For generations, gaming has been a cherished pastime across cultures and geographies. It took on a new life with the advent of the console and the internet, becoming more accessible and affordable. We’re now experiencing the next surge in gaming with the industry nearly doubling over the last five years, largely due to a combination of increasing internet access and speed, the proliferation of 5G, and increasing sophistication in hardware and mobile devices.
As the industry has grown, the technology underpinning gaming has become more powerful. The opportunity has evolved beyond the console, bringing many once fantasy science fiction stories to life, creating a flourishing gaming ecosystem. So as the pandemic forced everyone to stay indoors and find new ways to connect and stay entertained, the growth of gaming has accelerated exponentially beyond prediction.
Convergence of gaming and marketing
Fuelled by the maturity and innovation in marketing and advertising technology, coupled with advancements in machine learning, artificial intelligence, smart devices, and cloud computing, we are now witness to the convergence of gaming and marketing as an opportunity to the current market value of $175B USD this year. The landscape has changed and brands and marketers are looking for new and innovative ways to capitalize on the 3 billion global daily users.
But the technology ecosystem hasn’t fully kept up with the exponential growth in gaming, nor has expertise evolved to provide clear, strategic entry points for brands to authentically connect in this new interactive universe. Leading MarTech and AdTech companies are now looking at the gaming universe, seeking to understand how they can capture and grow their piece of the virtual pie and get in on the next big wave of marketing and entertainment.
The next generation of marketers and technologists are building a new landscape for gaming technology, so-called Gametech. New infographics reminiscent of the familiar Lumascape are now in circulation, highlighting the emergence of new businesses with relevant gaming technology dedicated to PC, console, or mobile devices.
Overcoming gaming marketing hesitancy
It has been referenced that brands and marketers are hesitant to invest their budgets in this arena. Claims range from tenuous means to measure campaign effectiveness, to not enough understanding about the medium, to let’s just throw some of my
traditional media budget into a streaming platform and see what happens as a strategy.
This stems from a knowledge gap for both marketers and their agencies, and that trusted advisors and genuine gaming specialists are a small group. Beyond the upskilling and education, there also remains a gap in the connection to audience and inventory marketplaces.
Marketers, publishers, and their agencies must be able to access and activate through their DSP and/or SSP of choice. The challenge for some of these platforms is they currently lack the right integrations to support features unique to gaming behaviors and buying methods. The technology must adapt to the intricacies and adopt features like new buying types in order to tap into the market and scale with programmatic.
Combined forces driving game technology
Modern marketing and advertising are powered by machine learning and real-time access to audience segments, creative and inventory via private or public marketplaces. For gaming, the way to gain traction and scale is by leveraging the maturity and speed of these existing technologies combined with dedicated operational support for the new interactive ecosystem.
What the industry needs are businesses that aren’t focused on building the game itself, but genuinely understand how audiences engage with interactive formats and create opportunities that are true to the playing field without disruption. That means campaigns suited to the universe – or metaverse – in which the players reside, as well as in the form of ad monetization, measurement, and analytics to market analysis with a deeply rooted understanding of creativity fuelled growth.
Gametech providers must support marketers to understand how best to approach gaming, supported by research and insights. Data solutions must be available to activate through leading data marketplaces, DSPs, and SSPs. The right strategy and access are not complete without real-time measurement tools to inform in-flight performance and campaign effectiveness.
Industry legends from programmatic to traditional sports are combining learnings and the best of breed technology built for the fourth industrial revolution into the digital age. Platforms that can provide some or all of these solutions will carry brands into the next phase of Gametech and gaming marketing.
Double down on the future of Gametech
Brands, publishers, agencies, and platforms should be paying attention to the opportunity powered by Gametech. Gaming is ingrained in our modern-day culture, across geographies, demographics, economics, psychographics, etc. – all you need is internet access or a mobile phone.
But with great access and power comes responsibility – and children are a part of the gaming community. Innovation in Gametech has brought to light increased safety measures. In-game advertising enables marketers to choose what they define as brand-safe environments, empowering parents to feel secure in the activities their children engage with online.
Leveraging the power of data and insights combined with programmatic media buying methodologies, Gametech solutions enable addressability and harness the benefits of an increasingly sophisticated use of machine learning, smart software, and technology.
With the gaming market nearly doubling over the last five years and forecasted to grow to $217.9 billion by 2023, more of the marketing pie is going to shift into gaming. And the gaming universe is just getting ramped up, with more opportunity to be uncovered at the convergence of gaming and commerce. Fashion companies, sports icons, and music stars alike are bursting into the metaverse offering everything from live concerts, runway fashion shows, merchandise and apparel, and more.
Together, this presents a greenfield for creative innovation to connect the right brands and services to the right metaverse, game, or stream, with the right strategy, at the right time.
Only Gametech expertise can take you there. Are you ready?
This article is written by Indy Khabra, Co-Founder and CEO of Livewire.