Digital Marketing and Its Impact on Small Time Game and Mobile Application Developers

Stephen DiMarco has hit a very valid point in his post about how online marketing needs to start to assess some of the more qualitative side of marketing in terms of a brand rather than just Google Analytics or PPC, etc. In a world that’s primarily driven by unique page views, PPC campaign numbers, CTR rates, and other hard facts, it’s an interesting thought. As a gaming company, we offer post-marketing services which includes this marketing and it’s driven by numbers. We’ve yet to see how this affects us a brand, and Stephen’s got us thinking.

There are a whole slew of developers that are online at the App Store, but there’s an inherent problem with trusting a single developer. Many developers have delivered a product that’s a stand-alone app that is basically a flash-in-the-pan while others have consistently turned out mediocre but reliable apps. Who do you trust; the company that turns out one stellar app after a long hiatus or a developer that just needs some new direction or energy in their creative processes? There’s no real concept of a brand, there’s no Unilever or P&G for the App Store and therein lies the problem for marketers for iPhone development.

Although many people would argue that apps are products that have a repeat purchase cycle, etc, there’s yet to be a single developer that’s built a very successful brand using just their apps. People view apps like a utility and look to promote them as such. Very rarely does anyone ever hear about the developer but rather the app itself. This is a problem in an industry where the first firm to truly brand itself will gain a massive first-mover advantage. Indeed it will be difficult, but if a firm is able to do so, they’d easily take over the App Store.

The problem, to a certain extent, lies in the tools that are geared towards quantitative metrics rather than qualitative metrics. For example, Twitter following dictates whether you are a thought leader or follower, a PPC campaign shows how well SEO or ad placement is working. Yes, they do provide numbers which can help translate into potential leads, but there’s no concept of a brand.

Resultantly, firms are looking to use their marketing dollars to build a brand. For us, as game developers, there’s an added challenge. Although it may be easy to build one stellar app and continue to tweak it over time, such an effort doesn’t build a brand in the long run. At this point, firms need to realize how their marketing channels are being used besides the metrics they provide. Do you use your Twitter account to talk with customers? What type of a Twitter following do you have? Does your website show how committed you are to your vision? These questions begin to emphasize how qualitative metrics become important. It’s great having numbers, but as companies grow there’s a need to build a relationship with customers outside of the traditional client-vendor concept.

For example, in the case of gaming studios, a loyal group of customers translates into many benefits. Beta testers are easily found from your Twitter following or customers that have written great reviews for your titles. Ultimately these are the people that will promote you for free. They don’t show up in the metrics, you find them by talking to them. This is a brand building activity that many firms ignore. Again, for small startups it’s difficult to find the right people, but most of the time they’re hiding right under your radar. Yet many firms ignore the potential of these testers and continue to push out apps without sufficient testing. There’s no reason when there’s a small group of dedicated followers that you need to deliver a game without proper testing. These people will be the life line for your game as you need the critical honest feedback about gameplay, controls, graphics, user interfaces, etc. Without these people, you’d never get the proper feedback which helps develop a truly outstanding title.

Nonetheless, many firms do use these techniques but need to realize that there’s a brand to be built using these types of activities. Reward your beta-testers with promo codes for free games so that they spread the word about you, their recommendation to other gamers will go a long way in making your company stand out amongst the army of developers on the App Store. As mentioned by Stephen, there’s a need to change from the quantitative towards the qualitative side of marketing to build brands similar to IBM, Apple, or Microsoft for app development companies. Firms need to get away from the purely numerical side of marketing and start to see where they want to be in 10 years time.

Free Online Games For Everyone

When boredom hits, there are a million and one different things that you can try for a little bit of excitement. You can watch television or a movie, or even read a book… but there are only so many times you can watch or read the same thing before that too becomes boring. You can play board games or cards… but you generally need to have other people playing to make that work. You can go out places and do things… but that can be expensive, you might not want to go out on your own, you might not be convenient to leave the house, or it might simply be pouring down with rain and blowing a gale – not really going out weather!

So what can you do then? You need something that you can do within the comfort of your own home, without having to buy or pay for anything, without needing other people around to help and, most importantly, something that will keep you interested with hours and hours of varied and personalised entertainment. Well then, how about free online games?

More than 86 million people play some form of free online games. Young people, old people, academic people, athletic people, people with high end jobs, people in school… In other words, all sorts of people, with all sorts of lives, are getting excited about free online games. But why? What is all the fuss about?

Free Online Games
Since the time that games have been introduced on the internet, its popularity and world-wide acceptance has grown exponentially! People have always been on the lookout for new forms of entertainment and excitement in their daily lives – and the world of online gaming is constantly growing and changing to suit everyone’s desires, now and in the future.

For those of you new to online gaming, online games involve playing games on the computer whilst being connected to the internet. No need to go out and buy expensive games and fancy consoles, all you need to do is jump on your computer, connect to your internet, find the free games that you like and enjoy!

Some free games not only allow you to play online, but also include the possibility to download the game straight to your computer, meaning that you can play offline (or when you are not connected to the internet). Some free games also allow you to add them to your personal websites; and often gaming websites will allow you to submit your own games that you have created to be played by others.

Here is the information that you are really waiting to hear though… What exactly are these online games about and will there actually be one that I want to play? And the answer is simple. There are more games than you can possibly dream up on your own, meaning there is sure to be many that you will heartily enjoy. There are simply thousands and thousands of online games available on the numerous websites available for you to choose from. There are the arcade games that everyone grew up with as a child; online shooting games for the amateur marksmen; there are strategy games for those who want to test their wits against the computer; puzzles to give your brain a work out; sport games for the sport crazy; racing games for people who like fast cars; fighting games for the wishful kung-fu masters; girls games and boys games, and kids games and adult games. Plus, within each of these categories is a complete range of different themes, characters goals and difficulties. Take online shooting games or example. The choices for online shooting games range from simple target practice, to full on combat scenarios.

Why Choose Free Games?
So here is the big question… why should you choose free online games over every other source of entertainment? Here are just a few really good reasons why:

1. Free online games are convenient – they can be enjoyed in your own home, at your own computer, any time of the day or night. You don’t have to dress up, do your hair or even shower (though, hygienically, this would be advisable!) to play – no one can see you (or smell you), but you!
2. They are free! – In these tough times, where every dollar counts and spending money on games and expensive console is a big no-no, you can still enjoy yourself – for free!
3. They provide hours of excitement and interaction – free online games give you the opportunity to test your skills and wits against your computer, so do not just sit down and watch television while your brain slowly rots away – use it!
4. You cannot deny that winning feeling – you are sure to find a game that you are good at and win. This gives you a natural high, and can raise your self-esteem and self confidence.

So with millions of people already playing free online games, why aren’t you?

Enjoy Free Online Games All Over The Web

The video game market continues to get bigger everyday and while the new releases you find in shops may be quite expensive, even the people who made those games had to start somewhere. Many rising gaming developers have started with free online games before moving onto bigger things and although in most cases they are small games, you can find a few really good titles out there.

Of course it is not only new developers posting free titles, many established companies are now re-releasing their old titles to the public domain. These include many classic titles from the eighties and nineties. For some of these you many need to find an emulator that can run them, as our systems have become very different since those early days of computers.

While there are literally millions of freeware titles out there, you can also find a great deal of shareware titles on the internet. This normally means you get a trial period to play the game, however with many a game, it just means you may need to pay if you want to upgrade the game or download new levels.

If you are looking for quick games that can distract you for a few minutes, there are plenty. Many of these games are familiar or adaptations of familiar ones like Scrabble, Chess, Pool, Cards or Backgammon. They are as popular as the originals and you can normally find dozens of different versions of these sorts of titles.

Of course puzzle games in many forms are extremely popular, and there are many free online games that will get you addicted very quickly as you battle to solve the problems. To this day, despite games coming out with ultra-realistic graphics, and open-ended never ending worlds, a game like Tetris remains one of the most popular.

If you are one of those people who enjoy the newspaper puzzles, the internet is going to get you really excited. You can find hundreds of different Sudoku and Crossword puzzles online. In many cases they are linked to newspapers or magazines, and are also updated regularly meaning you never run out of puzzles to do.

Hidden-object games can be great fun as you search a room or scene for a list of things. Many of these games come with stories or quests to fulfill, and can be a great way to the pass the time.

For adventure lovers, there are many fans who have tried their hand at this genre, including re-making classic old titles. Fans of the old point-and-click adventures can find a number of classics that have been re-released or made free to download, including some of the best games ever made from that period.

If you enjoy playing games on your cell phone, you should look for those titles for your PC too. Many evolved from free online games and you may find a bigger version for your computer.

But whatever you enjoy, there is something on the net for you. So get looking for some free online games until you can afford to buy a new title or two, you may even find yourself buying less in the shops too.