March 11th, 2014

Market Like A Gamer

Marketers can learn a thing or two from video game developers about generating excitement, anticipation and continued engagement for a product. Gartner estimates that the world gaming industry grew to $93 billion in 2013 and will continue to $111 Billion in 2015.

Written by Michelle Smith

Part of the massive growth in the gaming industry over the past few decades is due not only to the initial sale of a product but in continuing to deliver experiences to players that keep them coming back either in the form of game sequels, content that is paid for over time with in-game cash shops or subscription pricing models.

While every industry is different, here are a few tips you can take from the folks that can keep their customers glued to their screen for hours at a time.

1. The art of gamification

Regardless of the action you want the user to take – click on a link, complete a survey or purchase something online – gamifying mundane tasks, can help yield better results.

According to Accenture, “The companies leveraging [gamification] are taking the essence of what makes games so alluring (a shared sense of purpose, challenge and reward), decoding the mechanics that make them work (personalization, rankings and leaderboards) and then applying these mechanics in a multitude of imaginative initiatives to help enhance customer loyalty, motivate shoppers to buy and provide more compelling mechanisms for retaining and encouraging talent.”

Using some form of gamification in your marketing strategy puts the user front and center. Nike did an excellent job of this when they rolled out NikeFuel Missions – a series of everyday tasks the user completes using his/her Nike+ Fuelband.

2. Great content and UX are a must

Video games with a poor UX (user experience) can turn a great idea and storyline into disappointing sales numbers. The same is true for marketing efforts, in any industry, that don’t incorporate high-quality content for end users.

If your content isn’t engaging, easy to understand, or if the action you want the user to take is filled with roadblocks, chances are they won’t be back.

Before launching any marketing campaign, make sure everything from content and coding to design and UX are all working in sync to give the end user the best customer experience possible.

3. Market where your customers are

Titans of the video game industry don’t rely solely on TV advertising, web or viral marketing to promote their newest creations. They take their message to the user – through community forums, niche social media groups or larger trade shows and conventions like Comic-Con and the SXSW Gaming Expo.

For your marketing efforts, engage your customers where they are already discussing your product or industry – whether it be on more mainstream sites like Facebook or product-specific forums like

Michelle Smith is a freelance writer with a focus on marketing. She can be found typing away on her laptop in sunny Miami, Florida. Michelle welcomes your feedback on this piece: e-mail | LinkedIn