Tag Archives: marketing strategy

The Progression of Video Game Marketing

Recently, someone discussed the possibility of an internship with me. While an internship over holiday break and the spring semester was enticing, it would be in a very particular field: healthcare. The marketer I spoke with understood my trepidation about the opportunity. She knew that the field was not for everyone and wanted to make sure that I took an internship that was within an industry that I was extremely passionate about. One industry that really intrigues me and that I am quite passionate about is video games.

The video game industry has a very engaged consumer base. The industry brings in roughly $100 billion annually. In order to get consumers to purchase the products, the main techniques used by the marketing department of video game companies are less prominent in other industries. While one will see the occasional television commercial or YouTube ad, the primary sources of marketing behind video games are demos, streams and in-person events.

Video game companies originally began giving out demo discs through third-parties (e.g. Pizza gave away PlayStation discs with multiple demos). Over time, the demo disc developed into downloadable gameplay for previewing a title. Now, the streaming of game content has become more prominent for big name titles. Often, individuals or companies like IGN, known for video game reviews, and Rooster Teeth, a hotbed of user-generated content, will receive or get to play video games prior to release. Those organizations or individuals often live stream or release gameplay online. Game developers have even begun to release early versions of games (alphas and betas) to large numbers of consumers to increase excitement. Other times, a game developer may decide to invite individuals and companies to an event to see and/or play with others (e.g. Microsoft held HaloFest for the upcoming release of a game collection, a television show based on a video game and a future title). Marketing strategy in the video game industry continues to shift towards letting consumers receive hands-on experience and spreading word of the game.

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Guerrilla’s in Marketing

It was recently recommended that I take a look into the marketing of trade shows. One of the first results for trade show marketing on Google included the term “guerrilla marketing”. I was instantly curious to read a little more on the subject. I had some idea of what to expect, but the combination of the word guerrilla with any business profession seems odd.

Simply put, guerrilla marketing is an advertising or promotional strategy utilizing unconventional means to provide results at a low-cost. The association between guerrilla and marketing came about in a 1984 book by Jay Conrad Levinson, titled Guerrilla Advertising. He compared guerrilla marketing to guerrilla warfare. Where guerrilla warfare relied on quick attacks, surprising the enemy, guerrilla marketing typically uses small events that come of out nowhere to gain attention by shock and awe.

Originally, guerrilla marketing primarily included things like graffiti, sticker bombing and posting flyers. Some of those things are still done today (modern day graffiti in the featured image). More common means of guerrilla marketing recently are flash mobs and viral campaigns. While some new types of events have upped the guerrilla marketing aspect of promotion, the classics can still be quite effective. Many of “The 80 Best Guerrilla Marketing Ideas” in an article on creativeguerrillamarketing.com capitalize on the use of fresh paint in public places. Whatever type of tactic is used, guerrilla marketing can be an amazing way to spread the word of a product or an organization.