When it comes to online gaming, many people are willing to learn as much as they can to get better. They might watch pro players play on Twitch, analyze the top performing decks of the week at vicioussyndicate.com, or check their role or champion stats at op.gg. This thirst for knowledge often gives these players an edge over their competition and is simply a requirement when attempting to compete at the higher levels of the game. This same type of research is what is required in today's marketing world. We at Baker Street Digital have put together a list of 5 different ways that competitive video games have made us better digital marketers.
If you have gone out and looked for what builds or champions are performing best this week then congratulations! You’ve already got experience looking for the industry’s best practices and benchmarking yourself against others. If you’ve ever found yourself looking up a weekly meta report, then you are probably more than prepared to look for industry insights as well. Being used to looking up the latest patch notes and analyzing what you might need to change about your playstyle will come in handy when Google changes their algorithm…again.
Not every match can be beaten with the same type of cookie cutter build that you can use every single game. Often, you’re going to need to change your team comp or items to try and adapt to the playing field. A similar process goes down at an ad agency. While there are some general basics that you need to do for all of your clients, each of them will also have a nuanced audience and it is important that you understand how you might have to adjust your process in order to serve each of them. Setting aside part of the budget for experimenting with new techniques is an important part of making sure that you’re always growing as a player and as a marketer.
There are players out there that will blow you away with a certain technique they use to completely dominate the competition. But not every streamer on Twitch knows what they’re doing. Just because they get a lot of views does not mean that you should be copying them in each of your matches. As a digital marketer, it’s pretty important that you’re able to correctly identify which videos on new methods are worth watching. It’s also important to actually watch them. Being able to identify what your weaknesses are and finding the right source that can help you turn these into strengths will play a huge role in whether or not you become successful.
Almost every game out there has some sort of resource management. You’ve only got so much gold to buy your items. You’ve got to make sure that all of your teammates are on the right path to get the objectives. And you’ve got a limited time to do it all or someone else will. None of your clients are going to have an unlimited budget, but they will ask you to accomplish incredible things with whatever they give you. You need to be able to make sure that each dollar available to you is being used as efficiently as possible, but you also have to make all of your choices quick or their competitors will leave them in the dust. Being able to juggle your resources while on a permanent time crunch is a huge asset in the digital marketing world.
You snooze, you lose. Chances are, your competition won’t hesitate to leap into action and, soon, they’ll get the advantage. If this happens enough times, it can become impossible to win no matter how well you play. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t play with some sort of strategy, but it is incredibly important to put it into effect quickly. Honestly, this is a skill that will help you in all aspects of life—not just marketing. Being able to quickly analyze the situation and make a decision can get you far.
This last one isn’t truly a skill, but it’s a fairly common trait when it comes to competitive online games. It’s pretty unlikely that you’re ever going to get to the top 1% of any games you play if you don’t have a passion for competition. You might play the game some and have fun with it, but the motivation to always perform better than before is what will make you truly excel. Almost every aspect of marketing is a competition. You’re competing for your audience’s time and attention; so is the rest of the world. Being motivated by an intense competition will serve you well in gaming and marketing, alike.
If you are the type of person who really strives to compete as hard as they can, then there is a good chance that you’ve already built up some habits that will come in very handy in digital marketing. There are so many examples of marketing practices that are directly parallel to things that many gamers are already doing in their free time just because they find it fun. So, go ahead and get Diamond in League or Legend in Hearthstone. At the end of the day, you’re still sharpening your marketing skills.