In part one we looked at the divide between development and marketing and the resultant stereotypes. Now we have a developers guide to marketing skills. So here are the attributes needed to be a good marketeer:
- A sponge like ability to absorb almost infinite knowledge. The more the better. It is necessary to know everything about every platform, every competitor, every game, every magazine, everyÂ website and just about everything else in the whole of video gaming.
- Technical marketing knowledge. This includes advertising, packaging,Â public relations, print, online community, sponsorship, competitions, events, exhibitions and loads more. To compound the problem none of these knowledge sets are static, all of them keep changing all the time. And for every country it is different, which makes a European marketing job a nightmare.
- The intelligence to actually use all this vast amount of knowledge in the real world. It is not easy to have the clarity of vision to see through all the competing clutter and to know what to do and how to do it to get the best possible results.
- Creativity. The best marketeers have loads of this,Â itÂ is what marks them out. Without creativity you are stuck to marketing by rote, to doing what the other guy does and to a me too approach to the whole job. With creativity you can take the bull by the horns to deliver campaigns that inspire the public and which deliver results well beyond their budgets. Creativity is the most rewarding aspect of being a marketeer, seeing your ideas converted into millions of sales across dozens of countries.
- A very thick skin. In marketing you are under immense pressure to deliver. From your bosses, from the development people and from yourself. And it is inevitable that you will make mistakes. If you aren’t then you are not trying hard enough. So you have to put up with a lot from all sides and still be cheerful, professional and the best possible at doing the job. Some mistake this thick skin for ego but it isn’t.
- Hard graft. This is fundemental to good marketing. There is always more that you can do if you can only find the time to do it. Many times my day has started at 5 or 6 in the morning only to finish at 10 or 11 at night. Often day after day. Often at weekends. And often with the horrors of travel and jetlag. And nobody ever, ever says thank you. I have cancelled holidays and missed important family and social occasions because of work. But this is what you have to do if you want to do the job properly.
- Faith. Not the reigous kind, butÂ faith in the games that you are marketing. You really do have to believe without any doubt whatsoever that the best thing that millions of people can do with their money is spend it buying the game that your development team have created.
There is more but I am sure that you are getting the idea. Not everyone working in marketing in the games industry is blessed with massive quantities of all these attributes, that would be impossible. But enough peopleÂ are to haveÂ driven this industry from it’s bedroom coding past to being one of the major forms of entertainment globally. Time after time I have seen marketing in this industry that is simply brilliant. Yet the problem is that too few people actually understand marketing enough to appreciate this.