Video Game Marketing Research: Data Shows It May Be Pointless

by Game Marketing Genie, on 17-Nov-2020 11:15:31

The marketing industry relies a lot on research. Market research is about looking at your niche and churning through data to gain insights about market trends, potential audiences, competitors, and more.

As a game developer, studio or other brand you might be thinking that a lot of research will serve you well, but will it? Let’s look at how video game marketing research is transforming the gaming industry. 

Marketing and the market is constantly changing

Change is inevitable, and its impact is seen in the business environment with the introduction of new technologies, psychology, data and strategic planning. Marketing is not a stagnant industry - it has constantly transformed over the years, weaving its way into the techniques we know today.

A study by Adobe reveals that 61 percent of consumers prefer that businesses communicate with them through emails, 80 percent remember video ads better than other forms of ads, 53 percent purchase from businesses with which they can exchange text messages, and more than 50 percent of people who land on a website through a PPC ad are more likely to buy a product or service. 

We see that customers are more educated now than ever before, and they are accessing this information via a range of techniques that have risen in popularity over the years - all of which are Internet based. It has become a challenge for marketers and sales professionals alike to keep their approaches to marketing and advertising fresh and relevant, and compel their customers and target users to purchase their products.

The gaming industry is evolving as much as the audience is changing. The industry was pegged at an enormous $151.06 billion globally in 2019 by Grand View Research and is anticipated to witness a growth of 12.9 percent annually from 2020 to 2027. The factors that contribute to the rapid growth of this industry are the easy accessibility and availability of the games on different platforms and the ever growing internet penetration across different geographies. 

So, what does this mean? It means that you need to keep up if you want your game to get those downloads, purchases and plays that you desire.

Road with different colored trees

Is research pointless?

This leads us to a question: “Do we need to research the video gaming industry to keep up with the trends?” Let’s take a look at common research mistakes to see what you should avoid.

The “gamer” demographic is useless to you

Ignoring your audience is something that you shouldn’t be doing at any time. You’ve got to know who your audience is, how they’re changing, and how to reach them. But knowing the “gamer” demographic won’t help you. In these times, audiences in the gaming segment are interested in different things. The wider gaming demographic isn’t just the typical stereotypes portrayed in the media. The ages and interests within it are part of a variety of niches and subcultures - and your audience is part of one of these smaller groups. 

Today, the gaming industry audience is incredibly diverse and many common gaming stereotypes have been debunked as games are being created for different audiences. In the present day, data from Statista finds that 45% of gamers in this industry are female, and this audience spans a variety of ages from kids to grandparents. 

Eggs with funny faces painted on them

The constantly changing nature of the video gaming industry makes research useless

Research from Statista shows that the video game marketing industry is speculated to hit an astronomic $138 billion in value by 2021. To understand how the global gaming audience is growing, we need to look at the different gaming segments and their interests. 

In a basic way, you can categorize video game players into three sections: casual gamers, hardcore gamers, and midcore gamers. From those who play games for leisure purposes to those who take gaming seriously, these sections span a variety of genders, sexes, income brackets, ages, behaviours, beliefs, and races. This is why researching the video gaming industry isn’t important. It’s researching your industry that is.

Did you know that by 2015 there were already some two billion games available for people to play across all platforms globally? Furthermore, it is estimated that there will be over three billion games by 2023 (as shown by Statista).

Looking into mobile games specifically, let’s have a sneak peek into how many games were added this year. Google Play alone had 346,664 games in the first quarter of 2020 and 365,116 games in the second quarter of 2020 which is a significant 5.28 percent increase in the number of games presented to the players all across the globe.   The App Store offers 957,390 gaming apps in the present year, and Steam, one of the largest digital distribution platforms for games, has more than 30,000 games available for download. On a more general note, App Annie shows that casual games account for about 82 percent of the gaming apps throughout all platforms. 

As you can see from this data, the industry is constantly growing and changing - fluctuating in size, power and marketability. Relying on gaming industry-wide data will leave you misinformed in the space of a couple of weeks, so ensure you focus on your niche.

Graphic that shows fluctuation data

Not in the traditional sense, the way we’re researching is pointless

In this digital day and age, the way we do everything is transforming - this also includes the way we research. Rather than using the conventional research approaches which won’t give you access to the latest data, opting for new ways to gather data and perform analysis will help you get a fresh perspective on the market and your audience as well. People often neglect data, especially that gathered on their websites, which can give information that won’t be found through industry research. This real time data is crucial to understanding specifically what your audience wants, clicks on and is looking for.

If you want your game to be successful, you need to study the key metrics presented to you by your audience, and understand the reasons behind the audience activities on your website. All research needs to be supplemented by data that directly applies to your company. If it doesn’t relate to your company, you cannot track any of your customers’ or potential customers’ moves in any way. The essence of video game marketing is about specificity: being specific about your audience, your competitors, and your niche. 

Glasses filled with water

So, what should you research?

Your audience

Research and analyze your audience. Check their preferences, likes, and dislikes, where they spend their time, what activities they are interested in, and more. One of the most efficient ways to research your audience is by creating buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional characters that help you understand your audience. Putting yourself in your buyers’ shoes will help you deduce what your customers need and their behavioral patterns to keep you at par with your competitors. Researching your audience helps you get more leads, aids in increasing your conversion rate, and also gain more referrals. All this happens because your target users feel that you understand them. 

Your competitors

Understanding your competitors and their product offerings will help you gain insights into their marketing strategies. An in depth study of your competition will always set you above them in the industry. Examine who they are, why customers tend to purchase their games, where they experienced an influx of customers in the recent past, and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, learn about their target audience, their financial sources, and the products that are in their pipeline.  Using this information, you can enhance and position your game better and make it stand out in the market. 

Your niche

Focusing on your niche segregates you from the competition and establishes you as an authority figure in your industry’s domain. Furthermore, it helps your game construct a secure loyal audience base, and create a steady revenue stream. Why? Because you understand what they want. This is one of the best product strategies that you can implement because you’ll gain the ability to understand how games in your niche are marketing to their customers and getting them hooked to their games. 

When you understand their strategies, you can work on a concrete marketing plan to grab the attention of your potential audience and obtain the results that you’ve been looking for - and do it better than your competitors. The reason that many companies fail to get the most out of their market research is because they conduct general market research. You need to make your research specific to your company and game. 

Blue and yellow background

Your best game marketing strategies

Hope you enjoyed this article! For more insider game marketing information, check out The Ultimate Guide to Game Marketing: Everything You Need to Know.

To market your game, you cannot undertake general gaming research. You instead need to be specific with your research by looking into your audience, market, niche, genre, and more. 

But we understand that knowing how to market your game isn’t easy. Without the right marketing strategies, you will lose time, money, and sometimes also your brand and game’s authority in your market. That’s why we recommend that you partner with a leading video game marketing agency. You need not look further as Game Marketing Genie is here to help you from end to end in planning, creating, distributing and optimizing your marketing strategy to help you receive the results you want.

Want to know more? Get in touch today!

Topics:Video Game Marketing StrategyVideo Game MarketingDigital Marketing StrategyDigital Marketing

Book in a free consultation