Thursday, May 13, 2010

Get Your Game On! Evolution of Game Marketing at Cisco

Game development is no longer limited to the gaming industry. Games are increasingly becoming a marketing tool for corporations. Once a company develops a game, it will need to figure out how to market it. Over the past few years, I have been involved in the development and marketing of several games created by Cisco's Service Provider Marketing group. We have learned many lessons.

When it comes to game marketing, here are 6 things we wish we had known or done sooner (many thanks to Melissa Mines of Cisco for her input):

1. Estimating the amount of time and effort it takes to sustain social media momentum months after introduction

2. Lining up team members dedicated to engaging in social media long term and splitting up workload among them. Making this part of somebody’s job responsibilities, hiring part-time and/or temporary help would help further

3. Requesting and securing budget for listening and monitoring to help automate sentiment tracking and monitoring, and selecting such tools during go-to-market campaign development

4. Establishing and nurturing a test community during development phase will not only help with bug fixes but it will also help create a sense of involvement, and therefore, will help with word-of-mouth (WoM) advertising

5. Engaging influencers as testers so that the WoM can come in the form of a review and a referral to the game

6. iPhone, Facebook etc versions could have come sooner as these are the preferred platforms for quick-play games like EdgeQuest 1 and 2 (myPlanNet is a different genre although we have received questions about doing a Facebook version of myPlanNet too)

And of course, if we had budget for some simple but addictive Facebook apps to complement our marketing efforts, we would love to experiment with those too!

If you're hungry for more lessons learned and want to see the evolution of game marketing at Cisco (from the Service Provider Marketing organization's perspective), check out these slides.

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