Research isn’t so scary! Here is an easy guide to howto get the most
The two main reasons Audience Research is done is to show
the estimated size of your audience, and also what the
audience would like to see. Researching into your chosen
audience is critical to the Video Game industry (for
example) as without an idea of where your selling point is,
then you will not know how to market your product
correctly and if the research was done in the first place you
could be advertising directly to the defined audience rather
than having a guess as to who may buy it. Another reason
audience research is vital is you could spend as much
money as you like for e.g. selling your 18 rated game to
primary school kids, but it won’t get your anyway because
these aren’t the age range who will be buying it. So no
matter how much you spent it will be a complete waste.
Below I will be looking into different media producers in the
video game industry and how they define their audiences.
Page 1 - Types of research: Quantitive and qualitative
Page 2 - Primary methods of research: interview techniques,
observations, questionnaires, surveys, types of questions,
focus groups, audience panels, participation in internet
Page 2 - Secondary sources of research: Books journals,
reference-based books and directories, periodicals,
newspapers, film archives, photo libraries, worldwide web,
searching internet forums, CD Rom databases, audio
material, ratings, circulation figures, government statistics
Introduction - Purposes of Research: Audience, Market and
Page 3 - The Role of the Research
“Quantitative research refers to the systematic empirical investigation of social phenomena
via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques” –Wikipedia
This is data that is represented as statistics or numbers for example viewing records.
Barb: Barb, standing for Broadcasters Audience Research Board Is a website
that provides all of the official viewing figures for the UK. It uses companies
who specialise in research such as Ipsos MORI, Kantar Media and RSMB to
collect the data that it provides. Data sites such as this are great for
companies to use to determine what people are watching. For video game
companies sites like this that are able to determine what people are playing
and also details on the background of the audiences. I’ve found a great PDF
that gives statistics on all sorts of information that will give companies the
edge on who they should be focusing their advertising on. This contains
information such as the average age of gamers, what games are played most
often, top selling games and lots of other useful information. This is the
overall statistics for 2012, which could be a downside to information that
doesn’t come out as often as some companies may like. For e.g. this
document states that 53% of gamers in 2012 are males and 47% are female.
Though they are not far apart, a company could decide that they would
market their product in 2013 only to males. Information can change like this
at any time, especially over a year. Examples like this are where more up to
date information would be useful.
This is research from sources such as questionnaires, focus groups and face
to face interviews.
Research such as this can be done primary (when the company does the
research themselves) or secondary research where another company will do
the research and then post it somewhere where other companies can source
the information and use it. Benefits of primary research is you are able to
write the questions yourself, this can then get you the information you are
looking for and this is where secondary research can lack. Getting the
information secondarily (what you can find of it) online from different
sources won’t always be exactly what you’re looking for.
Primary content research
Primary content research is research done yourself without aid of books or the
internet etc. It is going out and finding the information you seek out for yourself.
Interviews: An interview is one way of finding out this information. Setting up an
interview with someone in the field of your interest is a great way to ask the
questions you’re looking for an answer too. In the subject field of video games I
could organise an interview with a ‘Youtuber’. Someone who posts content on
YouTube as their profession. They could tell me the type of audiences they say and
techniques they use. Another great interview would be with a game developer.
Someone who works with games for a living. They will know the most important
aspects of the game inside and out. A reason Primary research such as interviews is
good is because you get to write the questions yourself instead of searching through
the internet for that one other person who has the information online.
Questionnaires and surveys can be used as a feedback device. Being able to write
these yourself again means you can find out the information you need. These can
also be mass-produced to the number of responses you desire. Handed out or
posted online. Because you can choose who you send these questionnaires too you
can also only aim for your market, which is really important when creating product.
If you are stuck own or peer observation can be great help. Own observation can be
used to have someone watch you and help out with what you’re doing, this is helpful
when you know what you’re doing but may need some help in creating it. Peer
observation is useful for coming up with ideas but keeping in mind that you cannot
copy word for word. It is more to get your started.
Secondary content research
Secondary research consists of finding information that other people have done form
such sources as newspapers, books the internet etc.
Magazines: Magazines will have useful information written by professionals. They
can also contain outside information from other sources and interviews. Using video
games as an example again, magazines I could use for secondary research are; PC
Gamer, Xbox World and Official UK PlayStation Magazines. These will cover the 3
main consoles. You can look back through old copies and find when the games or
consoles were featured and find out information on it.
Books are another great source of secondary research when it comes to a lot of
things. Going into a library there will be something there to help you and get the
information you need. If not, then the internet is always there for you. The internet is
endless with research that other people have posted. But always be careful.
Because mostly everything is posted by someone else, it can’t always be trusted
sources. So do research on your research!
The Role of Research
The Role of Research within the video game industry is important when looking into
the audience of the game and also the genre. Games such as MMOs (Mass
Multiplayer Online) for example. World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and Diablo 3 have a
completely different audience to such genres as Action games like Call of Duty.
MMO’s are for more ‘hardcore’ gamers as they require time and patience. While Call
of Duty you could play for 10 minutes and hop straight off, which suits casual gamers
much better. When looking into the audience for the video game a company is
producing, age will be top priority. A bigger market may be in younger audience but
the game may have over 18 content. This is where companies have to decide which
route they’re going down. Research outside of the game side of things would include
consoles. For example, the Nintendo Wii has a varied audience, but mainly families
and Youngers kids because the games are easier to understand and pick up. This
also has an entirely different concept to it, using your body as the controller, dancing,
jumping, running, it uses your energy to play rather than it being for relax time.
Hardcore gamers also do not jump on the Wii because none of its games are suited
towards them. Nothing you can really grip your teeth into. But all consoles, because
of research have done well distinguishing their audiences and being able to market
to all. They understand where each other come from.