We’re thrilled to announce our newest team member to join Exothermic – Aaron Ashlock!
Here are a few things I see taking place in the murky marketing world supporting video games and companies near the video game industry in 2020.
As a marketing agency, our primary goal at Exothermic is to help spread the word for our partners who pay us money to do so. We are a business and we are impacted by our bottom line.
But our mission is to provide marketing for organizations that, at the end of the day, better people’s lives. Organizations that enable self-reliance.
Some marketing is unethical and even borders on the line of being illegal. In order to stick with our goal of bettering people’s lives and do work that helps us and others sleep better at night, there are marketing tactics we refuse to engage in.
Retargeting is one of them because at the end of the day, it may be a very effective marketing tactic but it is eroding a brand’s image within the self-reliance space.
Another tactic is list purchasing.
I’m tempted to just end this article here…but I guess I’ll explain why.
Owning vs. Renting
As a business owner or a marketing team, you want to spend more time on the properties you own versus the ones that you rent.
You own your website. At no point will the Internet say to you, “You can’t do this on your site” or “The permissions on your site have changed” or “We are not going to promote content from you as regularly.”
SEO algorithms may change, which may affect your traffic and your rankings in subtle way. But for the most part – you own this property. An entity telling you what you can and can’t do here is limited.
I am consistently asked by business owners, “Should I make a Facebook page?” or “What keywords should I use for my SEO?” or “If I want to increase sales, what ads should I spend money on?”
My most consistent answer: I don’t know.
With a follow-up question: What are your business goals?
If your marketing tactics aren’t flowing up to your marketing strategy and if your marketing strategy isn’t flowing up to your business goals and strategy, that Facebook page is going to be a complete waste of time.
In 2012, I wrote an article on Gamasutra, one of the leading game industry news sites, about gamification – “Gamification: the Misunderstood Dirty Word”
Surprisingly, it still holds up. Half a decade later, here’s the overview along with a few recent revisions.
Gamification – what is it?
Gamification is still pretty misunderstood.
“Gamification” is, in essence, the process of using game mechanics and game design to enhance things that aren’t games.
In the marketing and startup world, this concept is being heavily embraced and making a lot of people a lot of money right now, whether they have experience in game design and deserve that money or not. Similar to the buzzword of social media, the true experts at social media are the people who were experts at communication and social mechanics that took their knowledge and applied it to online networks.
There’s a ton of articles out there already on how to motivate yourself to achieve your goals and do all of the things. They can totally help you more than I can. But one of the biggest things I support, personally and professionally, is the importance of focusing on one thing and starting small with anything you’re working on.
Mind mapping is an exercise I wholeheartedly recommend. It allows you to zoom out and think about your life, what you want to accomplish, your big picture goals.
That same exercise can work for your business. Just the act of drawing out circles with lots of smaller circles – hey, it helps.
But it can also be terrifically overwhelming. Trying to figure out what you want to accomplish can make you start questioning your priorities and where you are now. Same thing for new year’s resolutions, if you’ve ever been stumped there. What do you want to accomplish?
What I recommend is starting small. Very small.
If you’ve ever visited a site before and seen that same product you checked out on other websites all over the web – you have been exposed to retargeting. It’s becoming more of a common marketing tactic thanks to Facebook, Twitter, LiveRamp, LiveIntent, AdRoll and many other companies offering stock photos on their home pages of smiling people who have very happily had their privacy invaded.
It’s not really our jam here at Exothermic.
How does retargeting work?
Retargeting works through the magic of pixel-tracking and cookies. Verbatim, from AdRoll’s site:
Basically, what it does is latches on to an Internet user after registering a certain website and then when you go to another site that’s within that ad network, it will then show you ads again for that product or site you already visited.