How to Choose a Creative Video Game Marketing Agency for Your Brand (And What Interview Questions to Ask)
Shopping for a video game marketing agency is a lot like shopping for your wedding cake. You spend all this time, money, and resources meticulously planning for the big event; and everything has to be just right and complement one another. So, if you needed the PERFECT cake…one that tasted just as amazing as it looked (and it looked just as ornate as your venue and tied into your theme) – you probably wouldn’t go to Walmart.
Sure, they have cakes. You can even special order one. But neither the quality nor the execution would be up to par with what you expect for your wedding. No. Instead, you’d go to a bakery that specializes in wedding cakes.
But why? They’re both stores. They both sell cakes. And it would be cheaper and probably more convenient to go with the chain. But you stick with the bakery anyway. Because for something this important and this much of a priority, you’re not willing to settle for “okay” when your special day is anything but.
And that’s the same approach you need to take when you’re shopping around for a creative video game marketing agency to help with your next trailer release, or create some merch for your new title.
Of course you could go to any “marketing agency” and they’d probably be able to manage something. But with the release of your new project…your baby – do you want them to be able to “just mange” using the same cookie cutter approach they use with every client – regardless of industry? Or would you rather work with an agency – a video game marketing agency – that specializes in bringing creative media and entertainment projects to life, just like yours?
You already know the answer. But with marketing agencies on every other block in Los Angeles (and a million more online) it can be hard to know which to choose – much less how to vet them. So to help you make the most informed decision on selecting the best video game marketing agency to help build out your brand, here’s what you need consider when choosing who to work with.
Creative and Video Game Marketing Agency Specializations
When you know your project is a creative one, deciding that you need a creative agency is a no-brainer. But even that is a sort of general umbrella you can niche down from. Waypoint, for instance, is a creative agency that specializes in video game marketing. We partner with developers to build cool experiences and unique project & brand tie-ins for their games.
Some creative agencies specialize in general media & entertainment, while others stick to a specific industry. And some may be generalists, but specialize in offering a particular product like branding or fabrication. So knowing which deliverables (or even having an idea of the direction you want to go in) will give you a better starting point when you begin searching for a gaming marketing agency to trust with your brand.
Ask yourself if you need your video game marketing agency to specialize in any of these areas to bring your vision to life. Does your project need?
- Graphic design (general branding, flyers, packaging, etc.)
- Fabrication (booth design & construction, statues, etc.)
- Collectibles (figurines, swag, merch, etc.)
- Experience building (live activations, 3D modeling, augmented reality, etc.)
- Video design (animation & live action, game trailers, TV spots, scripting, etc.)
And keep in mind that many full-service video game marketing agencies may have crossover in the services they provide because of their specialties. A creative marketing agency experienced in graphic design should also be able to help with your web design and marketing collateral, too.
Looking for a video game marketing agency specializing in digital marketing? An experienced agency should still know how to funnel online traffic to your in-person event, AND how to turn IRL events into snackable content for your digital presence, too. Even if they have nothing to do with managing the event itself.
Does This Video Game Marketing Agency Have Customer Service You’re Comfortable With?
You’ll be working incredibly intimately with whatever gaming agency you choose to market your brand, so it’s important to have a good relationship that you can continue to build on. That means customer service is absolutely a metric you want to consider before settling on a video game marketing agency to sign with.
The more creative based a project is, the more nuance it tends to have – and it doesn’t always translate 100% correctly on the first try. Is your gaming agency willing to do revisions? And if so, how many? You should definitely expect at least one, and maybe even more for an additional fee. But you never want to blindly sign on to just accept whatever you get, and any reputable marketing agency knows that.
But a revision is only that – a revised version of what’s already there. So what if the marketing agency completely misses the mark beyond what a revision can fix? Will you be stuck footing the whole bill just to be forced to take your business (and your wallet) to another agency and start over? Or will the agency work with you to make sure your vision becomes a reality?
Does This Video Game Marketing Agency Have the Experience I’m Looking For?
In today’s digital age it’s easier than you may think to launch a marketing agency because there’s really no standard guideline for what one should offer or how it should operate. And there’s no board certification or anything that would quantify their quality of work. So you’ll find a lot of marketing agencies who can talk the talk – but you need one that actually walks the walk.
Whatever deliverables you need from your video game marketing agency (or whatever they’re promising you they can do); verify that they’ve done it before – and pulled it off well. The only thing worse than not having a marketing presence for your brand…is having one that flops – for all the world to see.
The benefit of working with an experienced video game marketing agency is that they know how to navigate the waters specific to that industry. An up-and-coming video game marketing agency may have industry knowledge, but not the big-ticket experience you need. And a generalist marketing agency may have experience with big launches, but not the type of experiential marketing fans expect at industry trade shows like GDC. Because even more important – in the gaming and pop culture industry where fandom is serious business, brands need to have a partner that not only understands marketing strategy – but gaming culture, too.
So you want a creative marketing agency that’s experienced specifically with video game culture, who can gauge fans’ receptions. A video game marketing agency experienced with managing live activations at industry conventions. At handling booth construction to swag – and everything in between. And a video game marketing agency who knows the ins and outs of PAX and E3, and who knows what to do when Murphy’s Law can (and does) happen.
Interview Questions to Ask When Choosing A Video Game Marketing Agency
Now that you know that every creative – or even video game marketing agency isn’t created equally, you need a way to vet the ones that end up on your short list. Once you’ve done your research and had any preliminary questions answered, it’s time to dive in and determine which gaming agency is going to be the best choice for you. So don’t feel weird about “Interviewing” your top picks.
You have a right to knowledge that’ll help you make an informed decision. And any agency worth its weight or reputation will happily answer your questions, because they know that. If a “marketing agency” does get defensive with any normal inquiry, that’s already a sign for you to move on. But for a reputable agency, get these questions answered:
- “Have you successfully done this type of work/project before?”
- “Can you show me a case study or specific results from past executions?”
- “What is your specialty?”
- “What industries do you serve? Have you worked with other clients in my industry?”
- “How do you communicate with clients?”
- “Do you offer revisions? How many?”
- “What’s your policy if a client is unhappy with the work you provide?”
- “How will you get to know my business?”
- “What KPIs do you focus on?”
- “Do you understand the audience I want to reach? How do you ensure that?”
Tying It Together to Choose the Best Video Game Marketing Agency to Partner With Your Brand
When you’re promoting your video game or entertainment media, you’ll benefit more by choosing a video game marketing agency specifically, as opposed to a general marketing agency. But still, you should feel totally confident that your agency can deliver the products and experience you (and your audience) are looking for.
Waypoint is a full-service video game marketing agency in Los Angeles. We specialize in marketing video games and entertainment media – from branding, to visuals, to mesmerizing experiential marketing and activations.