Women in Mobile. Meet Margarita Vasilevskaya, One of the Women Game Changers in the Mobile Industry

Margarita Vasilevskaya, Head of User Acquisition at DoubleDown Interactive at Aarki's Women in Mobile series

Many women are now building a strong industry presence and taking leadership roles as the gender gap in tech industry leadership roles decreases.

To acknowledge and recognize their contribution and get to know them better, we continue our blog series featuring women game changers in the mobile industry. 

Margarita Vasilevskaya
Head of User Acquisition at DoubleDown Interactive

  • What inspired you to pursue a career in mobile games marketing?
    It was a relatively long journey. I grew up with five cousins, all boys, and as the only girl I had no other choice but to play a lot of video games with them. A lot. Legitimately a lot.

    Even though my degree is in International Economy and I worked at a bank for a couple of years starting from freshman college days, I have always had a passion for Marketing. I even got a job at Russian LiveJournal at the age of 19, which was a pretty big thing for me back then as I believed I was an excellent blogger myself (no, I wasn’t, haha).

    Eventually, I joined a small but very ambitious indie games studio as a one-man band show in Marketing. Having no prior experience in mobile games (but luckily with a very rich gaming background), I absolutely fell in love with the industry and products. Working with indies or startups is the best training field for a young and hungry professional. I tasted all aspects of mobile games marketing and growth, which shaped my vision for future development. 
  • Share with us your most unforgettable experience when you launched a game.
    I’ve launched over a dozen games over the years, but the very first one was the most memorable. Throwback to my indie games days again—I remember my colleagues and I were so excited about the launch of our beloved “child” that we stayed up all night at the office waiting for Apple to approve it for release on the App Store. I still have a picture somewhere of us at 3 am in the morning all hyped and happy.

  • What is your secret to being able to successfully launch and grow various games?
    I’m not sure if it’s a secret. But here’s my basic must-do list:

    - Competitive research: Learn the market and your competitors
    - Prepare all marketing assets in advance
    - Make sure you participate in P&L development
    - Build your marketing plan and include UA/ Cross-Promo / CRM. Set CPI and volume expectations

  • What is the most challenging part of acquiring and retaining users?
    UA and Retention have their own challenges. I think I speak for many marketers when I say that the biggest challenges we are facing in UA and Retention is fast advancing fraud that is getting harder to detect.

  • What do you think will be the most significant change in the mobile games industry in 3 years and how will this affect the acquisition of new users?
    We are already facing these changes, it will only get more advanced over the next few years. Just to name a few:

    - Advanced targeting like LTV- and ROAS-based

    - More inventory for interactive ads (e.g. playables)
    - Changing App Store experience for gaming users. Google just recently launched Google Instant App; I’m sure it won’t take Apple long as well.

    Margarita Vasilevskaya, Head of User Acquisition at DoubleDown Interactive

  • How do you stay on top of things?
    Assess, prioritize, delegate, track progress. I’m not a big fan of taking over more tasks than I can qualitatively execute, but if that happens I make sure I communicate to the stakeholder when/if I will be able to deliver. Communication is key.

  • If you could magically do one thing, what would it be?
    Detect fraud.

  • What is something about mobile gaming which you hope never changes?
    For me, being in gaming means being in the front row for testing new features and concepts. I like being a part of the fastest evolving niche in the mobile space.

  • What is the most interesting book you’ve read?
    Oh, that’s a tough question. I’ve read many books that I loved on different topics, I can’t select a favorite.

    But let me highlight the most valuable book I’ve cranked through this past year. It helped me understand machine gambling and translate it to my actual work. Addiction by Design. I highly recommend it for anyone in Social Casino space.

  • What is something you’d like to tell your future self?
    “Hope you’ve become a better version of yourself.”

Topics: Women in Mobile