring out how to constantly provide players with engaging new content without expending too many resources — and that means implementing LiveOps.

She says: “LiveOps is and has been key for the last couple of years. Games with a successful LiveOps strategy have figured out how to reuse aspects of their existing content and repackage it as something new and exciting. I also think they tend to last as they’re not afraid to reinvent themselves to suit the needs of their users.”

10. Use data to find ways to resonate with your audience

We could all learn a lot from the data-driven approach that Karen Tong applies in her role as Senior Director of Product Marketing at Niantic. She utilizes dashboards for campaign tracking, analyzes audience responses across channels, and collaborates with her team to translate insights into actions. Following this strategy, you can craft campaigns that connect deeply with your target audience.

She says: “One of the things I love most about working at Niantic are our core values: getting people outside and interacting with each other. Pokémon GO Fest is the ultimate culmination of that. Running that marketing campaign with my team and seeing the community coming together to celebrate the game in locations across the globe was an amazing thing to be a part of.”

11. Women can find fulfilling careers in mobile gaming

Gintarė Maraulė is the Head of Digital Marketing at Nordcurrent. Yet, to the surprise of many, she’d never really paid video games a considerable amount of attention before starting this role. Her experience comes from spending many years working in e-commerce. Despite this, she’s had nothing but a positive experience and recommends a career in mobile to anyone, regardless of gender.

She said: “If a woman came to me right now and told me she wants to try working in the gaming industry, I wouldn’t give them advice. I’d ask them, ‘What are you waiting for?’”

For even more insights from Ayse Betul Ozdemir, Radostina Zhekova, and more, register for our Women in Mobile webinar on March 14 →