Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Friday, January 29, 2010

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.


Blogger Dan Thornton said...

I'm not sure the airport shoot-out had absolutely nothing to do with the game's narrative - although I do think the narrative of that particular game was pretty disjointed and hamfisted anyway...

And controversy always guarantees column inches, whether in videogames, movies, art etc...

The only way to provide the arthouse counterpoint to the Hollywood blockbuster games is to have a method of critical analysis etc which works for artier games, and for them to be able to turn enough of a profit to remain viable...

8:29 AM, January 29, 2010  
Blogger john dodds said...

You know far more about that game than I do - indeed nobody knows less than me. I'm just repeating what was said.

And yes it gains column inches, but the question remains did they need them and how does that square with the industry's desire to avoid the bad headlines and puritanical reaction of certain groups?

12:03 PM, January 29, 2010  
Anonymous marketing and management said...

without good selling skills, marketing is waste money. A great marketing manager must come from the sales department as out sales to contact customer.

11:47 PM, February 01, 2010  
Blogger john dodds said...

If the marketing is done right, the selling should take care of itself. Indeed the sales function should then become more about customer service than cold calling and introduction.

8:09 AM, February 02, 2010  

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