Marketing In The Gaming Industry – Gaming industry marketing strategy and trends are often on the cutting edge, utilizing new technologies, building community, and leading the way for innovative techniques in entertainment-based marketing. According to Variety, 67 percent of Americans play video games on some type of device. Whether your mom is enjoying word games on her tablet or your child is playing the latest immersive epic fantasy game, the product category has a deep hold in our culture across all demographics.
Last weekend, gaming enthusiasts flocked to Boston for Pax East: a massive annual gaming convention attended by tens of thousands each year. Just by walking the show floor or attending one of its many panels, you can get a lot of quick insight into video game marketing examples, gaming industry marketing strategies, and where the industry is headed.
Marketing In The Gaming Industry
From console-based games to games for smartphones and tablets, this fast-growing segment of the entertainment industry stands out.
Video Gaming Industry Marketing Strategy Examples To Help You Level Up Your Content Game
And despite the sheer size of the industry and the revenue that many business executives would kill for, marketers in the industry will be under some pressure to do even more next year. One analyst estimates that video game sales could fall by 1 percent this year. And while that may not seem like a dramatic shift, consider two things: First, one percent equates to more than $1 billion in revenue; and second, the reversal may signal that the industry’s seemingly unstoppable growth may be leveling off.
Cites some of the reasons for this decline — the first since 1995 — as China’s strict game approval process, a lack of innovation in new releases, and people seeming to tire of combat-based multiplayer games. As a result, it is likely that the market will become more crowded with new products and formats and increase the pressure on marketing and sales.
Some examples of video game marketing that answer the call are those created through title-based content. Game companies have learned that game fans—especially those who follow franchises—want deep, specific content. It’s not enough to talk about the type of game, like an RPG or a strategy game. Instead, fans want gameplay tips, product insider information, and more.
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Electronic Arts (EA) has truly defined sports video games with its football-focused Madden franchise. And they’ve even created a dedicated website for fans. The site has community features including a strategy guide, newsletter, forums, and replays of the community’s best plays of the week. The site dives deep into the product and offers players options for new features and player profiles.
EA also sponsors tournaments with cash prizes for the best players in the game. They also host Ultimate Team, a playful spin on fantasy football.
At the game level, Electronic Arts applies several levers of an integrated gaming industry marketing strategy to help influence how people experience their games. For other marketers, especially those focused on the brand level, this EA strategy raises an important question: What product-level marketing can you do to help further engage your customers and fans?
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GameStop is synonymous with video games. Whether I was hunting the latest game for me and my husband, or buying our nephew the most coveted gift cards for Christmas, this store has always been a frequent stop for me. And when I shopped for games at the brick-and-mortar store, I was always impressed by the amount of video game marketing examples I was met with. But how can such chain stores connect with audiences without pushing them out the door?
GameStop did this through the development of the GameStop TV Channel, which broadcasts product introductions, developer interviews, game previews and other customer-focused content from high-definition screens in stores. According to the Associated Press, this content appears in more than 3,800 retail locations and reaches millions of gaming enthusiasts every month.
Thanks in part to such marketing efforts, GameStop has been able to thrive in a landscape where people increasingly buy games and almost everything else online. By bridging the physical-virtual divide through entertaining content and personalized retail experiences, GameStop’s marketing strategy is something else to learn from in the industry. One important aspect is that with increased fragmentation at the distribution level, it is important to have a well-rounded plan.
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Zynga is the social gaming brand behind titles you’ll recognize like FarmVille, Words with Friends, and CSR Racing 2.
, Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau discusses how they are effectively competing in mobile gaming: “I think the issue for me is this — it’s not that mobile is competitive. It’s the fact that it’s the biggest platform, the fastest growing platform. It reaches the most people and devices. It’s a great platform.”
When Gibeau took the reins after Zynga saw the popularity of its games plummet after the early 2010s, finding success in the social gaming industry was no cakewalk. But what is his recipe for success? Creating games that appeal to these customers and marketing to that demographic.
Blog: How To Harness The Power Of Influencer Marketing In The Gaming Industry
“You have to perform. You have to be able to compete. We usually don’t blame the competitors here. We try to focus on what we can do better than anyone else in the world,” explains Gibeau. “What is it about our game that connects players? How do we go out and find those players and get them to connect with our game — and stay with them for the long haul?”
The company’s mission is to “connect the world through games,” and you’ll see that social mentality carry over into the way they promote their games. First, they leverage real estate to promote gaming at their other gaming properties; cross-selling and connecting audiences in games they already enjoy is a great way to foster stronger connections and brand loyalty. They have also developed extremely active forums that connect their communities. Actively fostering social engagement and community will help empower people through social and mobile games for what people are really looking for: entertainment that comes with connection.
A persistent question for marketers is: What can you do better to foster a sense of community or social connection among your audience? On the surface, it’s easy to assume that brands that people love—including the ones that make their favorite video games—have it easy when it comes to marketing. But the reality, as seen in these gaming industry marketing strategy examples, is that marketers in the field are still staying on top because they have the opportunity to pioneer some pretty exciting trends. From creating content around specific products to fostering social connections within the community, there are many important insights from the video game industry that marketers can incorporate into their strategies.
Hubspot Data Driven Marketing Tools For The Gaming Industry
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Liz Alton is a technology and marketing writer and content strategist for Fortune 500 brands and creative agencies. His areas of expertise include Marketing, Technology, B2B, Big Data/Analytics, Cloud and Mobility. He has worked with clients including Adobe, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Twitter, ADP and Google. He holds a BA in Journalism and an MBA. He is pursuing a master’s degree in journalism at Harvard University.
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Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information about the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc. The gaming industry has been one of the biggest growth sectors in recent years and has proven to be resilient and largely recession-proof. The global games market is still growing and is expected to be worth $113 billion (£76 billion) in 2018, with some games becoming popular. For example, British-produced Grand Theft Auto V is the most successful entertainment of all time, including movies. The game grossed over £1 billion worldwide in just three days, while the more recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens took nearly two weeks to earn a still-impressive, but slightly smaller, $1 billion.
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