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LAFS Marketing and Monetization Lecture 1: Marketing Fundamentals


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Level 1 of the Los Angeles Film School's Marketing and Monetization class.

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LAFS Marketing and Monetization Lecture 1: Marketing Fundamentals

  1. 1. Level 1 David Mullich Marketing and Monetization The Los Angeles Film School
  2. 2. Who Am I?  David Mullich   @David_Mullich   LAFS Game Program Lead Faculty  Former Producer at Disney, Activision, 3DO and the Spinmaster toy company
  4. 4. Marketing and Monetization
  5. 5. What Do You Think This Class About?
  6. 6. What This Class Is Really About  Marketing: The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.  Monetization: The process of converting something into money.
  7. 7. How To Market Your Game
  9. 9. Class Topics 1. Marketing Fundamentals and Branding 2. Game Publishing 3. Game Funding 4. Social Media 5. Marketing Materials 6. Advertising and Publicity 7. Sales and Distribution 8. Monetization and Metrics 9. Community Development and Management 10. Marketing Plans
  10. 10. Class Grading  20%: 10 Labs  30%: 10 Assignments  30%: 3 Tests  10%: Professionalism  10%: Attendance 2% Extra Credit for attending Game Fair
  11. 11. Be Your Own Career Entrepreneur
  12. 12. Devotion Persistence Reinvention 3 Keys To Success
  13. 13. Remember, This Is A College Class Studying game development at college is still college study.
  14. 14. Take Notes Having one of these is a minimum requirement. At all times.
  15. 15. Study  Review the online Lecture Notes  Think  Understand  Reflect and Connect
  16. 16. Tests  Study for your tests! Refer to the slides.  If you see on a slide, it will probably be on the test.  If you don’t know the answer to a test question, guess!  There are no points deducted for wrong answers on multiple-choice questions  I will award some points for clever or knowledgeable answers on short-answer questions, even if they weren’t the answer I was looking for.
  17. 17. Labs Game development is a team sport. Each of your labs is a group assignment in which everyone must participate.
  18. 18. Assignments Do your homework assignments on the LMS (Learning Management System).
  19. 19. Word Counts Word counts are there for a reason. Use them wisely and avoid:  Padding  Going off topic  Repeating yourself  Padding by stating the obvious in a way that takes quite a lot of words but really isn’t saying anything new  Repeating yourself but in a different way  Padding, wadding, lining, extemporising, extraneous content or going on any other kind of Synonym Safari TM
  20. 20. Creativity Within Constraints If you can’t be bothered to:  be creative  strive for originality even within established norms or constraints  look beyond your initial idea  actually enjoy and actively want to do the above Then get used to the phrase “Would you like fries with that?”
  21. 21. Deliver Work On Time Develop a habit of delivering work on time. In the game industry, when work is late, people don’t get paid. Pssst....Sometimes developers make false internal deadlines to avoid calamity such as missed milestone payments. Maybe you could do the same if graduation is at stake?
  22. 22. School Is Your Job Yes, these are important:  Part-time work  Family  Friends  Fun But don’t neglect your school work!
  24. 24. All Business is Communication
  25. 25. Good Communication Precise Clear Brief
  26. 26. Written Communication Informal Communication Its cool to werk in gamez.u get too do anything u want & stuff Formal Communication It’s cool to work in games. You get to do anything you want and stuff.
  27. 27. Written Communication  Capitalize the beginning of sentences, names, game titles, and the word “I”  Use proper spelling and punctuation  Put a space between punctuation mark ending a sentence and the start of the next sentence  Don’t use “u” for “you”, or “&” for “and”  Don’t confuse “its” and “it’s”
  28. 28. Attention to detial It matters.
  29. 29. First Rule of Success: Show Up  DON’T BE TARDY But if you know you will be late, EMAIL ME!  DON’T BE ABSENT But if you know you will be gone, EMAIL ME!
  30. 30. “All I want to do is just pass this class” Classes are not kidney stones. If you think about them in these terms, maybe you’re on the wrong career path?
  31. 31. Impressions Your colleagues and faculty will most likely be your doorway into the industry. How do you want them to think of you? ZERO HERO
  32. 32. The Golden Rule
  34. 34. What Is This Game? “A puzzle game where several different types of colored blocks continuously fall from above and you must arrange them to make horizontal rows of blocks. Completing any row causes those blocks to move downwards. The blocks above gradually fall faster and the game is over when the screen fills up and blocks can no longer fall from the top.”
  35. 35. A Shorter Description “Race against the clock to match and arrange vertically falling colored blocks before they stack too high and fill the screen!”
  36. 36. What Are The Ways To Describe A Game?
  37. 37. Describe by Core Game Mechanic Game Action Purpose Tetris Rotate pieces to remove lines Candy Crush Match 3 pieces to destroy them Chess Position pieces to capture opponent’s pieces Super Smash Bros Attack to knock opponent back Doom Run and shoot to kill enemies World of Warcraft Kill to earn experience
  38. 38. Describe by Genre
  39. 39. Describe by Genre  Action  Ball and Paddle  Beat’em Up  Fighting Game  Maze Game  Pinball Game  Platform Game  Shooter ○ First Person Shooter ○ MMO FPS ○ Light Gun Shooter ○ Shoot ‘Em Up ○ Tactical Shooter ○ Rail Shooter ○ Third Person Shooter  Action-Adventure  Stealth Game  Survival Horror  Adventure  Real-Time 3D Adventure  Text Adventure  Graphic Adventure  Visual Novel  Role-Playing  Western/Japanese RPGs  Fantasy RPGs  Sandbox RPGs  Action RPGs  MMORPGs  Rogue RPGs  Tactical RPGS  Simulation  Construction/Management  Life  Vehicle  Strategy  4X Game  Artillery Game  Real-time Strategy  Real-time Tactics  Tower Defense  Turn-based Strategy  Turn-based Tactics  Wargame  Other  Casual Game  Music Game  Party Game  Programming Game  Puzzle Game  Sprots Game  Trivia Game  Board Game
  40. 40. Describe in Other Terms  Story-driven  Run-and-gun  Brain-teaser  Hack n slash  Sandbox  God game
  41. 41. Describe by Theme Location or Time Period Story or Film Character
  42. 42. Describe by Play Value  Fantasy vs Reality  Casual vs Hardcore  Slow-Paced vs Fast-Paced  Build vs Destroy  Friendly vs Threatening
  43. 43. Describe by Target Players
  44. 44. Demographics  Age  Gender  Favorite Genre  Skill Level  Play Session Length  Income
  45. 45. Warning! It is dangerous to enter a market where gamers are monogamous with their game of choice! It's far safer to woo those gamers who love numerous games.
  46. 46. Describe by Differentiation Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Answers the question, “What makes this game so special?”
  47. 47. What Makes A Game Special?
  48. 48. Unique Selling Proposition  Different  Compelling  No Hyperbole  No Empty Words
  49. 49. Unique Selling Proposition Battlefield  Huge open environments  Large scale battles  Vehicular combat Modern Warfare  Player customization and unique loadouts  Leveling up and unlocking new gear
  50. 50. What Are These Games’ USP’s?
  51. 51. Elevator Pitch
  52. 52. Elevator Pitch Structure for Games Game Title is a game genre set in theme for target player. It features core game mechanics that bring play value. Unlike competition, this game unique differentiation. Game Title Game Genre Theme Target Player Core Game Mechanics Play Value Competition Unique Differentiation
  53. 53. Example Pitch Somehow it always falls to Mustachio to rally his friends for their many adventures. Run and jump through a side- scrolling world made of and inhabited by blocks. With mustaches. A world full of action, puzzles and arbitrary danger that Mustachio faces boldly with his mustache-fueled power to make block duplicates of himself. What? Cloning AND mustaches?! You betcha! Game Title Game Genre Theme Target Player Core Game Mechanics Play Value Competition Unique Differentiation
  54. 54. Positioning Statement Positioning: How your product compares to or differs from other products in your target market: it’s “position” on the landscape and in the consumer’s mind. Positioning Statement: A concise, specific wording used to describe a product’s positioning.
  55. 55. Positioning Statement Template For [Target Market], [Brand] is [Point of Differentiation] among all [Frame of Reference] because [Reason to Believe]. Tetris is an exciting Russian-themed tile- matching game for puzzle game players combining fast action and strategic thinking with a colorful, Russian aesthetic.
  56. 56. Tips For A Good Positioning Statement  Simple but memorable  Clearly differentiates from competitors  Credible  Ownable  Defines marketing decisions  Allows growth
  57. 57. Tagline Taglines are punchy, compelling one-liners that capture interest and help with selling a game. “From Russia With Fun”
  58. 58. Taglines With Huge Pricetags To Develop
  59. 59. Simple 3-Step Tagline Process 1. Describe your game in a few sentences 2. Trim it down 3. Trim it down again
  60. 60. Memory Test What does Electronic Arts call a positioning statement and tagline?
  61. 61. Hooks Having a “good game” is not enough! It needs some type of hook! A hook is a compelling feature or offer that the Potential customer cannot Say “no” to.
  62. 62. Reality Check People don’t like “revolutionary”! They say they do, but not Really. People want security.
  63. 63. Maslow Was Right! So how do you be distinctive?
  64. 64. Tie It To Something People Know  “It’s like Risk, but in first-person POV!”  “It’s like basketball, but with spaceships!” OR  Market your game to early adopters.
  65. 65. Practice Round Break into groups to determine your game’s product positioning.  List the top 5 features of your game in descending order  Identify which of these features are important, pre-emptive and distinctive  Compare this feature list with your number one competitive game  Identify your game’s unique features over your competitors
  67. 67. The Four “P’s” Marketers refer to the following of comprising the Marketing Mix of a campaign:  Product  Price  Promotion  Place Let’s take a closer look at each!
  68. 68. Product  What is the essence of the idea?  What makes it unique and compelling?  Who is the audience?  How big is that audience?  How do we make it?  What will it cost to make?
  69. 69. Price  How much will your game sell for?  Is it an impulse purchase?  Is it a premium-priced purchase?
  70. 70. Promotion The key vehicles, tactics, and programs used to promote your game.  Advertising  Public Relations  Social Media  Word-of-mouth
  71. 71. Place The places where you will sell your game.  Retail stores  Digital distribution
  72. 72. BRANDING
  73. 73. What is a “brand”?
  74. 74. A Philosophical Definition  Branding is the unique identity, personality, and characteristics identifying loyal customers.  It is the “who”, “what”, and most importantly “why” of you and your product
  75. 75. A Philosophical Definition  It is a promise kept.
  76. 76. How Do These Brand Identities Differ?
  77. 77. Best Branding Evar!
  78. 78. A Practical Definition Branding includes all the physical and administrative components of your company and game.  Company and game name  Company and game logos  Messaging, slogans, taglines  Advertising  Website  Trademarks  Social Media  Marketing strategy and tactics
  79. 79. No Brand Is Built Overnight! Brand Building requires:  Repetitive Exposure  Coordinated approach across multiple channels  Time  Patience
  80. 80. The Brand Development Process  The Facts  Answer Essential Questions  Create Your Brand “Personality”  Competitive Landscape  Target Audience  Differentiators  Your Brand/Mission/Product Statement  The Core Pitch Let’s take a closer look at each!
  81. 81. The Facts  The founders and their roles  Where you’re located  Your background and expertise
  82. 82. Answers To These Essential Questions  WHY are you?  What makes you special?  Why will people like you?
  83. 83. Define Your Brand Personality  Independent  High quality  Great [at what]  Funny  Serious  Determined  Engaging  Challenging  Best [what]  Expert  Inspiring  Artistic  Ambitious  Strategic  Bold  Risk Taking  Confident  Aggressive  Accessible  Dedicated  Committed  Craftsmanship  Thoughtful  World Changing
  84. 84. Competitive Landscape  Who are the current leaders in your field?  Why do you believe they have been so successful?  What games out there are closest to yours?
  85. 85. Target Audience Your customers are the heart and soul of your company. So:  Who do you want as your customers? Be more specific than “anyone who likes games”.
  86. 86. Differentiators  What makes your game or product special?  How does it compare to other companies?
  87. 87. Your Brand/Mission/Product Statement A statement, primarily for internal use only, that will become the driving force of your company. “[My company] is committed to creating the most challenging and engaging RPGs today. Our expertise and dedication will ensure the highest quality, and our sense of humor in our company and games will remind us that we’re all in this for fun – and if we’re having fun, our players will have fun.”
  88. 88. The Core Pitch Once you’ve determined all of the above, the result will be The Core Pitch (also known as your “brand bible.”) Once implemented, your core pitch will be the inspirational and practical source for all logos, ad copy, tag lines, blogs, press releases, human resources, and presentations for funding.
  89. 89. Group Quest Create a core pitch for your game.
  91. 91. Assets For Establishing Your Brand Minimum  Company Logo  Game Logo  Screenshots Additional  Website  Facebook Page  Twitter  Core Pitch Presentation
  92. 92. How Do You Protect Your Brand Identity From Being Stolen?
  93. 93. Copyright The exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same. Copyright infringement is the use of works protected by copyright law without permission, infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works.
  94. 94. Trademark A symbol, word, or words legally registered or established by use as representing a company or product. Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on competing or related goods and services. The success of a lawsuit to stop the infringement turns on whether the defendant's use causes a likelihood of confusion in the average consumer.
  95. 95. Patent A government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention. Patent infringement is the act of making, using, selling, or offering to sell a patented invention, or importing into the United States a product covered by a claim of a patent without the permission of the patent owner.
  96. 96. Trade Secret Information that derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to or readily ascertainable through appropriate means by other persons who might obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.
  97. 97. On Trademarks, Copyright and Patents
  98. 98. Different Forms of Intellectual Property Copyright Trade Secret Trademark Patents Music Customer Mailing Lists Company Name Inventive Gameplay Story Publisher Contacts Company Logo Inventive Game Design Characters Middleware contacts Game Title Tech Innovations Art In-House Development Costs Game Sub-Title Hardware Innovations Box Design In-House Development Tools Identifiable "catch phrases" Source Code Deal Terms
  99. 99. Different Forms of Intellectual Property IP in the Game Industry Patents Trademark Trade Secret Copyright Length 20 years Immortal Immortal 95/120 Years Cost High Medium Medium Low Ease of Obtaining Tough Medium Medium Easy Use Rare Often Often Often Registration? Yes Recommended No Recommended Coverage Medium Narrow Large Large
  100. 100. Away Mission Research taglines and reverse-engineer positioning statements for 4 games.