Interview with Natalino Carlo of Infernozilla from the United States

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Natalino Carlo

Natalino Carlo is a 26-year-old CEO, running Infernozilla, a Texas-based agency focused on Video Game Social Media, Community Management, and Marketing. His journey began in high school when he saw the potential in the gaming industry, and he started his company after moving from Ethiopia in 2016.

Interview with the 2023 NYX Marcom Awards Winner -
Natalino Carlo

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your background.

I am a 26 year old CEO and founder of Infernozilla, a Video Game Social Media & Community Management and Marketing Agency based in Texas. Having immigrated from Ethiopia back in 2016, my journey already began back in high school where I already spotted opportunities within the video game industry.

I went onto working on the popular game Escape from Tarkov, and through the skills and experience I picked up, it accelerated my path in entrepreneurship. My passion was first in video games and now, everything to do with business creation and expansion. So this was a natural progression that has brought Infernozilla to what it is today with over 40 employees and now over 105 clients in our portfolio.

2What led you to become a marketing communications professional?

Growing up I wanted to be a doctor but gravitated towards computer science in later years. However, I discovered that my real passion was in the creative realm and started doing marketing work for a couple of online communities and video games. I quickly discovered that this is something you could become really successful at and do as a living.

As a child growing up in Ethiopia, usually the only way to success was being a doctor or software engineer. As I spotted opportunities and saw the massive potential that I could bring to the table, I dropped out of my computer science program and pursued digital marketing and entrepreneurship full time.

3What is your role in the agency, and what traits should a marketing communications professional possess to be successful in their role?

I, of course operate as CEO and grow our agency among managing and consolidating relationships with our current clientele and expanding our portfolio. As for what traits to possess, it should definitely to be resilient, have the willingness to learn and invested interest.

With the industry constantly in flux and always ever-changing, you need to be willing to adapt and be humble in admitting when you’re wrong. If you also are invested in what you do and have an innate passion for it, you are destined to succeed as you will go the extra mile in improving your craft.

4Tell us more about your agency/company.
Infernozilla is a Video Game Marketing Agency that specializes in Social Media and Community Management as well as Grassroots Marketing services. We’ve served large studios with over 100 employees to even singular indie developers and now we have over 105 amazing games/studios in our portfolio. To this end, we are known for working with highly prolific games such as Escape from Tarkov, Ready or Not and Black Mesa to name a few!
5What is your own definition of marketing communications?

To me, it would be authenticity. While it's crucial to convey a product or brand effectively, today's consumer audiences are increasingly perceptive and tend to recognize many of the conventional and overused marketing strategies. This usually amounts to ensuring the product or brand is a strong one to begin with and naturally highlight its strengths.

No matter how much marketing is done, it's impossible to successfully promote a poor product. This is a recurring observation that has led many consumers to become disengaged with traditional marketing methods.

6Describe your marketing communications style and its main characteristics.
Infernozilla prides on being bold, confident and approachable! It’s a no fluff approach that effectively highlights how the proof is in the pudding in being upfront about our past work and what we may do for you. We also make sure that we would even be a good fit together.
7Tell us about your ideation process.
Usually, we start with some goals in mind. Then, we dig into research to figure out how to reach those goals and sketch out ideas. If we're not short on time, we might even explore different ways to do things instead of opting for the obvious choice. Sometimes, this all begins when we remember an idea or come across something that sparks our inspiration.
8Congratulations! As the winner of the NYX Marcom Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
Thank you so much! Being recognized by the prestigious NYX Marcom Awards is a tremendous honor that highlights the exceptional talent within Infernozilla's teams. We already have a deep sense of pride in our work, our communication efforts, and the fantastic studios we collaborate with. This is really the cherry on top of our grand achievements!
9 How has winning an international award help to promote your agency and works?
Quite significantly, I would say! We’ve been able to display our awards and achievements and it tends to be a great icebreaker or conversation starter which has definitely helped in promoting our agency in an organic way.
10What are the challenges of your winning entry(s)?
While each entry varies significantly, the main challenges start with truly understanding our clients and what they want to achieve. With our vast portfolio that covers many different genres of games, brands and styles - this means it was vitally important for our teams to be tapped into the particular brand they were working with and still deliver a certain standard of work.
11How has the country you are based in helped during your ideation process?
As we’re based in the United States, we’ve found that we have an unprecedented knowledge base or pool of talent we have access to or the networking potential of a well-developed country. This has tremendously helped in ideation and even execution. Nothing is ever out of reach and there is also a plethora of innovation and inspiration all around us!
12What are the current trends in the marketing communications industry that you are most excited about?

This would definitely be the new incredible AI technologies that are arising before us. These will definitely be utilized in some form or another in a professional capacity in the industry and it may shake up everyone’s creative process. This isn’t even exclusive to AI but even to the ways that social media is evolving and advertising practices are changing.

All of this will most likely mean the increasing importance of the human touch and unreplaceable creativity that comes with it as most will tend to rely on these technologies instead of using them as part of their toolbox. On the other hand, I believe that all creative people need to start being comfortable with AI technology and systems around them because their creative value continues to be irreplaceable.

13What are the top three (3) favorite things about the marketing communications industry?
First is how you’re never bored, there’s always a new challenge to face and problem to solve. Secondly, being in a rapidly changing industry means that there’s always new things to learn or account for. Lastly, there's the incredible opportunity to showcase outstanding games crafted by developers who pour their immense passion into their work. Being able to bring attention to their passion brings us great joy and the how we turn our passion into a career is like a dream come true.
14What resources would you recommend to someone who is searching to improve their marketing communications ideas and concepts?

Keep connected! Always be passing ideas with colleagues and others in the industry as you’re bound to stay up to date with the latest trends and new ways to solve specific problems. This also means looking to social media and especially LinkedIn, in connecting with companies you aspire to.

Often they will impart advice or even share their thought process behind what they do. Youtube is another obvious go-to where there are a select few channels that offer prime tutorials and advice. There's no more effective method to enhance your skills than by gaining hands-on experience in the industry, even if it means starting as a volunteer in the beginning.

15Where do you see the evolution of the marketing industry in the next 5-10 years?
This would include the use of AI as a standard in the industry, and in many more powerful renditions that we’re currently seeing. With a lot of this technology still in its infancy, it’s hard to imagine the many different types of AI tools we will be seeing whether it’s with image and video generation or conversational chatbots like ChatGPT. This could be a great filter in separating the good marketers from the great marketers in using these tools effectively and retaining a level of uniqueness.
16Who inspired you in your life, and why?
Iman Gadzhi! I have been following him since he was in his late teens through his personal growth and how he's built his businesses from at a young age. As someone of a similar age to him, I've learned a lot by following in his footsteps, watching his YouTube channel, and participating in his education programs. Especially during the early stages of my career, I had a lot of things I took away from his work. I’ve applied this to my own work with my own spin as well as incorporating ideas I have learned from others.
17What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Always have a willingness to learn and better yourself. Use your ambitions to motivate you forward and fuel your discipline to put in the hard work. In contrast, it's essential to remain humble and acknowledge when you're mistaken, but most importantly, take proactive steps to learn from these errors. This is the most obvious advice, but there is a reason why it’s timeless and shared so often.
18Do you have anything else you would like to add for the interview?

Thank you so much to NYX Marcom Awards for the recognition and the honor of winning 6 Grand Wins, 8 Gold and 2 Silver NYX Marcom Awards! Infernozilla has seen massive growth in the last 2 years and in hitting great milestones and achievements is always a bonus on top of everything else we’ve been doing. Also a big thank you and congratulations to all of our amazing team members and the phenomenal work that they’ve been doing. Cheers to more!

If you are a videogame developer, studio, or publisher and want an awesome team behind you to take your project to the next level, reach out to us!

Winning Entries

Natalino Carlo


Natalino Carlo is a 26-year-old CEO, running Infernozilla, a Texas-based agency focused on Video Game Social Media, Community Management, and Marketing. His journey began in high school when he saw the potential in the gaming industry, and he started his company after moving from Ethiopia in 2016.

Read more Natalino Carlo’s interview for the 2023 Vega Digital Awards!