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An Elaborated Approach On Gaming Marketing Management

5423 Downloads1 I Published: 19 Sep ,2018

Introduction to Marketing Management

The video gaming industry is considered to be among the most interactive sectors being a part of the economic sector which involves development, marketing and sales of video gaming. This sector has gathered much needed curiosity in the mid 1970's which was the era of growth in computers and video games. Since then, United Kingdom has been remarked as one of the largest video gaming markets in Europe and is among the 3rd largest in the world as per the sales

Among many, the best seller of video games in UK was the Grand Theft Auto which is primarily developed by Rockstar, North in Edinburgh, Scotland. Herein, this report has been done to analyse the Market-orientation of Nintendo. Furthermore, the report shall identify different tools and techniques that can be applied for demonstrating the reasons for which Rockstar is “market-oriented”. Lastly, the contribution of marketing in gathering success of organization is assessed in detail.Analysis and evaluation of Rockstar developer’s marketing strategies, activities and practices.

Rockstar was established in late 90's when the need for games was not seen much. They were dedicated to develop video games that had the potential to attract the masses. With its first success attained from the “Blood Money”, it moved to the publishing of Grand Theft Auto in 1997. The creator of grand Theft Auto, Rockstar Games, became the leader in video gaming industry in terms of revenue.
Their idea was to make a game that was cool and had the potential to appeal the wide masses of audience. The product was designed and marketed to gather the attention of its customers. GTA 2 was launched in London in 1969 and in 1999, it sold 2 million copies. With the success captured from the release of GTA 2, company released GTA 3 which also acquired a substantial rate of public interests.
With the constant selling and by meeting the customer wants, Rockstar has built a series of its bestselling game, that is, Grand theft Auto.

The latest release of Grand theft Auto V is seen to remark the same level of success. The reason to its assured success is its marketing strategy. In the beginning of video game era, marketing of games was done by word of mouth, cheesy television advertisements and magazine articles. These days, games have a plethora of channels to market their products to win the hearts of their consumers. Today's marketing strategy that are employed by the marketers of Rockstar are...

1. Interactive marketing strategy

When it comes to advertising, it is fun to see the way in which consumers are involved in implementing a video game marketing strategy. It is an innovative means to connect with the die-hard fans of company. Rockstar has been calculus about the way to customize video game with considering the perception of customers. Rockstar has been adamant about incorporating the view of its customers. To make this dream come true, in GTA V, it established its own unique website for the Epsilon Program. The players were invited to show their participation in the program. The participation was to gather a casting call of its fans. Five members of the program were selected to be the actors in their game. This was not the first time it actually made a customer interaction, but in GTA IV, Rockstar has encouraged its users to send their recordings of themselves ranting.

2. Guerrilla marketing tactics

Rockstar uses low cost without any set customized marketing strategy that can deliver the positive returns on investment.

3. Pre order booking bonuses and discounts

Before the release date of Grand Theft V, they were assured about their success. With the estimated hit, Rockstar promoted its products by providing discounts for pre-booking and if purchases were made by the customers from its own website’s signature, GTA V T-Shirts were distributed online. The bonuses and discounts were a good means of locking the sales before release of their product.4.Online Marketing- Rockstar games tweeted an article in connection with the game, that is, Grand Theft Auto V with a link for GTA V website. The fans have visited the site to have a glimpse of new game trailer. The countdown timer on website also created a heightened excitement among customers. Rockstar games also realized 6 trailers within 20 months which helped company in building anticipation for their products. These tactics are used for promoting GTA V online that created a buzz for its latest edition of its game.

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These marketing strategies are introduced by company to gather the attention, perception and views of customers for its products. Rockstar with its promotional activities was able to create hype for its products and simultaneously, assess the demand that persist in the video game market. Company has always been curious to collect the customer’s views and opinions for its products. The practices such as interactive strategies undertaken by Rockstar were to take into consideration the opinions of its customers as well as to gain their satisfaction from company.

The demand for video games in UK market has been increasing day by day. The increasing demand among customers and development of video gaming industry has impelled UK government to implement the tax relief for UK game developers. This opportunity has helped companies to generate multiple revenues and to pass it on to customers by giving discounts and bonus on editions at its pre-booking events.

Key issues identified in managing marketing operations within an organization

  • The global launch of product and continued focus on multi-channel can make it difficult to execute the desired level of marketing of product. The issues that hinder in this whole marketing process are-
  • Marketing teams often make their marketing campaigns repetitive from one year to another on the basis of historical statistics. The anticipation of future likeliness is often misleading due to lack of proper alignment of business objectives with the marketing executions.
  • The inadequacy in availability of resources is one of the biggest issues in conducting marketing operations within organization. Most of the marketing budgeting activities are manual, iterative and constitute ad-hock services. This leads to unnecessary expenditure in wasteful marketing operations.
  • Often, project managers working in the marketing department are directed to coordinate a large number of marketing projects in the context of product advertisement, launching events, sponsorship and promotions. The communication between marketing managers and external service providers tends to be ad hock, uniform and subjective which leads to inconsistency in their results.
  • The most common and over-looked aspect of an effective marketing strategy is management of company's brand assets. To ensure consistency and positive expression of brands, the marketing managers need to provide a conjunction between its brand strategy and promotion.
  • Internet marketing through website promotion can create privacy concerns. Email marketing can be a spot for invasion of an outsider in the personal space. The regular spamming complaints are the indication of the way in which violation internet marketing can be created.

With the passing time, it has been seen that the marketing operations management has expanded both in its scope and significance. The utilization of Marketing Operations Management assists in creation of marketing culture which will help it in streamlining the marketing process that is conducted at both operational and campaign level which will propel it to reduce the waste of efforts and would help in generation of higher revenues. To acquire the estimated marketing efficiency, a combination of marketing skill and operational management will be required.
Tools and techniques that support the marketing manager in development of strategies, plans and operation.

The marketing management process has turned out to be more complex and costly. With the growing competitiveness in the field of video gaming, it is important for marketers to assist the strategic managers to develop a wide range of tools and techniques that can be employed to contour this process.To analyse the alignment of Rockstar Developers towards its customers and to bring it in tune with the level of competitiveness, Porter's Five Forces Model can be used-

Intensity of Rivalry (Moderate)

Rockstar Developers directly compete with the Nintendo, Valve and Atari developers. The intensified rivalry among the firms has led to employing of new ideas to attract different segments for boosting up the new market areas. Rivalry among these competitors has instilled them on fighting for new creative gaming. Rivalry is lowered since the market is fast-moving and the number of firms is diminishing their effect on competitor’s strong move. This is so because the product lines are highly differentiated and appeal of Rockstar is different to varied segments.

Potential new entrants (Low)

The growing opportunities have led to rapid growth of industry which has positively resulted in higher returns for companies that are operating within this business. The threat of new entrants in the video game software market is to some extent lowered due to barriers to entry and existence of learning experience curve. Profits have drawn the attention of new entrants but inadequacy of sufficient expertise and resources have set the group of small developers behind.

Threat of substitution (High)

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It is important to see whether the substitutes are readily available and if attractively pricing is quoted or not. The video game software business is a concern of broader entertainment business that is intended to provide leisure and arbitrary spending of consumers. While, on the other hand, movies, music, mobile apps, television etc. exerts strong competitive pressure which is readily available with attractive pricing. The switching cost for customers is also low. Thus, the substitution of video games by consumers is high.

Bargaining Power of suppliers (Low)

The bargaining power can be exerted by suppliers where switching cost is high and a supplier has the differentiated input which can lead to enhancement in quality or performance of their product. In the video game industry, Nintendo exerts one of the strongest competitions that are depicting its powerful bargaining position over suppliers. Rockstar Developer has also its licensed technology which helps it in differentiating its product and in parting itself from others. This has helped it in reducing the supplier’s bargaining power.

Bargaining Power of Buyers (Low)

At a large scale, bargaining power of buyers is high, but with the frequent popularity and games reviews together, it has helped in sustaining its discretion over the buyer’s bargaining power. GTA Vice city is a popular and renowned video game name in UK industry which reduces the power of consumers to bargain on it. After analysing the collective strength of Porter's competitive forces, it becomes clear that the video game software industry has growing opportunities and is extremely profitable sector of business. Rockstar is able to survive in this competitive environment by differentiating its products by serving the expectations of consumers that are preventing it from others to affect the business.

4 P's of marketing can be utilized as a tool to support the marketing manager of Rockstar Developers in strategy, planning and activities.

Product

GTA games are published in every two years with its first version launch in 1997, next in 1999, 2001 and so on. It has been able to establish its set of fans through product innovation. According to one of the articles posted in Forbes, it has been seen that the latest edition of Grand Theft Auto V cost $250 million is much more than the movies like Avengers, Avatar and Toy story. It counter-effects this cost with increasing revenues by reaching the satisfactory level of customer's expectations through its innovation in its games. The game formed consists of a combination of Action + Ambition + Adventurous games.
Price- Price is one of the key elements of marketing mix which relates to revenue generation. Prices are set reasonable for customers to make them easily affordable. In this manner, it is able to keep into consideration the capacity of people to pay for the game. Simultaneously, it was seen that the firm was able to provide discounts and bonuses on pre-bookings.

Promotion

Rockstar has undertaken a strategy of developing and creation of strong brand promotion. GTA was the first video game that was able to break the records and present something aloof from the traditional games. Its controversies added to its promotions and created much needed hype for its products. It gave what customer wanted, provided the freedom to play the way it wanted too and also offered different choices to make. The control was felt in the hands of users.

Place

GTA series was ranked among Britain's most successful exports. The final series of this game sell more than 220 million units that are acclaimed to be commercially successful in countries like UK, Europe and America etc. The publisher of game is situated in New York and its shipment to different places has satisfied its customers that are situated in different parts of the world.

The techniques are employed by Rockstar for incorporating their ideas about the games and to provide the ultimate entertainment experience to its consumers. The realistic approach of the games and freedom to invade has proved the alignment of Rockstar Developers on market orientation.Importance, mechanism, control and evaluation within marketing management .

The significance of marketing management is explained like-

  • It helps in planning a systematic way of utilizing the marketing efforts.
  • Marketing management assists in gathering adequate amount of marketing research and information.
  • The weaknesses and loopholes can be easily spotted.
  • The optimum utilization of funds and human resources for marketing can be made efficiently and effectively as far as possible.
  • Rockstar can gain a better position to adapt the changes that customers expect and meet the competition within industry.
  • Marketing is integrated easily within its different departments.
  • Marketing personnel is motivated to attain different marketing objectives.
  • A clear accountability can be defined for marketing.

The marketing management mechanism can be recorded by undertaking customer perceptions and through gathering their responses to meet their expectations and needs. It is clear that a market mechanism is governed by the fundamental laws of market i.e. law of demand and supply.
In order to ensure that marketing plans are achieved, they can be monitored in tune with the marketing objectives and measure the differences as well. The control process plan shall consists of following steps-

  • Setting up of standards as per the plan
  • Measurement of performance in accordance with the standards
  • Taking corrective measures to set the standards and plans

Rockstar Developers must use different techniques after the execution of marketing plan to analyse the success in accomplishment of individual marketing objectives and to broadly evaluate the entire organization’s marketing efforts. The techniques that can be used are-

  • Marketing auditing
  • Ration analysis (generating efficiency)
  • Marketing profitability and cost analysis
  • Market-share analysis
  • Sales evaluation

Key trends in marketing management

According to the research, it has been seen that video games industry is estimated to be worth of £80 billion. However, America and Japan has been dominating in this market. UK video games sector also employees over 12000 people that generate a per year revenue of £2.5 billion. Many factors have persisted in the growth in this video games sector from mid-90's till 21st century. The similarity in varieties was obstructed by Rockstar edition of GTA Vice city which was an adult rated game that is collaborating popular actions alive through this game. The demographics that are featuring the game have also changed. It has been able to still hold the adults and acquired the upcoming teenager's attention. With the expansion of customer’s base, the competition has also turned to be fierce and innovative featuring has served to fulfil the purpose of technological needs of business. The quality in graphics and intense competition to get connected with the latest technologies has widened the chances of Rockstar to prosper in this industry. The technological innovation has been seen as a prime part in the Software development of video games industry. The incorporation of sound and high resolution picture quality has led to utmost level of experience among customers. The game developed has a contribution of its fans and their needs are fulfilled by providing esteem high-quality of pictures and 3D as well as sound-effects to their game.

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The promotional techniques have been changed drastically with the changes in technologies. The personal website, social media, blogs etc. have surpassed the scope of gathering customer's attention and attaining their sustained responses. The responses in the form customer's review and feedback are noted by making it easier to consider their opinions. The internet accessibility has helped in pro 21(4). pp.270 – 280.viding customers with an updated and timely information.

Conclusion

From the above report, it can be articulated that Rock star developers with its early establishment in the late 90's till date has been constantly revising its marketing techniques and strategies to meet its customer's expectations. The popularity of Rock star Developers was attained through launch of first edition for its well-known game GTA. The GTA was the most admired experienced game by UK. Since its first launch, Rock star Developers has not looked down and has been bringing its successors with a new edition in every span of 2 years to keep its customer's satisfied.They have also introduced marketing promotional techniques which highly focused on attaining customer interactions which help in acquiring the customer's participation in their field. Marketing orientation is a business concept which pays attention on delivering the products which is designed to meet the customer’s needs, desires and requirements. This concept is thoroughly justified by Rock star Developers who have tried their best promotional means to capture the customer's attention.

References

  • Atorough, P. and Martin, A., 2012. The politics of destination marketing: Assessing stakeholder interaction choice orientations toward a DMO formation, using the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. Journal of Place Management and Development.
  • Cant, C. M., 2009. Marketing Management. Juta and Company Ltd.
  • Glowik, M. and Smyczek, S., 2011. International Marketing Management: Strategies, Concepts and Cases in Europe. Oldenbourg Verlag.
  • Glynn, S. M. and Woodside, G. A., 2012. Business-to-business Marketing Management: Strategies, Cases and Solutions. Emerald Group Publishing.
  • Govindarajan, M., 2007. MARKETING MANAGEMENT. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.
  • Hughes, T., 2007. Regaining a seat at the table: marketing management and the e-service opportunity.
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