This blog was written by Scott Woodward. Scott has been with KS&R for over 15 years with a focus on the Business Services, Technology, and Entercom industries. Scott has been focused on KS&R's gaming sector for several years and during that time has led a number of global quantitative and qualitative studies to understand their motivations, behaviors and expectations around various gaming related topics. firstname.lastname@example.org
The gaming industry is 'leveling up' right now! There is no doubt that game publishers, console makers, chip producers, and live streaming game services have been some of the biggest beneficiaries of the COVID-19 shutdowns. Sales and player subscription numbers have jumped dramatically since March. The industry is seeing all-time highs with gaming engagement, including multi-player online participation and viewing live, streaming gaming content through Social media apps (watching other players play and connecting and commenting with other gamers).
Even watching eSports (a market that barely existed 3 years ago) is now growing (i.e., eNascar, NBA 2k20) in the absence of "real" sports programming or attending live sporting events. In a recent study conducted by KS&R, we found that Gen Z prefers watching gaming videos over watching sports. There are also new gamers joining the ranks as people now have more time on their hands, are bored, and isolated at home.
As gaming expands, so does the need to better understand this market, particularly when it comes to gamers' motivations, perceptions, behaviors, and preferences. The good news is that Gamers make great research participants:
- They are passionate about gaming topics and are very willing to share their time and ideas.
- They do not hold back their feelings and provide extremely candid perspectives.
- They appreciate the idea that their recommendations and feedback will make an impact or shape an outcome.
- Most importantly, they provide thoughtful responses, which is particularly helpful when evaluating concepts or ideas to improve gaming experiences, support for game related needs, etc.
Because gamers are thoughtful and think critically, they are well suited to participate in product and service development research. KS&R has been successful analyzing gamers through Max/Diff exercises, relatively complex conjoint approaches, more creative ideation workshops, and summative UX methodologies. To walk in the shoes of gamers, we have also utilized 'customer journey' approaches to understand the path they take when seeking game related support and information. This approach is particularly useful for identifying unseen challenges, unmet needs, and new ideas for game service or support capabilities.
Segmentation can also help to define and distribute a gaming market into groups that are likely to exhibit similarities related to attitudes, interests, behaviors, lifestyle choices, brand perceptions, and demographics. The segmentation results allow for more tailored and effective approaches in marketing communications and understanding what matters most to gamers (or types of gamers) when developing compelling value propositions and offerings.
KS&R has also found great success communicating with gamers through qualitative methods... they LOVE to comment on their experiences. We prefer to use qualitative techniques that are more akin to how gamers normally interact (i.e., mobile ethnography platforms, bulletin board groups, and chat platforms).
Now is the time to tap into this unique segment of gamers, understand their wants/needs and how best to drive their wallet share to your preferred product lines.