No marketing = no sales #1

Looking at the title “No marketing =no sales” you can see the obvious point that no matter how good a games, no matter how much it cost to develop and no matter how much work went into it there will be precisely zero sales without some form of marketing. And the more and better the marketing the more sales there will be.

So you would expect the development people to love the marketing people. Because it is the marketing people who take all their hard work and convert it into a product that masses will buy, play and love. But this is very rarely the case in the reality of the industry. A part of this is due to the stereotypes that persist about the two very different sets of skills that are required in development and marketing. Here is a worst case scenario.

The marketing guy sees the development guy as being a scruffy, possibly unwashed, sociopath who is completely disconnected from the real world and hasn’t the faintest idea what the customer really wants. Proof of this can be seen at the developer’s desk which is not only untidy but also covered in children’s toys. The developer never manages to get their work done in time so street dates are rarely met and they haven’t the faintest idea how important marketing assets like renders and videos are. Put in front of a journalist they will say all the wrong things and destroy all the hard work that has gone into the marketing campaign.

The developer sees the marketing guy as someone who spends far too much on clothes and far too much time in front of a mirror. They also spend too much time lunching and other pointless partying to have any time left to do any work. And when they do work all they do is to interfere in the development of the game which is something they know nothing about. A marketeer’s main skill is promoting themselves and they get paid far too much money for an easy job that anyone could do.

In the real world I have seen the occasional person who actually fits one of these stereotypes, but in reality most people on both sides are just hard working professionals doing the best job that they can. Usually in difficult circumstances.

A further issue in the industry is that the developer and the marketeer often work for different companies. And the marketeer, working for a publisher, is perceived as just being a corporate functionary going through the motions. Whereas when they work for the same company they share the same corporate culture and are more likely to be able to read off the same page at the same time. So the scope for animosity is somewhat reduced.

In part two I will write a developers guide to marketing skills.