Game publishers do got game!

Game Industry Might Take Mobile Marketing ForwardThere\’s been some naysaying recently regarding mobile advertising. Forrester Research said in a new report that despite mobile\’s promise, marketers have several challenges to overcome – such as the fact that only 7 percent of users trust text-message ads, though consumers far prefer SMS to ads that appear on cell phones while surfing the Web.

But it would be short-sighted to write off mobile ads. First, Forrester said that more consumers said they could not live without their cells than without other communications devices like desktops and laptops. And as the research firm pointed out, \”text messaging is more likely to be successful than mechanisms involving mobile data, including couponing and [two-dimensional bar] codes\” – meaning that mobile is ideal for specific types of ads. But smart marketers don\’t rely on upbeat statistics alone. In that regard, they should look at the game industry to see how mobile marketing can be leveraged in the savviest way possible.

When it comes to mobile marketing, game publishers do got game! Marketers for publishers are getting creative, all while keeping in mind this one basic truth, as stated by a Sega marketing exec in a MediaPost article: \”Mobile phones are like traveling advertising and marketing tools, and most people have one in their pocket.”

Game giant Sega\’s integrated marketing campaign, scheduled to launch in time for the Olympics, uses short codes on print and online advertisements with which consumers can interact by using their cell phones to send text messages to the short codes. Meanwhile a mobile game publisher called Gosub 60 has created an interactive, in-context and in-game marketing platform that can send the player out of a game and into a WAP merchandising site with a click.

What\’s so notable about these developments is the way game companies have tailored mobile to their own specific goals – and to their specific audiences. Sega\’s use of SMS is smart especially because of the campaign\’s link to Beijing and the Olympics. The Chinese SMS market is more mature in the United States, and text messaging trumps email as the preferred method of communication there. Gosub\’s platform, called iCubed, capitalizes on the fact that mobile gamers only play for short stretches, so they\’re more likely than hardcore computer gamers to leave the game when enticed.

By using mobile technology in fresh new ways, the game industry has thrown down. Marketers in other spaces, what will you do to respond?

Eydie Cubarrubia
Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm
\”I\’d rather you text me\”