Market Focus: Video Gamers
This adds up to a hefty investment. Ziff Davis’ 2006 Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Subscriber Study reports 84 percent of readers own four or more consoles; and 74 percent indicate they are likely to purchase a new console in the next 12 months. Additionally, they plan to purchase four games within the first three months after they purchase their new console.
Targeting the Core Gamer
Gamers often are divided into two categories: core and casual. A core gamer typically plays 20 hours per week and has purchased at least four games in the past six months. Casual gamers play half as often as core gamers and purchased less than one game in the past six months.
While core gamers comprise only 25.6 percent of gamers, they account for more than half of the $11 billion spent on gaming in 2005, according to Ziff Davis’ 2006 Digital Gaming in America study.
Gaming sites like Gamepro.com, 1UP.com and Robotube.com attract serious gamers with content that may include news about the gaming industry, profiles on programmers and games, as well as shortcuts to games. Content changes frequently to draw gamers back to the sites, which require registration to play online games and to access some content. Registrants are marketed to on the Web sites, in the games, directly on their cell phones, and through e-mail and mail.
“The most successful campaigns,” says Ledda, “have been those that utilized a multichannel strategy, honing their message to take advantage of the unique environment within each channel. Although most gamers are brand-loyal, and will usually stick with a product that they trust, they are also suspicious of being overtly ‘marketed to.’ Thus, an authentic voice in the proper channels sometimes works better than a shotgun approach.”
Ledda suggests marketers attract gamers with teaser campaigns, then follow up with a combination of print and online ad campaigns supplemented by out-of the box solutions, such as microsites and sponsored clubs, contests, sponsorships on shows, and podcasts.