"Silly marketer, games are for kids!"
Well... not so fast. Of the 202 million mobile game players in the U.S., only 8% are 13-17 years old, and 35% are 18-34 years old. Surprised? You shouldn't be!
Games captivate the player's attention, take them to different worlds, educate, and reward them. And they do it for everyone, regardless of age. So as far as that old stigma of games being only for kids…
Its time is up.
So, you know games can connect with people of all ages, but how can you leverage that in your marketing strategy?
A lot of companies have already begun asking this question and are trying out the method of using games to connect with consumers. Burger King was one of the first to do so and sold 3.2 million copies of its Sneak King game on Xbox in 2007. It was a revolutionary campaign, and the concept has come a long way since.
Back when Burger King launched its game, PC and console games dominated the gaming industry. But not anymore.
Games have evolved so much that mobile gaming is now responsible for over half of the revenue produced in the gaming industry. The popularity of mobile games isn't only because 77% of U.S. adults own a smartphone, but also because the quality of mobile games has improved so much.
Here, we'll show you how powerful games are at connecting with people of all ages and how you can incorporate that into your marketing strategy!
Why Adults Play Games
Why are today's adults so in love with games? What changed?
Mostly, the time has passed. The adults now have been playing games their entire lives. They learned early on to appreciate the fun, thrilling experiences games provide. An eight-year-old who got a Nintendo 64 when it was first released is now 30-31 years old. A 10-year-old who played Pong in its first year of conception is now 56-57 years old!
But, games do more than just delight their players. Though the majority of mobile gamers' motivation to play games is to have fun, a growing number of adults are being prescribed to play games. Yeah, you heard that right. Not only are games a delightful experience, but they also improve our cognitive flexibility, attention, working memory, and abstract reasoning; all of which naturally deteriorate with aging.
Games also improve our social health. The easiness of connecting players through mobile apps and social media has made mobile games increasingly more social. Games allow us to connect and compete with friends and family, or even strangers; all of which people love to do.
Words with Friends allows players to challenge up to 30 friends or strangers to a game. Pokemon GO creates social engagement with its augmented reality platform that connects the game to real-world surroundings. Friends can explore outside and collect Pokemon together!
So, you get it. Everyone loves games! But now on to the good stuff: how can you leverage this love for games in your marketing strategy?
Games Create a Deeper Connection
We've mentioned the aspects of games that adults enjoy. But that was about games in general. You see, marketing games have all of those great aspects, and then some more!
We're living in a great time. "Why?" you may ask. Because customers are empowered. And they’re demanding brands to be transparent.
Information can easily be obtained and spread out. With social media and websites like Yelp, customers can speak out and have their voices heard.
Businesses now make as much of an effort as possible to let their customers know they care about them, that they have a real purpose, and that they’re different from their competition. With this change, brand awareness is more critical to achieve now than ever before.
Games are an excellent addition to your brand awareness and overall marketing campaign. Games communicate your brand's personality, mission, and values; which are all crucial factors in brand transparency. 94% of all consumers say they’ll be more loyal to a brand that commits to full transparency. Commit to transparency and you’ll increase your brand awareness and loyalty along the way!
Products, services, and promotions
Let's not forget that at the end of the day, you have products and services to sell! Consumers need to know what you do, in addition to who you are. A big part of communicating what you do comes in the form of promotions. And by incorporating games as a medium of communication, you can say goodbye to boring promotional campaigns!
Put your game in your loyalty app, and you'll see how easy and effective promotions become. The typical promotional campaign consists of emailing out a discount and taking out a paid advertisement for television or radio. Though the news gets out to consumers, these are monotonous, one-sided conversations. No emotional connection with the customer!
Place the products and services that you're promoting into your game and allow players to interact with them. The interaction enables your customer to become better educated and connected to what you're promoting.
But don't forget about the distribution of discounts and prizes!
When your game is in your loyalty app, customers can earn those discounted products and services by playing your game. And the mobile platform is perfect for the promotion strategy because 90% of mobile device users use their device to access promotions.
How many times have you had great participation for a promotion, then the moment it ends, numbers go right back down? That kind of drop off is a problem all companies go through, and it creates pressure to always push out new promotional strategies and ways to connect.
Wouldn't it just be ideal to capture your customer's attention and keep them engaged for a long time?
This type of engagement is tough to do with typical advergames, but marketing games are evolving into higher quality, addictive, player-friendly games. These improved games promote more consistent and longer-lasting engagement. Over half of mobile gamers play games 10+ times/week.
Candy Crush is a wonderful example of how long a fun game can stay relevant; it remains one of the highest revenue-producing games, over 6 years into its existence.
Games are the perfect platform to provide value to your consumer and your company. They communicate, delight, engage and connect. Stop using generic marketing techniques; it's time to innovate and use a marketing strategy that captivates your customers!