In our new report, 'Extend Your Marketing Into Games,' we take a closer look at how marketers can take advantage of opportunities within games. From dedicated consoles to mobile devices and in browsers, games are a multi-platform stage for brands to get in front of consumers.
But the problem is most marketers are blind to the opportunity games afford, due to outdated beliefs about this channel. The biggest being that 'game players are a niche demographic not worth targeting.'
In reality, these consumers aren't the stereotypical teenage (or eternally-teenage…) boys who live in their parents basements. They're all of your customers. Our data shows that gaming is a pervasive behavior - almost 40% of online Europeans aged 45 to 54 are playing PC games at least weekly. And across mobile devices, over 50% of US online adults aged 18 to 44 engage in game playing.
Today, using games as a channel for branding and awareness is an obvious opportunity. Marketers can begin to play by using existing resources and techniques familiar to them from standard online display efforts. From placing their ads alongside browser based games to integrated in-game advertising on consoles - and there's a rich vendor landscape out there to help ease the transition into in-game advertising.
For years, brand marketers have guessed at people’s affinities from the barest of demographic, geographic, and contextual clues. We deduce that Midwestern men prefer pickup trucks and that people watching extreme sports like energy drinks, and then we spend billions advertising to these inferred affinities.
But today, we no longer have to guess. Every day huge numbers of people online tell us what they like. They do this by clicking a ‘like’ button, of course — but there are many other ways people express affinity: talking about things on Twitter and in blogs; reviewing things on Amazon and Yelp; spending time with content on YouTube (and telling us where they’re spending their offline time on Foursquare); and sharing things through both public and private social channels.
People’s rush to post their affinities online recalls another flood of data that began a decade ago: the explosion in online searches. John Battelle once described the data created by search as the “database of intentions,” which I’d define as “a catalogue of people’s needs and desires collected by observing their search behaviors.” In the same way, the result of all these online expressions of “liking” has created the “database of affinity,” which Forrester defines as:
A catalogue of people’s tastes and preferences collected by observing their social behaviors.
Digital disruption - swifter, deadlier, and more inevitable than any disruption before - tears down and rebuilds every dimension of business. And marketing is no exception. As more media and experiences become digital, marketers must work with an invisible technology backdrop that changes the way people think and behave and - ultimately - how brands go to market. In my new report, Emerging Touchpoints Require a Marketing Mind Shift, I explore the specific effects of digital disruption on marketing, and the four new fundamentals marketers must embrace as a result.
I published an article on Advertising Age this week that explains these fundamentals in detail:
Emerging technologies — from smart objects and wearables to behind-the-scenes taxonomy tools — are radically changing how customers think, act, and relate to others. And in turn, forcing a rebuild of how brands must go to market on every dimension. It's clear that marketers who try to respond to this seismic shift with today’s practices and skills will fail. So how can marketers adapt? There are four new fundamentals to consider:
Google’s Project Glass deserves plaudits for innovation, not just for the device itself but also for the process by which Google is developing and marketing the product. Studying product strategy and marketing as a Forrester analyst for almost nine years, I have never seen a company do what Google is doing: launch an entirely new form factor in such a transparent, inclusive way.