This year, PlayStation walked away with not one, but two of the marketing prizes from the MCV Awards
Congratulations on picking up two of the marketing prizes at this year’s awards. What are your proudest moments from the last twelve months?
Murray Pannell, marketing director: I’m very proud of how we worked with key third party partners throughout the year, especially around Watch Dogs, Destiny, Grand Theft Auto V and Far Cry 4 to over-index on market share for software attach and hardware sell-through around these key launches.
And our Black Friday and Christmas plans were a real test of our ability as a coordinated marketing and sales team to roll out dynamic deals, supported with continued above-the-line advertising support.
The PlayStation 4 is still enjoying a rather healthy lead in the UK. What contribution has your marketing had on this?
Richard Keen, head of product marketing: We’ve undoubtedly been aided by the fact that PS4 is the superior device compared to our existing competition. Consumers have voted in numerous awards to demonstrate this, as well as by buying the console at a rate we’ve never seen in the UK before.
Our biggest marketing challenge has been to ensure we maintain clear, focused communication on PS4’s benefits.
Where do smaller platforms like the Vita and PlayStation TV fit into your overall plan?
Keen: They are an important element of our eco-system. Remote Play is a powerful and unique feature that provides our players with new ways to enjoy their PS4 experience and as such – with every PS4 we sell we gain a customer who is more likely to purchase a supporting device. This is an opportunity from which all our partners can benefit.
What would you say the challenges are in marketing games at retail at the moment?
Rose Buahin, head of trade marketing: We adopt a ‘show not tell approach’ at retail and encourage consumers to engage with our products and services were possible. Our main challenge is undoubtedly to meet this at retail without comprising on the main product USPs.
We are spending a lot of time and effort promoting our range of digital products at retail. Gamers are clearly becoming increasingly comfortable with downloading digital content. So we are constantly improving our visibility and routes to market both online and through retail channels, and this is something we’ve committed to taking forward. We continue to work closely with our retail partners to ensure they have all the information and assets required to communicate and educate their customers about the great digital games and also the benefits of PlayStation Plus membership.
There are a number of products like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, as well as toys-to-life figures coming to stores this year. Are you worried about competing for shelf space?
Buahin: Pressure on shelf-space is always a factor, especially in the build up to the key selling period around Christmas, but in many ways, all these new products will help to drive platforms sales further – and illustrate that PlayStation is the best place to play. We welcome the opportunity to host these products in our console bays at retail and work with the respective third party partner with a consolidated strategy. We have high consumer demand and appeal for PlayStation products, so we’ll be working hard to secure our fair share of shelf space.