Gaming is big and will only get bigger. The constantly growing and evolving industry is set to surpass $200 billion worldwide by 2023, driven by blockbuster games, mobile gaming, in-game purchases, online streaming, and e-sports. As people are spending more time at home, gaming is experiencing a spike. In fact, at one point during the stay at home mandates Verizon reported a 75% increase in gaming internet traffic. Gaming provides a necessary outlet to pass time and connect with friends and other gamers while at home. For retailers struggling with the decline in physical foot traffic, gaming presents the perfect channel to engage your audience. To do this effectively, brands must identify and target gamers who resonate with them.
At the center of this industry are gamers – young digital natives who are highly engaged in their online channels and communities. In fact, half of them play every day, with most sessions lasting one to three hours.
Retail brands are currently exploring this new frontier. Their efforts in gaming to date include custom products and content as well as partnerships and sponsorships with influencers, platforms, and leagues. However, playing successfully in gaming as an outside brand is not easy, as gamers prefer sponsorships from gaming brands. The key is to engage players authentically. To be authentic, you must understand gamers at their core, and realize they are not all the same:
- Mindless Mobilers: This is the largest and fastest-growing portion of the population and tends to skew older and more female than other gamers. They mostly play in the 5–10 minutes of downtime they have during the day, and don’t always consider themselves to be gamers.
- Pick-up Players: They are here for the quick hit of competitive, fast-paced fun that video games provide, and not to get swept up into a new universe. Their goal is to beat friends during casual hang outs.
- Immersion Artists: They are passionate about storytelling and the potential to be transported into a different world. They want a deep, rich experience that allows them to build relationships with characters.
- Adrenaline Junkies: These players are all about games that provide intense, high-octane moments. Whether it’s beating the clock or getting the last kill, they live for high-pressure gameplay and the never-ending chase for the top of the leaderboard.
- Glory Getters: These are deeply committed gamers who live, breathe, and eat gaming – and probably don’t sleep. They either game to earn income or earn income to game. Being the best is their goal.
The worldwide audience for gaming content exceeds HBO, Netflix, and Hulu combined, presenting a new opportunity to re-imagine customer engagement. Think about this: What if brand or retail engagement provided gamers an extra life for their favorite games? What if gamers could do missions or tasks for your brand in exchange for store credit? What if real-life purchases could unlock unique online content, and vice-versa? It’s time to connect with gamers.
Read Choose your character: A guide to getting gamers and learn how to reach elusive gamers and target the right individuals for your brand.