In this installment of the Build Your Game Marketing Plan series, we’re going to discuss how to research the environment, complete a SWOT analysis, and develop your objectives. If you haven’t answered the questions from Part I of my series, make sure to complete that before moving on to this next step because we will be using that information.

Sections of the Game Marketing Plan

  1. Game Summary
  2. Environment
  3. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
  4. Goals and Objectives
  5. Marketing Strategy
  6. Action Program
  7. Forecast
  8. Refinement

Once you’re able to establish who your potential player is, start following journalists on Twitter who cover the type of games that your potential players are playing. Utilize lists on Twitter to keep things organized. Search keywords on Twitter and Google Trends related to those games to gather data to determine trends. While developing your game, it’s also a wise decision to set up Google Alerts to track journalists and game keywords over time to gather new contacts, which is essential when launching your game.  We’ll use all of this data in the next step, SWOT analysis, to help create our objectives.

A SWOT analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s useful to help determine whether your team and game are viable in the target market and uncover any areas you may need to improve on for a successful launch.

Strategy-management-diagram-SWOT-analysis-matrix-template-b_w-2

 

Using a template similar to the one shown above by ConceptDraw, you will want to fill in the blanks to utilize your strengths and opportunities to overcome your weaknesses and threats. If a competitor is launching a new game similar to yours soon, can you use your unique selling points and move the launch date to beat them to the punch? It might also uncover that you need to reposition how you sell your game if you determine that a weakness is that it feels too similar to another game (Is there still room for yet another Minecraft clone?!). Sometimes you will find an opportunity arise, such as the developers who are finding that the less crowded Windows Phone market is easier to be discovered on! Giving yourself a visual overview of everything will provide the rails to hold onto as you create your objectives.

Lastly, after you determine what opportunities lie in the market, you will need to develop your goals and objectives. It is simply not enough to have your goal be “I want to be Greenlit on the Steam store” — always be more specific! For example, your goal might be to get 1,000 downloads on launch day of your new game. After you know what you want to achieve, it becomes easier to track your progress and keep the momentum going during the development process.

In the next article, we’ll discuss marketing strategy and how to create engaging content in the crowded social media market!