The video game industry is a little different when it comes to what kind of marketing works. The business advertising model of "our coffee is better than their coffee" commercials and print ads don't always work when it comes to promoting video games. Fortunately, the internet is making things much more efficient when it comes to marketing video games. Therefore, anyone interested in working in video game marketing has to be absolutely up to speed on the latest internet trends as well as the latest video games.
When it comes to the marketing of video games, businesses have to step back and assess the options: who are you trying to reach? What do you want to say to them? How is the best way of getting that message to those people?
Video games are often emotional purchases for people, unlike buying consumer goods such as paper towels. This means that video gamers are often anxious to hear what marketers have to say to them. The internet gives video game marketers the ability to have real time interaction with actual customers, and this is a dream opportunity. Many of the tools that video game marketing professionals use, like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, are free and easy for anyone to use.
Marketers in the video game business need to create genuinely interesting marketing content. Gamers aren't going to bother with anything less. Videos, press releases, and blogs are a big part of this strategy. Video game marketing can be an amazing career, especially if you love games and you love gamers. This kind of marketing can get you into some amazing video game parties, let you travel to the biggest gamer conventions, and give you the satisfaction of knowing your work has a direct effect on the titles being sold.
To break into this competitive field of business, you need at least a year of marketing experience working for an advertising agency. Once you have a year or so of experience under your belt, then it's time to look to video game publishers that have marketing departments. These are going to be the big video game publishers, businesses like Take-Two Interactive, Activision-Blizzard, Ubisoft, and EA.
You can also contact PR firms that work in the interactive entertainment and digital lifestyle business. TriplePoint, which used to be called Kohnke Communications, is one such firm.
Entry level positions are those of marketing associate or marketing assistant. To get one of these jobs, you need skill, experience, timing, and some luck. If you have experience in the business of media buying, that will help.
If you are lucky enough to go to gamers conferences and conventions, then use that time to network and hand off your resume to any HR reps from the big video game companies. Whether it's Mag Fest, Blizz Con, Penny Arcade Expo, or even E3, meet people, shake hands, and schmooze.
Network online with people you find on sites like linkedin.com, and keep right on top of video game trends and news with subscriptions to the top video game blogs like joystiq.com and destructoid.com.
Unfortunately, there's no shortcut for the rest: keep applying until you get a job. Entry level video game marketing jobs are extremely competitive. Pounce on opportunities and seek jobs aggressively. If you are consistently told you don't have the experience necessary, it may be a good idea to consider going back to school for a business degree or an MBA and pursuing internships in lieu of fruitlessly continuing to pursue game marketing jobs they HR people don't think you're ready for.