Senior marketers now have more knowledge and greater interest
Expected investment has risen nearly three-fold in the last two years
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New research from the World Federation of Advertisers together with global insights agency 2CV and events consultancy Branded has found dramatic growth in investment and interest in the gaming sector among senior marketers over the last two years.
The proportion of marketers who plan to invest or have invested in the sector has accelerated sharply since 2019, when WFA and 2CV carried out similar research. In 2019, 32% of marketers reported that they had invested in gaming in the last 12 months, but this had almost doubled to 62% in the latest Gaming Demystified report. The figure for the next 12 months is 70%, pointing to continued growth for the foreseeable future.
The level of investment in gaming has also grown. Expected investment in the next 12 months has risen from an average of $566,000 in 2019 to $1.42m in the next year.
The most popular investments are in opportunities that are most similar to more traditional advertising: sponsoring content creators/streamers (54%) and esports (45%), as well as pop-up advertising in-game (46%) and on gaming websites/platforms (49%), the same as in 2019.
Nevertheless, a significant number are investing in more advanced forms of gaming communication, whether it be adding gamification elements to their website/social media channels (36%), selling their brand virtually within games (34%) or even commissioning their own video games (21%).
Gaming Demystified 2021 is based on a survey of 108 senior marketers based in Asia and working in non-gaming brands. Seventy percent of respondents had multi-market responsibility, with 16% of all respondents in charge of global investment for their company.
The rising level of investment is reflected in greater interest and knowledge among senior marketers, with knowledge of the gaming opportunity strongly up. In 2019, 59% of Asia-based senior marketers surveyed had some or strong knowledge, and this has grown to 85% in 2021.
Gaming Demystified 2021 also found that marketers see gaming as more relevant to them and their brand. While 42% of marketers in 2019 worried the audience was wrong for their brand, this number has fallen to 22% in 2021. This year 85% saw the gaming opportunity as “relevant”, up from 72% in 2019.
However, marketers still want to know more about the industry and the opportunities available, including the risks. In 2021 there is more interest in potential brand risks – 38% of marketers want to understand these better, compared to just 24% in 2019.
Most already see the benefits of investing in gaming. In 2019, 83% saw at least some benefits, and this rose to 95% in 2021.
The primary benefit was the opportunity to reach a wider audience (45%) followed by the potential for a higher lifetime value when customers are attracted to the brand younger (43%) and access to consumers playing close attention to content (42%). The fastest rising benefit, however, was the recognition that in-game activity provided for strong ROI, which hit 34% in 2021 compared to 20% in 2019.
“As gaming attracts more eyeballs and engages more consumers, it’s natural that brands will want to see how they can communicate with players in these environments. Gaming Demystified is tracking a fast-rising growth in investment and interest among the marketing community, as befits an industry that is now bigger than music and movies combined,” said Ranji David, Marketing Services Director for APAC at WFA. “Each new medium comes with benefits and challenges and we want to provide our members with the knowledge they need to successfully become part of the gaming landscape.”
“It’s great to see that as video gaming has continued to grow across the globe, especially during the pandemic, more marketers are realising the industry is an effective way to reach customers, and hence are taking the time to educate themselves on how their brands can benefit. The Gaming Demystified research can give curious marketers an effective shortcut in their education journey,” said James Redden, Managing Director Asia Pacific, 2CV.
“The stats from the first Gaming Demystified survey were eye opening. The results from this year are staggering,” Jasper Donat, CEO, Branded
Access the full report. Free for all WFA members.