As game developers and advertisers are aware, creating an effective online campaign before launching any game can often be quite a complex and overwhelming process.
Within this post, we’d like to argue why many of the current game ad campaign practices can result in a less-than-ideal resource utilization or in certain missed opportunities. Afterwards, we’ll present what we believe to be the optimal strategic approach for solving many of these issues, along with the payoffs it would bring in.
THE CURRENT GAME CAMPAIGN OBSTACLES
- Budget-Time Resource Trade-Off
Before any subsequent activities can begin, the very first decision advertisers need to make is: “How many different agencies will handle the necessary campaign activities, and which of them will we take on ourselves?”.
Once that is settled, there are generally three alternative situations:
- Either everything is done in-house for much cheaper, but the wasted time results in too many opportunity costs; or
- Every aspect is developed by its respective agency, leading to much higher incurred expenses (most often the case); or
- An optimal combination between in-house and outsourcing is achieved, but the two parties rarely comply as well with each other as they should;
- Task Coordination Complexity
Regardless of which of the three options follows through, a typical, well-done game ad campaign would need to involve activities relating to: branding, performance marketing, influencer marketing, and creating dynamic media landscape, among others, as shown below:
Naturally, coordinating all of them requires the involvement and efforts of various departments and individuals in either of the two cases, and most often than not, neither is able to save on time and resources as efficiently as a more complementary approach would (discussed subsequently).
- Following a Consistent Strategy
What makes the issue from the previous point that much more of an obstacle is the fact that said tasks need to simultaneously adhere to the campaign’s overall strategy.
This becomes especially challenging when different partnering agencies lack the communication between themselves and only have the advertiser as their middle-man, sometimes resulting in inconsistent value propositions and/or ad visuals, and as a consequence – differing target audiences.
- Reporting Difficulties
However, even if that is somehow managed, the nature of the aforementioned relationships can make reporting each group’s results slightly convoluted. This is especially true, when calculating overall success metrics for the currently-undertaken strategy, since they are logically dependent on every group’s combined input.
- Slow Incremental Results
Overall, all of the preceding four obstacles generally tend to lead to arguably the most important one – achieving slow incremental returns, thus making it less likely for any advertiser to experience the necessary growth, in order to personally develop some of the previously-covered competencies and avoid these issues in the future.
THE NECESSARY “STRATEGIC APPROACH” SOLUTION
With all of these trends in mind, we believe the best course of action for a digital media agency to undertake would be to devise a strategic approach, incorporating each of the points below, in order to satisfy the demands of any game advertiser:
- A Media Canvas Based on Proven Success Factors
A media canvas is a broader media plan that includes all of a company’s media activities and calculates them all in an integrative manner.
Thus, as with any proper strategic execution of this nature, it would first need to be based on a combination of several success determinants. This is a crucial first step that would either make or break the subsequent campaign. Throughout the years, there have been various factors, measured to affect the performance of game ad campaigns – from engagement time, ad recall and clickthrough rates to brand awareness, purchase intent and recommendation probability, among others.
The main takeaway from all of this is that as advertising means evolve, it is essential to stay up-to-date and ensure a strong and relevant basis for the canvas’ strategic approach and everything resulting from it.
- Coordinated Activities on Complementary Channels
However, not only do the chosen factors need to be the most suitable ones – they also must naturally complement each other in a holistic way, whereby they bring much higher value together than separately. Based on these, their accompanying activities, such as the aforementioned performance marketing, influencer marketing etc. would naturally also work well together.
But these tasks would not achieve a true coordination unless the channels on which they are presented are complementary, as well. Of course, certain channels are more appropriate for some games than for others, so any media canvas based on such a strategic approach would need to be wide, yet flexible enough to suit the situation on a case-by-case basis.
- Continuous Game Life Cycle Stage Adaptation
Next, beyond establishing HOW to combine said activities and channels, the strategic approach needs to know WHEN to do so, in relation to the game’s life cycle. By progressing through its developmental stage, some efforts would need to be replaced by new ones, while others would still be appropriate to keep and only require certain adjustments along the way.
For example, an approach based specifically on influencer marketing, performance marketing and branding would be designed similarly to what is shown below:
- A Unified Strategy & Reporting System
After considering the idea of unification presented in the three previous points, it quickly becomes apparent how beneficial these efforts would be for maintaining and executing a controlled and consistent advertising strategy under the roof of a single digital media agency.
Having valuable players targeted in a logical way through several, complementary campaigns on various channels at different points in time is far more likely to convince them of the game’s legitimacy and quality, thus adding further value to this approach.
Finally, from an internal point of view, this would also result in a more streamlined and realistic reporting system, allowing for making better conclusions and subsequent business decisions.
- Significant Incremental Results
Naturally, such a combined value proposition would make it possible for game advertisers to have all of their needs met in the most efficient and affordable ways possible, allowing them to invest many of their saved financial resources and time into a healthy growth for their businesses.
Finally, if you’re interested in applying some of iQU’s out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to optimizing your own game campaigns, then why not schedule a free, 30-min consultancy session?