Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit 2012: Industry experts analyse the power of cross-promotion

#smartgames Adopting the 'sledgehammer approach'

Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit 2012: Industry experts analyse the power of cross-promotion
Smartphone & Tablet Games Summit attendees have been listening to an industry panel discuss and debate the power of cross-promotion.

The panel began, rather sensibly, by discussing what cross-promotion is and why it's important.

"The app stores are made to churn," began Machine Zone co-founder and CEO Gabriel Leydon.

"The OS providers want users to download new apps every day, so basically the App Store is your friend but also your worst enemy."

"So cross-promotion is just a way of retaining players, because those are the people that actually like your games."

Treading softly

The panel encountered some differences of opinion when it came to exactly how developers should cross-promote to their users, though.

Brendan Burke, head of player science at digital marketing platform Playnomics, urged caution.

"You don't want paid users in your cross-promotion pool," he stressed, emphasising that developers should analyse their playerbase carefully to ensure they're only cross-promoting to lapsed users and non-paid players.

Similarly, Swrve marketing director Tom Farrell recommended a data-driven approach, informed by an understanding of the player lifecycle.

Something to shout about

Machine Zone's Leydon, however, felt that developers would be best served by a "sledgehammer approach" to cross-promotion.

"It's really important to get it out there as clearly as possible," Leydon explained, referring specifically to developers looking to cross-promote their own users into other games in their own portfolio.

"There's no point in saying cross-promotion is a bad user experience – everyone's looking for new games, so you should definitely be aggressive about it.

"Unless you're coming out with apps every day, by the time you launch a new app, your existing game will only have real users left anyway, so you'd be surprised how effective you can be with a sledgehammer approach."
Staff Writer's news editor 2012-2013