Mobile gaming is one of the most powerful, cost-effective ways to acquire new customers, yet many businesses don’t consider gaming in their marketing mix because they’re not trying to connect with teenage boys – the presumptive players of mobile games. New research from Crimson Hexagon’s US Consumer Trends Reports reveals that it’s women 35 and older who are the most enthusiastic about gaming, particularly augmented reality games like Pokemon Go. This means that brands who have passed over mobile games as ‘not for our customer’ may need to reconsider their position.
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Crimson Hexagon examined online conversations about artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality. They found a significant increase in all of these topics over the course of a six year period, with the greatest growth being centered around artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence has become an accepted part of our life in a very unobtrusive way: this is the technology we trust to give us directions, organize our schedules, and monitor banking and other secure accounts.
There were roughly 2.5 million posts about augmented and virtual reality documented during the study; of these, almost a fifth were about gaming. This observation isn’t in keeping with what the pundits had predicted – they’d said that these new technologies were most likely to be adopted as training tools in the healthcare industry and to provide better education in under served areas. Instead, the trends have mirrored what we’ve seen happen with other technology; as access to the tools becomes more widespread, people inevitably use it to create and play games.
The gameplay experience normalizes the technology for the public. That means when a brand figures out how to use it for marketing purposes– consider Ikea’s embrace of augmented reality for an example – the public is already prepared to make the most of it. Knowing that women over 35 are both enthusiastic gamers and the demographic most likely to purchase furniture explains why this foray into AR technology has been so successful for Ikea. It will be interesting to see what other brands that focus on the 35+ female demographic make the leap and embrace gaming next. Who do you think it might be?