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Develop 2012: Brian Baglow on how indies can master the art of marketing

Develop 2012: Brian Baglow on how indies can master the art of marketing
Marketing consultant Brian Baglow's talk at this year's Develop Brighton conference overran by a good half an hour, but few of those sat in the crowd left before the end.

For the indie developers amongst the audience, Baglow's rundown of how to master marketing was well worth paying attention to.

Its main lesson? Developers need to "get comfortable with a culture of communication."

Talk talk

That's about as 'wanky PR speak' as Baglow got throughout the entire presentation.

In essence, his point was developers need to talk more. Talk before a game comes out, talk when it comes out, and carry on talking long after it's come out.

"Many developers misunderstanding marketing," he opened.

"To put it simply, anything you say that will be seen by anyone outside of your company is marketing."

Baglow said many of the problems developers encounter today stem poor handling when it comes to marketing their exploits.

"No one works in this industry for the pension plan. You do it because you love it," he added, suggesting little details – such as a well planned and delivered game page on app stores - can make all the difference.

"I don't know one developer that takes time to craft the copy they put up on the App Store or Google Play – they just hammer it out and put it up. That's not going to encourage anyone to buy your game."

Press patter

Just as important as this, however, is a willingness to keep the press up to date with your news – even before you've started work on the game you're ultimately looking to plug.

"Every time I say this, some developer tells me that they can't talk to the press about their game idea because someone will steal it," he added.

"Lets do away with this myth now: Until you sell 100,000 copies, nobody cares about you or your game. People won't copy it. Cloning is common, but it only happens to successful games."

That means putting together press releases and getting them out to as many people as possible. For those with little knowledge as to how to construct such things, Baglow had one simple tip.

"Go on GamesPress, read 6 or so press releases, have a coffee, and then do whatever they're not doing," he said, adding that engaging with journalists through social networks such as Twitter is also a must.

Got to be game

Not having a game to push is no excuse, either.

"You can get a lot of press if you become a thought leader," Baglow asserted.

"The press want things to write about. They need content, so take a step back and write about an issue that's currently facing the industry. Give your view.

"If you think Zynga is doing a good job, for instance, then write a blog post telling the world why."

In short, developers need to learn that communicating with the press and potential customers alike is now part and parcel of indie development. Creating a great game is just one stage – all those that follow are just as important.

You can watch a previous talk by Brian at IGDA Scotland – called 'Developers, stop being shit!' - below.

His top five marketing tips for mobile game devs can also be viewed here.


With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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Magnus S CEO at Triolith Entertainment
Great article.
Keith Andrew
A pleasure to be there and witness you in full flow, sir.
Brian Baglow
You're a lovely man, Keith. Thank you. Glad it all made some kind of sense.
Eric Kinkead
Definitely. I agree with this 10,000%. Great article and I have benefited from this in my personal exp lately. I have watched far to many fantastic games held up in silence by developers expecting it be an over night sensation. Watching them lament when their great product comes out to a smaller than expected and unknowing audience can be heartbreaking.
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