Gaming Companies Miss Opportunities With Traditional Models

Video game marketers often target their core demographic (young men) at times of high-interest (the holidays or around the annual E3 gaming convention in June). While these efforts may seem effective, other opportunities are being missed. 

In a new report, “Game On,” looking at YouTube targeting of gamers, Strike Social finds that many gaming marketers are creating YouTube advertising that “appeals to the lowest common denominator, ignores several groups of people and yields weaker view rates at a higher cost-per-view.” The report suggests revamping targeting and running ads at different times to bring these costs down. 

“People are stuck in traditional thinking, where they do market research and find males are indexing higher than females,” Jason Nesbitt, Strike Social’s VP of media and agency operations, tells Marketing Daily. “[They’re] going in with a preconceived notion of a set target audience. With digital media you have more information for real-time media and reaching beyond your traditional target.”



In its evaluation, the firm suggests paying greater attention to other target audiences, suggesting that hard-core gamers be treated different from more casual mobile gamers, and looking setting up multivariate testing to reach older gamers. The firm also notes that many efforts are still heavily targeted at young males, leaving the female gaming market largely untapped. 

“A lot of brands are missing out on the ability to reach those consumers,” Nesbitt says. “They’re just as engaged as their male counterparts.”

The study also suggests gaming companies look for opportunities outside of traditional holiday and summer sales seasons to reach consumers. In fact, the study notes that the months of July and January (which fall directly after the traditional E3 and holiday retail periods) have lower costs-per-view and view rates than other periods.

“There’s a lot of missed opportunity in the months following those events,” Nesbitt says. “The auction dynamics are favorable. There’s less competition in the marketplace. It’s a lot easier to get a consumer willing to engage with an ad.”

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