You are in charge of the Marketing team at Demagogue Digital Studios – a fictitious game design company – who released their new game, Droidlocks & Dragons, to coincide with the December holiday season. Droidlocks & Dragons is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) set in a sci-fi/fantasy realm where players pay a monthly subscription fee to play and can make in-game purchases with real currency (microtransactions). The game draws heavily from Dungeons & Dragons and popular sci-fi culture.
The game’s initial sales were not great and dropped off significantly after the first few months, and the in-game microtransactions were much lower than expected. Demagogue Digital Studios commissioned in-depth market research to try to understand why their current customers weren’t buying in-game content and why they were struggling to attract new customers.
The research team’s answer? Demagogue had marketed Droidlocks & Dragons heavily toward the male market and focused their additional content on what they expected their male gamers to want – the most-promoted in-game content was the Real Man’s Real Manly ManGun™, for example.
However, the research team found that the majority of players were women – and the most purchased in-game item by far was the IonRapier. While female players loved the gameplay, they were put off by the heavily male-skewed additional content (like the Real Man’s Real Manly ManGun™), as well as the objectification and thin characterisation of female players and characters.
The research team also found a strong correlation between the release of a new campaign update (called Lancealot) and the cancelation of a number of subscriptions – mostly women. The new campaign included narrative and content that, while not overtly encouraging misogyny, definitely did not strike the right tone.
With regard to the current marketing campaigns, placement was focussed on the expected target market as well as gaming magazines, stores, and websites. None of the ads performed particularly well. The ads that had the highest ROAS (this is not saying much, as these barely reached industry benchmarks) were those that showed group shots and scenes – especially those where female characters took the fore – while those that performed the worst usually depicted male characters exclusively. Interestingly, the research team noted that the marketing material for the Lancealot update was routinely the worst performer.
In light of the research team’s findings and insights, EXCO have now decided to rebrand Droidlocks & Dragons. This is an organisation-wide undertaking, with character redesigns, reimagining of additional content for microtransactions, and even narrative alterations. Your job, as head of the marketing team, is to outline how you will redesign your marketing strategy to align with the customer insights from the research team.
- Why should Demagogue Digital Studios’ marketing strategy change? How would you change it? [6 marks]
- Set TWO new SMART objectives for your marketing strategy. [2 marks]
- Set TWO goals for each of your SMART objectives. [4 marks]
- Set KPIs and Targets for each of your goals. [8 marks]
- What tactics would you use to meet your objectives? Justify your answers. Be sure to be thorough and include information on the customer journey as well as your choice of media mix, placement, and content. [20 marks?]
Answers to the Above Questions
Answer 1: Marketing strategies are crucial for an organisation as they help the organisation in reaching its prospective consumers and turning them into customers for their products and services. It is therefore important that the marketing strategies should be specific and pinpoint to what the organisation aims to achieve. However in the given case scenario of Demagogue Digital Studio, it is evaluated that the marketing strategies of the company were all targeted to an inappropriate target audience which leads to significant drop in its sales performance. The marketing strategies were all targeted at male market whereas women comprise a big chunk of its market for game content. This is the major reason requiring change in its marketing strategy….
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