Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Thursday, July 22, 2010


It can be difficult these days to figure out how to target your customers. This may seem odd at first glance, since the intertubes have all sorts of tools for precise targeting. But search engine terms only reach people who are looking for those specific terms, and the more broad a term you're trying to buy, the more expensive it gets. Costs can quickly escalate out of reach for a small publisher.

Magazines that reach small audiences have mostly been replaced with web sites; you may or may not be able to buy a banner ad on such sites (and some users may be blocking banner ads and so they'll never see you). Radio and TV ads are too general a tool for most small publishers with niche audiences, even if they were cheap enough.

Cross-marketing is a useful tool for small publishers to consider. While you usually think of it as something you do within your own product line (taking space in one product to advertise another), you can also use this with another company's products. Look for another small publisher whose products sell to people resembling your customers. (They may not be interested if the products are too closely competitive with yours.) Ask if they'd like to exchange space in their products to cross-promote your product lines. This can work if the products are complementary (such as miniatures lines for RPGs), or even when they are directly competitive. You may want to consider articles on each other's websites about how to use your products together.

A cross-marketing ad can be as simple as a one line tag and a web address, or it can be a complete flier or free sample. Start a discussion with some other small publishers and see where it leads. Just don't forget to establish a tracking mechanism, so you can see how effective this effort was after a few months. If it works, do more! (One caveat, as the cartoon should make clear... make sure the cross-marketing will make sense to your customers!)

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