Every marketer is playing one of three games

Every marketer is playing one of three games.

Either you’re playing to win attention, transactions, or productivity.

If you’re playing the attention game, you’re trying to maximize the amount of time people spend thinking about you, paying attention to your content, visiting your website, and learning about what you do. This game is all about push and pull. You want to stimulate your audience and hook them in. But you also want to educate them and offer them emotional relief. Here’s what the players of this game find valuable:

  1. Videos, both short and long. They need to be engaging, simple to process, and make viewers ask questions.
  2. Interactive journeys. Gamify learning, create infographics, give them a roadmap of instructions to follow.
  3. Communities. Anything from forums to Facebook groups and Slack channels. Bring people together.


If you’re playing the transaction game, you’re trying to get people to take action. Maybe they’re making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a free file, or spreading the word on social media. This game is all about trust and exchange of value. They are giving you their time, access to their network, or their hard-earned money. What are you going to give them in return? What are you promising and how are you delivering? Here’s what the players of this game find valuable:

  1. Context. They want to know what they’re doing, the impact, and if anyone else is doing it too. Social proof works.
  2. Ease. How many steps do they need to take to complete the action? How much effort does it require? Simple wins.
  3. Less choices. Seriously, too many choices cause user paralysis. Offer 1-3 choices and only one call to action.


If you’re playing the productivity game, you’re trying to make something easier for someone else. Maybe you curated a list of tools, created a template, made a video tutorial, or developed an online course. The goal here is to offer resources that fuel the world that you’re targeting. Google sells ads and they have an Academy for Ads where users can get more information, become smarter, and use Google’s ads product better. You see this a lot in the B2B space, but some B2C companies are starting to catch on. Here’s what the players of this game find valuable:

  1. Support and troubleshooting. They took action and they got stuck, help them find the solution.
  2. Training and development. They know about what you’re doing and respect the way you do it. Help them improve.
  3. Education. They want to hear customer stories and learn about case studies. Give them some ideas.


Which game are you playing?

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