Valve Online Marketing Campaign, Marketing Plan Example

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Marketing Plan

Executive Summary

The purpose of this research report is to document the different strategies and viable pathways through which the Valve Company can initiate and penetrate the available but challenging online Marketing platforms using different products and outfits. The online marketing plan focuses majorly in the Canadian market, in general and the men and women of age 18-35 in the Vancouver. At this age, both gender share a similarity of agile online presence through different platforms and numerous activities take place at the sites. The campaign therefore strategizes how to trap the market and convert the mere visitors of the sites to potential and reliable customers.

The Vancouver area is an ideal site for an implementation of a strategy dealing with social media. This is due to its characteristic of fair representation and in a way; it is a reflection of Canada’s vibrant online curiosity. The Canada has made it to the record book as one of the world’s most consumers of the social media (Jones, 2011).  The main goal is to build awareness and involve others in the online marketing strategy. It involves different enticing methods to bring other users on board. To this end, the main focus will be channeled to the users of Twitter, Google plus,Tumblr and Instagram. All the available platforms complement each other in a way which works to improve the marketing footage of the company. However, all the different sites still retain their distinct characteristic and identities towards. Canada, as mentioned earlier, provides a rich market for social media.

Canada is ranked the 8th country with the usage of Twitter with approximately 67.3% of its population actively involved in its usage (Chiffey 2009). In addition, about 96.2% of its population regularly make use and receive marketing emails. Other social media platforms are equally in active use in the Vancouver. This great vibrant population presents the best audience for the online marketing campaign. The campaign will involve creating different twitter hash tag and monitoring the participation rates. The amount of visits to different sites such as Google plus will present the statistics and the recordings of the response to the above campaigns.

Finally, different analytical devices will be involved and will provide correct figures on the impacts and the ripples caused by this campaign in the light of achieving its targets and goals. For this specific campaign, the following analytical tools will be put in active use to monitor the realization of the set objectives; Google analytics, Mailchimp, HootSuite, Google Alerts and Web Trends Dashboard.

The Valve Company though has reported a considerable online presence due to the nature of the work done, much impact will be realized in their operations and much will result of the online campaign. Each day, the social media and online marketing strategy shifts goal posts, as a result, the strategies should be able to be adaptable and accommodative. The purpose and the modality of the strategy is effective and will realized measurable and concrete result

websites&forums

The Organization

Valve, a private entertainment software company founded by Mike Harrington and Gabe Newell has a rich and adorable history since its inception in 1996. It plumes itself of breeding the best types of talents and providing the customers with value added and satisfying products. It specializes in the production of the leading games, provision of social entertainment platforms and other engagements software provisions. When one mentions Valve Company, in most cases there is a unique thought which first brushes the mind; the type of employees. While other companies pride themselves of specific number of employees and products of the human resource department, Valve took a different and innovative approach on the issue of human capital. It has permanent employees but with no distinct job description and demarcations of duty. The employees of Valve are guided by their creative ventures and the desire to achieve. The same informality is manifested in the management structure which is not formal. The employees are self-managed and self-motivated to do their own work within the bounds of their creativity and the limits of their risk. The company cherishes risk and risk takers because it is from the same risks that they have managed to produce the award winning games and entertainments engagements throughout the globe. Numerically, it has a total of 250 employees.

The secretive Valve does not endeavor to publish its annual financial records and its books of accounts are not available anywhere for analysis. The law is clipped in compelling it to do so because it is a privately owned firm with no public shares traded in its portfolio. However ,the estimates by the known Forbes (2011) states that the company could be worth around $2 to $4 billion (Wilson, 2002). If the estimates are anything to go by, then Valve emerges as one of the heavyweights in the entertainment industry with a large portfolio and wide base of assets.

The Market

As stated earlier in the text, the target market is mainly the Canadian population, Vancouver in specific. The analysis of this market reveals an interesting trend and usage of the social media. The online behavior of this populous state makes it easier to analyze and work with. According to the World Stats, 2012, the number of internet and by extension social media users at mid-year 2012 in Vancouver was approximated at 469,069 representing a 79% of the population at the town. A percentage of 75% representing households of 7 out of 10 in every household had a reliable internet access in 2010. This was the extension of the survey conducted in 2010 by the Statistics Canada (Jones, et al, 2009). According to the survey, 54% used more than one device to access different media platforms. In the same statistics, 76% of the population had an active Face book account,61% had a Twitter handle, 45% were active users of the Google plus and 27.8% had embraced Instagram in their usage (Jones, et al, 2009). The active age of internet users were between the ages of 18-45 representing a 72% in the internet usage.  The population outside the bracket which had not embraced the internet usage was represented as13% (Todaro, 2007).

Basically, the targeted market is dynamic and flexible to the needs of the participants. The campaign will thrive best if the market players are treated to their needs than inducing them to embrace the provisions of the campaign. The dynamism of the campaign allows for the divergent needs of the market to be met and satisfied (Chaffey 2011). The literature has lost meaning in the market and therefore the marketing is focusing more on other entertaining platforms. Valve could open the expectations by including the introduction of specific and tailored packages for the needs of the market and the dynamism involved. A great percentage of the markets are the youth of the stated age of 18-35 years (Todaro, 2007). Such populations cherish creativity and new look. That could serve them best in the quest to promote Valve and its products. The use of social media and the online presence has changed over a long period of time and the dynamics are prone to constant natural adjustments. The customers are more concerned on the satisfaction and are likely to drop one platform for another due to shifting preferences (Parkin 2009).A great percentage of the online users in Vancouver are likely to shift to other satisfying platforms such as instant messaging services. One would probably conclude that the internet users at the Vancouver are volatile and perishable. As a result, getting a competitive campaign strategy to incorporate all their needs is demanding but they are also enthusiastic and great lovers of the online marketing strategic plan.

As stated above the dynamism of the research reveals a trend and a unique taste which must be handled with precision should the market success be a guiding factor. The market is highly flexible and the preference tastes are witnessed to shift every time to provide for the market. Valve Company earlier took advantage of the available niche and produced the market-related products which were seeking to satisfy everyone. Games such as the Left for Dead hit the market due to their differentiation and discrimination (Chaffey 2011). Owing to this fact, they took advantage of the market but its analysis in terms of its composition is paramount to the success of the same products in the future as the competition is relatively high since the products are value and individual based. The entertainment industry is one field where nothing entertains everyone in the same manner (. In a way, people have differentiated tastes and likings. Producing a generalized and common unit for a consumption of specific group of people is akin to losing the market grasp or sharing the advantage with the competitor. Therefore, entertainment industry lack rigid structures of success and failure, all it cherishes is the sizzling creativity. This is the case across the board. The market at the Vancouver is no exception . Vancouver is a place of dynamism ad the targeted population are sensitive to new trends (Girard, et al, 2011). Increased social interaction makes understanding the market fathomable; hence, increasing the chances of predicting the market trends.

Primary Goals for Marketing:

Use of Social Entertainment Platform

Steam is a product provided by this company and their direct link to the customers. Historically this platform began a little steep project to update counter Strike. Within an incredibly short time, it had commanded a large following; evidently, it had taken the world’s online gaming market by storm. Steam is renowned for its ability to connect is over 35 million users to each other and to the company itself. This platform is amazing and the interaction is overwhelming. Moreover, the steam provides. The steam provides the enthusiast with the possibility to buy, share, modify and easily create communities around the products produced by valve and interact freely in the same platform. Furthermore, steam is available in different languages amounting to around twenty three and is enjoyed in more than 137 countries. The number of the youth using this platform is on an increasing mode, not only in Vancouver but also in the world as a whole. Through using this platform, the marketing strategy would be able to bring in the right individuals who would be interested on the product being offered.

Targeting the Right Type of Gamers

It is well known that competition in this market is stiff and therefore a prudent market plan is necessary to enable Valve kill and dominate this platform, how would they use the online platform to position themselves in the right side of the consumers? Alongside the Platform, Valve also provides its consumers with varieties of games like, Left for Dead and Half-life, most of these games are serial award winners in different categories world over. Lastly,Valve also providesSource, its own state of the art game engine. Evidently, Valve has capitalized a lot on the ‘free will’ society. By scrapping off formal management structure, there is a reduced risk of bureaucracy and most thoughts are left free to wonder. As a result, the performance of the human capital is beyond question and evidently, this is a strong point for this company. Through this process, it could be understood that the goal of promoting the new game through following the platform of older games would lead the organization towards reaching the right target.

Utilizing the Proper form of Literature for Product Campaign

The campaign to increase the presence of the Valve in the online scene and to increase its effectiveness in the market will run for two months. The campaign itself will be divided into two phases. The first phase will be called the Buildup Phase and the next phase will be called the Execution phase. Both phases will involve the use of the following devices, Twitter, Instagram, Google plus and finally the Tumblr. The reason for the choice of these devices is explained later in the text. During the buildup phase, the audience will be kept guessing without directly revealing what the whole motive of the campaign is all about. This will arouse the curiosity of the participants (Jones, 2011). Generally, all the distinct platforms used will involve this stage though it will be differentiated according to the platform and the specifications and provisions in the media.

Saturating the Target Area: Concentration of Campaign

The campaign will majorly target the people of the Vancouver and the Canadians in general. Although, different platforms will function as separate entities, the effectiveness of the campaign will be evaluated on the basis of the collective contribution of all the factors involved in the campaign.

Making the Campaign more Structured through Cloud Computing

One of the hardest parts of marketing through electronic media is the ways by which the process of campaign is handled separately. It is aimed that in this particular approach of campaign, the utilization of cloud computing platform would best define the process. This way, the collaborative way of operating all platforms of campaign altogether would be much easier to manage accordingly. Furthermore, this would allow the administrators of the business to reach a higher rate of population in the market within a one-time release of campaign ads through online operations that would reach both online sites and mobile enabled platforms for advertising.

Explanation of the Campaign Platforms to Use

For the following research, the following marketing tools were selected for analysis; Google Plus, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter. The above tools for the campaign do not operate in isolation but they work in tandem with each other and supplement each other for the achievement of the set goals and objectives

Twitter

Twitter has all the characteristics of a well-developed blog except that it might not have the same capacity as the blog. It is therefore comfortably refereed to us the micro blog. In Vancouver, the number of people using Twitter has grown with double digits since 2010 (Tech Vibbes 2012). It provides the best way to reach the customers in the Vancouver because a huge population of them has embraced the use of twitter. It is considered to be a mass communication tool in the online strategy with different linkage packages to its users. It has convinced a number of corporate and individuals alike, hence increasingly becoming popular. In future, the market trends seem bright for twitter and therefore in the analysis of the strategy in the online platform, the list would probably be incomplete without the incorporation of the promising twitter. In Vancouver, about 500,000 are actively using twitter (TechVibes 2012); this is a quite a significant number to exclude in the marketing strategy of Valve. For this particular platform, the following serve as the primary goals set to define the procedures of using it as a campaign portal for the business:

  • To establish a strong platform for the organization to regulate famous tweets to regular followers of the both the company and the site that they handle online.
  • To manifest a distinct identification of the followers; thus knowing if they could be potential buyers of the product.
  • To attract the majority of twitter users who may have inkling towards gaming thus turning their membership with twitter a practical source of connection for the company towards prospective clients in the future.
  • To create highly interesting and specifically head turning tweets that would be hard to resist for the target market; messages ought to be short, directive and interesting.
  • to establish the company’s twitter account’s popularity in the market through sending off tweets regularly within the first month of developing the campaign platform for the product’s campaign purposes.

Google Plus

Google plus is considered a new entrant in the online marketing platform. However, it has its own whole package which the internet enthusiasts are not hesitant to adopt and embrace. It provides both formal and informal communicative platform in a wide range of packaged services. It incorporates and provides the users with the best experience in the social media. Unlike other platforms, it is highly secretive ad official in a way that it does not infringe on the privacy of other individuals. Its services have convinced the Vancouver population and this is best manifested on how they have embraced its use. Therefore, Google plus is a rich area to explore and a diverse area to draw strategies from. Here are some of the specific goals that shall define the utilization of Google Plus for this particular campaign:

  • To create specific articles that would define the product being offered by the company and linking the articles with websites that could further introduce what the game is all about thus increasing the interest of the gamers into the product being presented.
  • To promote the Google+ account in social forums of gamers thus inviting them to visit, be a member, follow and specifically get the chance to read up the articles posted through the said portal
  • To release particular updates that would continue to increase the interest of the targeted clients; with 540 million users around the globe, creating directive updates on the page owned by the company shall lead the right amount of traffic that could generate interest among gamers based on web popularity.
  • To connect updates with videos that serve as a practical presentation of the actual amen through platforms like YouTube
  • To concentrate on Vancouver Google+ users who are likely to become more involved in gaming thus possibly turning their interest into sales

Tumblr

Tumblr has taken its place in the social media by finding some common ground between twitter and blogging. It is getting more famous as people are getting more ways of making the best out of it. People find more new ways to use it. There are different creative ways through which one can use Tumblr to create and edit their own content. Those who are technically minded are creating great content in this site. The same fact is shared with Valve which capitalizes on great minds to command an unwavering market. Through this therefore, Tumblr provides the best platform into market Valve and proper strategies are therefore necessary in this. Here are some of the particular goals that could be used to define the use of Tumbler for the promotion of the product:

  • To post keyword-rich articles that direct online traffic towards the product being offered by the company. This will allow search engines to direct specific searches towards the company’s Tumblr account and know more about the product.
  • To create a strong foundation for Tumblr members to utilize when searching for gaming articles and likely finding the page of the company where they are directed to knowing more about the product
  • To update posts regularly therefore retaining their online popularity
  • To establish interest among members regarding what the company offers them with.
  • To make a distinct indication on what makes the game different from the others through article writing, video linkages and other website connections that would direct the users to all the other social media accounts of the company.

Instagram

Instagram is the official platform for formal engagements. It provides most of its services in this light and still does not lock out the social interaction and sharing of information. It is also commanding a considerable large following with most of the users being professionals and those who have other profiles to preserve. It took advantage of other platforms which overlooked the need to connect corporate and the importance to incorporate official engagements in the social interaction. This fact has attracted a considerable number of people to its use and it is therefore becoming popular with time. This fact makes it a wise choice to be considered a part of this campaign which will seek to address the marketing strategies of the Valve Company. Hence for this platform, the specific goals include the following:

  • To establish the platform of social interaction that the company could use to collaboratively use all of its other campaigning portals to make sure that they are able to reach as much individuals as possible.
  • To create interest among users through pictures, images and video linkages that online users could use to be directed to the company website and other social media accounts where the product is introduced.
  • To use effective cloud computing through using instagram images and promote the product accordingly to users of other social networks such as facebook and flickr. Although these platforms are not directly used for this campaign, they could best help in increasing popularity and market familiarity for the product being introduced to the target buyers.

To note, presented in the graph below is the summary of the primary goals that are to be reached in relation to how the campaign is to pursue market saturation in relation to getting the interest of the right people to buy the product being introduced to the market.

Campaign tool Goal Evaluation Metrics
 

 

1 Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ø    2.Google Plus

 

 

 

 

Ø    3.Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ø    4. Tumblr

Ø    Gauge the level of appreciation of the product by the users of the platform

Ø    Evaluate the preference rate between the different products produced by the firm

Ø    Monitor the level of appreciation by the new customers or Evaluate the level of conquering of the new market

Ø    Understand the unique preferences  of different customers

 

 

 

 

 

Ø    Understand the trends in the market

Ø    Evaluate the level of appreciation in the market

Ø    Incorporate the willingness to adapt to new products

Ø    Evaluate the level of differentiation of the market in terms of tastes and preferences

 

 

Ø    Establish the relationships between the customers and the level of interaction between them

Ø    Evaluate the level of differentiation of the market

Ø    Follow up on the performance of a specific product as far as its appreciation is concerned

 

Ø    Establish the level of interaction between the people

Ø    Evaluate the level of performance of the specific product

Ø    Engage the available market and gauge the viability of it

Ø    Engage  the users in the market research and evaluation of the population component

Ø    Demarcate and group the different economic sets

Ø    Integrate the efforts of each user to incorporate the efforts of others

Ø    The higher the number of ‘likes’ or comments on a post shows the high level of appreciation by the customers

 

Ø    The number of new ‘likes’ shows the presence of new  customers

 

Ø    The comments of the customers on different posts can show their level of appreciation of the products and hence involve the producer

 

Ø    The number of ‘tweets on a specific trending news

Ø    The comments on the created harsh tag

 

 

Ø    WebTrends

Ø    Hootsuit

Ø    The higher the number of people following the site the better since it shows high level of appreciation.

 

 

 

Ø    Google Analytics,

Ø    Hootsuit

Ø    Dashboard

Ø    The size of the ‘circles’

 

 

 

Ø    Google Analytics

Ø    Hootsuit

Ø    Dashboard

Ø    WebTrends

 

 

Conclusion

What constitutes every proper marketing approach is the capacity of the organization involved to use the best tools available. At present, the internet and social media are considerably the best aspects of marketing that both large and small scaled organizations could use to reach out to the market they target to serve. For Valve, the four primary platforms presented herein are expected to provide the best source of market competence in relation to the product they are offering. Aspects of market saturation and directive marketing towards a particular location [Vancouver, Canada] are among the strategies to be included in the utilization of cloud computing through collaboratively operating all the four platforms of campaign noted in this discussion. Expectedly, the organization’s marketing approach is likely going to reach the right individuals in the market who would be able to appreciate the product they offer thus turning the campaign options into prospective sales.

References

Atzmueller, M. (2011). Analysis of social media and ubiquitous data: international workshops Msm 2010, Toronto, Canada, June 13, 2010, and Muse 2010, Barcelona, Spain, September 20, 2010 : revised selected papers. New York, Springer-Verlag.

Chaffey, D. (2009). Internet marketing: strategy, implementation and practice. Harlow, Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Girard, J. P., &Girard, J. L. (2011). Social knowledge using social media to know what you know. Hershey, PA, Information Science Reference. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10448593.

Harrison, T., &Friesen, J. W. (2010). Canadian society in the twenty-first century: an historical sociological approach. Toronto, Women’s Press

Jones, S. K., &Silverstein, B. (2009). Business-to-business Internet marketing: seven proven strategies for increasing profits through Internet direct marketing. Gulf Breeze, FL, Maximum Press.

Mallia, G. (2014). The social classroom: integrating social network use in education.

Mitchell, R. (1989). La population canadienne, d’un océan à l’autre = Canada’s population from ocean to ocean. Ottawa, Ministre des approvisionnements et services Canada.

Parkin, G. (2009). Digital marketing: strategies for online success. London, New Holland Publishers.

Shiel, S. (1993). Guidebook to Canadian population studies and statistics: a guide to finding and using information and data on the population of Canada. London, Ont, Population Studies Centre, University of Western Ontario

Todaro, M. (2007). Internet marketing methods revealed: the complete guide to becoming an     Internet marketing expert. Ocala, Fla, Atlantic Pub

Wilson, R. F. (2002). Planning your internet marketing strategy: a Doctor Ebiz guide. New York, Wiley.

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