Green Man Gaming on the ‘rewards of performance marketing’ in a ‘crowded industry’

Paul Turner has been EVP performance marketing at Green Man Gaming for over two years, having previously held senior marketing roles at the likes of Sporting Group and QVC UK.

At Green Man Gaming, performance marketing has always played a crucial role in the success of the digital retail business. Why, you may ask? Well, as a company that started out with only two people nine years ago, finding the best bang for your buck was always on the cards when it came to getting our game deals out to customers all around the world. And as the name suggests, driving performance in any paid online advertising and marketing activity is key.

Yes, content is king but, when it comes to getting the right content in front of the right audience, performance marketing is one of the most effective ways of doing just that no matter what your budget is. This is particularly useful when you’re in a crowded industry such as ours with thousands of games released each year.

Only when you truly understand your customer are you able to find more of them. Use tools and insights to understand their demographics, browsing habits, purchasing behaviour and whatever else you can get your hands on. Make sure your team keep the customer at the heart of everything they do. You can never know your customer too well, irrespective of your marketing discipline.

Performance marketing is all about growing a business profitably. Different businesses have different commercial models, and within those businesses there will be nuances dependant on categories, products and brands. Get under the skin of all of this and tailor your approach accordingly to ensure maximum optimisation. Once you’ve set your performance marketing channels up at a micro level, bespoke to your commercial model, you can then drive the business hard.

“Never be complacent, keep testing new audiences, data sets, creative treatments, calls to action and every element of the ad you can get your hands on.”


We live in an era of micro personalisation. Consumers not only expect it, but it can also be extremely effective in driving performance. Make sure you capture the data and implement the tools to make it happen, then automate it to drive scale. There’s a wealth of affordable tools on the market these days that make this process easy.

Never be complacent, keep testing new audiences, data sets, creative treatments, calls to action and every element of the ad you can get your hands on. Even the smallest tests yield marginal gains, and those marginal gains add up.

I started my career in direct mail, using basic data segmentation and ‘special’ printing. Since then I have witnessed the birth of social media, mobile commerce, influencer marketing and a whole raft of other innovations. Some have been fads, but others have stayed, and many have become a key part of the digital marketing mix. Those that spot new innovations early often take first prize, so stay on the cusp. Go to industry events, watch your competitors and keep your eyes peeled for the next big thing.

Channel selection is of utmost importance. Social media isn’t right for everyone, nor is PPC. Influencers are great for fashion, but can they be used to drive an insurance business? Don’t just jump on the bandwagon, carefully pick the channels that work for you. Same with agencies: time running a careful agency selection process is time well spent. Selecting badly can be catastrophic but get this right and it can work like rocket fuel for your campaigns.

Finally, you’re nothing without your team. Be uncompromising in the talent you recruit, then keep them happy, challenged and motivated. The skills you need will depend on the role, but there’s one characteristic that you’ll always need…. They need to be bright. Once you’ve got the right people on board, empower them and reap the rewards.

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