Strategy Games – What Playing will Teach You about Marketing?

Tony Chen Posted by Tony Chen, Entrepreneur, Witty Cookie.

Entrepreneur and Investor - I like to work with new start-ups in Tech niche.

Strategy Games – What Playing will Teach You about Marketing?


I decided it was time. I have been looking at my son and he was having so much fun doing it. I ended up asking myself if my decision to not play on my iPad, and just use it for business purposes, was a decision I should reverse or not. Well, to make a long story very short, looking at how much fun my son was having, I decided it was time to start playing again.

I am always looking for new ways to relax. I really enjoy working, and usually I work more than 8 hours a day. Sometimes I work during my vacations, and I get up early, writing my morning pages. Hence, finding different methods to get rest is important.

Playing Strategy Games

I spend time with my family. I watch TV shows. I walk. I read books. I do a lot of different things when I’m not working. But, when I was looking at my son playing on his iPad a few weeks ago, it reminded me of me playing strategy games about 25 years ago. I was playing strategy games like Civilization, Red Alert and Age of Empires.

I remember the time playing and that when I was playing, I didn’t think about anything but the strategy games I was playing. It was a lot of fun, and it was a way for me to create a story – it was me against the world.

There are a lot of strategy games. I started looking in the app store, and I started to search for the best strategy games on Google. I ended up with DomiNations. It looked similar to the games I used to play, and it was free. I didn’t want to pay for a new game without testing it first, and since it’s been a long time without playing any strategy games, I thought it would be best to download a free game first.

What I enjoy the most about strategy games is that I can use different strategies to improve (and get points). I enjoy analyzing and developing what I’m doing and that it takes a long time to play. So, even if I do a mistake, I can recover from it if I just change my tactic.


The story behind DomiNations is to conquer the past and rule the future. You need to build a society of people, farms, animals, and building. You need to explore outside, in the forrest, to find treasures and you need to build allies with other nations. In order to rule the world, you need to fight other nations (and conquer them).

I have been playing for a few weeks, and I have realized that there’s actually an important lesson to learn about marketing, by playing strategy games.

Make People Return

One of the most important parts of marketing is to make people come back. There are many methods you can use to do this, but excellent customer service is usually what works best. Offering Live Chat functionality is one such thing which actually benefitted iNex to close more deals in a single year (See the Case Study by SITE123).

Another thing, that I realized when playing strategy games, is to create a reason to make them return to you. They don’t have to spend a lot of time when they’re with you, as long as they keep coming back, again and again.

I build houses, farms, roads, walls, warriors and a lot more in DomiNations. Every time I decide to build something I get a timer that counts down to when it’ll be finished. For instance, I just started to build a watch tower and it will be finished in 12 hours. Now, I know that it’ll be finished in 12 hours, and that makes me return to the game in apx. 12 hours. It’s not that I want to see how it looks, but in 12 hours I can use more men to build something else. When I build something in DomiNations I use some of my men, and I can’t use them for anything else during the time they are building something for me.

Your Method

What if you created a method, like they use in strategy games, to make people return to you? I believe that what works the best is a time limit. They visit your business and when they leave, you give them something they can only use in 48 hours. They have to return in 48 hours. It doesn’t have to be exactly 48 hours, it could be two weeks or two months. It all depends on what you’re offering and what’ll be the best for your business.

Make a time limited offer based on scarcity.

It doesn’t have to be a discount. It could be a product or service you only provide during a short time period, and it’s only available for each customer 48 hours after they’ve been to your store. Let them know, and see if they’ll return.

Not only will you make people return, but you’ll know when they’ll return.