Gamescom ‘18 was a great event for us at 25/8. Lots of meetings, re-connecting with old friends and networking at the right events proved to be a real success on so many levels.

I felt it necessary to do a quick note on one of the 2 most frequently asked questions across the 4 days.

I don’t want to give the wrong impression here, but the most frequently asked question was “Neil how come your not drinking? It looks odd seeing you without a beer or a wine in your hand!” Now, whilst I could easily do 500 words to answer that question I am not sure it adds any value to your business, or indeed mine, so I’ve chosen the second most frequently asked question.

“As we approach silly season, what’s the cost of compliance like these days to assemble a team to get around retail stores?”

After having brands of my own displayed in retail, I am always taken aback by this question because I always think it’s surely more important to understand what is the cost of non – compliance?

The debate around maximising retail trade marketing in the games business has never been more prevalent. Retail is seen as an expensive channel compared to selling direct to the consumer via a download, so pressure is on to measure ROI on trade marketing more than ever. I regularly heard the comment that “retail gives us physical showrooms for demo’s and evangelists to advocate our games/merch” but, as we all know showrooms only work if they are on brand, immaculate, price ticketed, you’re welcomed by trained and engaged staff and crucially add value to the consumer journey. We have all visited an Apple store, so you know what I am trying to illustrate.

We all also know that, generally speaking, retail stores are under staffed (on average we talk to circa 6000 store staff across 2000 stores a month so we know this is true ) and they are over tasked between capturing and driving sales and general housekeeping.

So my question is how do you know what your brand looks like in store? To which the answer is generally the old chestnut of “I pop to my local store to check it out”. That may be 1 store in a 200 store chain!

How do you know whether the staff are up to speed on telling your story to the public ?

How do you know the money you have spent is working for you ?

I obviously can’t show you the scribbles on napkins that a lot of the economics around our discussions evolved on, but it became very clear, very soon that question isn’t “what is the cost of compliance?” but, instead “what is the cost of non compliance?”

What does 25% higher compliance do to your month 1 numbers ?

What does 25% higher engagement with store staff do to your month 1 numbers ?

What does 25% higher compliance AND store staff engagement do to your month 1 numbers ?

In that same hour in store we can evangelise, deliver POS, give away freebies, do before/after photos, merchandise if you need and get market insight that helps you run your business.

Does it cover the cost of assembling the team to get around the stores ? We think so and we think we can prove it. If that question is niggling away in the back of your mind while you’re in negotiations for Christmas we would love to try and help you figure it out.

Feel free to drop Danny a note on danny.c@25-8.co.uk or call on 07411 462069