Last month, my post highlighted the big news coming out of the annual E3 and how brand marketers can expand ways to provide valuable consumer experiences
and drive consumer engagement and revenue from gaming. I had a few former brand marketing colleagues ask me about the article and if gaming really was a good a draw for brand marketers as it was a few
years ago. Their claim was the space was very fragmented and it was harder to find ways to participate. I love a good spirited discussion and especially over dinner and drinks.
I pointed out that eMarketer recently noted that the gaming audience continues to grow and that the mobile gaming audience will be north of 200 million by 2018 and casual games also continues to see growth and eMarketer expects that audience to grow to over 100 million by 2018. My friends questioned me about casual gaming being relevant. I think a lot of marketers remember days of WildTangent games and the various brands sponsoring Polar Bowler back in 2004. First, Polar Bowler still has a large following and gets plenty of game play. Second, the sophistication in casual and mobile gaming has increased significantly as has processing power on mobile devices and desktop computers – so, yes, casual games still appeal to a large audience and the gameplay experience is quite good.
When you combine the innovation in casual gaming with faster connections speeds in the home and available on mobile devices (phones and tablets) the audience numbers are strong as well as the ability to play anywhere and at any time. A recent study showed that 58% of Internet users in the US active gamers. Those numbers tell me that online advertising is very much an ideal channel to reach target audiences as well as new audiences that continually come into casual gaming.
And for those who think casual gaming is solely the realm of women 18-15, I have a
two-part answer. Yes, you can certainly reach the W18-15 demographic quite easily in casual gaming. And you can also reach plenty of men, in fact the split of men to women is about 55% male and 45%
women, according to recent survey by Ipsos/ESA. Here’s a great infographic with a lot of stats I have mentioned in this report as well as many more.
Consumers are discovering brands across more types of media than ever before. While many marketers focus on search, display and social, they should also understand how the consumer journey has been heavily impacted by mobile and gaming is a significant entry point. Last year, Forrester research published a report on a “Transition to Discovery Marketing” about how marketers need to upgrade traditional marketing efforts, that take into account how consumers find and interact with brands –Forrester calls this “discovery marketing.” Search is important, (and there are a lot of gaming searches happening) but it’s not the only front door anymore. As consumers use more apps, mobile devices, marketers need to evolve their strategy for new pathways created by consumer behavior.
There’s a phrase about what’s old is new again or something along that line of thinking. Gaming is certainly one of those things and in my humble opinion has lots still has many great ways for marketers to engage with a constantly growing audience. How will you find a way for you brand to be involved?