Interviews & Opinion

Speaker Spotlight: TikTok's Noam Zada discusses the transformative power of cultural resonance

Speaker Spotlight: TikTok's Noam Zada discusses the transformative power of cultural resonance

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A global marketing expert, Noam Zada is the head of EMEA global gaming business marketing at TikTok.

Previously head of TikTok's Israel marketing department, she scaled the platform's presence, perception and business collaborations in the domestic and export markets, supporting local companies and startups to grow globally.

As well as TikTok, Zada has also worked at Wix, Google and 888Holdings, as well as serving serving as an advisory board member at Fiverr, Microsoft and Torq. On top of this, she is a proactive mentor and pro bono advisor for social change nonprofits.

Zada is one of more than 250+ expert speakers delivering 29 conference tracks at Pocket Gamer Connects London on January 22nd to 23rd. We asked Zada to tell us more about their upcoming talk, entitled 'A New Era for Mobile Gaming', as well as get their opinions on the latest industry trends. Please give us a summary of what you’re speaking about and why it’s important.

Noam Zada: Understanding the evolution of the mobile gaming landscape, the emergence of the modern mobile gamer, and the opportunities this new era holds for mobile gaming publishers.

What’s the most common mistake you see being made in the games sector?

The most common mistake is underestimating the transformative power of cultural resonance in game marketing.

Overlooking the integration of gaming into the cultural conversation can hinder a game's potential reach. Also, failing to cater to the varied cultural nuances of modern gamers can limit a game's potential reach and impact.

If you could give other mobile games companies one piece of advice, what would it be?

Embrace a "new title launch" strategy that prioritises cultural relevance. Timely, culturally resonant marketing drives deeper connections between games and players, setting the stage for successful launches.

The industry moves swiftly, and the ability to pivot, iterate, and embrace change is paramount for success.

Where are the next big opportunities in the mobile games market?

The fusion of gaming with cultural trends provides an unprecedented opportunity. Games that foster strong communities, tap into these trends and leverage platforms like TikTok to amplify their cultural impact will seize the spotlight.

What’s the most important key performance indicator (KPI) for you - and why?

Player engagement is crucial. It's not just about downloads; it's about how deeply players connect with and enjoy the game over time. Retention, session duration, and social interactions within the game are vital.

What game do you think offers something new, and exciting that hasn’t yet hit the mainstream?

While there are many innovative games in development, one genre showing immense potential is the combination of augmented reality (AR) and real-time strategy (RTS)

Imagine a game that merges AR technology with strategic gameplay, allowing players to engage in battles or build empires overlaid on the real world. This concept pushes the envelope, offering a unique, immersive experience that hasn't yet been fully explored in the mainstream gaming market.

The integration of AR in RTS has the potential to transform everyday environments into dynamic gaming arenas, offering a fresh, engaging way to experience strategy gaming.

There are a couple of pioneer games (like Pokémon GO or Ingress), that did integrate AR into mobile gaming.

However, the concept of a pure AR-based RTS game, where strategy and real-time decision-making are central to the gameplay overlaid on the real world, is still an emerging niche with immense potential for growth and innovation.

What is the most overhyped trend from the last 12 months - and why?

1. NFTs have seen immense hype without necessarily showcasing tangible value within gaming ecosystems.

2. The focus solely on downloads without considering cultural relevance has been overhyped. Cultural resonance drives sustained engagement, a core aspect of our "new title launch" strategy.

What role do NFTs play in the future of games?

While NFTs have potential, their current implementation lacks widespread utility. However, when used to enhance player engagement by offering unique in-game experiences that resonate culturally - this could reshape the games industry!

When not making/selling/playing games, what do you do to relax?

Pretty basic, I enjoy my own home, relaxing and spending time with my family, friends and pugs! And of course, cooking Persian food.

What do you enjoy most about working in the mobile games industry?

The constant innovation and the potential to combine cultural moments with gaming experiences.

Meet Noam Zada at PG Connects London

Not only will you have the chance to see Zada take part in one of our panel debates, but you can also arrange to meet them at PG Connects London. Our online organiser MeetToMatch is free to all event attendees, connecting you directly with more than 2,500 decision makers from the global games industry.

As well as the 29-track conference schedule, the two-day event also features a series of side-events like The Very Big Indie Pitch, Publisher SpeedMatch, Investor Connector and a host of other networking opportunities all aimed at helping you level up your skills and business.

Book your tickets now!