For the past few weeks, I have been following the integrated communication strategy through a Facebook video game called the SimCity Social. The game is the extension of it’s famous original game the SimCity where the player works as the mayor of the city, who is in charge of building infatuations, public facilities, houses, and create employments. The mayor’s responsibility between the online version and the original one are slightly different. The online version has been simplified from the original version to fit the Facebook game format in aiming for greater access amongst casual gamers. Not only the interactive system of how the game functions but also the fact that it allows players to connect with their Facebook friends leading to bonds between each players through their interaction with the game. This generates a forced word of mouth amongst the network. The reason I said forced is because; the game itself allows players to request ‘gifts’ from their peers. This is also the way they generate the other players to keep playing the game and motives them to play the game daily.
With continuous visits from their casual and usual players allow the game to become a part of their daily routines. The traffic flow and the popularity of the game shows that the game became a new media channel that has it’s own group of subscribers. With a strong audience base, the game was enables to attract companies’ marketing team to use SimCity Social as one of their medium as part of their integrated marketing communication strategy. The advantages of this media channel in comparison of many others are the fact that customers online or gaming behaviour can be closely tracked for example the number of time they visited the game and/or their purchasing behaviour within the game (such as buying game’s Diamonds and SimCash with real money). Further more, before the player and access the game, they must give permission for the game company to access their personal information. This includes demographics and interests, which is beneficial since the game company could use or sell this information to other brands for commodity. Companies would then be possible to use this information for their potential customer’s insights. Another great this about this method of audience research is the fact that everything is quantitative, however the data might not be absolutely accurate due to the fact that a lot of gamers tend to have false account for games and or multiple accounts to send more gifts to themselves.
In the following section I will demonstrate how the process works:
Oftentimes, players need to be subscribe to, likes, or sign up for a product or a brand in order to claim the reward which is relevant to game players and fits will with the narrative of the game.
Do any of your brands need SimCity Social as part of your communication strategy?