Casual Games: Underutilized Online Marketing Tool?

I just finished writing the December edition of Pulse for Digital Nashville’s monthly newsletter. Each month, Digital Nashville takes a closer look at a trending topic on Nashville’s digital scene and this month I explored the topic of gaming and game development. One of the more exciting issues within that topic is how online marketers are increasingly offering casual games as part of their client’s marketing mix.

Brand Power

Caleb Garner, who has been instrumental in trying to foster a game development community here in Nashville, argues that sponsored casual games can be far more effective in branding than other forms of online advertising.

Say a client spends $10,000 on online display ads to increase its brand awareness and drive traffic to its site. After the money is gone, the campaign ends. Those ads will never appear again unless the client increases her budget.

With an online game, on the other hand, you’ve got an interactive piece of content that exists as long as your brand is alive, ready to engage a potential customer in a meaningful way. Long after a traditional online advertising campaign has run out, that game sits poised and ready.

Granted, Garner has a vested interest in pushing Nashville’s online marketers to think on gaming, but he’s got a great point. Casual games, when done effectively, have their distinct advantages over other forms of advertising.

Think Outside the Box

Here at Parthenon, I’m constantly challenging (and challenged by) clients to think outside the box to tailor custom Web solutions to their specific needs. I’m happy to say that, with the Nashville game development community, I now have a few more tools in the kit to meet those needs head on.