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Method Marketing: How and Why You Should Immerse Yourself with your Customer Immediately

Immersing into the Wizarding World with Professor McGonagall, portrayed by Dame Maggie Smith

QUESTION: What do these humans have in common? (see image below)


HINT(S): Daniel Day-Lewis spent the entire shooting of My Left Foot in a wheelchair. Natalie Portman enrolled in an intensive ballet program for her role in The Black Swan. Christian Bale lost sixty pounds to portray himself as an emaciated insomniac in The Machinist. Hilary Swank lived like a man to prepare for her transgender role in For Boys Don’t Cry. And Ranveer Singh kept himself in isolation preparing for his role in Padmaavat.
ANSWER: You may have guessed it, but they are all Method Actors. 
Method Acting is a systematic approach to delivering a sincere and emotionally expressive visual performance by fully inhabiting the role of the character (sometimes even resulting in winning Oscars!). For the viewer, it translates to experiencing a very captivating and authentic performance.

What is Method Marketing?
Derived from Method Acting, Method Marketing is a systematic approach to growth marketing that immerses one’s self into the product’s brand to understand the perspective of the end user – allowing for a more impactful messaging and positioning through effective distribution channels.

Applying Method Marketing to your products can result in doubling your ARPDAU (average revenue per daily active user) or seeing a 200% improvement in LTV (lifetime value) in organic installs. Here’s how you can Method Market. 

Put Yourself in the Shoes of your Customer to Understand Where They “Live”
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to lead the marketing strategy for the much-anticipated Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery mobile game. Jam City was developing a narrative RPG that fulfilled every Harry Potter fan’s dream of attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. But how could we understand what this meant to our future player? How would it make them feel to see themselves in the Wizarding World? We had to immerse our selves in it. So, we flew down to Orlando, Florida for A Celebration of Harry Potter –an annual event during which 30,000 Harry Potter fans attend to live their best wizard life. Over the course of 72 hours, we demo-ed the game in development and talked to over 700 fans, one on one. By Method Marketing the Harry Potter game at the expo and garnering media attention, we achieved 3.2million pre-registrations on the Google Play store – the most successful pre-reg campaign the store has seen. 

Integrate Messaging and Positioning in a Customer-Centric Approach
The technique of Method Marketing supports the established principle of Customer Centricity which refers to differentiating customers as the basis for business strategy to maximize customer value. Customer centricity does not mean we have to love all of customers equally and treat them all the same, but rather it focuses on customer differentiation, customer targeting, customer value and developing customer offerings to maximize their value to the business.

By immersing yourself with your customers and Method Marketing, you can glean that your customers are different in their needs and wants, the frequency with which they engage with your product, their spend and value to the business.

Additionally, when messaging is consistently positioned across all internal and external stakeholders whether it be through Product Marketers, Public Relations Agencies, Social Media and Community Managers, User Acquisition  Managers, CRM Managers or Graphic Designers, the results are amplified with higher conversion, installs and revenues. 

During my time at Zynga working on the Words With Friends franchise, we orchestrated a series of key beats to rebrand the ten-year-old word game. This came in the form of a summer-long Friendiversary campaign via player love events. We developed key messaging and creatives about appreciating our veteran players and re-engaging our lapsed players through gifted power-ups and themed solo challenges that were shared with our player ambassadors, social media channels, UA ads, and even endorsed by legendary singer, Garth Brooks! Growth marketing leaders are like conductors of an orchestra so when everyone works toward the same beats, the end results crescendo into an amplified finale.

In the end, we were able to reactivate 300k lapsed users in Words With Friends.

Take Risks and Embrace New Distribution Channels
In the way that Natalie Portman extended her training beyond theater into the classrooms of a ballet school, you can find out where else your customers are having conversations (digital forums or physical gatherings) and where they consume information. Then, meet your users where they are instead of expecting them to come to you.

At my current company, Level Ex, we market medical mobile games to Health care Professionals (HCPs). During the pandemic, we were limited in our access to physicians and HCPs; however, with the launch of Clubhouse, an audio-only social media app where users can host and communicate in virtual chat rooms, we quickly learned that there was a growing hub of medical professional congregating in chatrooms discussing everything from startups to CME and creative endeavors in poetry. Physicians were creating conversation through moderation of topics and creating thought spaces to connect with like minded individuals. It was an opportunity for us to follow and connect with a community to understand their hobbies, interest areas outside of medicine which could help us with create value for different segments of users.

How Will You Begin Method Marketing?
You can become the Daniel Day-Lewis of marketing by putting yourself in your end users' shoes to better understand the best distribution channels, integrate messaging across all stakeholders to amplify conversion and take risks to embrace new channels and reach new audiences.
The best part of this? You’re probably already Method Marketing and you don’t even know it.
Tweet @MethodMarketer with your best method marketing examples and I will reshare them.

Sangita Sarkar is the Vice President, Marketing at Level Ex where she oversees product, brand, and corporate marketing at Level Ex. A seasoned product marketing executive with a decade of experience in tech and mobile gaming, Sangita has led marketing functions at Zynga, Jam City, and Glu Mobile. She holds a JD in intellectual property law from the University of California-Hastings College of the Law and is known as the “Method Marketer,” adapting the method acting technique to optimize product marketing practices.
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