The last Stinger Report for 2007 arrived in my e-mail today and I have to really give props to The Stinger Report for their hard work and excellent writing all year round and I look forward to more in 2008.
The last Stinger of 2007 discusses an important topic – in fact they call it a hot topic. EVERY ONE IN THE INDUSTRY SHOULD READ THIS STINGER. Why? Because the coin-op industry really sucks at marketing itself. This stems from the marketing being left up to the operators themselves – yes there are coin-op industry organizations but they have been ineffective in getting the word out until recently. And most operators seem to have ignored taking any marketing classes so they don’t know or don’t bother to get the word out. One case in point, out of the 10 or so arcades within a 25 mile radius of my home, I think I have seen less than five ads throughout the entire time I have lived here (most of my life). They just want to rely on word of mouth and nothing more and frankly, that is the most foolish way to get the word out about arcades. Practically no one on the street knows anything about new arcade releases and if those games are available at an arcade near them but they will probably know a good deal about console or PC releases. The coin-op industry needs to change the way it markets itself. Game developers need to work harder on getting the word of their games out to the market. It’s strange since most of these companies seem to market very well in the console sector – why similar techniques can’t be applied to arcade titles in this day and age is beyond me (it’s not the 90’s anymore!). Either way, hit the post break for the rundown on the Stinger’s suggestions for better marketing of the coin-op industry for 2008. Because if you operate an arcade, you can’t rely on others (such as developers/distributors/trade organizations) to market your business for you. And the best part about these suggestions: they’re practically free to do!
Suggestions for better marketing by The Stinger Report summarized by myself:
First, let’s start off with a direct quote from the Stinger:
A few years ago, most operators would think inclusion in the local ‘Yellow Pages’ and possibly a few flyers around the local schools and colleges would suffice. But this is 2007 and there is another methodology that determines how your future customers get their information.
Many in the industry seem to think that times haven’t changed and that methods used in the past are the best way to market themselves today. Not so anymore for 2007/2008. The resources that are at our fingertips provides for incredible opportunities that we haven’t seen before and it’s unfortunate that the industry has virtually ignored these venues for advertising. The Stinger’s first suggestion:
1. Use of Satellite Navigation (or SatNav/GPS) systems. Such systems work as mobile local directories and where many such devices are being installed in automobiles, ensuring that your arcade location shows up on the Points of Interest lists that these devices display. And if it does show up, how far up (or down) is your business on the list? As for how to do this, a local consultant should be procured but this is one advertising avenue that should not be ignored.
2. Is there any information to be found about your location on popular search engines such as Google? Does your company have a website? Does your business appear on mapping websites such as GoogleMaps? It should frankly. If not then create one right away and if you do not know how, there are plenty of companies out there that will create webpages for you for a fee. For the maps your business should appear there if you are in the Yellow Pages but it is important to check and ensure that the information is accurate about your business.
3. Use a social networking website or make a blog. Everyone has heard of MySpace and FaceBook so why not use these sites as a marketing tool? This not only gets the word out, it allows you to reach out to those customers who make up your target market. And the power of blogs cannot be ignored (just look at us 😉 ) In fact if you have an arcade, blogs such as ours would be happy to post information about your location in our location reviews. We’re here to help! You can also seek other online means to help you out, whether it’s Flickr, YouTube or fan forums.
4. Use video sites to your advantage. The reach and impact of video websites such as Youtube or MetaCafe can barely be fathomed. Extra interest can be brought to your arcade by simple videos that can cost next to nothing to make. Encourage players that visit your arcade to take pictures or film your location. They will post that and it’s more positive marketing for you.
There might be more you can do than this but if you run an arcade location and overlook these simple steps then you are missing out on a golden opportunity to make more money.