CGA: Marketing ABC Part 1

February 7th, 2007 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Events & Conferences | No Comments »

Today, the Mobile Games and Gaming Blog attended Casuality-West on request of the wonderful people over at the Casual Games Association. Due to some train delays, we missed out the first bit, but hope to leave you with a good impression of this event today that has a lot of connections to the mobile games industry.

First on our agenda was the Marketing ABC panel discussion, lead by Tony Leamer from Oberon Media about the increasing competition in the tight casual games market. Attending in the discussion where Stephane Adamiak (GOA / Orange FR), Kris Soumans from US based Lifetime TV and Dennis Ryan from Popcap Games. Due to the length of the discussion, the Marketing ABC has been split in three parts.

Kris Soumans kicked off the discussion by describing the primary consumer. Just like in mobile games, this is the female audience. Together with Real.com (who provided the statistics), Lifetime TV provides casual games to 290 million households in the US. She starts by explaining the link between Lifetime TV and casual gamers. They attract 78% females to their programs, which is close to the 79% female audiences that are casual gamers according to Real.com. The median age of the Lifetime viewer is 46 whereas in casual gaming, it is 45. Of their viewers, 44% of the females have a household with children versus 41% of the females that play casual games.

When we look at pure demographics for casual gaming females we can say 46% is over 50. Not really the public that massively uses the mobile internet. What is more interesting though is the sense for bargains. The feeling of receiving more value for their money is something that attracts. On the base of marketing, females love to try games so they are sure about what to expect when they pay up. Another good marketing tool is the good old word of mouth though. For selection of the game, the relationship is important. Females want to relate to a game they are buying and as we all know, this can be weird science. The best example Kris mentioned was for example the game Zuma. Many females feel attracted to it as they identify the household they are running to the jungle atmosphere inside the game. Unlike many people think, females are getting more and more important to the entertainment industry. 58% of the females that game are currently single and 67% regard them selves as real Do it Yourself type of females and so they go out and explore the possibilities more and more themselves.

Currently, women spend $ 55 billion on entertainment, while men only spend $ 41 billion. By 2010, research expects women will hold 68% of the wealth in the US. (Yes, this means men have problems handling money!) Additionally, women are the prime consumers of electronics and cars today.

Why girls game is easily explained by Kris. Playing games is a way of escaping their reality, much like watching TV. Actually though, females mostly play casual games curing prime time TV slots, meaning unlike the mobile games industry, the casual games industry will have to compete with television as well.

So where do the problems start? Embarrassment! Kris explains most females are not happy to see something like a game on their bills. It is much like adult entertainment she explains. Even though people want it, they don’t want to have their name referenced with it. There is a way around it though, by offering alternative methods for billing the public. As long as a way is found not to put the word games on any kind of bill, it doesn’t hurt. This is where mobile probably wins some share though as consumers never actually get a bill saying they bought a game. Another excuse for females is to buy a game which is beneficial for the household.

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    Arjan Olsder is the Vice President of Pixalon Studios. Opinions expressed on this publication do not have to represent those of Pixalon Studios.


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