Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, March 29, 2010

Put Your Marketing To The Test

I have looked at many package comps over the years, and I always have to remind myself to look at the package several different ways. Usually you pick it up and hold it in your hand and look at it; hopefully you can read the title clearly, and it's obvious what the product is and who it's for (all too often there's something lacking in one of those areas). The next way to look at the package is to put it on your head, and say to someone standing six feet away "What am I?" If they can't tell by look at the side of the package what it's supposed to be, then some work needs to be done. A final test is to put the package comp face out on a shelf, and stand 10 feet away and see if you can figure out what it is. If the title is a blur, you'd better fix it.

The point is that packages have to work in a retail environment, where they are usually spine out... and even when face out, most people will only see them from 10 feet away or more. So the package needs to attract and inform people from that distance.

The larger lesson is to make sure you test out your marketing message in the environment where it will be encountered... at the distances and under the conditions likely at that time. (The ultimate test for your package comp, of course, is to bring it into some retail stores and put it on the shelves, then see how it looks.) Magazine ads? test them to see how they work when just flipping through the magazine quickly. Product pages on a web site? See if it's clear at glance what the product is and who it's for... and there's some hook to keep the viewer interested in reading further (visual, textual, something!).


  1. So what is the test for a online product that is sold only through, kindle, DrivethruRPG, itunes, or Steam

    Steve Russell
    Rite Publishing

  2. You'll have at least one product page; perhaps several differnet ones (web site, iTunes, Facebook page, etc.). Show them to some people who are not familiar with your product, and see if they can figure out what it is and why they should be interested when you only give them a 5 second glimpse. You have to capture a casual onlooker quickly.

    Ideally, you'd get a good impression of the game's nature (what type of game it is), the genre, the style, and the key selling points, all from a quick glimpse... the title, a screen shot that sells the sizzle, a catchphrase that makes you want to know more...

    It may take some work to find people who are in your target demographic but don't already know your game, but if you can get even a handful of them you may get some ideas on how to improve your product page.