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INDIE MARKETING TECHNIQUES


In this weeks class we covered Indie Marketing Techniques. This was one of my more anticipated classes as this strongly relates to where I am in my current career.
In class we discussed techniques regarding the launch of a new product and we used one of my personal code based projects as an example for a class exercise.


Who are your Customers?

One of the most important things to assess before and whilst in development of a product is to always remember who your specific customers are and to tailor the experience to them. Your customers can be Employers, Investors, Publishers, Agencies, Venues, Business Owners, Players, Users, Listeners, Fans etc.
Knowing this also allows you to tailor your pitch and marketing to that specific group, or channel different marketing campaigns to different groups.

In my particular case my my sales appeal and design will be targeted towards Venue Managers, but the user experience will be tailored for their patrons and the venue staff.


What is interesting about your game or product?
It is sad to say but most games and products aren’t revolutionary, something similar usually exists and therefore you have competition. This unfortunately makes your product a commodity because there are multiple products the customers can purchase to achieve their goals.
Knowing what makes your game or product interesting and different from the others is key in performing an effective pitch or having a successful marketing campaign.
The video of Chris Wright states that it is best to think about this question in regards to “what makes your product drastically different from the competition”, not just “my product is like this other product, but adds a little more”.
an article “What Makes A Product Cool?” by Forbes.com states that “What distinguishes cool products and sets them apart from uncool products are value, inattentiveness, and appeal; and a WOW and buzz and campaign that enlists the “agents of influence” to spread the right message to the right consumers, in the right place and time”.


How does it fit in with other projects?

Does your product fit in and mesh well with other projects? If its easy to use and integrate into someones life or business it is more likely to succeed.
I am designing my products install to be a simple plug and play install. With a web interface so literally any phone or PC can interact with the system remotely. I have also incorporated a web based Remote Access connection for rapid IT support from anywhere. I plan on adding functionality so that the same unit can be used to perform multiple tasks to keep costs and installs down.
An article “Successfully Implementing a New System Within Your Organization” by MarshClearSight.com states that “According to IAG Consulting, only 32% of all IT projects are completed successfully. This means that 2/3 of all technology projects fail!!” and follow on to give some of the main reasons why software doesn’t successfully integrate into an existing structure including “lack of user adoption”, “Aggressive, unrealistic implementation timelines”, “Not having clear requirements and expectations of what the system will deliver”.


How does it fit in with the consumers life?

Does it make the consumers life easier or does it provide an easier way to perform a task?
Without going into too much detail my system is a social photography based idea which gives customers access to their content in real time instead of having to wait until the next day to see it. The consumer value of the product is the content, a photo of them is very personal to each individual and it has sentimental value.
The article “Why People Buy Things, and How to Make Consumers Fall in Love with Your Products” found on Medium.com goes much deeper consumer trends, features, reasons for purchase, and influences for various product types and is worth the read when thinking about marketing your own product.


Competitive Variance

The video “LMG Indie Games Marketing Course: Indie Games Positioning Workshop” by  Chris Wright has a good way of assessing the competitive variance of your product vs the existing market.
If you complete a list for each of these points you will have a better idea of your competitive variance.

  • “What your product has Less of”.
  • “What your product has More of”.
  • “How your product is Different”.
  • “What is New about your product”.

This will give you an idea of how competitive your product is against its opposition.


Emotional Rewards

Which of these emotions does your Game / Product include? The idea behind this is to think beyond your feature set, because at the end of the day its the experience you are selling and that’s what you should be pitching.

Mastery, Adrenaline, Sorrow, Joy, Empathy, Protectiveness, Fear, Empowerment, Achievement, Creation, Escape, Enlightenment, Release, Amusement, Connection, Completion, Belonging, Exclusion, Frustration, Accomplishment.

The book Why we shop – Emotional rewards and retail strategies by Jim Pooler states that “Shopping is a form of self-expression. People define themselves through their shopping. How they shop, where they shop, and what they buy serves the purpose of letting people express their desires, their needs, and their personalities. Sometimes just driving a new car gives people an enormous feeling of joy…” So working emotional rewards into your products is a proven way to drive sales.

Chris Wright - learn marketing principles

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG9MJ7wj8Kg

Know your pitch back to front


I learnt the following in my GAM110 lecture on pitching Teacher Brendon Keogh.

Your Elevator Pitch (or 30 second pitch) is one of the most important things you should know in regards to marketing your game or product. Your pitch length needs to be as short as possible and with enough detail to form an interesting image inside the listeners head, then leave them wanting to know more.”

Things to include in your elevator pitch (Game Pitch)

  • What’s the experience?
  • What’s the core mechanics?
  • What behaviours will this produce?
  • How will this produce the desired experience?
  • Visuals – If you can provide do it, you can convey a lot more information through visuals

And your pitch needs to:

  • Grabs the audience’s attention before they have a chance to not pay attention.
  • Clearly communicate what experience your game will offer in the time it takes to ride an elevator a few floors.
  • Focus on the experience.
  • Make the audience want to know more.

Your audience doesn’t need to know the full background of your game, or all of its rules. They simply need to ‘get it’ enough to want to know more.

Adjusting your pitch for different audiences

  • Publishers care about whether or not your game will be profitable and fit with their existing catalog.
  • The Press cares about whether or not your game will be interesting enough to bother covering.
  • Players care about whether or not your game is interesting enough to play/spend money on.

Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor
“YOU ARE A SPIDER. One day you discover an abandoned mansion. Who lived here, and why did they leave? In search of answers, you must adventure from room to room, building webs to trap insects, and uncovering secrets in every dark corner. Do you have what it takes to solve the Bryce family mystery?” – App Store Page
 
Push Me Pull You
“Push Me Pull You is a video game about friendship and wrestling. Joined at the waist, you and your partner share a single worm-like body and must wrestle the other sports-monster for control of the ball. It’s a bit like a big hug, or playing soccer with your small intestines. With every action affecting both you and your partner (and mandatory shouting) PMPY combines the best parts of 2v2 local multiplayer with the worst parts of your last breakup.”- Game’s website
 
Rocket League
“Soccer, but with cars.”

Persuasion


Persuasion is a very useful tool which is subtly and ethically used to influence decision making every day. This is something I will be looking into when producing marketing content for my up and coming products. I found the video “Science Of Persuasion” by influenceatwork very useful and they pointed out a few very good marketing techniques that are commonly used that I didn’t notice before, I highly recommend watching this video.
The main points that they mention are:

  1. Reciprocity – People are likely to give back when given a gift first. Tip – Be the first to give & make it personalized and unexpected.
  2. Scarcity – People want what rare things. Not only state the benefits of your product, but state what is unique about it and what they stand to lose if they don’t have it.
  3. Authority – People follow the lead of Credible Knowledgeable Experts. It is important to signal to others what makes you a credible Knowledgeable authority before you make your influence attempt, an example is to be introduced by someone vouching for your brilliance.
  4. Liking – Build a relationship with someone before getting down to business.
    1. We like people who are similar to us.
    2. We like people who compliment us.
    3. We like people who Cooperate with us.
  5. Consensus – People generally follow what others do. By showing that a lot of other people are doing it then people are more likely to also do it.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFdCzN7RYbw

Credibility


Be sure to have a web presence that backs up your game / product. When people want to know more about a game or product they will generally search online and likely visit your website and or social media. If you are producing a professional product this should be reflected in your online presence where  quality, functionality, aesthetics, sales figures, past clients, about me and testimonials all play a critical part in achieving customer trust. Another tip is if there are any certification processes relevant to your field you should complete them i.e SSL (secure websites), approval programs, certified software certificates etc.

Image source: emailed directly to me from Google Streetview

Marketing Strategy Ideas


In class we discussed some marketing strategy ideas. for this activity my group focused on my product and we came up with the following ideas:
Social Media

  • Explanation Video.
  • Existing Clients.
  • Photos or people using your product.
  • Product availability, versions and release dates.

Launch Event

  • Throw a party or event – Invite potential customers.
  • Feed them info first then reward them for attending.
  • Have your product performing live demos at the event.
  • Launch Incentives

Press Kit to include

  • Professional photography of the product
  • Write up of the product
  • Feature Spec
  • Explanation Video
  • Existing clients
  • Live testing online environment (online related products)

To conclude this post I would like to state that in my scenario of building a code based product and bringing that product to market it is very important to think about the building of the product as only a small part of the complete process. There are many marketing milestones to meet to bring your product out of the dark and into the competitive consumer world, I hope this blog has given you plenty of ideas to think about and relevant information to look deeper into for your own designs. I know I need to spend more time coming up with a marketing strategy that can scale, this blog contains the information will I require to draw up my strategy.

References

Forbes. (2018). Forbes.com. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2013/02/23/what-makes-a-product-cool/#74e420614969

GAM110 – 17T3 – Week 8 – Audiences. (2018). Google Docs. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14Pb8hZu-haaaxWRjUKfYKg_8-tJuCWp4Al2nuW1w1hw/edit#slide=id.g21d182e46f_0_0

LMG Indie Games Marketing Course: Indie Games Positioning Workshop. (2018). YouTube. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG9MJ7wj8Kg

McKane, J. (2018). There are 1.8 billion gamers in the world, and PC gaming dominates the marketMygaming.co.za. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from https://mygaming.co.za/news/features/89913-there-are-1-8-billion-gamers-in-the-world-and-pc-gaming-dominates-the-market.html

Play Rocket League ®. (2018). Rocket League® – Official Site. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from https://www.rocketleague.com/

Pooler, J. (2012). Retail strategies. New Delhi: Jaico Publishing.

Push Me Pull You. (2018). Pmpygame.com. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from https://pmpygame.com/

Science Of Persuasion. (2018). YouTube. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFdCzN7RYbw

Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor on the App Store. (2018). App Store. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spider-the-secret-of-bryce-manor/id325954996?mt=8

Successfully Implementing a New System Within Your Organization – Marsh ClearSight. (2018). Marsh ClearSight. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from http://www.marshclearsight.com/successfully-implementing-a-new-system-within-your-organization/

Week 9: Indie Marketing Techniques – Self-Directed Practitioners – Medium. (2018). Medium. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-9-reaching-your-audience-aa1b2e58dd53

Why People Buy Things, and How to Make Consumers Fall in Love with Your Products. (2018). Medium. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from https://medium.com/@amrit/why-people-buy-things-and-how-to-make-consumers-fall-in-love-with-your-products-4db88ed677cf