It takes a great number of individuals working together in various disciplines to make any commercial enterprise function.
The mobile games industry is certainly no exception, offering dynamic and diverse roles to thousands the world over.
As such, PocketGamer.biz has decided to celebrate this with a new regular series of interviews where each week we chat to a mobile games industry professional from a different field - be it game design, art, or PR - to learn about how they bagged that job in games.
Obviously every career path is different, but the goal is to give a picture of the sorts of skills, qualifications and ambition one might need to find themselves in such a role - and how we can all learn from it.
This time, the spotlight is on 1010!, Merged!, and Six! developer Gram Games' UA Manager Kerem Alemdar.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a little about your current role and what it entails.
Kerem Alemdar: Currently, as Gram’s UA manager, I’m responsible for the determination of our marketing, as well as managing our UA accounts and partnerships.
I am also responsible for managing self-service marketing tools - like Facebook, Google AdWords and Apple Search.
One of the more innovative and interesting parts of my job is that I’m also responsible for designing new marketing tools for marketing analytics and account management - basically creating solutions that we needed, but that didn’t exist.
I'm responsible for designing new marketing tools.Kerem Alemdar
I’m also responsible for managing the marketing analytics data that comes out of that.
How did you first get into this job?
At my previous job, I was responsible for programmatic marketing, and prior to that, I managed the search and display campaigns for one of the biggest brands in the country.
I came on board here at Gram Games as a mid-level UA manager due largely to my knowledge of all aspects of performance marketing.
But while here, I’ve learned a lot and been able to take on a ton of responsibility.
Is it something you ever imagined yourself doing?
Actually, that’s a funny question. I wasn’t interested in mobile gaming at all before I joined this company - I wasn’t even really playing them.
About four years ago, I was even planning to move to Germany to do my Masters in beer production. So no, this wasn’t really a part of the plan.
What did you study (if anything) to get your role? What courses would you advise for aspiring professionals in the area?
I actually studied chemical engineering. But when I graduated and looked at the work environment, I decided to not pursue a job in the field.
I ended up getting a job as a marketing specialist at one of the biggest performance agencies in Turkey. I learned most of what I know by doing, actually.
I learned how to understand and analyse data through engineering.Kerem Alemdar
Now I’m doing my Masters in Interactive Marketing, which mostly focuses on both traditional and digital marketing strategy, and how we can merge the two to creative innovative marketing strategies.
I learned how to understand and analyse data through engineering, which was an enormous help.
It was also incredibly helpful to learn approaches to brand marketing, as well as the psychology and sociology of marketing through both courses and experience.
But I’d say my most valuable course was my work and launching my career. I had to learn quickly, teach myself and be open-minded to new ideas and approaches.
I had to take a risk and throw myself out there, and in the end, it was totally invaluable. Be willing to take risks and pursue things that interest you, even if they aren’t necessarily in line with what you studied.
Is there anything about the job/industry you wish you would have known when first joining?
Not really, no. One of the most appealing aspects of this job and industry was the fact that I would be constantly learning new things.
Knowing more before would have robbed me of that experience.
What other advice do you have for someone looking for a job in this profession?
In order to be a marketing manager, you not only have to have a grasp and understanding of every different angle or approach to marketing, but you also have to have a deep understanding of other cross-disciplines, like psychology and sociology.
When it comes down to it, marketing is about people. You have to be able to understand those people.
Also, even if it seems totally antiquated or useless in the current marketing world or in your current job, having a knowledge of older marketing disciplines and approaches is extremely helpful when you have to improvise or innovate to solve a problem.
Innovation is key, but sometimes the tried and true works best.
Also, technology. It’s key that you learn about and play around with new technologies, even if they’re not totally, immediately useful.
Having a knowledge of what’s out there and what will probably be important in the near future will put you a step ahead of everyone.
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