With many gaming companies hitting the mainstream media and taking up larger SOVs on digital platforms, it will be very important to creatively stand out in the clutter and establish a unique brand proposition in the market. Therefore a primary focus area in 2023 will be to figure out how we plan and produce brand and marketing assets that are fresh and can catch consumer attention quickly.
This will be an interesting challenge both for the brand marketers and their creative agency partners as they traverse through this while at the same time ensuring that consumer protection continues to be a priority.
1) On the media front, ATL properties will see increased participation from gaming companies, but the trick will be to progressively learn the effectiveness of the different avenues and optimize the media spending.
2) On the digital front the scope of experimentation and innovation has to be exploited effectively to stay ahead of the competition. Influencer marketing as a small example will become more and more engaging and will come out in new content formats for consumers.
3) Interestingly, the cricketing calendar will remain almost the same in FY24 as it was in FY23 as far as marquee events are concerned. While IPL will be in the April-May time frame, the World Cup and the Indian festive season again will overlap in FY24 and that will be a critical period to look at. It will be very important for us to take out learnings from the FY23 ahead and implement them in FY24 to make the most of these major high viewership periods. Apart from sponsorship deals that obviously give visibility, brands have to be clever in planning media and campaigns around these events as well.
4) Celebrity endorsements in the gaming category have already picked up and going into FY24 we should see more celebrity faces for promotions of different kinds of games. Owing to the diversity within the country and the nature of entertainment consumption in India, we will also witness more regional celebrities being onboarded for the effective growth of the respective regions.
The prolific growth of the Indian gaming ecosystem will continue in FY24 and would put new challenges out there for marketers of the gaming companies both on the creative front and on the choices of media they have to make. And companies have to become increasingly innovative on both fronts. As the category grows, marketers have to take up more responsibilities in ensuring that all promotions and campaigns strictly adhere to the guidelines laid down for the category and also promote responsible gaming as part of their communication.
Lastly, as the sector continues to get more competitive, marketers have to increasingly rely on data to identify the trends and make sure they make informed decisions about the marketing spending they are doing. Brands that will be able to ace this will surely be one step ahead.
Avik Kanungo is associate vice president, Brand and Marketing Strategy, Games24X7. Views expressed are personal.