Dec 1, 2009

Hey Brand Marketers, Do You Have a Good Gaming Strategy?


 Should marketers have a strategy for the social gaming market?



This is the logical question that ensues from the mania of game applications that have taken over Facebook, as well as from the explosion of the virtual goods market that from now on are also accessible on iPhone and Twitter.

Facebook application ratings





Two numbers exemplify this phenomenon:
  • The first three Facebook application creators, Zynga, Playfish, and Rock You, total 285 million active users each month.
  • The virtual goods market in the USA hits 1.2 million dollars this year.


With the iPhone, publishers will, from now on, be able to sell virtual goods using free applications.  Considering that virtual goods were not able to be advertised on iPhone before the OS 3 and then, only with purchased applications, this is a huge evolution that is taking place in the gaming and phone application market.

This market is going to continue to grow from not only application sales (at very modest prices) and advertising, but also with the sales of virtual goods in free applications.
This shows that during the next three years, there is enormous potential for growth in the virtual goods market.

As for Facebook, the huge success of social game creators has completely changed the video game market.

For example, Electronic Arts, the leader of this market, though having difficulty with its traditional segments, just bought Playfish for 400 million dollars, including Earn outs.

Now, the Social games of Zynga, Playfish, etc…. have become succesful in demand advertising platforms called advergaming and also sell virtual goods.


Thus it is necessary that the marketing strategies of brands on social networks take into consideration new factors, such as the M.A.U. rating (Monthly Active Users) of the main game applications, as well as their ranking.



              (to buy space on Mafia Wars or FarmVille, a real choice…)


They also need to pay attention to the representation of their brands on virtual goods products and their sociability, as in the example of Godiva Chocolates already alluded to in a previous blog

At the crossroads of Facebook and the iPhone, advergaming and virtual goods might soon become the sweetspot of marketing. 
This is the logical conclusion we can draw from the last annual conference of Mary Meeker, the renown technology analyst for Morgan Stanley.



Marketing directors wanting to meet the challenge of social media have their work cut out for them. 
And maybe it's also fun?

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