Marketing Strategy

"Start with the Why."

Routes to Market:

Due to its hybrid components Hark! could appeal to a broader demographic and range of customer segments than a typical computer game or meditation app, giving it more routes to markets and ways of engaging market segments.

Strategy 1:

Traditional Indy Game

Target Customer Sectors:

– Gamers struggling with addiction and looking for guidance

– Standard gamers looking for an artistic and memorable experience

– Gamers looking for a quirky and unusual premise that makes them think

Key Channels:

– Steam / Game Stores

– Game Journalism

Strategy 2:

Spiritual / Self-Help / Psychology

Target Customer Sectors:

– New Age
– Spiritual
– Yoga Lifestyle Circles

 

Key Channels:

– Digital marketing (social, paid ads, pre roll, seo)
– Social media (owned channels)
 – Influencers (eg YouTubers, Instagrammers)
 – Social Media groups (eg FB, Reddit)

Strategy 3:

Education / Changemaking

Target Customer Sectors:

Parents looking for digital addiction solutions

– Institutions looking to buy membership for their members at reduced rate e.g. Schools, Universities.

Key Channels:

Partner Organisations: Changemaking organisations looking to promote mindfulness

Strategy 1: Expanded

Traditional Indy Game

 

 

Gamers are usually interested in Indy games for their unique voice, artwork and quirky, surprising style. There are two main ways that they discover new games:

– On a game store (e.g. ‘Steam’ or ‘Google Play’); or 

– Via game journalism (e.g. a print or online publication such as ‘Polygon’ or ‘PC Gamer’).

 

 

User Reviews:

User reviews are critical to game store discovery and a successful crowdfund campaign can be a way to get early adopters to post great user reviews and to create buzz and interest for users as well as publications.

What distinguishes the runaway successes are games that are able to reach an ‘Overwhelmingly Positive (95%-100% positive user rating score), on Steam, and/or comparable stores.

Notably, games with a spiritual, philosophical and/or moral themes, and those that surprise or disrupt traditional gaming norms, tend to perform far higher than comparable games without such qualities – Note ‘The Stanley Parable (97%), ‘The Talos Principle‘ (95%) and ‘Undertale‘ (97%) to name a few.

Hark! Is centered on around these themes.

 

Crowdfunding:

Most indy games conduct a crowdfund, usually via a platform like Kickstarter, to help with early finance and pre-sales, but crucially to help publicise the game, and create a buzz around it, as well as proving the market interest due to pre-sales. A typical strategy would:

– Build a fan following in the months leading up to the Kickstarter – Channel as much interest into the Kickstarter as possible to make it newsworthy – Offer value in the Kickstarter in the way of pre-order bonuses

Furthermore, Kickstarter campaigns run by someone who can demonstrate past success also leads to the success of future campaigns. Andrew previously ran a successful Kickstarter program for Massive Small, raising over £33k (average of successful campaigns is £21k).

Supplementary Marketing Strategy:

Physical Location

To support the crowdfund, we will rent a space in the pop-up retail facility BoxPark, in Shoreditch, London. This is a collection of shipping containers, with a high volume of footfall.

We will combine lighting, incense and music, with sculptures of the various characters of the game for sale, lining eachside of the container, lit by spotlights. The idea is to get a kind of ‘temple’ like feeling that will attract curious passers by.

These sculptures, along with other assorted merchandise, will be for sale, and at the end will be a computer where people can sign up for the kickstarter, and pre-purchase copies of the game.

Customer Research:

It will be critical to conduct customer research frequently across all phases from concept to beyond launch to work out;
– Who are the users that love Hark! the most and would easily adopt it?
– What is it that these users love most and what don’t they care about?
– Where can we most cost effectively find these users?
– What marketing messages land best with this customer segment?
Methodology: Use ‘surveymonkey’, starting with friends and family then to a wider audience (eventually recruiting eg via survey monkey or another online agency) once the hypotheses are emerging. The survey will be continuously refined and incorporate best practice to reduce bias in questions and sample.


Below is an initial set of questions we could start with to determine who the respondent is:
Demographics (age, gender, profession, political and religious outlook)
– Place of residence: Eg hypothesising users more likely to be in cities or communities where creative or gaming community is strong

Interest in relevant topics: Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga, Exercise and Fitness, Meditation, Mindfulness, Spiritual Communities, Religion, Atheism, Philosophy e.g. Stoicism, Incense, Nature, Environmentalism and Sustainability, Astrology, Tarot, Sculpture and Art, Self Help / Improvement, Psychology and Therapy, Psychiatry, Gaming, Old-School Indy Games, Social Gaming, Online Forums.

Character Traits: Test for the ‘Big Five’ Personality Traits the game would appeal to: Hypothesising those high in openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious) or low in extraversion (e.g. introverts more likely to enjoy the solitary pursuit of gaming)
Experience with gaming and apps (regularity of use, type of games and apps, questions related to their digital addiction)
Use of competitor products: Which of the following have you used / do you use regularly?

We would present a high level description of Hark! And gauge their interest and and work out what associations may cause disinterest e.g.:
Is this something you’d be interested in purchasing / using? yes/no
Why yes / why no (open text)
What appeals / does not appeal to you?
What would you change?
If yes: With what regularity might you use it?
If no: What would make you want to play it?
Who do you think this would appeal to? (start open text, move to multiple choice on later surveys
Which other products do they use (e.g. Headspace, Calm, Journey etc)
The game includes xxx. How much would you purchase it for? (Sliding scale)