May 12, 2005 at 3:51 pm #4116
Please use this forum to express any questions, comments or thoughts you may have about marketing or market research issues that you may have.
May 16, 2005 at 12:45 pm #21234
Anyone wish to share their ideas on marketting. Perhaps some of the best played marketting ideas/concepts seen to date?
Here is my current System
-Budget = 0
1. Develop a Modest Website, with small amount of informative information, some relative content.
2. Announce the Game/Product
3. Announce the development of Mods to test game aspects
4. Register the Mods with as many sites as possible.
5. Wait to see a small flow of curious users
6. With a small community offer Game Testing Positions, provided they attract more users (Pyramid Scheme)
7. Watch as they spread the word, with everyone so eager to get a Testing Position to play a game the word rapidly spread.
8. Do relative damage control if needed, as often there are sceptics, but ensure you maintain a professional and effective pressence within major communities
9. Once the community grows, expand the Testing Positions to other creative means (Banner/Sig Development, poster or fan work etc)
10. Trickle out information and new content on a bi-weekly basis
11. Release a mod early and fast, rapidly releasing newer version to give the appearance of progress.
12. Maintain the mod, and begin pushing the focus onto the game.
This was the System I put into place about a month ago. I have seen 1000’s of posts made online, and a huge increase in the community and dedicated fanbase. The idea was to make the community do the leg work. Obviously this can be adapted or expanded to any needs, but is ideal for indie games in need of a community. Provided you follow through it should work really well.
May 16, 2005 at 2:35 pm #21238
I did my thesis on the marketing benefits of online communities to do exactly that, get all the leg work done for you. If you’re at the shindig, hunt me down for a chat.
If you are relying exclusively on the Internet to do your marketing communications, then you don’t really have to worry about a budget because you’re willing to put the work in for free yourself in relation to the various communications you are going to do.
What you need to do is identify the following:
a) Who your target consumers are
b) Where they go
c) What they want
Once you have this in place, you can modify your approach to suit them specifically, which you seem to be on your way to doing. The next stage is developing links with the various different places on the web that have HIGH concentrations of these people. There are plenty of smaller websites which are fine to have, but you need to identify and sort out a way to get into the bigger websites for maximum exposure.
Once they see and follow a link, they are across to your website and they are yours. Now you need to find out what they want. There isn’t much point just making something and not asking people what they think about it after, but this is the real key to using internet communities.
They, when properly developed, provide you a wealth of information. The people going there are going because they have an interest in what you are doing, and are probably going to know plenty of other people with similar interests. One of the first things you might consider may sound simple, and you may have them already but they are really effective.
a) Mailing list, opt-in only, with a clear procedure in place for people to opt-out. Mailing lists should be frequent enough to maintain interest on an ongoing basis, but not overkill which will see the mails viewed in a spammy kind of way, not a good thing.
b) Refer-a-friend link, because if people see something they know someone else is interested in, all they need to do is click a link, enter in some details and send it off. Remember, do not store any information from these.
c) Forums. Put as many of these in as you feel is necessary, but have a forum specifically dedicated to people who want to contribute ideas to what you are doing.
d) Bookmark the page (so they don’t forget)
Marketing is a very simple thing to understand when you get your head around it, and here’s the basics of how to go about building a marketing plan for whatever you are doing.
Company/Project aims & objectives
Marketing aims & objectives
With these in place, you’ll know what you need to get out of the rest of the process.
Then, apply the above to the below:
a) identify who your target audience is, and where they are
b) formulate a message that is attractive to them to get them to visit your website
c) Put it places where people will actually see it and click the link
d) once on your website, you want to give them the information they want, an opportunity to interact with others who are interested in the company/project and an ability to have a say in how the product will develop.
e) Once they are talking, listen to them. Your community is there because they want to be there, and they may have plenty of ideas that you have not thought of which will differentiate what you are doing from from all the other products that are out there.
The key to marketing on a budget is very simple. Just tell the people who you want to know, what they need to know, where they will see it. Wasting money on marketing arises when you pay for someone to see something that they are not interested in.
I hope this helps, any other questions, feel free to ask them on this thread or at the shindig.
May 16, 2005 at 3:01 pm #21239
Cheers for the info. I believe I have followed all the key aspects you have mentioned. Perhaps not in that order, but rather in such a way that it gained the largest impact at that time.
At the moment we have gone from a fanbase of 0 to a dedicated base of about 78, with about 300 people sitting on the fence waiting to see what happens.
One of the core reasons people will visit is because I allow active group development. I have offered free tools, webspace and code to mods and clans.
I have shared the exact vision with each community member and allowed them to express exactly what they want to see. Then I either expand on what they say or explain our motives for doing it another way. Always being clear and concise.
Other than that we are expanding our marketing gradually, before hitting the mainstream. A solid fanbase will help protect a product from the sceptics if and when they decide to voice their views.
So have you any radical marketting schemes you could share, or perhaps some other free marketing model?
I have being thinking of a few other systems to get people in and I will post them up as I begin them, and I will let you know the relative success of each one.
May 16, 2005 at 8:05 pm #21249
May 16, 2005 at 8:11 pm #21250
Now to answer your question. A radical marketing technique is adapting something that is already there and getting it to work better suited to your own particular needs.
You are going about community development in a great way, but remember that every bit of information the community provides is a piece of market research. Ask questions, get responses, have a flick through to see what people are talking about. Then keeping this information in mind, think up ways to give them other information.
Radical marketing techniques are new. You have the creative ability to think of something that is being used elsewhere that might suit your needs, or you can think of a new way that is a variation on something that already works. It may also simply be doing the fundamentals well. Get the basics done, do them well and then your radical technique will have a much better chance of succeeding.
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