Gaming is the next big thing for marketing, moving it from basement to board just by the sheer volume of gamers around the world. Last year alone, it is estimated that there were 2.7 billion gamers globally, making up a whopping 34% of the world’s population. The surprising fact however is that this percentage is actually bigger than the Gen Z or millennials which brings about the bigger question, who are these new gamers and how is the gaming environment changing?
Let’s take a look at how gamers and the gaming environment has changed over the years
Gamers have traditionally been stereotyped by Hollywood and other mainstream media as young to middle-aged, slightly unhealthy, male nerds. This image is the main reason why most organizations don’t include gamers in their target market.
The video gamers of the past used to be pretty straightforward, they’d go to a store pick up a gaming cartridge and go home and plug and play in their console or computer. Now however, while console video games, played on systems like PlayStation and Xbox, are still around they are no longer the largest segment of the market.
The biggest player in the gaming market (pun intended) these days are mobile games. According to research conducted, mobile games generated 90.7 Bn USD making up 52% of the global games market.
Why should companies adopt gaming in to their marketing plans?
On average, people spend twice as much time gaming on their mobile, as opposed to using a console or laptop. This makes gaming in many ways as ubiquitous and socially connected as phones themselves.
The latest research from YouGov illustrates that gaming is just one of the many hobbies people have and share with others. People who play games also play sports or go to the gym, they go out with friends, they do school runs (or have been homeschooling recently), they watch TV, and they buy stuff they do not need from the middle aisle in supermarkets. Gaming is an easily accessible pastime. In 2021, it is for anyone.
Additionally, gamers are playing for longer, on average spending over seven hours per week gaming. In a nutshell, this is a big, big market. It is highly lucrative, with an engaged and hard-to-reach audience. In media terms, this would normally make it a high-value channel. And that is why companies must invest in gaming as a part of their next marketing campaign.
3 ways that companies can adopt gaming into marketing their products with examples
To introduce events and give players a preview of what to expect
Have banners and posters of the product or brand throughout the game and the games social environment.
In April 2020, hip-hop megastar Travis Scott collaborated with Fortnite to offer players an in-game concert played out at pre-advertised time slots. Once logged into the game, users were treated to a stunning visual experience that featured Travis’s giant hologram. This experimental gameplay experience also featured visual and physical tricks to emphasize the party atmosphere.
By setting up the Travis Scott virtual concert, Fortnite gave users a reason to engage with the game. The campaign also attracted many viewers during the live show and subsequent follow-up on Google, YouTube, and Twitch, creating a lot of awareness for the brand.
To introduce new products and collections:
Launch your product or collection as a special event in the game that allows gamers to win real time prizes. If yours is a clothing brand you can even opt to introduce a new wardrobe for key characters in the game.
One of the most creative partnerships came in 2019 when EA Games partnered with Jeremy Scott and luxury fashion brand Moschino to create in-game stuff packs that would unlock virtual Moschino garments and new fashion-themed career paths and options
Starting at $450, the clothing line retailed at a less affordable price point. Nonetheless, the collaboration was well executed, and it shows how video games can be used to promote a brand and offer its users unique experiences.
Partnering with gaming influencers:
Brands are also partnering with influential streamers to promote their products with affiliate marketing. Most of these streamers have millions of followers, and sponsoring their streams is an effective strategy for brand marketing. The streamer can publish promotional content on their channels to advertise the brands that are sponsoring them. They can also share a unique code with their fans, who receive a discount when they make a purchase. The influencer also earns a commission for products purchased with their unique code.
Adidas and Tyler Blevins tied up to launch a new sneakers collection. More popularly known as Ninja, Blevins is the most followed Twitch gamer.
The collaboration with Ninja helped Adidas tap into his massive following which include gamers and non-gamers who tune in to watch him play.
Gone are the days when Super Mario, Duck Hunt and Sonic the Hedgehog dominated video game screens. Now gaming is a multi-billion dollar-a-year market involving some of the biggest brands in the world across a number of devices.
How companies choose to leverage the growing interest in games to drive value will be exciting to watch.
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