Social Point’s Ana Maria Rizopol Combines Creativity and Data for Success
Chatting with Ana Maria Rizopol, Social Point’s Marketing Outsourcing Creative Manager, was enjoyable and exciting.
Originally from Romania, Ana gained over 10 years of experience in advertising. She’s worked at McCann Erickson, MullenLowe and other agencies, handling impressive accounts such as Nestle, T-Mobile, Hercesa, several banks and other business units. It was during this time that she began to feel an attachment towards mobile digital marketing. She liked how data-oriented it was.
After a decade in advertising, Ana knew she wanted a change. The gaming industry always drew her attention, so Ana joined Gameloft, where she spent around 3 and a half years as Global User Acquisition Asset Manager. There, she accomplished a lot, forming a department from scratch, streamlining processes, building a team, establishing creative strategies, and more.
Ultimately, Ana decided to move forward with her career and venture to a new country. She moved to Barcelona, Spain and joined Social Point, where she is in charge of creative partnerships outside of the company. She has also put together a team that helps scale volume and quality.
Ana’s adventure around the world has led her to the perfect spot – mobile game marketing. The place where she manages to perfectly feed her cravings for both creativity and data analysis.
What have you found to be the best-performing media channels for your app marketing?
I think it definitely depends on the specifics of your product (e.g. game) and your short- and long-term goals. Also, on how you manage to make those channels successful for you, by understanding their particularities and building campaigns with specific dedicated creatives.
For sure one in the short list is Google App campaigns, from a cost-effective perspective, and Facebook for enabling you to bring the exact message you want to a specific segment.
The gaming industry is very competitive and dynamic. There are lots of cool new features and live ops always happening in the game. I think it is healthy to constantly transform your media mix in order to better convey these new things to your audience.
What have you seen work best for you within your marketing campaigns?
Know your audience inside out – really understand it and find the best way to communicate your product. The audience will always give you insights about your product, regardless of how well you know it.
The same goes for the ads you are using to communicate it. Have the data at your fingertips, connect the dots and find patterns across all the things that do and do not work.
And, most importantly: understand why. This will always help in your next actions.
What are some things that surprised you along the way in your marketing techniques?
There are several things that are still surprising me.
One of them is that the ad test results are inconsistent.
Sometimes, when you have full confidence in a creative concept, knowing that it checks all the boxes for a high-performance campaign, and then the results go in a different direction.
Something else that is still very interesting to me is that sometimes the slightest, smallest revision (such as the color of a button) could influence the whole performance of an ad.
Another thing that never ceases to amaze me, especially from a creative perspective?, is how sometimes lower quality execution ads manage to beat neat high execution ones.
There are endless ways to be creative with your campaigns. Typically, what kind of approach do you take to building and testing your creatives?
I agree with you that there are endless ways. ?
However, I think it is healthy to constantly keep a good balance between iterating the things that work and experimenting with new ones.
I personally don’t like to limit myself to “just found a new winning creative” as the last phase in the creative funnel. I like to read beyond the data, understand why that creative worked, analyze its every aspect in relation to its target and campaign environment all together.
Therefore, different analyses or A/B tests could always support this insightful learning process.
I also think that segmenting your audience and developing insightful creatives based on strong hypotheses with clearly defined goals and messaging is a must.
Building an in-house team or working with vendors can be a tough decision. How do you decide which to go with?
In my perspective, the key stays in a good balance. While the internal creative team will definitely learn and know the product better than anyone and build a consistent creative flow, outside creative partners will often bring to the table a fresh eye and perspective. Agencies also have lots of learnings based on their previous experience inside the field and, in my opinion, it is great to benefit from that.
What advice would you give someone looking for a mobile marketing vendor?
I think this is a very good question, since the market seems to provide lots of options in this sense. Based on my experience, there are really solid partners that prove to make a difference and I am very excited to work with some of them.
It might sound cheesy, but I think it is important to find the one/ones that truly care. The ones that show interest and are passionate about creating a partnership that will make a difference to your product and business. The ones that are willing to learn your product, to understand it, to spend time on it. The dedicated energy and efforts always show in the final output.
Do you feel that your personal hobbies play a role in your work? How so?
To be honest, yes. I think running helps me a lot in many ways and somehow manages to bring together my two very different skills: being more creative, while sharpening my organizational skills.
I am also an outdoor person, and spending more time disconnected helps me focus and organize my insights and come up with clearer hypotheses.
Where do you see the industry headed over the next 5 years? Do you have any predictions?
Perhaps towards brands communicating in a more honest and direct manner.
I think we are already starting to see more and more customers that appreciate brands that take more responsibility, openness and social implications seriously.
On a different note, more automated creatives.
What is your golden tip?
Set clear goals for anything you do and don’t be afraid to experiment!