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How marketers can reach female gamers in the UK

How marketers can reach female gamers in the UK

Rumbi Pfende, UK Country Manager of RealGames explores the facts and figures, alongside the myths within gaming, that will surprise many marketers and advertisers, whilst delivering a controversial stance on where the gaming industry is heading with a new demographic of women increasing by the day.

This guide looks at the relatively unknown facts surrounding the gaming industry from a female perspective and uncovers the truth behind how women are having more influence on new innovations than is currently expected.

There is no denying that a long running stereotype in gaming is that it is a man’s world and he will rule supreme, women rarely interact with games and that the gaming industry shouldn’t encourage advertisers to target the female demographic with messages aimed at women. Put simply, many consumers, journalists and industry insiders believe women and gaming in the UK do not mix.

However, the latest target group research to come out of, the leading female European RealGames brand, shows that women are taking a more active role within online gaming and can now be statistically proven to be dominating the casual gaming market place, and this is where men and women differ.

Casual gaming can be defined as a user playing more simplistic platforms for short term continual periods of time, so any time up to one hour of game play.

These types of games often to do not entail any form of commitment, such as multi-level games or high involvement games, and can be played on an ‘as and when’ basis. This type of gaming offers a respite, as it were, for women to engage when they have spare time in between organising their domestic, work and social life.

However, it is important to stress that we must understand the difference between men as gamers and women as casual gamers before relying on the statistics of the research, and needs to be considered and segmented accordingly.

The most interesting fact to note is that 82% of Zylom gamers, which equates to just over 1.3m (Comscore June 09) unique users each month, are female. These women are aged between 20-55 years of age, with the core audience being aged 25-44 years and makes up 53% of the total users.

Women over 30 years of age are twice as likely to visit this casual gaming website than the average website, as 50% of this age group have one or more child in their respective household, and the family home is where 95% of these games are being played.

20% of the women that are playing games casually online have a household income of over £50k per year.

Internet usage is highly correlated to the online gaming industry, as would be expected. Women who play games online also use the internet to shop for the latest fashion in clothes (40%), grocery shopping (30%), insurance (24%), researching large purchases e.g. cars (15%), downloading music and movies (28%), on-line banking (45%) and booking a holiday (33%).

This correlation should be immediately picked up by advertisers and the marketing world as a great channel for targeting women and reaching the female demographic in a new environment; an environment where consumers are far more receptive than when watching TV or listening to the radio.

Casual gaming presents an interesting avenue for potential advertising executives to capitalise on, whilst becoming a compelling channel and opportunity for companies to build their brand through the power of online gaming.

Launching an online campaign would prove extremely cost effective and create a powerful platform for engaging with a target audience.

Women will especially be responsive to this means of communication as online gaming has a functionality of multi-tasking, and means that not only are the target audience being effectively reached, but as the games are more female-friendly with a diverse range of games that are orientated towards women players, this will result in a greater consumer reach that many industry insiders won’t have initially expected.

Having always produced our own premium games at RealGames, our award winning design and development teams have made it possible to attract women into online gaming with a mix of interactivity, innovation and an element of fun.

Women play for a number of reasons, and marketers are picking up on this and finding equally innovative ways of developing a relationship with this new demographic of gamers.

Marketers need to fully understand the extent of the benefits when considering an online gaming marketing strategy.

The number of female online gamers will continue to rise, and this creates a new space for relevant brands, of which there are many, to really get their messages across to women who have time, influence and spending power on their hands.


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