Tag Archive: online marketing

  1. Gaming: an exciting way to engage passionate audiences

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    In recent years, we have seen the perception of PC and console gaming pivot from an unsociable medium to an activity that is universally enjoyed. This shift was accelerated by the pandemic, when users were searching for new and more entertaining ways to connect. However, despite mobile gaming already establishing an effective marketing tool via in-game programmatic ads, PC and console gaming had been relatively under-utilized, especially considering users often play for two or more hours in one sitting. This is because it is more challenging to reach consumers in an environment in which they value their experiences greatly and do not wish to be interrupted. By understanding how consumers value video games and the experience they demand, marketers will be able to set a different path to optimizing engagement and campaign effectiveness – learning from past successes and failures while leveraging new and exciting technologies to endorse their brand.

    A surge in popularity

    In the spring of 2020, gaming emerged as one of the most popular activities during the outbreak of Covid-19; engagement and spend surged between February and April. Statista revealed that Gen Z and Millennials spent 23% and 21% more time respectively gaming as of March 2020.

    What’s more, a wider demographic was exposed to gaming during the pandemic. There was a spread to non-traditional audiences and to a greater proportion of the younger generation. There was a 200% increase in over 60s searching for games, whilst 93% of under-18s admitted to gaming regularly. Gaming moved away from the stereotype that it is isolating and unsociable, instead being enjoyed by all ages, both alone and as a social activity.  New groups emerged: ‘downtimers’ were parents or young professionals looking for a break, whilst ‘social gamers’ utilized gaming as a new way to connect with friends.

    However, the industry saw a slight slowdown in 2022 as global inflation tightened purse strings, and chip shortages led to supply issues with gaming hardware that could not keep up with demand. Nevertheless, despite the 2022 slowdown, by the end of that year the gaming market was almost four times the size of what it had been in 2019. Following the brief contraction, many expect the industry to continue growing, and is set to be worth $321bn by 2026.

    New and existing opportunities to advertise to gaming audiences

    A unique opportunity has therefore been presented for advertisers to reach younger audiences in a non-traditional format. Gaming audiences skew younger: 74.2% of A18-24 play video games in the US, according to Insider Intelligence, while TV penetration is just 58.2% and falling. One media trends report showed that playing video games is the favorite entertainment activity among Gen Z respondents in five different countries (US, UK, Brazil, Germany and Japan). Gen Z spends a quarter of their leisure time gaming, more than on any other medium.

    Traditionally, mobile gaming has been the most effective channel, and 45% of all video gaming ad revenue comes from mobile to this day. Programmatic in-game advertising is seen as the most sustainable ad business for most marketers, with technology capable of measuring and tracking ad performance. PC and console gaming is the most attention-rich and immersive environment, but has historically been under-utilized by brands to access a hard-to-reach audience.

    Trailblazing the PC and console platforms was battle royale game Fortnite, which collaborated with brands to create interactive and immersive experiences for the consumer. Starting off relatively small in 2018, Fortnite introduced soccer skins and interactive pitches in celebration of the World Cup, as well as cosmetic tie-ins with the NFL. Marvel then teamed up with the game to create Fortnite x Avengers crossover events, where players could collect infinity stones and become Thanos. Since then, Fortnite has hosted game modes for franchises such as Star Wars, John Wick and Avengers: Endgame. Fortnite innovated to create branding that no longer felt like advertising; firstly, it was optional and secondly, had an immersive nature, bringing new and exciting elements to the game as players were seamlessly familiarized with the brand or product.

    Such innovation demonstrated how branding can effectively reach the consumer within console and PC gaming. Players invest significant time and money into playing these games and do not want to be slowed down or have their experience hampered by repetitive on-screen ads as are too often seen on free-to-play mobile gaming and traditional linear media. Such ads led to criticism of NBA 2K19, where players were disappointed to find unskippable ads surfacing within the game. Conversely, Fortnite’s use of branding to complement the game added further value and engaged players in a positive way.

    2023 and beyond: an exciting frontier for advertisers in gaming

    The outlook for 2023 and beyond is positive for the gaming industry. The US economy is on the road to recovery, as falling inflation bolstered by support from the federal reserve indicates consumers may be more inclined to spend. In Asia and the Middle East, rapidly-growing economies are expected to see continued and sustained mobile gaming growth. PC and console gaming is to continue with multi-platform investment, along with further commercial diversification in the eSports industry.

    In the console and PC space, game publishers will seek to further leverage technology to help create a more personalized gaming experience. Using new technology such as generative AI, machine learning and zero code platforms, storytelling through gaming will become increasingly bespoke. The role of brands – as we saw with Fortnite – will be most effective when facilitating the creation of such experiences, further enhancing them with added value and benefits.

    It is clear that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that may have been effective across traditional media will not go down well in a landscape where gamers are unwilling to endure linear commercial activity that interrupts their game. Thoughtful, tailored approaches that enhance, rather than detract, from the user’s experience will be the most successful.

    Marketers therefore need to begin by gaining a comprehensive understanding of the game, the experience it offers to the consumer, and the content and culture surrounding it. It is then about working out how the brand can create added value within the game, in a way that is engaging, interactive and memorable.

    There is a growing body of experts and organizations who can guide advertisers as they navigate this new and exciting territory. The IAB recently released a report, ‘Finding Success with In-Game Advertising: Perceptions of Buyers and Sellers’, and its Experience Center focuses on emerging platforms and evolving consumer behaviors in fields such as gaming.

    As advertisers adapt to challenging times, the opportunity to reach passionate, highly engaged audiences in a way that enhances their experience and familiarizes them with your brand is too good to pass up.

    Header image: Anton27/Shutterstock

  2. India becomes the world’s most populous country: a huge opportunity for brands

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    China has long been the world’s most populous country but in 2023, that is set to change – if it hasn’t already. India, which for many years had a significantly smaller population than its northern neighbour, is set to overtake China, possibly in April. This shake-up at the top of the world’s population rankings is a reflection of the two countries’ differing economic and demographic trajectories, and will have long-term consequences for the domestic and global economies. After all, China’s huge population has long been a crucial source of both labor and demand – will this baton now be handed to India?

    What’s driving India’s population growth?

    In the 1951 census, India’s population was 361 million – in the ensuing 70 years, it has grown by more than 1 billion and is currently estimated to be 1.4 billion. One of the most significant factors behind this population growth is the vast number of young people in the country: people under 25 years of age account for more than 40% of India’s population, and one in five under 25s globally are Indian. To give an idea of the comparative youthfulness of India’s population, the mean age in the country is 28, while in the US it’s 38, and 39 in China – both countries have rapidly aging populations. The sheer quantity of young Indians is a huge workforce and source of consumption and will be the key to India’s economic success, if they are leveraged properly.

    What’s behind the decline in China’s population?

    In January, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced that, for the first time in decades, the country’s population had fallen – by 850,000 in 2022. This decline has its roots in the strict one-child policy that was imposed in 1980, which limited the number of children that a couple could have to below the average of 2.1 needed to maintain a stable population. The fall was accelerated by China’s zero-covid policy, with couples delaying having children, or deciding against it altogether. This population shift threatens to end its role as the capital of global manufacturing; its seemingly never-ending supply of cheap labor is starting to run out, and the country is unlikely to return to its pre-pandemic economic growth rates.

    What are the implications for India?

    India’s leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are positioning the reordering of the world’s top population rankings as a reason to invest in Indian manufacturing. The population boom that the country is experiencing is causing its working—age demographic to bulge, which means that there is a huge opportunity to create jobs and ramp up manufacturing. However, India’s leaders must take advantage of this opportunity by creating those jobs (unemployment is currently high), preparing workers and improving infrastructure. The majority of India’s industry is in the wealthier south and west of the country, but more babies are being born in the north, making high-quality transport and telecommunication links crucial for when those babies grow up and enter the workforce. The government also needs to address the regulations, low productivity and bureaucracy that make investing in India slower and more difficult than it needs to be.

    If the country’s leadership does get that right, however, then the opportunities are seemingly endless. More workers procuring more goods and services will have larger incomes, which will in turn allow them to fuel consumption and investment. The Confederation of Indian Industry has forecast that India could become a $40 trillion economy by 2047 if it effectively leverages its youthful population.

    More immediately, India’s position as the most populous country in the world will call into question the fact that it does not currently have a permanent position on the UN Security Council.

    An exciting opportunity for brands

    India presents an exciting opportunity for brands, whether they are already present in the market or looking to enter it. So what are the factors that make it so appealing?

    An increasingly young and aspirational customer base

    We’ve seen above how India’s population is growing, and how youthful it is: that in itself is a huge tick for brands seeing to embed themselves in the market. But what’s even more important is their growing aspirations. They are more confident than their elders and – should the government make good of the employment opportunity – will have more disposable income as well. As internet penetration increases (it is expected to lead to more than a billion internet users in the country by 2030), it will drive aspiration and the desire to invest in more comfortable living – those who are connected have a greater sense of what is desirable, and are willing to spend in order to get it. What’s more, Indians have long shown a high propensity to adopt new technologies, for example bypassing landlines and going straight to mobile phones, and embracing mobile payments. E-commerce is taking share from traditional retail at very high speeds. This increased wealth, connectivity and aspiration will bolster an already-growing middle class, which is expected to grow to 547 million people by 2025, creating a large, solid consumer base.

    A dynamic media landscape

    The media landscape that serves India’s huge population is dynamic and diverse, and is rapidly evolving in line with increasing smartphone penetration and internet connectivity. TV remains king in terms of both consumer consumption and advertising dollars; there are around 900 national and regional TV channels, attracting an average minute audience of around 1.6 trillion. There was a slight decline in 2021 over 2020, but the 2020 peak was likely driven by pandemic-induced lockdowns.

    Online media has experienced huge growth in India in recent years, in line with increasing internet penetration. Global players such as Meta, Google, Amazon and Netflix are all present (although TikTok has been banned, along with 300 other Chinese apps), and there are several key domestic companies such as Hotstar, JioTV and Voot.

    Media inflation in India has stayed relatively consistent over the last five years, other than the shock that it experienced in 2020 – Offline media types were particularly affected. This year, TV inflation is expected to remain similar to 2022 levels, while Online and OOH will likely rise above their 2022 positions. You can discover more about media inflation in India and around the world in our recent Inflation Report, which provides forecasts for media inflation and explores the economic and global context for those forecasts.

    An improving business environment

    India has long been notorious for its red-tape heavy bureaucracy and burdensome regulations. However, the government has recognised this as a barrier to international investment and is working to lighten the bureaucratic load, with measures such as the simplification of foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations and raising foreign equity caps for insurance and defence. These improvements led to India jumping 14 places to 63rd place on the World Bank’s Doing Business study in 2020.


    India clearly presents a huge opportunity, both for brands already in the market and those seeking to enter it. Advertisers eager to seize this opportunity will need to embrace the idiosyncrasies of the Indian market. This is a vast country (significantly larger than Western Europe) with 22 official languages (and hundreds of other languages spoken as mother tongues), wildly different cultures and varying rates of urbanization and progress. Winning in this exciting, dynamic market will mean embracing these differences and speaking to the growing aspirations of young people, both urban and rural. The challenge is great, but the opportunity is far, far greater.

    Header image: RawPixel.com/Shutterstock

  3. Chat GPT on ChatGPT

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    ChatGPT has been the talk of the town in recent weeks. It’s a simple AI chatbot, created by OpenAI, which seems capable of creating remarkably human responses to almost anything asked of it. From general questions to super-specific requests, the text it immediately responds with is measured, readable, intelligent and, yes, very human, if a little wooden. There is alarm around how ChatGPT could be used, from writing academic essays and papers to creating malware and giving unfounded mental health advice. But there is also a lot of excitement about the opportunities it presents. The response from the advertising industry has been mixed – there is enthusiasm for the potential to create ad copy, for example, or to come up with creative ideas; by the same token, however, many fear that it could eventually nullify the need for some key jobs in the sector.

    So what is the role for ChatGPT in advertising? And should we worry about its potential to take away our jobs? Who better to ask than ChatGPT itself? The process was very easy – we simply gave ChatGPT the instruction ‘Write an 800-word article about how ChatGPT can be used in the advertising industry, and if there is still a role for humans’, and an article started to appear.  It is written clearly and concisely, with an introduction and conclusion, and makes some interesting points around how it can be used by the advertising industry, as well as offering its opinion about whether it will one day replace humans (thankfully, it doesn’t think so!). Its language lacks colour, and its counting leaves something to be desired (we asked for an 800-word article, and got 572 words), but we were impressed by the cohesiveness of the text it produced, and the potential to use it as a tool for generating ideas.

    The rest of this article was written by ChatGPT. It is unedited and does not necessarily reflect the views of ECI Media Management.

    The advertising industry has seen a significant shift in recent years, as digital marketing and artificial intelligence (AI) have become increasingly prevalent. One area where AI has shown promise is in the use of chatbots, such as ChatGPT, which can engage with customers in a more personal and natural way.

    ChatGPT is a language model that has been trained on vast amounts of data and can understand and generate human-like text. It can be used in a variety of ways within the advertising industry, including customer service, lead generation, and even creating ad copy.

    One of the most significant advantages of using ChatGPT in advertising is the ability to provide personalized customer experiences. By analyzing data on customer behavior and preferences, ChatGPT can create tailored responses to customers’ inquiries or concerns, making them feel heard and valued. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, which can translate into higher sales and revenue for businesses.

    Another area where ChatGPT can be useful is in lead generation. By engaging with potential customers in a natural and conversational way, ChatGPT can collect information about their needs and preferences, which can then be used to target them with relevant ads and offers. This can help businesses to generate more leads and increase their conversion rates.

    Additionally, ChatGPT can be used to create ad copy that is engaging and effective. By analyzing data on what types of ads perform well with different demographics, ChatGPT can generate text that is more likely to resonate with the target audience. This can lead to higher click-through rates and ultimately more sales.

    However, while ChatGPT has many benefits, it is important to note that there is still a role for humans in the advertising industry. While ChatGPT can handle many routine tasks and provide personalized experiences, it is not capable of understanding complex emotions or handling situations that require empathy or intuition. In addition, ChatGPT is only as good as the data it is trained on, and it may not always be able to accurately interpret customer intentions or preferences.

    Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to use ChatGPT as a tool rather than a replacement for human interaction. By combining the strengths of AI with the skills of human employees, businesses can create a customer experience that is both personalized and authentic.

    Another potential issue with relying too heavily on AI in advertising is the risk of algorithmic bias. If the data used to train ChatGPT is not diverse or representative, it may create responses that are discriminatory or exclusionary. This can lead to negative consequences for businesses, including reputational damage and legal liabilities.

    To mitigate these risks, businesses should ensure that the data used to train ChatGPT is diverse and representative of the target audience. They should also regularly monitor and audit their AI systems to ensure that they are not creating biased or discriminatory responses.

    In conclusion, ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the advertising industry by providing personalized customer experiences, generating effective ad copy, and increasing lead generation. However, businesses must use ChatGPT as a tool rather than a replacement for human interaction, and they must ensure that their AI systems are trained on diverse and representative data to avoid algorithmic bias. By combining the strengths of AI with the skills of human employees, businesses can create a customer experience that is both personalized and authentic, leading to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, revenue.

    Header image: Phonlamai Photo/Shutterstock

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