Do good stuff. Tell people about it

What do you reckon sells best:

  • Good quality stuff with zero marketing; or
  • Well marketed dross?

I’m sure we’d all like to convince ourselves it’s the former. However, the idea that ‘the good will out’ puts me in mind of the routinely rubbished concept that ‘if you build it they will come’. As far as I’m concerned (and I base this on nothing much more than personal experience) the chances are slim.

At least I have an article on Edge Online (found via Tom Armitage) to back up my witterings. Essentially, a recent study of computer game sales revealed that a game’s quality (judged by reviews) had hardly any effect on sales as compared to marketing spend:

Using a simple correlation scale comparing marketing spend and sales against Metacritic rating and sales, Divnich found that marketing influenced game revenue “three times more than game scores”

Too many good people hide behind false modesty, a lack of confidence or Bill Hicks quotes, allowing themselves to be eclipsed. It’s hardly a new problem but it’s always dead irritating to see.

Published by Chris Unitt

I work at One Further, doing digital projects with cultural organisations. Follow @ChrisUnitt or find me on LinkedIn.

2 replies on “Do good stuff. Tell people about it”

  1. Absurdly late to this, but I think you’re misrepresenting the argument straw-man style.

    The point is that dross, no matter how well marketed, will not be sustainable in the long term. Quality stuff that people like will be more sustainable because, and here’s the point, people like it.

    And there’s a marked difference between your title “Do good stuff, tell people about it” and “produce lazy crap, trick people into buying it.”

  2. But those computer games don’t need sustained long-term success. The lesson from that report is that next year you just bring out Bland Shooter 2 and spend big to push it to the top of the charts all over again.

    And yes, there is a marked difference between those two positions. Thing is, some people care about which side of the equation they’re on, some don’t.

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