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The gaming industry’s set to exceed $200 bn in revenue in 2023. For anyone in it, this is no time to rest on your laurels.

But while gaming as a market gets plenty of attention, less is put on the diversity and intricacies of those who play. 

With the release of our latest data set, GWI Gaming, here’s why it’s well-needed – and what it can do.

What good gaming data looks like

Not all data is created equal. To get the best ROI on your market research, you need to get it from a source that delivers.

  • With harmonized research, the data’s collected across all demographics and regions using the same methodology. This way, you can mix and match your data in one platform, easily. 
  • The data can be as harmonized as it wants, but if it’s not detailed enough it won’t do the job. With thousands of data points at the ready, you can assemble personas and insights that reflect the real world.
  • Take your tracking to the next level with data that covers all the franchises, teams, leagues and events your audience loves.
  • With good data, you don’t get left behind. Go for sources that are consistently up-to-date, giving you a view of what gamers are actually doing and thinking right now.

The insights you need to engage

You may have the most engaged audience of gamers in the world, but if you’re marketing to them in the wrong place, in the wrong way, and at the wrong time, you’re only halfway there.

The battle for recognition and approval might be over, but now you need to give them the final push and drive those sales you want.

You already know unsolicited, uninspired ads and products will get you nowhere. With rich gaming data, you can pinpoint what they really want to see from you, and how to make it happen.

So what should you focus on?

1. Brand advocacy and engagement. Know what attracts your fans to your brand and others to nail down the product strategy and messaging that’ll get you results. What motivates and frustrates them when playing games?

2. Purchase drivers. They’re at the end of the funnel – don’t let them turn back now. Study which factors turn a ‘nah, maybe later’ into a ‘hell yeah, let’s do it’.  

3. Advertising preferences. What ads and formats does your audience normally engage with? Which ones do they hate? 

A good gaming data set allows you to combine attributes. For example, layer fans who (1) follow teams/leagues/brands on social media over (2) those likely to buy a product related to their favorite gaming franchise. 

You now have a view of those most likely to buy from a gaming brand they love – and you can make it even sharper by adding dozens more attributes to create complete audience personas.

Gamers don’t fit a mold – they fit hundreds

To drive sales from gamers, you’ve got to know the person in front of the screen – now more than ever.

And to know what drives them to engage with brands through their interest in gaming, you need to know their outlooks, perceptions, self-perceptions and attitudes. 

That’s where good data joins the game – and reveals the emotional, human things that make your personas come to life.

These are some of the things to look at. 

1. Lifestyles

Gamers are a diverse group, spread across regions, ages, genders, and much more. To get a basic understanding of your audience, lifestyle is the place to start.

  • What are their spending habits?
  • What means the most to them in life?
  • Where do they spend their spare time?

2. Attitudes

Attitudes shape choices of all kinds – bringing in the need for psychographic data. There’s always an emotion behind a purchase, and knowing what that emotion is and where it stems from makes shaping the right message as easy as pie.

  • Is value more important than luxury?
  • What place do they think gaming has in society?
  • What do they get out of gaming?
  • Do they want brands to focus on environmental aspects?

3. Perceptions 

While attitudinal data gives you the lowdown on how your audience feels, perceptions show you how they see themselves.

  • Would they describe themselves as confident?
  • Are they ambitious?
  • Do they see themselves as great gamers?

Case study: Fnatic – Telling the right story with better data

Established in 2004, Fnatic is a founding father of the esports industry, helping to shape the future of sports entertainment.

For Craig Santicchia, Partnerships Manager at Fnatic, educating businesses on the exciting world of esports is a top priority, and a key challenge.

Consumer data is vital for his team to provide best-in-class account management and establish partnerships with brands that align with Fnatic as the company scales.

But they needed something else – something more.

Challenge: Getting insight, not just data

“When I first started at Fnatic about a year and a half ago, we had very limited data,” says Craig. “We had the big, grand numbers that everyone in the industry had seen. 

“What was missing was the real insight.”

Craig saw this as an opportunity to help differentiate Fnatic from the competition.

“The world of esports can be seen as a murky, new world, ” he says. “We spend a lot of our time educating brands about the industry, Fnatic and its place in the ecosystem. Fnatic is a world-leader with over 55 million fans worldwide, but not everyone knows that.”

The action: Telling a better story

Having access to deeper consumer insight enabled Fnatic to tell their story with greater confidence. It brought the conversation to life for prospects while offering solid commercial context in the exciting, yet unfamiliar world of esports.

This allowed the company to pitch for new businesses in previously unexplored verticals.

“We give them the information and insight that they want to see as well as what is most relevant for them. We then introduce how our assets and services will help them gain access to the highly valuable and engaged esports audience.”

The result: Gaining client trust with credible insight

The insights-driven approach to pitching was a turning point for Fnatic, and has resulted in them securing new business deals with some very high profile brands.

One of the biggest partnership wins came in the form of a global CPG brand, after the Fnatic team reached out with an opportunity identified from the data.

“We used GWI to paint a picture of the opportunity around snacks in particular as well as behaviors within the audience.”

Because the brand already used GWI themselves, they knew the data was credible.

“If it wasn’t for GWI, we wouldn’t have been able to do that deal. It was integral, not just valuable.

Now when we pitch, we feel like we’re giving valuable insight into the audience.

This ensures we’re better prepared than we could have ever been previously.”

Sell smart, not generic

The gaming world comes with loyal and dedicated fans, but on the flipside they have high demands and expectations.

For many, gaming goes beyond an interest and trickles into lifestyle, making the experience more emotionally charged than many industries.

To convert this audience, generic, one-size-fits-all messaging has to be thrown out and replaced with a smarter strategy. Listen to what gamers are saying, and you’ll hear what they want from you.

Connect with consumers: a picture of devices and consumers in 2021

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