07 Apr 2015
On Marketing: How Presentation Is Everything
Hi there! I’m pretty sure this is my first time writing a blog. I hope it’s a fun read. I’ve been a gamer since I was 8 years old. My dad bought me the Atari 2600, and I fell in love with the damn thing. I was hooked by the magic of gaming. I had all the consoles you could imagine, from portable devices to gaming PCs. Mobile games were no exception, and I’ve thrown away more than my fair share of time and money on those.
But as I grew up, gaming couldn’t be everything for me – after all, I have to eat. Though I majored in Law, I began a career in marketing, and after moving to a new country, I landed in a marketing role here at Fedeen. I’m quite fortunate to be able to work in a field that I love.
Now, as a marketing guy, I’d like to talk about that and how it relates to games – how it works and why any gaming company would pay for it if they already have a good game. Surely the game can sell itself, right? But the simple answer is that good marketing leads to more money. As an example, I’ll discuss a current addiction of mine, a game that’s been quite successful in all aspects: Clash of Clans.
The game itself is…not the most exciting thing I’ve ever played. The graphics won’t blow your mind, and the strategy involved is nowhere near the level of something like Age of Empires or Command and Conquer. It’s a simple check-in game that requires you to log in every so often, collect your gold, and check your traps.
Despite all this, I’m hooked on it, and I know many people share my addiction.
Have we ever asked ourselves why we play this game? The first time I came across COC, it was through a friend. He knew I loved gaming and thought I’d dig this one too. The first few days of playing, however, I wasn’t super impressed. I quickly grew tired of waiting for my cannons to update and of the endless cycle of attacking and losing and doing other things, all to get more Elixer. So I gave up and stopped playing.
But here’s the smart thing. The COC marketing team knew that this game would take time for people to love, and so they came up with a hell of a strategy. My friend had asked me why I’d stopped playing, and he sent me a link to a video on their Facebook page. And here lies the secret.
They poured a ton of creativity and care into their characters, making each and eveyr one unique through their videos. The stupid Barbarian who’d smash through a wall even if there was a hole in it right next to him, the sexy Archer always flirting with the Hog Rider, they all had carefully realized personalities. It was a hilarious video that everyone liked, and when I watched it, I realized there was a lot more going on in the game that I’d missed, and so I began to play again.
I paid special attention to what their marketing team was doing, since it’s related to my own job, and they really did something special. Their COC characters are widely known thanks to their continually captivating video series. They made them interesting not only in the game, but also in life – why drive a car to work, when you can ride hogs? People fell in love with the characters and wanted to explore the game more to try them all out. The more you played, the more you were unable to stop. Through their creativity, the marketing team spread awareness of the game, and it was in this way that they grew the game’s player base.
Even with all the waiting and check-in gameplay style, it’s still the most successful mobile game to date, largely due to its massively popular marketing campaign. COC transcended its status as a game and became a lifestyle. It’s not pay to win, and so you can jump in at any time and at any age.
As a marketing guy, I’ve learned that the game itself doesn’t matter. It’s how you spin it that counts. It’s the core question that marketing seeks to answer, and the challenge we all love to face.