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.

Mobile Games – Rearing To Go

Mobile phones today are not only the communication tools rather have emerged as the multi purpose electronic devices. Now mobiles act as hi-fi music systems, high-resolution digital cameras and game houses. Apart from music, the other feature of mobile that attracts people of all ages is the gaming feature. Now you can play any where at any time, for that you just need to download your favourite games in the mobile and get started!

These days playing the mobile phone games has emerged as most interesting use of a mobile phone. Kids, youngsters and aged people all are captured by these addictive games. No matter you have mobile of which company, all are enabled and equipped to play various mobile games. The big companies like Nokia, Sony, Motorola or LG all have produced the hi-tech mobile phones which support various features and soft wares needed to play the games.

These handsets provide one the opportunity to play different types of mobile games. By downloading the free mobile games you can get maximum enjoyment in your spare time. These cool games also help in de-stressing the user.

Gone are the days when people used to spend hours on the snake-feeding games. This is the age of star wars, Aliens wars, fighter jets bombarding missiles or 3-D fighting and real action games. You can download free mobile games related to sports, shooting, arcade, puzzles and action as well.

There are many kinds of online mobile phone games as Hindi mobile games, Puzzles mobile games, Action games, Multiplayer and Fun Mobile Games. So you can download any free game of your choice. Many online sites are available that provide thousands of free mobile games.

The mobile games have brought a lot of excitement in people’s lives. These exciting mobile games with excellent visuals and graphics are also laden with the amazing sound effects. All these features make these games much desirable and in demand.

The advanced features like Bluetooth and infrared have enabled the users to enjoy the free mobile games in a better way. The modern mobile games offer the players an effective control over the characters. These hi-tech games create a real atmosphere and simulation which makes the games more enjoyable.

The Price of Free Online Games

Free online games are not Free.

I say this statement based on my experience. They cost something, and they often cost more than you ever imagine.

I’m no scientist, and I’m definitely no economist. But what I am is a rational man (most of the time).

Here are some things I want to say about these free games floating around the internet and in mobile devices.

Free online games cost you time.

Free games can eat up a lot of your time and lessen productivity. It will take you longer to do a task because time for free games eats up time for work. The worst thing about this is some or should I say most people are playing their games during office hours. Farmville, Pet society and all those Facebook games look innocent, but are actually time vacuums. I recently read in the news that companies have banned Facebook in company networks to stop their employees from playing online games specifically in the Facebook website.

Free online games use up electricity.

It will eat up your phone’s, tablet’s or laptop’s batteries making you charge more often. Charging your batteries more often uses more electricity, resulting to higher electricity bill. The same applies for desktop computers.

Free online games can kill your real-life relationships.

As you get more addicted to free games, you may use up time you can spend bonding with love ones or physically interacting with real-life people. Some will counter this by saying that friendships are born out of being connected to other players online. I wouldn’t term those connection as friendship. Would those people help you if you have a problem in real life? Could they give you the same comfort as a real hug would?

I’ve even heard of persons forming romantic relationships with their online buddies and end up leaving their real-life partners. Just pathetic.

Free online games cost you money.

Even if the online games are free to join, the cost of internet access and maintenance of your electronic devices is still there. In some games, if you want to upgrade your characters or access special levels, you need to purchase items and level-ups through online transactions or buying prepaid credits from retailers.

It’s been a topic of many TV shows already: a lot of school kids are spending lunch money just to play in internet shops. Students skip classes just to spend money paying for internet access outside of their homes. There’s no surprise internet shops are popping up everywhere, especially near schools.

Free online games are fun to play but you should be aware of the effects of spending too much time with them. If you’re not careful, free online games can cost you more than you expected.