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Marketing Plan questions

01-09-2011, 03:54 PM
#1
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Malta
Posts: 37
Marketing Plan questions

Hi,
In a couple of months, after some more polishing, I will be releasing another game. However I really want to get the marketing side done properly. Here are some questions coming from a game developer (rather than a marketing guy)

1) I would really like to get the marketing side off my chest. It's not my bread and butter. Would you suggest a PR company/individual with a good track record or would you do it yourself? If you did yourself what effective things did you do? In my last game, I had sent several requests for review of Buttonia but it never got reviewed. That was pretty frustrating.

2) If you contacted a PR company/individual, did you settle on a % of sales? Or on a fixed sum? And how much %/$?

3) When did you start marketing your game? Is 6 weeks before launch enough?

4) Let's say you've done a great game, and it got noted by Apple. So you would be riding the N&N wave. What should one do? How much % of the revenue would be spent back on more marketing? And more importantly where?

5) I've tried Admob to advertise but didn't have any success. I've read in other threads that they had quite good feedback. How much should one spend on such advertising services to start seeing some returns?

Hopefully with your suggestions I could make some kind of marketing plan.

Nev
____________________________
site: SoftwareProdigy
game: Flip Them All
01-09-2011, 04:46 PM
#2
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 82
I guess it just depends on your budget. If you're an indie dev like me, I wouldn't pay for any advertising.

I work for a PR company by day (thought I'm a developer), and if you can afford it, it certainly helps. Good PR people have relationships with bloggers so you'd have a better chance of getting coverage.

Our app is currently featured in N&N and we didn't spend a penny on marketing, but to be fair, we also got zero coverage on launch day (and still none from TouchArcade.. there's still time, guys! haha.).

Don't get discouraged when you e-mail blogs and they don't write about you or don't respond. They all get tons of mail every day, that even great games get overlooked.

My advice is to make a spreadsheet of all the pubs you want to reach out to and write a thoughtful, compelling e-mail that will get the writers interested. You have to tell your story, so finding the best way to tell it so that the writers you're telling to can relate to it seems to work the best. Keep track of who you've e-mailed and had conversations with, who has covered you, etc. Use Compete.com to see how big blogs are and if they are legit review sites or not.

Don't send a press release, write an e-mail! Press releases are dead. Bloggers hate them. We live in the age of conversation and press releases are only really effective for larger companies with PR companies. If you're a scrappy, hungry indie dev, embrace it! That's part of your story!

I'm sure plenty will disagree with me on this, but I swear by it and I've gotten my previous two apps (Robotvision, Future Checkin) covered in hundreds of major pubs like TechCrunch, Mashable, etc. Be you, tell your story, and be interesting!

For example, our game is based off of a Flash game my business partner built in 2007. It got featured by Download Squad as a "daily time waster" that got it pretty popular (though the review was mixed), so when we launched Ramps, we sent them an e-mail expressing our gratitude for the original post, and how we took their feedback and made our iOS game leaps and bounds better than the original.

It took a couple weeks, but they ended up covering our new game Ramps, and they had nothing but glowing praise this time around.

I know how you feel though, I still feel freaking clueless about marketing because I'm totally a coder, but like anything else, with time investment and practice you will develop finesse.


Quote:
Originally Posted by xenonii View Post
Hi,
In a couple of months, after some more polishing, I will be releasing another game. However I really want to get the marketing side done properly. Here are some questions coming from a game developer (rather than a marketing guy)

1) I would really like to get the marketing side off my chest. It's not my bread and butter. Would you suggest a PR company/individual with a good track record or would you do it yourself? If you did yourself what effective things did you do? In my last game, I had sent several requests for review of Buttonia but it never got reviewed. That was pretty frustrating.

2) If you contacted a PR company/individual, did you settle on a % of sales? Or on a fixed sum? And how much %/$?

3) When did you start marketing your game? Is 6 weeks before launch enough?

4) Let's say you've done a great game, and it got noted by Apple. So you would be riding the N&N wave. What should one do? How much % of the revenue would be spent back on more marketing? And more importantly where?

5) I've tried Admob to advertise but didn't have any success. I've read in other threads that they had quite good feedback. How much should one spend on such advertising services to start seeing some returns?

Hopefully with your suggestions I could make some kind of marketing plan.

RAMPS!! Previously iPhone Game of the Week on the App Store.
"... a simple and stylish physics puzzler that you won't want to put down." - Apple

COMING 10/11/12: Lotsa Blocks!

http://lotsablocks.com

01-09-2011, 05:02 PM
#3
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Malta
Posts: 37
The budget is to keep it as near to zero as possible

Interesting link there... I will check it out in more detail later.

Thanks for the tips.
Good luck with Ramps. IMHO it's much better than Angry Birds. I guess their marketing was top notch.

Nev
____________________________
site: SoftwareProdigy
game: Flip Them All
01-11-2011, 04:55 AM
#4
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Valence, France
Posts: 12
@ U2elan - wow thanks for sharing your insight in marketing. I am also preparing our marketing strategy for Captain Nemo's Legacy. I was also adviced to make press releases but i think i will reconsider making it more personal and compelling.

Are there any more marketing people out there that are willing to share insights?
01-11-2011, 10:27 PM
#5
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 82
Wow, thank you! We simply tried to make the best game we could. I really admire Rovio's success with Angry Birds, though. (who doesn't?)

Yep, but they had to pay for that marketing with a big chunk of revenue share. Regardless, I'd still happily take even just 15% of that pie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenonii View Post
The budget is to keep it as near to zero as possible

Interesting link there... I will check it out in more detail later.

Thanks for the tips.
Good luck with Ramps. IMHO it's much better than Angry Birds. I guess their marketing was top notch.

RAMPS!! Previously iPhone Game of the Week on the App Store.
"... a simple and stylish physics puzzler that you won't want to put down." - Apple

COMING 10/11/12: Lotsa Blocks!

http://lotsablocks.com
01-12-2011, 01:10 AM
#6
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 27
Out of curiosity, have you guys considered going to a publisher?
01-12-2011, 02:00 AM
#7
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Malta
Posts: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotmechanic View Post
Out of curiosity, have you guys considered going to a publisher?
Yes however I didn't have much details from them, since they want a polished beta before they give you any revenues share details. The specific publisher I had contacted seemed very secretive of what they do as if they are doing some voodoo magic or something for their marketing

Nev
____________________________
site: SoftwareProdigy
game: Flip Them All
01-12-2011, 06:14 AM
#8
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 27
The reason why I mentioned it is because I am starting to think there are more benefits to going to a publisher than to try to market it a game yourself.

Sure, you will be handing over as much as half of your profits but the benefits will come from in the form of proper feedback as well as being partnered with people that know the business/marketing better than most of us do.

I promised myself by my third project I would partner with a publisher but as I am polishing up my second game, I am starting to doubt the use of marketing it by myself like paying for promotional services, especially in today's market.

Is there anyone here that used a publisher that regretted it?
01-12-2011, 06:19 AM
#9
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Malta
Posts: 37
And also a good question would be which publishers to consider.

Nev
____________________________
site: SoftwareProdigy
game: Flip Them All
01-12-2011, 07:59 AM
#10
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenonii View Post
And also a good question would be which publishers to consider.
I second this. What are the options available nowadays? I only know of Chillingo... there have to be more out there.