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This is how modern games marketing works

Defining target groups such as “conquerors” and “discoverers”, directly addressing buyers of gaming PCs on their favourite sites, Twitch, influences and more: This is what modern games marketing for RMG and Sandbox Interactive looks like.

Digital campaign for the gaming industry 

Retail Media Group drew attention when they went into the creative business themselves with the digital marketing campaign for Online Games . And that's just the beginning for Metro/ceremony's big data subsidiary. A chat with Ben Schmidt , Head of Business Development Games at Retail Media Group, and Szymon Wilkosz , Chief Marketing Officer at Sandbox Interactive , about the Albion Online case and the future of games marketing rests on a Seo company in Islamabad.

With the campaign for Albion Online, you want to reach core gamers, MMORPG fans and also casual gamers. How do they fit together in the game? 

Szymon Wilkosz, Chief Marketing Officer at Sandbox Interactive: Albion Online offers game material for different player groups. There is no predetermined story, you can move freely and do whatever you want in the game. Depending on what I feel like, I can build my own private island with a farm or a house, but I can also join a guild and conquer the world. In this way we want to give casual gamers the opportunity to develop further in Albion, maybe even to become a core gamer.

The campaign should reach the target groups with data support. How do you define the different target groups, what is the difference in addressing them?

Ben Schmidt, Head of Business Development Games at Retail Media Group: We worked with Sandbox at the beginning of the cooperation to develop the target groups for the campaign for the game Albion Online. This includes, for example, players of RPGs (Role Playing Games), MMO gamers (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) or players of strategy games. 

When developing the segments, we used different roles from the game itself: For example, there is the “discoverer” or the “conqueror”. Players who display characteristics that fit these roles are targeted with ads and messages specifically tailored to them. 

What are the campaign plans and media mix for Online Games?

The life cycle of online games differs from console and PC titles. How does this affect marketing planning?

Schmidt: In contrast to classic PC and console games with a self-contained plot, online games are constantly being developed – there is always new content, characters and stories. This means that they have a longer life cycle than PC and console games, and marketing measures must also be geared to this. This means that the campaigns for games like Albion Online are not planned for a few weeks, but rather for a period of several months to years.  

How has games marketing changed in the last year and a half?

A few years ago, attempts were made to reach players, for example by placing classic advertising banners on various gaming websites or platforms. The banner may get a lot of views, but the wastage is sometimes very high. With the help of RMG, we can, for example, reach target groups who bought a high-performance PC and a gaming mouse from Media Markt and address them on their favorite websites with advertising material tailored to them.

That was not possible for us before. In addition to smart data marketing, influencer marketing is also an area that has become increasingly relevant in recent years. The big advantage compared to other marketing measures is the direct feedback and direct interaction with the players. 

Digital Marketing Trends for Games

In the past, games marketing was “mass-oriented”, but today it has to be smart, ie address the user in a very targeted and individual way. This is a trend that is sure to continue to intensify. The digitisation of the entire games industry has also fundamentally changed marketing. Today's players demand that games are not only available physically, but also always as a download. Online recommendations and ratings play an increasingly important role in purchasing decisions. For marketing, this means: Print advertising is still justified, but the share of digital advertising and target group-specific marketing measures has been growing for years and will continue to gain in importance in the future.

Are platforms like Twitch, Twitter or other sites a relevant factor? 

Such platforms are definitely a factor in the sales success of a game. Twitch deserves a special mention here, where potential customers gather information particularly frequently and intensively. If a game was newly listed on Twitch and received positively and also played by influencers, this directly influences KPIs such as click or purchase rates.

For the gaming industry, cooperation with influencers can have a very positive effect on sales figures if used sensibly. Of course, this also applies the other way around: if games “fail” here, it has a negative impact on the success of the game. Cooperation with influencer is therefore also an option for us, the RMG, in the future. 

What is the role of advertising for games in games? 

Wilkosz: Advertising space is usually only available for free-to-play games or browser games. With Albion it is not possible to place ads, nor do I know of any other MMORPGs that market advertising space or offer product placements. I don't think game developers would like to see ads for other games in their own game. 

And for other industries? After all, advertising revenue is a crucial pillar in the business model of many game developers . 

Wilkosz: Certainly, some free-to-play games are partly financed by advertising revenue. In my opinion, however, the largest part is financed through the purchase of the game or through in-game payments. This means that players can purchase currency in the game itself, for example to progress faster or unlock additional features. However, this is not relevant for Albion.

Are there game segments that are particularly well suited? 

 Free-to-play games or browser games are suitable for this. Once a player pays for a game, they usually expect no ads to appear are all available on a Dota 2 Boost shop. 

Are brands now more open to trying things out here? 

Schmidt: Of course there are differences from brand to brand. However, our experience with companies from the gaming industry so far has been: Despite the fact that their budgets tend to be smaller than, for example, in the automotive industry, they often bring a high degree of experimentation and openness and are also willing to break new ground in marketing. 

Does the approach and planning differ here from other online campaigns? 

Schmidt: Our online campaigns differ fundamentally depending on the customer and industry. With the Albion Online campaign, we want to address very specific target groups, which we ensure with a complex wording and creative concept that is precisely tailored to the target groups. 

The spot for the initial release of Albion Online stars actress Sarine Sofair, known from the TV series Game of Thrones. In the video, she draws the viewer into an interview situation, similar to a job interview, and asks about certain qualities that are important for working life. 

These characteristics are then related directly to the game as the spot progresses. With this we want to emphasise key qualifications of the future players and thus put them in the focus of our creation.

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