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How marketing fits into gaming

News, 05 October 2015

NEW YORK: Of all new media, gaming may be among the least explored and least understood, but a new study in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) offers advice for brands both in this sector and beyond.

In the September issue of JAR, Frank Alpert (University of Queensland Business School, Australia) and M. Kim Saxton (Indiana University's Kelley School of Business) assess whether video-game marketers should produce multiple messages for different target segments for the same product.

They begin with the presumption that gaming is a magnet for younger consumers. But, the authors insist, younger cohorts come in a variety of sizes and shapes, all of which have disparate interests that cannot be easily grouped under one heading.

In fact, the marketing researchers write, such audiences almost demand a separate sample set, in that they are under constant siege with a variety of messages from media that have absolutely no impact on product decisions for older audiences.

Can Multiple New-Product Messages Attract Different Consumer Segments? Gaming Advertisements' Interaction with Targets Affects Brand Attitudes and Purchase Intentions investigates, specifically, "whether video-game marketers should leverage different messages for different target segments for the same product".

Alpert and Saxton use gaming media to dig down into a concern that brand stewards share about both new and legacy media: when trying to engage a prospective consumer, is the marketer best advised to use a single, consistent message? Or does leveraging a variety of appeals increase the overall appeal?

The gaming study demonstrated that "purchase intentions were enhanced when a segment saw its dedicated advertisement after seeing the other segment's advertisements. Further, this enhancement happened not only from internal processes but also because the advertisements interacted."

For marketers, the paper concludes, the implication is clear: "The safest recommendation might then be to seek broad exposure of primary segment advertisement, then narrow exposure of secondary segment advertisement while carefully developing the secondary advertisement to be acceptable to the primary segment."

Data sourced from Warc