Interview: Director of Marketing, Darren Stephenson, speaks to CasinoBeats on marketing strategy
Our Director of Marketing, Darren Stephenson, participated in the CasinoBeats 'Future of Entertainment' mini-series, and discussed marketing strategies and how best to apply them to game development, along with player demands and the next generation of players.
Applying marketing strategies to gaming development to shape player demand and profiles is becoming a widely used approach for many suppliers – how do you look to incorporate insights with your various teams?
Cross-department collaboration is essential, as the landscape of marketing has evolved so much in recent years, with more access to players and player communities.
Closer interaction allows studios to gain direct player feedback on existing slots and other game types coming into the market which gives us cross-over access.
On the product side at Push, we’ve also shifted our marketing more from just explaining the mechanics towards selling the narrative and storyline. Having that direct player interaction has of course made that so much easier.
Internally, we have regular meetings with both our commercial teams and Game Product Owners (POs). This gives us an excellent way of tapping into and sharing feedback. Thanks to the digital nature of online gaming, it is even more beneficial for POs to literally see streams in action and being played by audiences – and it’s proven to be invaluable.
Starting with the basics, what kind of data and analytics can be applied to define player profiles? How can we get a better idea of future demand for styles of gameplay?
As a supplier the amount of data we receive is limited, however we are of course in a good position to see differences in player behaviours on a high level so we can see certain trends within the marketplace.
A good upcoming example could be multiplayer, which seems to be appearing on the radar for operators and we’ll keenly follow the data as you can imagine how that could greatly influence the game creation thought process and ultimately the game styles being delivered.
More specifically for us and our games, data has been key to identifying themes and mechanics that players really love. Sometimes we see from the data that maybe a game wasn’t quite on the money but there was something there that has piqued interest.
We saw this with Tiki Tumble, for example, and so re-visited that model for Razor Shark. Previous games give us the data we need to understand key insights, and this enables us to go away and come back with a new twist or mechanic.
Talk us through your vision for engaging the next generation of players over the coming years – how will you be looking to market your games and define the exact profile of these new demographics coming into gaming?
For us, it’s more important to build on our core values and brand – we want players to get to know us, why we are here, what motivates us and why they can put their trust in us.
By continuing to get closer to players and being a part of their communities, we will be a part of the discussion and we’ll be listening to ensure we understand the requirements of the new demographics coming through.
Marketing and sponsorships directed towards the interest areas of the new generation of players is a good place to start. If you look at esports for example as it continues to grow from strength to strength, I would say the lines between certain product verticals start to blur or even disappear so within communities you may find a wider range of personalities and profiles that enjoy a mixture of content so we will want to be a part of that.
I believe we’ll see plenty of solutions in skill-based games, multiplayer games, tournaments and leaderboards all of which provide a platform to transition players from visiting the casino site, to playing the game – and then becoming a long-term fan.
This forms part of a longer interview with other industry experts, that can be viewed here.
Follow the full series here:
Part 1 - Player Preferences by CEO James Marshall