So who are you trying to reach with your marketing?

Seems like an obvious question, but so much marketing is done by rote that many people forget.

Game player. This is the person who sits in front of the screen and plays your game. You have got to make him want to do this, because without him you don’t have a business.

Game retail buyer. This is often not the same person as the game player, which is a very important factor in the success of Take Two. The buyer will often be a parent of the player. So they may want their kid to be the coolest on the block, or the brightest. Or maybe they just want to shut the nagging brat up. Come December and all sorts of people, who would never ordinarily buy a game, are queuing up in game shops to buy gifts. So you can get sales by being featured in a housekeeping magazine!

Trade buyer. This is your immediate customer so he could well be the most valuable of all. Hence the incredible value of the trade press, which many underestimate. Your trade buyer must be kept very well informed and completely in the loop at all times. Never lose sight of this person and don’t just rely on your sales people to look after him. Sales people don’t have the same priorities as marketing people.

Employee. A lot of management guru type people say that it is more important to market internally than externally. (I was especially miffed when they dropped the internal newspaper at Codemasters after I was promoted away from communications). Certainly if you have the right people then you have everything else. Communications are of massive importance when recruiting and keeping the right people as well as getting the best out of them.

Shareholder. It is their company. They own it. So you may as well keep them in the loop and tell them what is going on. Especially as they have a vested interest in buying your products.

Wall Street/TheCity. Where the money comes from that pays for everything. These people don’t just want to know the financial, they want to know everything. So tell them.

Local Community.  These are the people you live and work among, the people from whom you recruit many of your staff. Make sure they know about you and that what they know is good.

Politician. At Codemasters I worked with the local MPs to help successfully get the law on conterfeiting changed in the UK, an example of what can be achieved. We photographed one MP and put his image into Operation Flashpoint which we then used as a story which ran very well. (btw my image is also in Operation Flashpoint)

Journalist. You want to reach these people as individual human beings as well as being a conduit to their audience. Journalists have preferences, views and opinions that come out in thousands of subtle ways that have influence. So nurture them.

Business partner. You think I am scraping the bottom of the barrel now but I am not. The people that your company has a day to day relationship with are very important. All your suppliers, whether it be outsourced graphics or stationery, want to know about you. So tell them.

We are really so lucky in games that the story we have to tell is just so sexy. So tell it. People really, really want to know.

So do you do all this, or do you just buy a few television slots and cross your fingers that you might be reaching someone worth spending all that money on? As ever post your views using comments.