Entertainment is an industry driven by technology hence caught up in disruption and intense competition. Digital evolution has created more pathways to innovative ideas with the aim of delivering products and services to consumers. With so many games on the digital market and such stiff competition, dreams of creating an incredibly, an outstanding popular game played all over the world become next to impossible without the right video game marketing. Designing, developing and launching a computer-based game is only the first step to success. Without a good video game marketing strategy in place, most video games get lost in the void just picked up by a few hundred bored app store browsers losing time, money and effort. According to Polzer the hardest part of the process is making the game stand out and persuade people to download it onto their device (Polzer et al., 2003).
Whether launching a new game, want to relaunch an existing game, or are just merely looking for more players, there is a range of video game marketing initiatives that the team can start implementing with some of them free or relatively inexpensive to do without the need for hiring celebrities or creating television advertisements.
The paper is going to focus on the evaluation of the MGI team’s marketing process, the root causes of the team’s process problems, assessment of the MGI team before their first meeting, assessing if the difference among the team members were a liability or an asset, what could have been done earlier to avoid team’s problems and what actions could have been taken to increase the team’s effectiveness.
MGI team marketing process
The MGI team used different marketing strategy processes to get the computer-based music game up and running in the digital world.
A/B testing also known as bucket tests or split-run testing. A/B testing is a randomised experiment using two variants. It is used to test a subject’s response to option A against B, and determining which of the two is more effective in the market. In this case, two versions of the game are compared to analyse which version garners more positive feedback by the users.
Game Marketing on YouTube; using this marketing initiative there is a need for the team to create a YouTube channel or use a pre-existing one. With YouTube being the second largest search engine after Google, it is an open playing field of opportunities to promote the game and engage with potential players and reviewers in the comment or Question and Answer section.
Game Influencer Marketing; Influencers are crucial when it comes to marketing to audiences and getting the game in front of the right person resulting in exposure to thousands or even millions of potential customers.
Branch out to multiple app Stores; apart from the usual Android, iOS and Windows platforms; the teams target other platforms to maximise the game’s visibility (Polzer et al., 2003). The group considers submitting the game to multiple stores like Xiaomi, Amazon, App Brain and Mobile 9 targeted to specific markets or countries not covered by the three platforms.
Appear on Gaming Podcast; Podcasts are a preferred type of media for many gamers as they can get exciting news and updates, as well as listening to conversational reviews about games in the digital market. The team is working on a guest spot on a podcast or have an interview with a host to give significant exposure to a group of gaming followers. It is an added advantage when having a personal relationship with someone who runs a podcast or reaching out to some of the video game podcasts.
The root causes of the team’s process problems
During evaluation of the game marketing strategies, the team experienced some technical issues which were the root cause of the team’s problems. For rational decision making, all the team members came up with different ideologies on how best the game can be marketed with maximum profit turnover.
Importance of graphics is overrated; note that visuals and graphics have been considered very important and fundamental features just as gameplay. Upon detailed discussion, it is clear that a game is not fundamentally better if a character is rendered more lifelike without decent gameplay.
Content with the status quo; this problem is brought about by nostalgia and the general perception that things were better back in the good old days resulting in culture rewind. The team suggested moving forward, create new games, have new experiences and appreciate new products and ideas.
The industry doesn’t know how to market to a maturing demographic; games are considered for kids for the longest time possible. What cripples the majority of narratives and depth of game mechanics is the refusal to accept that the majority of gamers are of age including team members.
Evaluation of the MGI team before their first meeting.
To evaluate is to assess or calculate the quality, importance, amount, or value of something using criteria governed by a set of standards. Using defined parameters, we can quickly evaluate the MGI team and identify possible outcomes and practical solutions.
Identify and define the problem; the first step to solving a problem and making a rational decision making is by identifying and describing the issue considering the current and desired state. Identifying a problem and defining alternatives enables the team to come up with a variety of options rather than quick solutions to the problem (Polzer et al., 2003).
Identify the decision criteria; the second parameter involves identifying the requirements as early as possible as a guideline during the meeting. Tests are majorly used to measure all viable alternatives and determine with the solution is more favourable and easy to achieve with the best results.
Weigh established criteria; we can use an absolute and relative comparison to determine the level of importance of each approach. In a simple analogy, we evaluate and compare standards side by side using their metric and not with another.
Generate a list of alternatives; once a list of criteria is identified and compiled, we can now generate a list of many options as possible. The more the made choices, the higher the chances of coming up with the most effective solution to issues concerning marketing and decision making.
Evaluate the alternatives; at this step, we evaluate the other options using the criteria in step 2. This duration of this process depends on the number of tests and alternatives.
Determining the optimal decision; this evaluation tool determines the optimal choice by multiplying the ranking of each alternative by that of individual criteria.
Strength among team members
Creativity thrives when people work together on as a team. Brainstorming ideas as a group prevents stale viewpoints that often come out of working as an individual. Combining unique perspectives from team members creates more effective selling solutions.
Working together lets employees build on the talents of their teammates. While your strength may be creative thinking, a coworker might shine in organisation and planning. Conflicts inevitably happen when you put together a group of unique people (Polzer et al., 2003). Employees come from varied backgrounds and have different work styles and habits. While these unique viewpoints create the most successful work, they can also generate resentment that quickly turns into conflict.
An employee working on a project alone will probably not want to stick their neck out for an off-the-wall idea. If the plan fails when working solo, that employee takes the full brunt of the blame.
Actions were taken to increase the team’s effectiveness
An adage states, two hands are better than one. Pooling together diverse ideas enables a group to come up with effective decision making in regards to marketing strategy. Teamwork allows you to distribute tasks so that each person takes care of the functions for which he or she is better qualified. Although there are people who prefer working alone, human beings like to share their experiences with others, and that is evident (Polzer et al., 2003). Teamwork provides extra energy at low times. The people who form a team will have diverse backgrounds, ways of being, training and all kinds of different professional and life experiences, which will be a continuous opportunity to continue learning things.
Rogers’s perception of selflessness and faith reflection
According to Roger, faith is an essential aspect of any leader driving change in an organisation (Roger, 2017). Roger argues that a leader needs to be selfless to ensure that he or she is focused on meeting the needs of the organisation in the short and long run. Roger affirms that being selfless requires an individual to put others first and be conscious of how their actions may or may not affect people within their immediate surroundings. Selfless individuals are also pro-active, feel good after helping other people and have self-confidence.
Faith is the belief and loyalty to a person or thing based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. Values are a major motivating factor because they categorise how people attach meaning, worth, and importance to things. When a person’s values are matched, they feel complete and satisfied, and this is something to bear in mind during persuasion and negotiation. The goals we choose are the outer expression of our values. And decision making is similarly based upon our core values (Polzer et al., 2003).
A person’s values will determine how they perceive any particular situation. Someone who values safety will approach a situation checking majorly for safety versus danger. A person who appreciates excitement will have a different perspective on the same position and will be expecting to have different kinds of experiences: personal values and decision-making ride along each other. The values determine the outcomes we set and our decisions are made to achieve them. The decision making is organised to ensure that personal values are matched. Knowing how to make decisions that satisfy your values means that every decision strengthens your sense of self as opposed to making decisions that somehow weaken or fragment your personality.
Polzer, J. T., Vargas, I., & Elfenbein, H. A. (2003). Henry Tam and the MGI Team. Harvard Business School.
Rogers, M. (2017). You are the team, 6 simple ways teammates can go from good to great. ISBN-13: 978-1546770855 ISBN-10 1546770852