The broad category includes traditional board games like Scrabble, social casual games that are integrated with a user’s online social network like Farmville, multi-player video games – which can have hundreds of thousands of simultaneous online users, like Xbox 360 or smaller number of users, like LAN parties and online role playing games, like World of War-craft.
Whatever be the reason, however, all social gamers end up socializing with other gamers.
Social gaming is poised to become a billion-dollar industry this year, according to new research from eMarketer.In games like World of War-craft, players can use their actual credit cards to buy virtual weapons that help them advance in their game. Zynga does not charge its users to play Farmville, but it does sell digital crops and cattle. Lead generation offers are incentives offered by marketers in exchange for subscriptions, survey participation and sales
– Social gaming worlds have become like giant virtual laboratories where human behaviour can be recorded and interpreted. For instance, a report released by Social Media World Forum last year found that around 80% of the women who play social media games clicked on ads or signed up for promotional features in return for points and virtual currencies. Evidently, social games make social interaction more fun, and ensure that the player will return to the networking site again and again. The player reaction (and hence, engagement) is monitored when a new type of ‘gun’ is introduced at a higher cost, or if the size / appearance of a virtual farm changes.
Many social gaming communities require players to fill in basic profile information, which is later sold to companies who want to design ads targeted at that demographic.
companies partner with one another to promote their products as part of the game. Foursquare recently launched its advertising platform – Foursquare for Businesses, which has attracted many marketers. Local businesses, like cafes, offer special discounts to players on Foursquare that are not available to regular patrons. A gaming ad company ‘gWallet’ promises players virtual points and goods if they watch their ad videos.
Each of the games or the worlds that you’re in have very specific audiences that you wouldn’t necessarily see unless you dug a little bit deeper. Source of results - http://www.infosolutionsgroup.com/2010_PopCap_Social_Gaming_Research_Results.pdfIndexes tell you a more qualitative picture – the extent to which a certain demographic is represented on a site
Volvo recently did a campaign in My Town for promoting its new car - S60.Volvo marketing team decided to test virtual goods as a way to build awareness for the new vehicle. During the 30-day period, 5.3 million Volvo-branded checkins were reached, 1.3 million Volvo-branded virtual goods (including a steering wheel, a wheel, the Volvo iron mark and the S60 vehicle) were delivered, and 20,000 clicks to “See the S60 in Action” were logged, for a click-through rate (CTR) of 1.5%
Why do people spend time in social gaming?<br />
Social Gaming Communities<br />Sharing Knowledge<br />Solving Problems<br />Working as a team<br />Cooperating<br />Planning<br />Developing Trust<br />Building Relationships<br />
Social Capital<br />You get the feeling that you are playing, socializing, interacting etc. With your real friends.<br />It gives you a way to express yourself.- It’s like a playground for personality.- Anything that will let you express YOU, your personality<br />It gives players the opportunity to invest over time in the sense that they feel like they own something of value (hence social capital)<br />
Economics of Social Gaming<br />Social gaming – $1 Billion Industry<br /><ul><li>Sale of Virtual Goods - $653m
Lead generation offers in exchange for subscriptions, surveys and sale of real goods and services - $248m
Advertising - $192m’</li></ul>‘Try before you buy’<br />Episodic Entertainment <br />Membership clubs & subscription services<br />Selling player profile information for market research<br />
What are implications for marketers?<br />Gaming world = virtual laboratories<br />
User Profile Info = Tonnes of data for market research<br />
Not just about the money<br />Pet adoptions in YoVille raised $90,000 for SF/SPCA in 2009.<br />Teddy bear purchases in Mafia Wars raised more than $100,000 for Coalition for the Cure (Huntington’s Disease) in March 2010.<br />The Monk pet in World of Warcraft generated $1.1 million in donations for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.<br />To date, Zynga players have raised more than $3 million in connection with Zynga.org social partnerships for Haiti.<br />Smithsonian Treasure Hunt<br />
Key Takeaways<br />Marketers need to realistically assess whether wikis are appropriate, and similarly assess SMM<br />Virtual worlds like Second Life are alternative formats for marketing, quickly gaining volume<br />Mobiles can be used to ‘empower’ your business<br />If your consumers are active on foursquare, like any social media, you should be there and you should be rewarding them for it<br />Social Media for social change<br />Understanding social communities is key to social gaming marketing<br />