What is Roblox?
In my last blog post, I wrote about how marketers could pay more attention to consumers’ needs and less to emerging technologies. Roblox is a consumer trend and product with limited marketing applications today.
How can you build a Roblox marketing strategy, when you can’t even communicate with advertising on the platform? Start by learning a bit about the Roblox metaverse.
Roblox is a global platform that brings people together through play.
At the time of writing Roblox, has just IPOed. Before starting my research for this post, I knew close to nothing about it. I remembered installing Roblox a couple of months ago, yet the customizable universe wasn’t for my age. Too bad my son is possibly too young to be enjoying the platform. He would’ve taught me a couple of tricks. But I started my research and here is what I found out.
Is there a future for Roblox marketing?
- Today Roblox is a publicly-traded company valued at 40bn$. That’s almost as much as Reckitt Benckiser Group, a conglomerate with a history of over 200 years and significant Covid-related market tailwinds (think Dettol).
- Today Roblox has over 36 million daily active users and over 200 million monthly active users. This figure is probably outdated as soon as I finish this sentence (in March 2021).
- Today the Roblox app has 4,9 million reviews on the Apple App Store. That’s half the amount TikTok has and 3x more than Facebook’s Messenger. And you probably didn’t even think about installing it. Many others did.
- Today Roblox is an online virtual playground and game shop, where kids can safely interact, create, and learn. Everything on Roblox is designed and constructed by members of the community, mostly under 18s. Each player starts by choosing an avatar, building an identity, and then starting to explore the Roblox universe. They do this by interacting with others by chatting, playing games, or collaborating on creative projects. Each player is also given their own piece of undeveloped real estate along with a virtual toolbox with which to design and build anything — be it a navigable bridge, a tiny airplane, a giant pinball machine, a multiplayer “Capture the Flag” game, or some other, unheard off creation. There is no risk in participating and creating. It fosters creativity and entrepreneurship. You could think Roblox marketing is not even possible.
- Today, Roblox is one of the few American tech companies that got granted permission to launch in China in December 2021. They managed this before Facebook, Google, and many others.
- Today Roblox’s history is one of slow initial traction, recent hockey stick growth, and huge trust in the product. Here is an amazing Twitter feed from one of the early investors. The image of the kids’ envelopes with thank-you notes to the company made me emotional. Consumer centricity at its best.
Can You Think of a Roblox Marketing Strategy?
Today Roblox is a wet dream of marketers everywhere. A young audience, a pristine world to be developed, and the stressful pressure of desiring the first-mover advantage. But getting in is not so easy. You can’t advertise your brand in Roblox; no commercial advertising is allowed in fact. You can promote your Roblox-developed game by paying for virtual coins available in the universe. Think of a big pinball with M&M's instead of balls without using the “brand name.” I am sure marketers will get savvy quickly and trick to get in. Curious about who will do it first.
I believe that the first brand distinctive assets that the platform won’t recognize as brands, but will make kids recall real-world brands will win. That’s the start of a Roblox Marketing strategy.