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Setting the right goals for your PR & Marketing / Game Industry Conference 2016

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My presentation for Game Industry Conference 2016 (during Poznan Game Arena Expo). The goal is to show how video game developers can approach marketing and branding of their products and achieve their goals.

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Setting the right goals for your PR & Marketing / Game Industry Conference 2016

  1. 1. SETTING THE RIGHT GOALS FOR YOUR PR & MARKETING Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. Game Industry Conference, 22.10.2016
  2. 2. MY BACKGROUND IN MARKETING, MOSTLY IN BIG NETWORK AGENCIES 20 years 16 campaigns 7 clients 4 years SERVED ON REGULAR BASIS DURING CAREER IN DIGITAL, SOCIAL AND TRADITIONAL CHANNELS OF GAMING IN SPARE TIME (ALSO SOME ESPORTS) Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. WHAT’S UP WITH GAME MARKETING? Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. CAN AN AD MAN UNDERSTAND A GAME DEV?
  5. 5. CAN AN AD MAN UNDERSTAND A GAME DEV? Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. Advertising industry • Often working extra hours • … so effective pay per hour could be better. • Still you’re expected to move mountains • … in very short time periods. But you’re doing it because you are driven by passion. Video game industry • Often working extra hours • … so effective pay per hour could be better. • Still you’re expected to move mountains • … in very short time periods. But you’re doing it because you are driven by passion.
  6. 6. LET’S USE GOOGLE TRANSLATE Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. You have to market your game. We live in world where lots of new games are coming out every day, technology is available for free to all and consumers have access to all information before buying the game. My first hypothesis was that to suceed in such market you need to put great emphasis on marketing efforts. This seems to be quite a common conclusion from indie game developers’ confessions: they lacked great marketing strategy and execution. MY FIRST APPROACH
  8. 8. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. HOW TO DELIVER GREAT CAMPAIGNS
  9. 9. TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION | THE COLLAPSE Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. https://youtu.be/4rvm5DKO-N0
  10. 10. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION | POLISH CAMPAIGN Fake news site Campaign strategy The distributor decided to launch own campaign regardless of global materials. The key pillars were cooperation with popular Youtube influencers, fake news site & Twitter account, native ads and a premiere event which all started around the game launch. Campaign summary The promo movie was met with massive critcism due to its low creative quality. The fake news had minimal engagement, as well as the PR event that was supposed to be the big finale. The messaging wasn’t consistent and the activities weren’t sufficiently supported with paid media or linked with each other. In result most of the campaign potential and budget were not used effectively. Promo movie with influencers Native advertisement Premiere event
  11. 11. RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER | SURVIVAL BILLBOARD Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. https://youtu.be/Tcx29R3e_Co
  12. 12. TITANFALL| ARCADE Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. https://vimeo.com/107541641
  13. 13. MADDEN NFL 2015 | GIFERATOR Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. https://youtu.be/yMgG1iWv2ow
  14. 14. The website offered great personalised (geolocalised) experience where anyone could conduct a simulation of the events leading to the game world state and share their score with peers. The game was perfectly placed in the reveal of simulation. The event had a niche offline audience, but it was greatly promoted online through Twitch, Youtube and other video media. Also the live aspect of the experience made it more unique and worthwhile for young audience. The arcade character of the game was strengthened with mini game homages to the classical era. They worked as a great entertainment content, cleverly placed on dull display banners and led to an extensive brand exposure. The game marketed itself genuinely. Instead of trying to force interest on non-gaming NFL audience, the game offered a useful tool for their social communication. Simple but powerful GIF generator spurred huge amounts of user generated content and convinced audience to give game a try. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. • Leverage of digital channels • Focus on inbound (indirect) marketing • Backed up with great ideas • Made by great video game brands CAMPAIGNS SUMMARY
  15. 15. Deloitte Digital Copyright © 2015 Deloitte Digital LLC. All rights reserved. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. TIPS FOR DOING GREAT CAMPAIGNS 1. Adapt all activities to a higher creative idea or story your game stands for. 2. Make sure all activities connect to each other, best if there’s a cause-effect relationship. 3. Focus on unique content (videos, live stream) that people can engage with and share with their friends. 4. Try to align with people lives and add something valuable to it. 5. Always support main activities with paid media, influencers and PR.
  16. 16. Deloitte Digital Copyright © 2015 Deloitte Digital LLC. All rights reserved. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. WHAT ABOUT INDIE GAMES?
  17. 17. Deloitte Digital Copyright © 2015 Deloitte Digital LLC. All rights reserved. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. WHAT ABOUT INDIE GAMES? Consulted with friends, not with focus groups Success is measured in won hearts, not wallets When thing goes bad, you’re on your own. Game design based on gut feeling, not market research Often done after hours, not during office hours Made because of passion, not for revenue Production is self-funded, not backed by corporation
  18. 18. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAMPAIGNS Brand campaigns Making people love a brand product campaigns Making people buy a product
  19. 19. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAMPAIGNS Brand campaigns Making people love a brand product campaigns Making people buy a product
  20. 20. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. You don’t have to market your game. When talking and listening to video game developers I realized that they not always want their games to be best sellers. They would rather they lived up to their expectations, that people loved them and understood their meaning. That’s because when you are guided by passion, you don’t care about commercial rewards. So my second hypothesis is that you don’t have to market your game. And some great indie games proves that it’s still possible to be wildly popular and succesful. But you need one thing: branding. MY SECOND APPROACH
  21. 21. WHAT IS A BRAND? Set of associations evoked among consumers. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved.
  22. 22. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. WHAT ARE SOME GREAT BRANDS?
  23. 23. WHAT BRAND IS IT? Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved.
  24. 24. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. WHAT ARE SOME GREAT INDIE VIDEO GAMES?
  25. 25. HOW VIDEO GAMES BECOME BRANDS? Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. Games that are a combination of human passion, high quality and good branding stand out (and sell well). Such games have a potential to become brands.
  26. 26. SOMETIMES IT JUST HAPPENS… BUT DON’T TAKE YOUR CHANCES Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved.
  27. 27. Deloitte Digital Copyright © 2015 Deloitte Digital LLC. All rights reserved. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. HOW TO MAKE YOUR GAME STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
  28. 28. 1. BE DISTINCT Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. What does it mean As a future brand you need to have your own, unique visual style and language. You must be unambiguously recognized on the basis of a group of symbols, colors, sounds, words. How to do it When working on a game design have in mind the whole spectrum of assets like logo, font, art style, wording. Keep it simple, cohesive and easily remembered. Don’t rush - when it’s published, it’s done. And most people will only have 1-5 contacts with your creation. Examples Superhot (on the right), Firewatch, Bound
  29. 29. 2. WORK OUT A STORY Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. What does it mean If you want publicity, you need a great story. From a user perspective you’re not exactly making a game, but a medium for a specific experience one can have. Users need to believe and love it from the beginning. How to do it Think what does your game represent and build a story around it. Make it unique, but don’t try too hard. People crave for a combination of what they know (need for comfort) with a twist (need for change). Then write it down in one sentence and make a great trailer for it. Examples This war of mine (on the right), Darkest Dungeon
  30. 30. 3. BE ACCESSIBLE Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. What does it mean The most succesful games are the ones with universal appeal and the biggest customer base. It makes more sense to interest everyone in the market rather than limitating to a small, segmented audience. How to do it Focus on similarity to other games (X meets Y), show how easy anyone can start it, make it clear that there are many ways to play your game and definitely limit the nerd buzzwords. Examples Gwent (on the right), Starbound
  31. 31. 4. BE ALWAYS ON Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. What does it mean Communication with a fanbase is a real discussion, not a periodic announcement. People want to experience the human touch in games, want to be heard and when you got them excited - not kept waiting. How to do it Reach out to community as often as you can. Maybe consider hiring someone to help you with that. Grow your own fan channels like forums, subreddit or closed groups. Send them updates and encourage to share the opinion. In fact you may learn something on your game. Examples Stardew Valley (on the right), Divinity Original Sin
  32. 32. 5. KEEP CHANGING Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. What does it mean Getting something right the first time is tough. But doing it the second time is even more difficult. Most indie games don’t get a sequel or don’t enjoy players retention. That’s because you need to redefine the offer on the fly. How to do it Look closely to how people interact with the game and what they talk about it. Think how you can meet their expectations before your competitors do it. Examples Rocket League (on the right), Don’t Starve
  33. 33. 6. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. What does it mean You can earn a lot of money by not telling the truth, but eventually you will lose something else - trust. How to do it Being honest and truthful will win you more hearts in the long run. And you plan on doing some more games in your life, don’t you? Anti-Examples No Man’s Sky (on the right), Star Citizen, ARK: Survival Evolved
  34. 34. Deloitte Digital Copyright © 2015 Deloitte Digital LLC. All rights reserved. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. TIPS FOR WORKING OUT BRANDING 1. Be distinct. Have your own, unique style. People need to recognize you without hesitation. 2. Work out a story. You’re offering people an experience and it needs a good story to back it up. 3. Be accessible. You can’t underestimate how different people may want to play your game. 4. Be always on. Game is like a service and you have to show people that you’re there for them. 5. Keep changing. Remember that whole market evolves and so do the expectations of people. 6. Be true to yourself. The award will come later.
  35. 35. Deloitte Digital Copyright © 2015 Deloitte Digital LLC. All rights reserved. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. THE WRAP UP
  36. 36. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. GOALS PRIORITIZATION 3. EXECUTION 2. MARKETING 1. BRAND Start of development Game release • Game/brand concept • Rules of good branding • Marketing strategy • Digital campaigns planning • Cooperation with agencies • Communication in channels
  37. 37. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. GOALS PRIORITIZATION 3. EXECUTION 2. MARKETING 1. BRAND Start of development Game release Most indie game developers focus on marketing perspective not long before releasing a game. In fact, it may already be too late to achieve great results. Choosing a PR agency won’t help much. You may want to make a step back and think about your game as a brand. You can find a lot of beginner materials on how to do branding. Then if you want, think how your game can add value to people’s lives and use digital channels as leverage. Only then should you move to tactics and cooperate with PR agency, do some social media, send codes to influencers.
  38. 38. Deloitte Digital Copyright © 2015 Deloitte Digital LLC. All rights reserved. Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER FROM TODAY Mainstream and indie games are different, but rules are mostly the same. All big games earned their success and now are treated like valuable brands. You can learn quite a lot by studying their successes and changing your approach.. Don’t wait with marketing till the end. Because most often it will be too late. Start at the beginning of game development and start figuring out what is that really you want to offer to people. Be yourself. We all make mistakes but the most persistent and the most truthful achieve great things. And people always respect that. Half measures give quarter results Take responsibility for branding and marekting, but if in doubt reach out to professionals (even freelancers).
  39. 39. Deloitte Digital Copyright © 2015 Deloitte Digital LLC. All rights reserved. Piotr Bombol Senior Consultant pbombol@deloittece.com www.linkedin.com/in/piotrbombol Deloitte Digital CE © 2016. All rights reserved. THANK YOU. LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH.

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