Are You Marketing Or Are You Selling?
This week, I went to this place to attend a meeting held under the banner of "taking videogames seriously". Gamers, media types and government ministers were in attendance and the discussion was wide-ranging.
I was disappointed that the importance of play as both a learned skill and a creativity stimulant was not touched upon, but it was interesting to hear one insider talk of the "childishness" inherent in the industry's marketing.
He was referring specifically to Call Of Duty, the fastest-selling videogame of all time and, in his words, a title that was guaranteed to sell. A title that nevertheless was promoted in a way that successfully pandered to controversy by the inclusion of an airport shoot-out that apparently has nothing to do with the game's narrative.
These things happen because selling is simultaneously a sub-set of marketing and also the ultimate goal of all marketing and all business. In an ideal world, you should strive to ensure that your short-term sales targets align with your longer term strategic goals.
There's clearly an up-side in the short-term approach whereby you face the longer term pain in the hope that short-term hypocrisy is forgotten. But ultimately, you have to decide whether you're marketing or selling.