Data-First at the Line of Scrimmage: The EA Playbook

Missy Pearce, Global Programmatic Lead, Americas and EMEA, Electronic Arts, is going to a wedding soon where one of the guests invited by the groom is someone he has never met in person. But, she said, approvingly, they play games together online.

Pearce is a self-proclaimed nerd who enjoys talking about how brands are leveraging their data. EA, she said, takes a player-first approach, which is most important to the brand. With Madden 20, the goal is how to reinvigorate an audience which has known the title for almost 20 years. "Our mission," she said, "is to inspire the world to play."

For a game like Madden, 75% of players don't purchase it YOY. "We have a lot of non-returning customers," and EA has to figure out why that is. "There's a bit of a high barrier to gaming with Madden. We developed a super-star mode this year" so players can follow a player from college to a super-star career, engaging a new fan base and reflecting the culture.

EA has defined nine types of player motivations, from imaginative creator to immersed storywriter to passionate belonger, among them. For example, that line-up aligns perfectly with EA's Sims game. The players like creating their own identities and world.

"The value for us in using data is to put a better player experience at the forefront," said Pearce. "We want to unlock and understand our audience better and put a better product and ad experience in front of them." 

Her final words of advice: "Understanding the full picture and unlocking the value of your first-party data will help you understand your audience more."

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