By Michael Klotz, Cint
Brands must wake up to the breadth and depth of audiences to be found within gaming platforms
Fifteen hours per week. That’s how much time a recent Cint study showed people are gaming, according to data gathered from a cross-section of nationally representative consumers in the U.K., the U.S. and India. Make no mistake; this is no niche activity and nor is it restricted to the youngest demographics.
These gamers are spending more time online, too. Nine in ten gamers have maintained or increased their time spent in these virtual worlds since the start of the pandemic.
Brands Must Wake Up to Highly Engaged Gaming Audiences
Drilling down into the numbers, people are spending over 50 hours a week online. This holds true across all countries surveyed. Not only that but, in the U.S., consumers are spending over 16 hours a week on gaming alone, with U.K. consumers’ time spent gaming coming in at just under 14 hours per week.
In fact, this activity came ahead of streaming music in all three markets and ahead even of streaming video in the U.K. What’s more, the percentage increase in online gaming activity since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic stands at 51% in India, 41% in the U.K. and 43% in the US.
This is a daily pastime, too, with U.K. and U.S. consumers spending on average two hours a day gaming. Nine in ten consumers have either maintained or increased their time spent on online gaming over the past year, with those in India the most likely to have increased time spent on this activity out of all the markets surveyed.
This is not just a pastime for the very youngest consumers either, with Millennials spending as much time each week gaming as Gen Z.
Consumers also noted that they are paying close attention when gaming. This audience, then, is vast, varied, growing and highly engaged. Brands need to focus on advertising techniques that will reach these consumers where they are, while remembering that these captivated audiences will also need to be approached with care in a medium in which native, non-intrusive communications are key.
In addition, brand marketers should be aware of the fact that there is some level of fatigue associated with more time spent gaming — especially when it is compounded by all of our other online activities.
For example, Indian consumers feel they spent too much time gaming, while in the U.S. and U.K. they feel it was just the right amount. Relatedly, Indian consumers experience more fatigue due to online gaming compared to U.S. and U.K. consumers.
Robust consumer insights, gathered from pertinent, highly profiled audiences, can help brands and marketers navigate these subtleties within specific groups, including gamers.
Targeting them with the right messages, at the right time, requires the right primary research strategy that accesses a deep pool of respondents who represent your key audiences.
One thing is clear: captive and growing gaming audiences should be included in advertising and market research strategies.
Gamers are a force to be reckoned with.
Author bio: Michael Klotz, Director of Client Development for Cint, has more than 20 years of market research experience. During his career he has served as a trusted advisor to many of the largest technology and gaming companies, including Microsoft, Sony and Activision-Blizzard.