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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Global Market Penetration Strategy for Gaming Software Company

Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Behavioral Strategy to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

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Consider this scenario: A leading gaming software company is poised for international expansion but faces significant challenges in executing a behavioral strategy effectively.

It has experienced a 20% decline in domestic market share amidst a rapidly evolving digital entertainment landscape, compounded by a 10% increase in development costs. External pressures include fierce competition from emerging gaming platforms and changing consumer preferences, which have shifted toward mobile and free-to-play models. The primary strategic objective of the organization is to penetrate new global markets to diversify its revenue streams and reclaim its position as an industry leader.

The gaming industry is at a pivotal juncture, characterized by rapid technological advancements and a shifting competitive landscape. To navigate these changes, a strategic approach grounded in a deep understanding of industry dynamics and consumer behavior is essential.

Strategic Planning Analysis

  • Internal Rivalry: The gaming industry is highly competitive, with numerous players ranging from established giants to innovative startups vying for market share.
  • Supplier Power: The power of suppliers varies, with major platform owners and hardware manufacturers wielding significant influence.
  • Buyer Power: Consumers have high bargaining power due to the abundance of choices and the low cost of switching between games and platforms.
  • Threat of New Entrants: Barriers to entry are relatively low in the digital space, leading to constant threats from new entrants.
  • Threat of Substitutes: The threat is high, as consumers can easily switch to other forms of entertainment, such as streaming services or social media.

Emerging trends such as the rise of mobile gaming, esports, and virtual reality offer new opportunities but also present challenges. Major changes in industry dynamics include:

  • Increased focus on mobile platforms, offering both opportunities for market expansion and risks associated with platform dependency.
  • The growth of esports and streaming services, creating new revenue streams but also intensifying competition.
  • Shifts toward free-to-play models, demanding innovative monetization strategies while managing consumer expectations.

A PESTLE analysis reveals significant political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors influencing the gaming industry. Technological advancements drive innovation but require substantial investment. Legal and regulatory environments vary by region, affecting market entry strategies. Social trends, such as concerns over gaming addiction, influence consumer behavior and market demand.

Explore best practices on Market Entry.

Learn more about Consumer Behavior Market Entry PEST

For effective implementation, take a look at these Behavioral Strategy best practices:

Psychology of Product Adoption (46-slide PowerPoint deck)
Performance-driven Culture (26-slide PowerPoint deck)
Behavioral Strategy Primer (22-slide PowerPoint deck)
10 Hidden Strategic Opportunities (22-slide PowerPoint deck)
Building Blocks of Behavioral Strategy (29-slide PowerPoint deck)
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Internal Assessment

The organization possesses a strong brand and a portfolio of successful titles but struggles with adapting to the fast-paced changes in technology and consumer preferences.

Benchmarking against industry leaders reveals gaps in digital distribution, user engagement, and monetization strategies. The company's development processes are slower and more costly compared to more agile competitors.

Digital Transformation Analysis indicates the need for significant investment in mobile development capabilities and cloud infrastructure to support online multiplayer experiences and data analytics for personalized user engagement.

Organizational Structure Analysis suggests that a more flexible and responsive organizational design is required to foster innovation and accelerate decision-making processes.

Learn more about Organizational Design Agile Data Analytics

Strategic Initiatives

  • Expand into Emerging Markets: Target strategic emerging markets with tailored content and localized marketing strategies to build a global player base. This initiative aims to increase international revenue by 30% over the next 5 years. Value creation will stem from leveraging cultural insights and local partnerships. Required resources include market research, localization teams, and marketing budgets.
  • Develop Mobile Gaming Platform: Create a proprietary mobile gaming platform to capitalize on the growing mobile gaming trend. This initiative seeks to capture a significant share of the mobile gaming market, driving revenue growth and user engagement. Investment in mobile technology development and partnerships with mobile device manufacturers will be critical.
  • Implement a Behavioral Strategy to Enhance User Engagement: Use data analytics to understand user behavior and preferences, tailoring game development and marketing strategies accordingly. This approach aims to increase user retention rates by 20% and drive in-game purchases. It will require investments in data analytics capabilities and a cross-functional team of marketers, data scientists, and game developers.

Learn more about Market Research Value Creation Behavioral Strategy

Behavioral Strategy Implementation KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.

A stand can be made against invasion by an army. No stand can be made against invasion by an idea.
     – Victor Hugo

  • International Market Share: Tracks the company's market position and growth in targeted emerging markets.
  • Mobile Platform User Base: Measures the adoption and growth rate of the new mobile gaming platform.
  • User Retention Rate: A critical metric for assessing the effectiveness of behavioral strategy initiatives in enhancing user engagement.

These KPIs will provide insights into the success of market expansion efforts, the adoption of new platforms, and the impact of engagement strategies on user retention and monetization.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

Learn more about Flevy KPI Library KPI Management Performance Management Balanced Scorecard

Stakeholder Management

Successful implementation of strategic initiatives will depend on the engagement and support of key stakeholders, including internal teams, external partners, and consumers.

  • Development Teams: Responsible for creating content and platforms aligned with strategic goals.
  • Marketing and Sales Teams: Drive market entry and user acquisition strategies.
  • Local Partners: Essential for localization and regulatory compliance in new markets.
  • Consumers: The ultimate beneficiaries of improved gaming experiences and engagement strategies.

We've only identified the primary stakeholder groups above. There are also participants and groups involved for various activities in each of the strategic initiatives.

Learn more about Stakeholder Management Change Management Focus Interviewing Workshops Supplier Management

Behavioral Strategy Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Behavioral Strategy. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Behavioral Strategy subject matter experts.

Behavioral Strategy Deliverables

These are a selection of deliverables across all the strategic initiatives.

  • Global Market Entry Strategy Report (PPT)
  • Mobile Gaming Platform Development Plan (PPT)
  • User Engagement and Behavioral Strategy Framework (PPT)
  • International Market Performance Dashboard (Excel)

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Expand into Emerging Markets

The strategic initiative to expand into emerging markets was guided by the application of the Market Development Strategy framework and the Value Chain Analysis. The Market Development Strategy framework, a cornerstone of market expansion theory, was instrumental in identifying and evaluating new geographic markets for entry. This framework proved invaluable for understanding how to leverage the company's core competencies to penetrate these new markets effectively. Following this approach, the team:

  • Conducted a comprehensive analysis of potential markets, assessing economic indicators, gaming trends, and regulatory environments.
  • Identified market gaps in the gaming industry that matched the company’s strengths, focusing on regions with high growth potential for digital entertainment.
  • Developed partnerships with local distributors and content creators to ensure culturally relevant offerings and compliance with local regulations.

Simultaneously, Value Chain Analysis was deployed to dissect the company’s operations and identify areas where adjustments were necessary to support market expansion. This analysis highlighted the importance of tailoring the company’s value proposition to meet the unique demands of each new market. The team:

  • Mapped out the organization's value chain from content development to customer support, identifying key activities that could be optimized for new markets.
  • Adjusted the company’s content development and marketing efforts to align with local consumer preferences and behaviors.
  • Streamlined operations to improve efficiency and reduce costs, ensuring competitive pricing in new markets.

The successful implementation of these frameworks facilitated the company's entry into several high-potential emerging markets. As a result, the organization saw a significant increase in its international market share, with early indicators suggesting a 25% revenue growth in these new regions within the first year. This expansion not only diversified the company's revenue streams but also established its presence as a global leader in the gaming industry.

Learn more about Core Competencies Value Proposition Value Chain Analysis

Develop Mobile Gaming Platform

The development of a proprietary mobile gaming platform was supported by the use of the Resource-Based View (RBV) framework and the Customer Development Model. The RBV framework was pivotal in identifying the company's unique resources and capabilities that could provide a competitive advantage in the mobile gaming sector. It underscored the importance of leveraging the company's technological assets and creative talent to develop a distinctive mobile gaming experience. The implementation process involved:

  • Evaluating the company’s current resources, including technology, intellectual property, and talent, to determine their suitability for mobile platform development.
  • Investing in the development of proprietary technology that would enable a differentiated gaming experience on mobile devices.
  • Training and recruiting talent with expertise in mobile game development and user experience design.

Concurrently, the Customer Development Model guided the company through the iterative process of building and refining the mobile platform based on real customer feedback. This approach ensured that the platform met market demands and user expectations. The team:

  • Launched a minimum viable product (MVP) to a select group of users to gather initial feedback on functionality and user engagement.
  • Iterated on the platform’s design and offerings based on user feedback, focusing on features that enhanced user retention and monetization.
  • Expanded the beta testing to broader audiences, refining the platform before the full-scale launch.

The application of these frameworks led to the successful launch of a mobile gaming platform that quickly gained traction with users. Within six months post-launch, the platform boasted a growing user base and high engagement rates, contributing to an overall increase in the company's digital revenue streams. This strategic initiative not only captured a significant share of the mobile gaming market but also reinforced the company's reputation for innovation and quality in digital entertainment.

Learn more about Competitive Advantage User Experience

Implement a Behavioral Strategy to Enhance User Engagement

To enhance user engagement through a behavioral strategy, the organization applied the Consumer Behavior Analysis and the Jobs to be Done Theory. Consumer Behavior Analysis provided deep insights into the gaming preferences, motivations, and barriers faced by users. This framework was critical in tailoring game development and marketing strategies to better align with user behaviors and preferences. The team executed this by:

  • Conducting extensive user research to segment the audience based on gaming behaviors, preferences, and spending habits.
  • Developing personalized content and recommendations to increase user engagement and time spent on the platform.
  • Implementing targeted marketing campaigns designed to attract and retain users based on identified behavior patterns.

The Jobs to be Done Theory complemented this approach by focusing on the underlying reasons users turn to gaming, beyond mere entertainment. Understanding these 'jobs' enabled the company to innovate in game design and features that met these needs. The implementation involved:

  • Identifying the primary 'jobs' that users hired gaming to do, such as stress relief, social interaction, and skill development.
  • Designing game features and community elements that directly addressed these jobs, thereby enhancing user satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Integrating feedback loops within the games to continuously gather insights on user satisfaction with how well the games were meeting their needs.

The strategic application of these frameworks significantly improved user engagement across the company's gaming portfolio. Metrics such as daily active users, session length, and in-game purchases saw marked improvements, with a 30% increase in user retention rates observed within the first year of implementation. This initiative not only bolstered the company's competitive position but also deepened its understanding of and connection with its user base.

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Increased international market share, contributing to a 25% revenue growth in new emerging markets within the first year.
  • Launched a proprietary mobile gaming platform, achieving a significant user base and high engagement rates within six months post-launch.
  • Improved user engagement across the gaming portfolio, evidenced by a 30% increase in user retention rates within the first year.
  • Streamlined operations and adjusted content development to align with local consumer preferences in new markets, enhancing market penetration efficiency.
  • Developed partnerships with local distributors and content creators, ensuring culturally relevant offerings and compliance with local regulations.

The strategic initiatives undertaken by the company have yielded substantial results, marking a successful pivot towards international expansion and digital transformation. The 25% revenue growth in emerging markets and the successful launch of a proprietary mobile gaming platform underscore the effectiveness of the tailored market entry and platform development strategies. The 30% increase in user retention rates highlights the impact of the behavioral strategy in enhancing user engagement. However, the results also suggest areas for improvement. The reliance on partnerships for local compliance and content creation may limit control over the brand and product direction in new markets. Additionally, the report does not detail the cost implications of these strategic initiatives, leaving questions about their long-term financial sustainability. An alternative strategy could have included a more phased approach to market entry and platform development to mitigate financial risks and allow for iterative learning and adaptation.

Recommendations for next steps include a detailed financial analysis of the strategic initiatives to assess their long-term viability and identify areas for cost optimization. The company should consider a more iterative approach to market expansion, potentially leveraging partnerships in a more controlled manner to maintain brand integrity. Additionally, investing in emerging technologies such as AI for personalized gaming experiences could further enhance user engagement and retention. Finally, continuous monitoring of market trends and consumer behavior is essential to adapt strategies in the fast-evolving gaming industry.

Source: Global Market Penetration Strategy for Gaming Software Company, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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