Phuong Nguyen, head of eBay Advertising, discusses how games brands can utilise online insight to find new shopping groups
Its ready-made customer base of digital natives means the games industry is ideally placed to capitalise on the power of online marketing campaigns, but many struggle to connect with new, relevant audiences and risk wasting advertising spend.
The concept of using insight to target consumers is not a new one. However, many brands are using the wrong type and are targeting based on inferred rather than observed insights.
Overlaying different kinds of insight – including behavioural - means games brands can pinpoint consumers that share a common passion and use this understanding to inspire them to purchase.
Brands in the games industry hoping to reach a new audience should start with the following steps:
1. Harness the ‘halo effect'
The Autumn and Winter entertainment season brings with it great potential for brands to tap into the ‘halo effect' of consumer interest created by blockbuster launches and high-profile TV series.
For a games brand, being able to identify a shopper's film preferences might well be a lucrative way to attract new customers.
For example, the build-up to the release of films such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens or Spectre may inspire a shopper to purchase DVDs of previous films in the series.
In turn, this can trigger a spike in interest in games such as Star Wars Battlefront – and even in consoles to play them on.
"Pigeonholing consumers means missing out on potentially valuable audience segments."
Phuong Nguyen, eBay Advertising
2. Search for surprising shopping groups
Targeting by demographic profiling can be useful but pigeonholing consumers means missing out on potentially valuable audience segments.
For example, in the run up to Christmas there is likely to be a big rise in middle-aged women searching for games and consoles as they buy presents for family and friends.
This demographic would probably not feature high on the target list of gaming retailers but, in reality, hold the purse strings for Christmas spend.
3. Observe, don't infer
Once you've found new customers, draw on a range of insights and put a consumer's browsing and buying habits into context.
You'll be able to tailor their messages according to factors such as recently browsed films, the time of day, how close they are to pay day and what device they are browsing on.
Nimble games brands that understand and react to shopping patterns will gain as consumer segmentations continue to evolve.
By observing shopping insight, you can reduce wastage and reach the right shoppers at the right time and reap the rewards.