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.

Games And More With The HTC 7 Pro

Today’s mobile phones are not only about making phone calls or sending SMS messages. You can actually do more with mobile phones of today. This is most especially true with the new HTC 7 Pro.

Yes, if you are after things that you can actually do with your mobile phone, then the HTC 7 Pro is the one for you. Now, let us talk about Games and other stuff that you will enjoy with this new phone from HTC.

If you are sick and tired of carrying a different handheld game console with you all the time, then this mobile phone is perfect for you. This is because the Windows Phone 7 Game Hub will bring you new and exciting gaming experience that no other phone has ever given you. It comes with hundreds of titles from the famous Xbox LIVE Microsoft Game Studios, and not to mention other leading game publishers as well.

If you are a big fan of Xbox Live, then you can simply enjoy the power of the said famous game console in the palm of your hand. You can easily play with your friends, beat each others scores, share scores, or simply earn recognition for your every gaming achievement. You can also access your Xbox LIVE profile anytime and be able to take your 3D Avatar and props with you all the time while only using your HTC 7 Pro. You can now enjoy your favorite games like Fruit Ninja, Guitar Hero 5, Deal or No Deal, Assassins’ Creed, Halo and a whole lot more.

The HTC 7 Pro will also allow you to personalize your phone to your hearts’ content. Yes, you can easily personalize your handset with games, apps and music via the Marketplace Hub. This handset will also allow you to view games and feature apps or even browse for the things that you want. Reading and accessing reviews, screen shots, ratings, related content and others on the apps detail page is also possible.

Truly, there are lots of things that you can enjoy (May it be games or other apps) with the new HTC 7 Pro.

Train Your Brain With Action Games and Fighting Games

Maybe you’ve heard that playing video games will rot your brain or lead to other negative consequences. While sitting in front of the screen for hours a day may take time away from other positive activities, the mental stimulation of game playing has proven benefits. Action games, fighting games and other fast-paced adventures can actually help your brain.

Studies have shown that playing action games can improve sharpness of vision, accuracy, alertness and response times. One study showed that gamers made accurate decisions 25% more quickly than those who don’t play. Oddly enough, fighting games and shooters have demonstrated more positive effects than strategy based games. The fast action provides a high level of stimulation that keeps the brain active and engaged. The ability to focus on a task at hand while ignoring distractions is enhanced by playing these types of games.

It has long been known that puzzles and games are good for aging individuals, with the benefits of improving mental fitness and reducing the cognitive decline of old age. Contrary to popular opinion, research suggests that video action games may be more effective than the old-fashioned crossword puzzle or card game. Maybe it’s time to pit Grandma and Grandpa against each other in a fighting game!

Gamers will be happy to hear that these effects increase with the amount of gaming. That is, the more time you spend playing video games, the more of these benefits you will see. Of course, it is still important to act with moderation. Too much time in the virtual world can result in neglecting things like work, school, family or physical activity.

So, do you need to drop hundreds of dollars on expensive game consoles or computer software? That is certainly an option. However, as the old saying goes, sometimes the best things are free. Gamers today have more options than ever before, and many of them won’t cost you a penny. From apps on your mobile phone to social networks and browser based Flash, HTML5 or JavaScript games, there are plenty of free options.

Remember, to realize the most benefits of brain boosting gaming, you’ll want to opt for fast-paced adventure and fighting games. Now that online games are sophisticated enough to rival traditional console, arcade and PC software games, it’s easy to find websites that let you play directly from a web browser. In fact, there are dozens of great free games available to you right now.

Get gaming and boost your brain power!