THE GAME OF MARKETING - what can marketing teams learn from gaming and how to navigate Your customer across the open world of Your brand!
"The video game industry is a $180 billion category that grew more than 20% in 2020."
- Matt Schmidt
People who don't game most likely perceive the videogame world as a time-stealer. At Raise Your Media, we agree to disagree! We have three dedicated gamers on our team, and one of our animators works for the industry! Read about their favorite tips and tricks that influence daily work at our marketing agency.
Greg (Web Developer)
Navigate Your customer across the open world of Your brand to win the game of marketing.
Developers put a lot of effort into providing big open worlds for players to explore. Creating an extensive environment makes game sessions longer and, in turn, more likely for games to be recommended and sold. However only tweaking numbers to resize the map relative to the player is not a good idea - if locations are empty or full of copy-and-paste content the gamer will most likely get bored quickly and put the game on the shelf.
The same goes for Your content. The person that encounters Your brand for the first time is actually entering Your world but it is Your quest to keep the player-customer entertained.
No one likes to be lost in games so developers leave signs to point players in a the right direction. Sometimes it can be really subtle and sophisticated like the actual wind in Ghost of Tsushima; some can be more obvious like map pointers. Some games take a completely different approach like building the entire game all over one big corridor so the player has no choice but to follow the right direction - for example - You can’t even go left in early Mario games. Every approach has its own pros and cons, however every one of those has been made well in the game industry, so we can get inspiration from some interactive entertainment masterpieces.
The corridor structure in games refers to the sales funnel. In advertising, common practice is to prepare landing pages that are simpler then a full, official website, to focus the customer's attention on the topic that we are trying to deliver. You can’t find the menu, header or footer. Only a big bright button to interact with. Just like a shining sword on a pedestal in an empty chamber that waits to be picked up by the player.
Limiting options is not always a good idea. Open world games are very popular because of the possibilities that they give. When someone enters Your front page, expect to have a ton of possibilities. Imagine for example a city in some hypothetical MMORPG. Every location should be quickly accessible and yet it can’t be intimidating for new players. You can accomplish that by following rules that apply in games as well as in online marketing.
For example, reference to a well-known standard: An anvil in front of a building means blacksmith - we can upgrade equipment here. Friendly character in a wizard hat? I bet he has potions. Scary character in a wizard hat? Great. I’m going to buy some spells. Websites have very similar trends: The bar above the content is a header, below is the footer and three strips in the corner of the mobile view is probably a menu. Having that in mind - don’t stick only to one tested layout - always put some twist and just remember that customers may expect some content in certain places like contact information in the footer.
Giving good navigation is crucial. By looking at Steam achievement statistics, we know that a lot of players started games and put them away after a few tries. The common explanation for that is hard to understand controls. Once again we can learn a lot from this. If interactions with content are more challenging than rewarding, recipients can quickly abandon You and they will never find the rest of Your work. In this way, You are losing the game of marketing.
The way a client experiences your brand from the beginning to the end is called the customer journey and it is a perfect term. Someone discovering Your company is starting an adventure - if it will be a boring one with unrecognizable characters and locations it will end quickly but if You manage to keep that person entertained you can expect to gain company that will travel with You throughout the wide world of social media, mountains of online presence and dark forests of media marketing.
Marcus (Business Development Manager)
You can overcome any challenge!
Playing video games since childhood has influenced me to take life/work challenges head-on and have complete disregard for the fear of failure. It subconsciously instilled “failure” as part of the process to success and mastery. The many years of playing different types of video games allow me to dive into any subject or industry and acclimate quickly. In short, gaming has influenced me to forge ahead confidently in the face of any problem and also to establish a foothold quickly in new situations and subjects.
Matthew (Communication Strategist)
Stories you can experience...
Nowadays, the GameDev market brings more revenue than the film and music industries combined. Enjoying many video games is a social experience, allowing us to meet with another person or a group of people in a unique setting. Some games allow us to challenge one another, others put us on teams and force us to cooperate, others show us vivid worlds we can explore and tell stories that we can be a part of. Contemporary game design aims at creating unique experiences for players, which is quite similar to the direction of modern marketing development.
Storytelling, user experience, and emotions are what build up brand image and awareness. Playing video games is a pleasant leisure, but it can also teach us about ourselves and others. With proper reflection, gaming can also help us in our work as marketers.
As a team of professionals of various backgrounds, at Raise Your Media, we like to approach the game of marketing from many different perspectives.
The more inspiration we can get outside of the work, the more comprehensive and out-of-the-box our creative processes are. The gaming industry influences many aspects of modern thinking and definitely sets the tone of what’s trending… for marketing, tech, and many more industries! We’re thankful that part of our team games A LOT! We couldn’t do what we do without their unique approach!
Happy Video Game Weekend to all gamers out there!