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Direct-to-consumer marketing is becoming a bigger part of the gaming economy, as a panel of experts discussed at this week’s GamesBeat Summit 2023. Ron Scott, Regional Director of the Americas at Xsolla, led the discussion with Tim Montgomery, Senior Vice President of Mastercard. and Jenna Seiden, vice president of business development at Niantic Labs. The three spoke about the importance of direct-to-consumer utility, as well as finding new ways to advertise for young gamers.
Seiden said one of the most important parts of advertising to a younger gaming audience is meeting them where they are and lowering the barrier to entry. “What are the two things you have on you at all times? I have my phone and I have my credit cards. The same: What is the most accessible and closest to you?
Montgomery agreed that one of the main features of direct-to-consumer marketing is to make it easier for users: “How do you make sure that when you transact with your badge, it’s as seamless, transparent, and secure as, for example, , dipping a chip into a terminal?
Advantages of web stores
Seiden noted that web stores are part of a lineage of in-game monetization that stems from traditional advertising through in-game ads. They also help players stay within the experience. “You want to keep the audience in the game, you don’t want to send them off. You want to keep them where they are and lessen that friction… [Gen Z] cares about efficiency. They care about staying in the experience. Those switching costs are high, so where do we want to hit them? In a web store where you can provide additional incremental value, possibly.”
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Montgomery added: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could release a branded card that took advantage of the unique rewards you could access in Pokémon GO or a similar type of property? The unique value propositions that you can develop, deliver and tailor to this audience are exciting to me.”
Scott agreed with the sentiment that it pays to approach players where they are. “I think you said this before, while you were positioning it, it’s really knowing what your business is, having that clear understanding of your goal and how to align all the different resources.”
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