Digital Marketing and Its Impact on Small Time Game and Mobile Application Developers

Stephen DiMarco has hit a very valid point in his post about how online marketing needs to start to assess some of the more qualitative side of marketing in terms of a brand rather than just Google Analytics or PPC, etc. In a world that’s primarily driven by unique page views, PPC campaign numbers, CTR rates, and other hard facts, it’s an interesting thought. As a gaming company, we offer post-marketing services which includes this marketing and it’s driven by numbers. We’ve yet to see how this affects us a brand, and Stephen’s got us thinking.

There are a whole slew of developers that are online at the App Store, but there’s an inherent problem with trusting a single developer. Many developers have delivered a product that’s a stand-alone app that is basically a flash-in-the-pan while others have consistently turned out mediocre but reliable apps. Who do you trust; the company that turns out one stellar app after a long hiatus or a developer that just needs some new direction or energy in their creative processes? There’s no real concept of a brand, there’s no Unilever or P&G for the App Store and therein lies the problem for marketers for iPhone development.

Although many people would argue that apps are products that have a repeat purchase cycle, etc, there’s yet to be a single developer that’s built a very successful brand using just their apps. People view apps like a utility and look to promote them as such. Very rarely does anyone ever hear about the developer but rather the app itself. This is a problem in an industry where the first firm to truly brand itself will gain a massive first-mover advantage. Indeed it will be difficult, but if a firm is able to do so, they’d easily take over the App Store.

The problem, to a certain extent, lies in the tools that are geared towards quantitative metrics rather than qualitative metrics. For example, Twitter following dictates whether you are a thought leader or follower, a PPC campaign shows how well SEO or ad placement is working. Yes, they do provide numbers which can help translate into potential leads, but there’s no concept of a brand.

Resultantly, firms are looking to use their marketing dollars to build a brand. For us, as game developers, there’s an added challenge. Although it may be easy to build one stellar app and continue to tweak it over time, such an effort doesn’t build a brand in the long run. At this point, firms need to realize how their marketing channels are being used besides the metrics they provide. Do you use your Twitter account to talk with customers? What type of a Twitter following do you have? Does your website show how committed you are to your vision? These questions begin to emphasize how qualitative metrics become important. It’s great having numbers, but as companies grow there’s a need to build a relationship with customers outside of the traditional client-vendor concept.

For example, in the case of gaming studios, a loyal group of customers translates into many benefits. Beta testers are easily found from your Twitter following or customers that have written great reviews for your titles. Ultimately these are the people that will promote you for free. They don’t show up in the metrics, you find them by talking to them. This is a brand building activity that many firms ignore. Again, for small startups it’s difficult to find the right people, but most of the time they’re hiding right under your radar. Yet many firms ignore the potential of these testers and continue to push out apps without sufficient testing. There’s no reason when there’s a small group of dedicated followers that you need to deliver a game without proper testing. These people will be the life line for your game as you need the critical honest feedback about gameplay, controls, graphics, user interfaces, etc. Without these people, you’d never get the proper feedback which helps develop a truly outstanding title.

Nonetheless, many firms do use these techniques but need to realize that there’s a brand to be built using these types of activities. Reward your beta-testers with promo codes for free games so that they spread the word about you, their recommendation to other gamers will go a long way in making your company stand out amongst the army of developers on the App Store. As mentioned by Stephen, there’s a need to change from the quantitative towards the qualitative side of marketing to build brands similar to IBM, Apple, or Microsoft for app development companies. Firms need to get away from the purely numerical side of marketing and start to see where they want to be in 10 years time.

How to Look for the Best Android Apps and Games

After purchasing a new Android device, whether it is a tablet or a smartphone, we then turn to the marketplace in search of the best Android games and apps. There are numerous on-line directories available that have very comprehensive lists, some better than others. Generally these lists are divided into sections, for instance, the most popular, the hottest, the top rated, plus there are also lots of reviews to browse through for the best Android games and the best Android apps.

For those who are after Android applications, there are screenshots and quite often short videos illustrating how these apps or games work. These can be found in the arcade and action section and if you are looking for the best Android apps, these can be used for productivity, communication or entertainment purposes. Many other categories are available, from where you can choose applications or games that fulfill your needs.

Of course there are large numbers of new games and apps coming out into the marketplace every day. Some of these are free and for some, there is a small charge. The best Android games or apps can be either, if a game or app is free it does not imply any lesser quality, in many instances the opposite can be true. Most of the free apps have ads displayed and are they are usually unobtrusive, but sometimes, ads can be really annoying by blocking important content from the game or because they are placed in a position where you can touch accidentally.

Almost every Android application list website lets you subscribe to the RSS feed to get the latest updates so you’ll be the first who knows when a new app is available. Each application has a detailed description, from ratings and comments to required system permissions, screenshots or a direct QR bar code or market link for direct downloading from your phone.

As well as finding internet reviews for the best games and apps, quite often we will find out about a game or an app from a friend or colleague. Personal recommendations or reviews are always highly influential. Different groups and ages of people will be interested in different things, but there are enough of the best games and apps out there, to meet everyone’s needs.

If one particular app or game does not suit or does not perform as expected, it’s a simple process, just like programs on a laptop, to delete the game or app from one’s device. Android OS is designed in such ways that require minimal resources on the device, so it is possible to have numerous games and apps running on the one device.

Gaming and Couponing Your Brand

Companies and small businesses today have a lot of options when it comes to marketing and promoting their brand. It’s not just about going door to door, doing TV and radio advertising campaigns, or distributing fliers at your local grocery store. Now you have various other options such as creating a website, starting a blog, making a page in different social networking sites, and so on. It’s about visibility and the Internet is currently the place where most people spend a lot of their time.

There are so many ways you can promote your brand on the web. There’s Facebook and Twitter, and the fast growing site- Pinterest. There’s LinkedIn, there’s Google+, and don’t forget SEO to ensure that you dominate the search engines. You can create websites, blogs, and join popular article sites such as EzineArticles. You can utilize well-placed online ads that will (hopefully) get clicked on. And you can use popular tools such as gaming and couponing in order to entice customers to buy from you or obtain the services you’re offering.

Games existed offline first

Though online gaming may sound a bit childish to you, many people continue to enjoy online games, even middle aged adults. Games are a great way to kick back, relax, and just let yourself forget about everything even for a little while. It’s also an excellent way to have fun, to challenge yourself, to compete against others, and even to bond with people. Games and contests are a great way to promote your brand. After all, who wouldn’t want to win in a contest?

Couponing – can be good and bad

Couponing has also become extremely popular among the public today. With the advent of Groupon and FourSquare, everyone now enjoys looking for the best deals when it comes to brands they love as well as the brands they want to try out. It’s a great way to gain exposure for your brand, as many people simply can’t resist a good deal. There’s just something irresistible about getting 50% off a new restaurant, or 30% off a nice dress.

As a small business owner, if you’re looking into using gaming and couponing in marketing your brand, then you should definitely consider using Fanplayr. Fanplayr.com gives you the ability to add coupons and offer gamification in your social marketing mix. It offers an excellent and innovative way to attract and engage your customers.

Fanplayr – A resource for you

Social marketing has quickly become the most popular way of promoting your brand. Everything has become “social” these days, as more and more people use social networking sites to with their friends, play games, use apps, connect with their favorite brands, and so on.

Fanplayr provides you the ability to engage with your audience through gamification and couponing across different platforms. And the best part is, you don’t have to be a programmer or developer to start creating your own gaming and couponing campaign. In less than 15 minutes, you can set up a coupon game that you could place on your website, include in your newsletter, share on Facebook, and offer on mobile. It’s that simple.

Fanplayr also recently announced that it has entered into partnership with Ifeelgoods so it can bring Facebook credits to “smart and targeted” social offers and coupons. This empowers Magenta merchants all over the world by being able to benefit from low-cost Facebook credits in order to get better returns on their offers and coupons.

Feeling rewarded and engaged

Your brand promotion and messaging can become boring if you don’t mix it up, which is why using gaming and couponing can definitely capture your customer’s attention. Both small businesses and large companies can utilize this feature in order to engage and connect with consumers better. Customers feel rewarded when they play the game and then win the prize of a coupon that they can redeem when they like.

When it comes to social marketing, it’s really about finding the best ways to enhance your brand and engage with your consumers. Since there are so many other brands that offer the same or similar products or services, it’s vital for you to stand out and differentiate yourself by offering fun and unique things to your customers.

Fanplayr in partnership with Ifeelgoods definitely offers some interesting options for small business owners who want to offer their customers something new. Don’t limit yourself to traditional marketing campaigns that may end up boring your customers. Add new and interesting offers, such as gaming and couponing to connect with them further.