The first of a new series of blogs on the ‘Marketing Heroes of Kent’ shines the spotlight on thriving Kentish businesses, highlighting the savvy strategies behind the county’s brightest brands. Based in Chatham, video game developers Dovetail Games are one of the fastest-growing technology companies in South East England.
Dovetail Games specialise in the simulation video game genre. Whilst they originally focussed on faithful railway recreations, they have expanded into providing fishing and aviation gaming experiences to complete a distinct trio of cutting-edge simulations. An acquired taste, Dovetails’ exceptional polish and authenticity offers players a realistic gaming experience that stands strong in an industry oversaturated with shooting games designed to satisfy virtual trigger fingers! Most impressive of all, the simulation developer has embraced its niche following and capitalised with targeted marketing strategies that address the gamers’ at their source – where they talk about, watch and buy the product.
Steve Hood, Dovetail Games’ Creative Director played a key role in marketing the Flight simulator. By hosting a Question and Answer session on Reddit’s Flight-Sim forum and appearing as a guest on the AviatorCast podcast, Steve heightened awareness within aviation enthusiasts’ airspace. The audio interview allowed for an extended insight into the design and thinking behind the gaming simulations, all the while creating value for the audience by demonstrating that the developers share the same enthusiasm for this specialist gaming genre. Answering questions on Reddit generated an interesting discussion about Dovetail’s work for general Flight-Sim fans, while also providing opportunities to candidly address areas suggested by seasoned simulators for improvement. Ultimately, Dovetail succeeded in developing new and interested customers, while improving their understanding of the existing audience’s desire for future products.
In a broader sense, Dovetail also tap into their gaming medium by publishing content on game-specific social media websites Twitch.tv and Steam. Twitch.tv allows people to host or watch live streams of video games, while Steam serves as an online hub for individuals to shop and build their gaming library. Most recently, Dovetail used Twitch.tv to preview their new Marseille-Avignon route for Train Simulator 2016 while interacting with fans on a live-chat and organising giveaway samples. This serves as an excellent vehicle to attract interest and market to their target audience, while cultivating an online community. Alternatively, by announcing new products through Steam, Dovetail can facilitate the gamer’s purchase and secure pre-orders.
Dovetail Games exemplify the benefits of engaging with the relevant audience rather than the mass audience. We believe this key marketing principle underpins how the best marketing is made to look beautifully simple. Dovetail’s strategy to aggressively market to their target audience rather than relying on conventional social media is starting to pay dividends in the form of exciting growth.