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Katya Moskalenko: “Brands need behavioural data to tap into the gaming industry's enormous potential”

Measure Protocol aims to provide brands with valuable user insights to help them make informed decisions
Katya Moskalenko: “Brands need behavioural data to tap into the gaming industry's enormous potential”
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Marketing your game and understanding your target audience is more important than ever as developers are contouring to release games into an ever growing and highly competitive market. Collecting behavioural data has been a challenge due to privacy concerns and legislation. However, Measure Protocol works with willing contributions to provide companies with insights into an audience's daily habits.

In this guest post, Measure Protocol's product marketing strategist and digital engagement expert Katya Moskalenko explains why brands need sophisticated behavioural data to tap into new opportunities within the gaming industry.

Microsoft's bid to buy Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard would be the biggest of its kind in games industry history. Although the deal has faced a series of legal challenges in the U.S. and split regulators around the world.

U.K. regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, had initially blocked the takeover while, to address the Federal Trade Commission's concerns, Microsoft had agreed to licence the hit video game to rivals - including a ten-year contract with Japan's Nintendo if the deal was completed. This hullabaloo highlights the gaming industry's increasing power and significance.

Measure's most recent App Life Report found that games remain the most dominant category for in-app transactions on iOS. This is, without doubt, a lucrative market with incredible reach – with the report finding that Roblox, for instance, is used by some 17% of individuals, with this game alone no doubt contributing significantly to the fact that gaming apps are the leaders for in-app spending.

Behavioural data

But for those brands looking for a slice of the gaming action, and the associated engagement and spend, it's necessary to call upon some truly sophisticated competitor analysis which goes far beyond installs and uninstalls. Fortunately, with previously inaccessible behavioural data such as app positioning on a consumer's home screen, it is possible to take a deep dive to assess a range of potential competitor apps and to keep track of wins and losses in real time.

With an increasingly fragmented media and digital life landscape, it is clear that understanding how individuals engage with their devices, apps, services and media has become ever more challenging. As a result, brands are turning toward this behavioural data to gain key insights, a competitive edge and to better engage with their customers and supporters.

For instance, a leading streaming service offering a wide variety of award-winning TV shows, movies, documentaries and other entertainment recently tapped into the power of behavioural data to expand offerings into the mobile gaming space. It faced the challenge of gaining a vital understanding of gamer behaviours to inform development strategies – and specifically, the behaviours of often hard-to-reach iOS consumers. So it turned to behavioural data, which offers a more comprehensive understanding of the gaming app industry compared to conventional survey methods. Employing a combination of 'tell us' and 'show us' tasks, Measure conducted a deep dive into the mobile behaviours of gamers and non-gamers, subscribers and non-subscribers. We also analysed which apps were opened immediately after a device was picked up, home screen layouts and heat maps, the effectiveness of app notifications, the incidence of active users for various gaming apps, and the amount of time they spent on these apps. All this generated critical insights, which would directly impact the design and strategy of a new, expanded gaming offer.

Understanding your audience

While many companies have back-end behavioural data on how members use their own apps, they frequently lack insight into how users interact with other apps. It's important to compare behaviours, and behavioural data provides the most accurate depiction of what really matters to individuals and how they spend their time. After all, apps have become central to nearly everyone's daily lives and are indicators of consumers' entertainment, lifestyle, media and purchasing habits.

To this end, we look at the most engaging apps on a weekly basis. Our latest data illustrates why Microsoft's bid should come as no surprise - Call of Duty is being used by over 8% of men aged 16-25 weekly, with women in the same age group not far behind, spending just under five hours a week actively using the app.

Whilst most companies won't have the purse strings of Microsoft, ensuring they have robust behavioural data to inform their approach to the burgeoning gaming industry can stand them well ahead of the competition.

Edited by Paige Cook