從四個發行角度來談:產品失敗大部分不能怪營銷不力

原文作者:Torulf Jernström & Taija Kanerva 譯者:Megan Shieh

實際上,這個標題有誤導性。你當然應該把責任歸咎於市場營銷,但不是像大多數人認爲的那樣。

“市場營銷”這個概念遠比大多數人認爲的‘廣告和促銷’要寬泛得多。

當與獨立開發者交談時你會經常聽到他們談論自己所開發的、一個沒有被正確地推銷的“好遊戲”,然而這就是他們在遊戲中賺不到錢的原因。

讓大衆知道你的遊戲

毫無疑問,利用有限的資源和名氣爲獨立開發者做營銷是非常具有挑戰性的.

應用商店成熟得很快,大開發商在爭奪客戶注意力的同時,預算也在大幅增加;在這種環境下小開發商很難讓他們的遊戲獲取關注和玩家。

然而更大的問題經常發生在其他地方。一般情況下,未能實現盈利單純地指責營銷是不公平的。因爲這經常是核心遊戲開發團隊不懂的部分,所以歸咎於營銷似乎比較容易。

爲了可以讓開發人員專注於純藝術、不必考慮銷售產品的污糟部分,獨立開發團隊似乎總是想要將這個苦活扔給別人做。

現在讓我們來談談營銷的基礎。現代營銷學之父 Philip Kotler 說市場營銷由“4個P”的“組合”構成。即是:價格-Price、宣傳-Promotion、地點-Place、產品-Product。

注意,產品也是其中一個!營銷不僅僅是廣告。即使大多數人聽到“營銷”一詞時立刻想到的就是廣告,但這只是其中的一個部分。

shadow-fight-3(from gamezebo.com)

shadow-fight-3(from gamezebo.com)

4個P

讓我們來回顧一下4p對手遊營銷的意義。

地點 – Place

這個很簡單。在現實世界中,它是關於你在什麼地方銷售你的產品(比如特定的自助餐廳或零售商店)。

在移動領域,這一切都將歸結爲Apple’s App store和Google Play——至少在中國之外(我談及的不包括中國的其他200個選擇)。

價格 – Price

這也是相當基本的。我們在這裏討論的是免費下載,以及硬通貨的4到6個IAP價格點。

通常這些價格點從2、5、10、20、50到100美元不等。這是基本的,所以在這裏不多作討論;讓我們繼續討論更重要的事情。

等你的遊戲得到一些牽引力時,你可以再想根據市場和玩家行爲調整你的價格。如果你沒有內部框架,Scientific Revenue可以幫助你解決這個問題。

宣傳 – Promotion

大多人認爲宣傳就是營銷,其實這只是廣告的部分,這一部分可能具有挑戰性。

有時我在會議上看到一些顧問告訴開發者他們需要爲遊戲發佈的新聞稿預留資金,這是F2P手遊和高端PC /遊戲機遊戲的不同之處。

對於高端遊戲,這是在發佈前增加期待。有一些遊戲玩家(他們自稱)會關注即將到來的遊戲,並想要了解他們。當涉及到F2P手遊時,玩家通常不是這樣的。

在手遊領域,有很多玩家並不認爲自己是遊戲玩家。通常情況下他們並不會對即將到來的新遊戲充滿期待,也不會閱讀很多關於手機遊戲的新聞。

因此,新聞發佈和遊戲評論(遊戲特定的)媒體只會爲F2P手機遊戲提供少量的額外下載。

新聞媒體一般會讓早期採用者對尋找下一個大事件感興趣。這些早期採用者可以成爲高端遊戲的一個巨大市場,因爲他們會預先支付。

早期採用者非常不適合F2P遊戲。根據定義,他們很快就會對接下來的大事感興趣並遺棄你的遊戲。因此,依賴它們將導致糟糕的留存數字。

性能營銷是不同的。如果你有一個產品的LTV大於CPI,那你就可以做廣告宣傳。

如果你做得很好,說不定還可以做品牌營銷,但老實說對於大多數獨立開發者來說這是相當遙遠的事情。

總的來說,宣傳可以讓你的遊戲被注意到;但是如果你的遊戲(產品)不咋地,那麼就只會得到一個暫時的提升。

是的,做宣傳需要儲備大量的金錢和精力,這是必不可少的;但在你這麼做之前最好確保你有一個值得推廣的產品。

產品 – Product

做F2P的時候比任何其他時候都更清楚明白:產品本身就是營銷組合的一部分。獲取下載量只是賺錢的第一步,大部分的盈利手段都是建立在遊戲中的。

你的客戶完整路徑看起來是這樣的:

廣告=>AppStore=>下載=>教程=>用戶留存=>擴散=>盈利

我們需要注意的是,F2P將銷售“內部化”了。在過去,遊戲開發者可以只負責開發遊戲,然後將賣產品這一環節交給實體零售商和它的員工。

如今,你自己的貨幣化機制需要發揮作用。你需要利用這些曾經被丟給實體店的用戶行爲數據。

以前是實體店經營聖誕節的促銷活動,現在你需要在你的遊戲裏運行整個聖誕促銷活動。

你需要爲一個特定市場創造出一款產品,而不是爲你已經創造出的產品找到一個市場。問題是如何在80萬個遊戲中脫穎而出,且實現你想要瞄準的具體市場或市場部分的特點。

爲此你將需要競爭對手的數據、以及特徵趨勢,需要知道在哪些地方要與其區分開來,從而使自己可以被注意到;還要學習其他競爭對手成功的地方。

不僅是新遊戲不斷地進入市場,而且不同的新方法使遊戲變得有趣、能夠持續產生收益;你還需要識別和實施適合“你的遊戲”的特性、最好地投資你的時間和努力。

最後你需要使用病毒性營銷(virality)來將用戶獲取構建到產品本身中。這一點非常明確地說明市場營銷從一開始就被整合到產品的核心中。

總結

那麼作爲一名遊戲開發者,你該如何利用產品部分的營銷組合來發揮其全部潛力呢?

問自己幾個關鍵問題:

爲什麼我的玩家會把我的遊戲推薦給他們的朋友?

我的產品有趣又吸引人的點在哪?

在保證玩家一直想要回來玩遊戲的同時,從長遠來看我怎樣才能讓這個遊戲更好、更有趣?

你將需要創建一個能夠爲這些問題提供答案的內部分析團隊,或者你需在整個開發週期和全球發佈很久之後,從外部找到這些答案。

當你具備了營銷組合中所有必要的信息、設計技能和知識,你將增加你在競爭市場中成爲贏家的機會,而你的營銷團隊將會有一個基本上可以自我推銷的產品。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

Actually, this headline is misleading. You definitely should blame marketing, but not quite in the way most of you think.

If you bring something to market, and cannot sell it, then your marketing does not work. But “marketing” is a much broader concept than just the ads and promotion that most people associate with the term.

When talking to indie developers, you will often hear them talking about a “a good game” they did, which they unfortunately failed to market properly. Hence, they made just about no money with their game.

Getting heard

Marketing for indie developers with limited resources and fame is really challenging, no argument there.

The app store has matured quickly, with big developers with big budgets fighting over customer attention. In this environment, it is really hard for a small developer to get their games noticed and played.

However, the bigger problem often lies elsewhere. Usually, it is not fair to simply blame marketing for the failure to get to profitability. It’s easy to blame marketing as this is the side of the process the core game development team often does not understand.

It seems common for indie developer teams to want someone else to do the dirty work of promoting the game. This leaves the developers to concentrate on pure art, without having to think about the dirty parts of selling the product.

Now, let’s go back to marketing basics. The good old Philip Kotler who every marketing novice has had to suffer through in college said that marketing consists of a “Mix” of “4 Ps”. Namely: price, promotion, place and product.

Notice that the product is in there! Marketing is not only about advertising. That is only one ingredient of the soup, even if that is the part most people instantly think about when they hear the word “marketing”.

The four Ps

So, let’s review what the 4Ps mean for marketing mobile games.

Place

This is pretty easy. In the physical world it’s about where you sell your product, such as a specific cafeteria or retail store.

For us in the mobile space, it will all boil down to Apple’s App store and Google Play. At least outside of China (let’s not get started on your 200 other options inside China).

Price

This is also pretty standard. What we’re talking about here is free to download, and four to six IAP price points for hard currency.

Usually, these price points will be from the set of two, five, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars. As a starting point, just do it and move on to discuss something more important.

Later on, when your game gets some traction, you likely want to tailor your price points to your players based on market and player behaviour. If you don’t have the framework in-house, Scientific Revenue can help you with this.

Promotion

Promotion is what most people think about as marketing. This is only the advertising part, and it can be challenging.

At times, I’ve seen some consultants at conferences tell developers that they need to reserve money for press releases at launch. This is a part where F2P mobile and premium PC/Console games differ enormously.

For the premium titles, you are building up expectations ahead of the launch. There are gamers (who self-identify as such) who follow promising upcoming games and want to read about them. That’s often not true when it comes to mobile F2P players.

On mobile, there are lots of gamers who do not think of themselves as gamers. Usually, they do not really follow upcoming games with anticipation, or read a lot of news about mobile games.
As a consequence, press releases and game reviews in (game specific) outlets will give you a measly handful of extra downloads for a F2P game.

News outlets will, in general, interest the early adopters searching for the Next Big Thing. These early adopters can be a great market for premium games, as they will pay up front.

For F2P games, early adopters are a really bad fit. By definition, they will soon get interested in the Following Big Thing and abandon your game. Thus, relying on them will lead to bad retention numbers.

Performance marketing is different. If you have a working product where you get the famous LTV > CPI (Lifetime Value is larger than Cost Per Install), you will be able to advertise profitably.

If you do really well, you might also be able to do brand marketing, but honestly, that is quite far away for most indie developers.

All-in-all, promotion can get your game noticed, but without a really great game (product) you will only get a temporary boost.

Yes, you do need to reserve tons of money and effort into promotion – that is essential – but before you do that, make sure you have a product worth promoting.

Product

When doing F2P, it’s clearer than ever that the Product itself is part of the marketing mix. Getting downloads is only the first step of the funnel towards making money. Most of the funnel actually happens inside the game.

The complete path of your customer will look something like this:

Ad=>AppStore=>Download=>Tutorial => Retention => Virality =>Monetization

What we need to note is that F2P “internalises” the selling of stuff. During the old days game developers could develop the game and leave the selling of the product to the physical retailer and its personnel.

Nowadays instead, your own monetisation mechanics need to work. You need to use all the behavioural data that used to be left to the bricks and mortar stores and their marketing.

A physical store used to run the Christmas sales, now you need to run the whole Christmas event yourselves – inside your game.

You need to create a product for a market, not find a market for the product you already created. The question is how to stand out among 800k games, and what features to implement to target that specific market or segment you’re aiming for.

For this, you will need competitor data, and feature trends – to know where to differentiate to be noticed, and where to follow others for the things that just work.

It’s not just new games coming to the market constantly, but new ways to make games interesting and able to generate revenue are invented all the time. You will also need to recognise and implement features that fit the synergies of *your* game, and are the best investment for your time and efforts.

Last, you need to use virality to build the user acquisition into the product itself. Again, this a a very clear point where marketing is integrated into the core of the product from the start.

Key Takeaway

So how can you, as a game developer, utilise the product-part of the marketing mix to its full potential?

Ask yourself a couple of key questions: WHY would my players recommend this game to their friends? WHAT makes my product interesting and appealing? HOW can I make the game better and interesting in the long run while keeping players coming back for more?

You will either need to create an internal analysis team able to provide answers to these questions, or you’ll need to figure out where to find these answers externally throughout the whole development cycle and way after global launch.

When equipped with the necessary information, designer skills and knowledge in all the parts of the marketing mix you will multiply your chances of becoming a winner in the contested marketplace – and your marketing team responsible for the promotion will have a product that will basically sell itself. (Source: pocketgamer.biz