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Anatomy of a Growth Marketer: Kim Bhatha, Zynga

Written by: Shane O'Neill, Director of Content

Anatomy of a Growth Marketer is an ongoing blog series showcasing top talent in the field of digital advertising.

San Francisco-based Zynga has been a gaming innovator since its launch in 2007. The company built its name on social games like Farmville, Words with Friends and Zynga Poker, and quickly expanded into creating its own mobile games and brands.

Kim Bhatha Zynga

Zynga currently has 88 million monthly active users and 23 million daily active users. According to the company, over one billion people have played Zynga’s games since it started in 2007.

So what’s it like to work in marketing at one of the biggest names in gaming? We asked Kim Bhatha, the company’s senior user acquisition manager, to share details about Zynga’s marketing org and offer advice on building an in-house team.

What is your role at Zynga, and what attracted you to it?

I’m a senior user acquisition manager. I’ve been in this role for almost two years and have been working at Zynga for four years. What attracted me to the role was Zynga itself. I’ve always been interested in the gaming industry and Zynga is so well-versed in the gaming space.

"Make sure you have great reporting and measurement tools. Managing day-to-day UA campaigns can be very challenging if your company does not have the tools to take quick action."

- Kim Bhatha

Also, Zynga provided many opportunities to learn more about user acquisition. UA helps make connections with gamers, which is essential in such a competitive space. UA also gives me the chance to work with partners outside of the company like Nanigans and others, which I enjoy.

What is a typical day in the life of your role?  

My typical day starts off with reviewing campaign performance across all our different games. I then perform necessary optimizations for bidding, budgeting and creative, and provide reports to internal and external teams. A big part of my job is to help grow our UA efforts via geo expansion and targeting.

Describe how your marketing team is structured at Zynga? What are the different roles and responsibilities?

We have a marketing team of 24 people split into direct and indirect teams.  

The direct team manages all of the programmatic buys, which includes Facebook, Google, Twitter and Snapchat. The indirect team is responsible for managing all of the third-party partner traffic for RTB (real-time bidding) and in-app ads, which is basically all our ad channels outside of Facebook, Google, Twitter and Snapchat.

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In what ways has Nanigans software helped Zynga become a more sophisticated advertiser?

Using the Nanigans platform has made building, managing and optimizing campaigns on Facebook much smoother than what we were doing before. The Nanigans reporting tools are really sophisticated compared to Ads Manager, making the day-to-day management and execution through Nanigans an easy and efficient process.

How do you see the digital advertising landscape changing in next five years, and how should marketers capitalize on this shift?  

I see the advertising landscape moving towards automation with less visibility into the back-end data. Over the next few years, advertising will probably move towards a less hands-on approach and rely more on machine optimization. I think this will apply at all levels: creative, copy and ROAS-level optimizations.

What advice would you give to companies trying to develop in-house advertising talent like yours?  

Make sure you have great reporting and measurement tools. Managing day-to-day UA campaigns can be very challenging if your company does not have the tools to take quick action.

At my previous companies, we wasted a lot of time aggregating excel reports from different sources prior to doing any optimizations. So my advice would be to make sure to build out the necessary measurement tools so you can view full-funnel metrics and make adjustments on a campaign in a timely manner.

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