July 22, 2023
Darren Stewart

How RTS games can teach you the principles of B2B growth marketing

An RTS stands for Real-Time Strategy game. It’s a type of video game that involves strategic gameplay in real-time.

RTS stands for Real-Time Strategy game. It’s a type of video game that involves strategic gameplay in real-time. In these games, you control and manage resources, build structures, gather units, and engage in tactical combat against opponents or computer-controlled adversaries. There are a lot of simalatirities between RTS gaming and B2B Growth hacking, we'll explain our thinking in this article.

RTS Gamers can become great growth strategists

While the fields of gaming and marketing may seem quite different, there are several transferable skills that an RTS gamer can leverage to become a successful growth marketer. These skills include:

  1. Strategic Thinking: As an RTS gamer, you have experience in devising and executing strategies to achieve specific goals. This strategic mindset can be applied to creating marketing campaigns, identifying target audiences, and optimising marketing channels for maximum growth.
  2. Decision Making: In RTS games, quick decision-making is crucial, especially in high-pressure situations. This skill translates well to marketing, where you often need to make timely decisions based on data and market trends to drive growth.
  3. Data Analysis: RTS gamers often analyse in-game data and statistics to understand their performance and areas of improvement. This analytical ability can be applied to marketing analytics, where you can measure the effectiveness of campaigns, track user behaviour, and identify opportunities for growth.
  4. Adaptability: In dynamic RTS games, the ability to adapt to changing scenarios and opponents' strategies is key to success. Similarly, the marketing landscape is ever-changing, and being adaptable allows you to pivot strategies and tactics to suit market conditions.
  5. Creativity: RTS gamers often come up with innovative strategies and approaches to gain an edge over opponents. In marketing, creativity plays a significant role in developing unique campaigns, content, and promotions to attract and retain customers.
  6. Problem-Solving: In both gaming and marketing, problem-solving skills are critical. As a growth marketer, you'll encounter challenges such as low conversion rates, customer retention issues, or competition. Your experience in finding solutions during intense gaming sessions can be beneficial in overcoming marketing obstacles.
  7. Competitive Mindset: In RTS games, the drive to outperform opponents and achieve victory is strong. This competitive mindset can fuel your motivation as a growth marketer, pushing you to strive for better results and outperform competitors in the market.
  8. Time Management: Successful RTS gamers must balance resource allocation, base management, and unit control within limited time frames. This skill can be translated into efficient time management in marketing, ensuring that campaigns are executed on schedule and deadlines are met.
  9. Teamwork: Many RTS games involve teamwork and coordination with teammates to achieve victory. In marketing, collaboration with different teams, such as designers, content creators, and analysts, is vital to executing successful growth strategies.
  10. Resilience: In gaming and marketing, setbacks and failures are common. As an RTS gamer, you've likely experienced defeat and learned to bounce back. This resilience will help you handle challenges and setbacks in the marketing world.

In a world where humans and machines are becoming more interconnected and marketing is becoming more digital, gamers and growth marketers are going to have more and more in common. Understanding the mechanics of a game is the same as understanding the mechanics that help a business succeed. If you can treat growth marketing like gaming you can utilise the same tactics and lesions picked up in RTS games.

Resources & economy are key to growth

Just like in real-life, managing resources and having a strong economy are key to success in an RTS. Without resources you cannot build a base, you can’t build an army and therefore you can’t grow and ‘win’.

How to get better at StarCraft II without playing | GamesRadar+
In RTS games you have to mine resources to be able to grow.

So what are the resources you need to manage and what is your economy and as a B2B growth marketer? The answer is content. Content, whether it's written, audio or visual, is the resource of growth marketing. This means you need to increase the amount of content you produce, whilst ensuring its quality. Content is the most valuable resource in a B2B marketing strategy.

If the key to growth is a strong marketing economy then you need to ensure that your content is being produced. You need an efficient production line to ensure great and consistent content production. This means utilising data and content performance metrics to ensure you are producing the right time of content at the right time.

Marketing “New Meta” Strategies

Another common term in RTS games is the term "new meta" in gaming refers to a shift or change in the dominant strategies, tactics or overall gameplay patterns within a particular game. It is an abbreviation of "metagame," which is a concept that goes beyond the basic mechanics of a game and involves understanding how players adapt, counter, and optimise their strategies based on the prevailing trends and the strategies of other players.

In competitive gaming the metagame constantly evolves as players discover new tactics, learn from their opponents, and respond to game updates or balance changes made by developers. 

When a "new meta" emerges, it means that certain strategies or aspects of the game have become more effective or popular, leading to a shift in how players approach the game and make decisions.

Players often need to adapt to the new meta by adjusting their play styles, picking different characters or load-outs, or using alternative tactics to remain competitive. 

This again can be related to real-world strategy. Marketing strategies always need to adapt to the changing world, this can involve new technologies being introduced (such as new social media channels). 

What learnings can you apply to marketing:

  1. Ensure you have a strong marketing economy. This means having a lot of the resources you need to grow, content. Content fuels everything you do in marketing and it should be your number one priority. There is a reason content-creators are becoming more popular as job title and career choices.
  2. Keep an eye out for the ‘new meta’. New technology and market changes are happening all the time. Keep an eye out for new trends and meta games within marketing. Recent marketing meta examples are podcasts and community marketing.
  3. Aim to grow as fast as possible and suffocate your competition. By producing content quickly and distributing to your audience you can build your marketing economy quickly and start to expand quicker. Generally the quicker you can grow the more chance you have of winning in your chosen game.

If you fancy a break from work you can always try your hand at an RTS game and you will see what you mean for yourself. Some of the most popular and competitive RTS games are StarCraft and Age of Empires, happy gaming!

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