Marketing is the cornerstone of the Western world of commerce. It establishes a company’s voice and personality among their competitors and plays a key role in the ultimate success or failure of a business, whatever the industry.
The games industry is no different. We’ve all witnessed the cogs of the machine start to turn as the release date of a AAA title nears. This can sometimes start years in advance, in some cases to the detriment of the quality of the game, putting undue pressures on studios to live up to the generated hype.
The online casino sector is a fiercely competitive one. One which is very keen to attract new players to their tables and create a brand-loyal customer out of them. A common way that this is achieved is by offering a casino bonus for first time gamers.
Incentives may come in the form of no-deposit bonuses, deposit matches or free spins. Furthermore, providers may offer VIP incentives for devoted users and loyalty rewards for your consistent and returning custom.
The 7 Ps of Marketing
Promotion is only one element of the marketing umbrella. Some insist there are 7 constituent Ps, the other 6 being, Price, Place, Product, People, Physical evidence and Process. It would not be enough to simply offer great deals if your target market never gets to hear of them.
This is where the ‘place’ element comes into play – and to know the correct locations to promote your deals, it is also important to know who your customer is. To build a solid understanding of who is likely to be interested in your service requires extensive research. This might include surveys, product testing, advertisement trialing, brand awareness and reach, market segmentation and research into pricing and also your competitors.
It is thought that the majority of business failure in any sector is caused by a lack of market analysis. Even large firms are not immune to these problems, sometimes losing touch with their place in the landscape and stagnating.
The gaming industry has experienced a period of extreme transition and growth over the last decade. Accepted pricing models have changed and changed again as the industry has endeavored to keep up with advancing technology.
DLC (downloadable content) has been met with some resistance from the community, especially when said content can be categorized as a pay-to-win implementation – where players who purchase the DLC are given an unfair advantage in game. However, DLC has endured as a successful way to extend the shelf life of a game in the form of additional maps, levels, quests or items.
The E3 Expo takes place annually at the Los Angeles Convention Center and has long been a testing ground for games companies to gauge the reception of their newest creations. E3 is a chance for publishers, developers and manufacturers to promote to retailers and members of the press.
A hotly anticipated title can cause a real stir among enthusiasts, with a successful teaser trailer or a first-look playable demo grabbing headlines and column inches in the gaming press. However, some games have notoriously become victims of their own success.
No Man’s Sky, a procedurally generated space explorer, was supposed to mark a pivotal point in game design with its near infinite world. After several setbacks and content adjustments, the finished result fell well short of what fans were expecting.
Another notable example was 2020’s Cyberpunk 2077. Like No Man’s Sky, Cyberpunk 2077 from CD Projekt Red faced delays to the initial release date and when it finally did arrive was clearly rushed – some would say unfinished. Players who had pre-ordered the game were largely disappointed.
Updates to patch software imperfections are part of the release model of modern video games. Gone are the days of striving to release a perfect product because pre-Web 2.0, once a game had hit the shelves, there was no way to fix a problem without an expensive full recall and re-release.
Nowadays, players are very much involved in the bug detection phase of development. Studios routinely release alpha and beta versions of their games to take advantage of the many more play-time hours an army of loyal gamers can provide.
With a move towards cloud gaming, platforms are keen to bring in-demand developers into their fold to make respective libraries more attractive and more deserving of your subscription payment. Promoting a well-rounded catalogue of games has become the mode du jour.
Games made for mobile devices, one of the biggest growth sectors within the industry, have a marketing strategy all of their own. Some of the most successful of these games are freemium models, which are initially free to play, with microtransactions contained within.
Another common template is a free to play game with capital raised via the use of in game ads. This way, many games end up promoting one another and thus creating more value within the market.
The gaming industry marketing sector is a sprawling, well-oiled machine. There’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes of your favorite video game than you might think.