Interview, Mobile Games

User Acquisition Insights with Olga Tarasova

In this series of articles, UA managers will answer 6 questions to share their insights on UA and industry trends.

Olga Tarasova is a User Acquisition Managerat Murka, a European game developer who has been a leader in creating Social Casino games for the past 11 years. Among their top titles are Scatter SlotsSlots Era, and more recently Solitaire Play.

1. 2020 has been a monumental year for Murka, what would you say has been the main contributors to your rapid growth?

2020 was a year of considerable growth for Murka, for sure. We had been evolving permanently: the company launched several social casino titles, started a new casual games division, and accomplished a +30% year over year revenue growth record.

Obviously, the lockdown caused a tremendous growth of the game industry. The millions of people being stuck at home went online for entertainment and communication.

In addition, nothing would have been achieved without our innovative team, who isn’t afraid of any challenges and is always ready to adjust to a new reality.

2. Given the complexities of finding a Social Casino user, how do you approach testing new user acquisition channels, and what are your requirements for onboarding?

We are always open to new proposals and opportunities. At the same time, our approach is based on a thorough analysis, like in any other company, I believe.

Before testing, we discuss a pool of issues, trying to process as much information as possible to understand what we may face while working with a potential UA channel.

It seems a little meticulous and even dull, but that’s how it is. After signing the IO and setting up tracking, we launch the first test campaign. Based on the traffic that a potential channel can provide us, we choose one title and 1–2 GEOs for the test. Once we see a good performance, we scale that channel. In fact, we are limited neither to budget nor to geo-target.

3. At adjoe, we focus on targeting based on a user’s demographic profile. Who are your top users and how does this kind of targeting help you reach them?

We always take into account the specifics of the user acquisition channel. With adjoe, we successfully attract users through open worldwide campaigns and then scale countries separately, experimenting with targeting. Also, depending on the genre of the game, we target different groups of people. Social casino is a quite specific genre, so our audience is comprised of people who have already shown their interest in these types of games before and use other similar applications.

4. What ad formats typically deliver users that are highly likely to convert? Do you see that some formats are able to drive better long-term retention?

Speaking of long-term retention, I won’t say anything new: Playtime, Rewarded Videos, and Playable Ads are definitely the best.

5. How do you think the pandemic has impacted the social casino vertical as a whole? Have you seen any changes to user behavior?

Definitely, the pandemic has an impact on all of us, our lifestyles, and our habits. The mobile industry boosted mostly because people were looking for new opportunities for entertaining, socialization, and escaping from their routine.

The time spent in our games is still increasing. The length of the session and the number of visits to our games are also growing. We also have noticed that our 45+ female audience has become younger and the number of male players is now almost equal to the female demographic.

Not only did such behavioral changes affect the vertical of the social casino, but the entire mobile games’ direction overall.

6. What is next for Murka, should we expect to see any exciting new games coming out in the next months?

Yes, we regularly create and publish new titles. Several months ago, Murka launched Solitaire Play. In 2021 we are going to release new titles in casino and casual directions. Actually, we are working hard on the casual game direction as of right now. To be continued!

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