Thursday, February 7, 2013

Marketing to Whales

In the gaming business, a Whale is defined as the 2nd or 3rd sigma of spenders.  This means the 95th (or 99th) Percentile of your spenders.  Depending on the game, this might represent a very significant portion of your total revenue (in a Whale dominate game).  Therefor, "marketing to whales" is a very important task/challenge.  My good friend Bart Bohn at AuManil have developed algorithms that help identify and monitor the Whales in your game... but the key question I have is, how do you EFFECTIVELY market to these whales?

The Whale challenges are:

  1. How do we Identify Whales (AuManil has this solved! -Thanks! :))
  2. How do we get ATTRACT new Whales to play our game? (Acquisition)
  3. How do we get Whales who play to STAY in the game longer?  (Retention)
  4. How do we get Whales who play to SPEND more? (Monetization)
  5. How do we get Whales who have left to COME BACK?  (Re-acquisition)
I don't have all the answers, sadly.  Each of these are very hard...  I do have some ideas, and am constantly testing these ideas while running Marketing in the real game Dungeon Overlord.  Obviously, I can't share data or any big secrets, but I would love to hear from my friends/readers if they have any ideas on how to solve these problems.

Focusing on ATTRACTING new Whales; Facebook has some new "target" groups that let you supposedly target Whales with your ads.  Has anyone tried this yet?  I hope to try it out soon.

Targeting players of other similar games seems to work fairly well, but I wonder if "Bids" for ads effect weather or not we reach Whale players?


Any ideas for the other Whale challenges?

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