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25 Jul 2014

The Value of Relationship Marketing

If you haven’t caught on by now, we talk a lot about marketing here at Game Academy. It’s essential to the success of your indie studio, and without it, nobody is going to buy your indie games. It’s as simple as that.

You will also notice that we discuss marketing via social media most of the time. It’s easier than ever to market your brand via social media, which brings us to today’s topic: the value of relationship marketing.

There is a ton of information related to your indie studio already out there. From the information on your social media profile to the comments your followers make on your Facebook posts and beyond, it is simple for anyone to figure out how you conduct business in a matter of minutes.

  • Have you ever responded hastily to one of your followers on Twitter?
  • Does your Facebook Page have a few negative reviews?
  • Do your followers sing praises of how awesome your games are on YouTube?

All of this information and more can be found within a few search queries. Gone are the days in which customers have to take a chance on a business they are unfamiliar with. With a quick inquiry, anyone can find out whether a business is reputable or worth passing by.

Again, relationship marketing is essential. Focusing on increasing repeat business, enticing customers to willingly provide information that will help your indie studio to serve them better, and of course increasing word-of-mouth, relationship marketing is the opposite of getting players to buy your indie games.

Instead, it’s a focus on ensuring your customers and potential customers have a reason to be loyal to your brand. Give them a reason to be loyal, and you will reap the rewards. Satisfied customers will continue to come back to your indie games if you treat them properly (and of course, if you develop awesome games – but that goes without saying) and will also tell others about your awesome games.

And the cycle will continue.

How do you make relationship marketing work for you? It all starts with:


Stellar customer service

We’ve mentioned the right way to deal with your customers before, so use our advice as a template for how to properly deal with your customers. Look, no matter how many tools and platforms you have at your disposal, there is no substitute for quality customer service! A human touch is always needed, and if you can bring that to the table? Your customers are more likely to be loyal to you.

Personalize your customer service and make them know they matter to you!


Help them whenever possible

Want to keep your customers around? Help them. Go above and beyond the call of duty and help them whenever you have an opportunity! Does a player have a problem purchasing an in-game item? Respond to their plea as soon as possible, send them the in-game item they purchased, and reward them with a little extra in-game currency (if applicable) for their troubles.

Be timely and helpful, and you will have a customer for life.

Relationship marketing: it’s arguably the most valuable type of marketing you can practice. Moreover, because anyone can learn anything about your indie studio, forming positive friendships with your customers is more important than ever. It’s easier to keep a customer than to earn a new one (and less expensive as well).

Do the smart thing: practice positive relationship marketing whenever possible. Be pleasant, be helpful, positively engage with your customers, and above all – always do the right thing; because a combination of killer indie games and stellar customer service is a recipe for success!

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