Is there such a thing as GameFi marketing?

In April, Footprint Analytics interviewed Melly, the CMO of the hit Polygon blockchain game PlanetIX.

While he mentioned some tactics for GameFi marketing, the conversation revolved around improving the product experience and community. Unlike traditional marketing, the pool of Web3 users and projects is relatively tiny, so gaining awareness is not the problem GameFi marketers face.

Whenever a decent title launches, the entire GameFi community is tapped in from the start, eager to see what it has to offer and scanning the whitepaper for potential airdrop opportunities.

“The key is impressing new users with your product,” he said. “If your product’s not good enough, then it’s hard to get users.”

Melly describes something that every project in the Web3 space has noticed, especially in the bear market — retention, rather than acquisition, is the key to survival.

With this, GameFi marketing might be a radical change of perspective for most marketers, who focus on funnels and acquisition. Product and pricing (which includes tokenomics design in Web3) take precedence over promotion and placement, at least until GameFi adoption grows.

In other words, GameFi marketing exists, but the job blurs the line between community manager, product developer, and data analyst.

The main problem for GameFi marketing

First and foremost, GameFi marketers need to be fully part of their community, understanding the different types of users the protocol has and their ever-evolving sentiment.

According to data from Footprint Analytics, 90% of GameFi projects become inactive after launch. Most games simply suck. But assuming a game is fundamentally playable, where do so many go wrong?

First, few games fully realize the importance of personalization. The GameFi industry includes players across regions and socioeconomic backgrounds, creating different kinds of players. For example:

  • Yield farmers

  • NFT flipper

  • Token investors

  • Genuine players

  • Loyal players

  • And more

Footprint’s Gamer Profile dashboard shows an in-depth analysis of a single gamer wallet

A marketer’s job revolves around understanding a company’s customers, so differentiating the different types of GameFi participants is the foundational step of personalizing the gameplay to the various users.

This information can be used to tailor the gaming experience to each player, providing personalized recommendations, promotions, and other incentives that are more likely to resonate with them.

3 tactics that work in GameFi marketing

Once a GameFi marketer understands the different participants in their project and how to separate bots from genuine users, they can begin to create reward and incentive campaigns to keep them engaged as a community. There are two main types of incentive campaigns in GameFi marketing:

1. Quests

Quests are a type of gamified experience that incentivizes users to complete a series of tasks or challenges to earn rewards or progress through a game or platform. GameFi marketers and product teams use questing to encourage user engagement and participation and build community and loyalty around a specific game or platform.

Quests can take many different forms, ranging from simple tasks like logging in daily or completing a tutorial, to more complex challenges like solving puzzles or completing in-game missions.

2. Airdrops

Airdrops are promotional campaigns that involve the free distribution of cryptocurrency or other digital assets to many users. The aim of an airdrop used to be to raise awareness about a new cryptocurrency or GameFi platform, but they are increasingly used in GameFi projects to keep communities active, with airdrops becoming a regular versus one-off event.

Airdrop distribution analysis is one way to track airdrop campaigns and make data-driven decisions.

Airdrops typically involve the distribution of free tokens or coins to users who meet certain criteria, such as holding a minimum amount of a specific cryptocurrency or completing specific tasks, such as sharing information about the project on social media or joining a Telegram group. Airdrops can be organized by individual GameFi projects or third-party platforms specializing in airdrop campaigns.

3. Community engagement & partnerships

“A lot of the ways you advertise in Web2 are not the way you advertise in Web3,” said Melly.

Unlike Web2, traditional advertising platforms ban crypto-related ads and, even if they didn’t, they would probably not be beneficial. There’s simply too much distrust and friction at the moment to make cold ads targeting non-crypto people with GameFi projects viable.

“There’s a lot more guerilla tactics, a lot more creative marketing. I think one of the best ways you can go about it is to consider how far you can get with the strength of your community and also with partnerships.”

Conclusion: A different type of marketing

The marketing profession has a well-developed toolkit in the Web2 world. A marketing manager generally works with SEM, SEO, PPC, referral, and email marketing at the top of the funnel. They would then have to be knowledgeable in some data analytics, e.g., GA, then a CRM, and possibly some CRO.

GameFi marketing looks completely different. The top-of-the-funnel tools don’t exist, the data analytics must combine on and off-chain fragmented data, and the main tactics are foreign to regular marketers.

This piece is contributed by the Footprint Analytics community.

The Footprint Community is a place where data and crypto enthusiasts worldwide help each other understand and gain insights about Web3, the metaverse, DeFi, GameFi, or any other area of the fledgling world of blockchain. Here you’ll find active, diverse voices supporting each other and driving the community forward.

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