Completely pivoting a marketing strategy can be disconcerting for a business. Especially when it hasn’t changed for a long time.
At GAME, we realised the brand was ready for a change of strategy. We were weighted towards paid marketing and sales activation, but that wasn’t allowing us to connect with the community.
The business liked the paid channels as they were working well, they were easy to see what money we put in and what came out, but we knew that there were better ways to engage our audience that could also increase our ROI and brand sentiment.
Getting The Business On-Board
Moving away from a heavy paid-led strategy was a difficult time for the business. Paid marketing was seen as certain, simple to calculate, and the finance team could easily see a return on investment.
Content and community marketing were perceived as ‘fluffier’ and difficult to track.
The pivot needed the whole business to be bought along the journey, educating the stakeholders on the benefits of the approach and why we were doing it. Helping them understand marketing on a whole new level, working together on KPIs and how to measure, and creating a plan of action.
One Step At A Time
With a change in strategy, it can be a good thing to take things slow.
We took the opportunity to test the waters with a small project. Revisiting a previous fun campaign called Christmas Tinner – a gelatinous Christmas dinner in a can. We added a spin on it with veggie and vegan versions that fitted in with the current trend of brands creating veggie versions of products such as the Greggs vegetarian sausage rolls.
We also helped the business understand how to measure performance.
We added KPIs of the amount of press coverage, the number of backlinks, and SEO search volume. These would help the business become comfortable with seeing the physical benefits of a more brand-led campaign that was still measurable.
Taking It To The Next Level
Once the business was happy with the results and comfortable it was time to ramp up activity.
We looked to get fully immersed in the gaming community with large campaigns such as Microsoft’s Next Big Influencer. Using KPIs as before such as coverage, backlinks, and traffic to the landing pages, but building on it with sentiment tracking and brand perception. Allowing the business to be comfortable with tracking new metrics that didn’t always directly indicate a sale, but still showed campaign success.
The campaign also involved lots of user generated content (UGC), that kept or production costs low and allowes our community to create their own content. Central to this were users sharing videos of whey they wanted to be GAME’s next big influencer and including content of them playing video games.
As we set up KPIs previously we were able to show how the campaign had exceeded these. Presenting back to the stakeholders and ensuring they were part of the success. Bringing them on that journey all the way to conclusion.
We’d managed to get everyone on-board, and continued to run campaigns and pivot our strategy. Over peak time our budgets came down significantly with performance being higher than ever, showing the great financial success knock-on effect of changing our strategy towards content and community.
Listen to Anna’s interview with Emma Butler (ex-content manager at GAME) on how we made the change.
Watch Anna discuss the journey towards the community for GAME in an interview for the Summit Media event.