Tag Archives: entertainment agency

Marketing and esports: Understanding the esports fan

Publishers, teams, athletes and broadcasters share a common goal: they want to engage the fans. The more esports can attract and engage fans, the more attractive esports will be to sponsors, advertisers and investors.

But who is the esports fan? Here are some key insights on this growing segment.

The worldwide esports audience reached 395 million in 2018, according to Newzoo, and was expected to grow by 15% in 2019. Fans average 100 minutes per watching session on platforms like Twitch, Mixer or YouTube Gaming.

Asia-Pacific accounts for 57% of the esports enthusiasts, while North America is the largest esports market on a per capita basis, boasting revenues of $409.1 million. The 23.9 million Esports Enthusiasts in North America will generate $17.13 per fan this year, higher than in any other region.

Seven out of ten esports fans are males that range from 18 to 34 years of age with Nielsen reporting that the average age of an esports fan is 26 years old. Most esports fans are young, early adopters, active on social media channels such as Twitter and Reddit, and grew up online or with tech-related interests (video games, media, computers, mobile apps, and IoT).

In fact, it’s reported by Newzoo that among “North American male millennials (age 21 to 35), esports is just as popular as baseball or hockey, with 22% watching it. In North America, the most popular sport in the region, football, is only twice as popular as esports among male millennials. For male viewers between the ages of 36 and 50, football is only three times as popular as esports.”

Reasons why male fans engage with esports:
To learn tips and tricks from the professionals – 44%
Entertainment aspects – 41%
To become a better gamer – 39%
To connect/meet/socialize with other games – 19%
To participate in or see cosplay – 9%

Reasons why female fans engage with esports:
Entertainment aspects – 40%
Learn tips and tricks from the pros – 36%
To become a better gamer – 29%
To connect/meet/socialize with other gamers – 22%
To participate in or see cosplay – 13%

More people watched the finals of the League of Legends World Championship than the Super Bowl in 2018 (approximately 200 million viewers versus 98 million). It is an opportunity brands cannot miss.

Exclusive inclusivity – Part two: Feeding our social needs

What motivates consumers to attend specific arts, entertainment or sports programming? Recent behavioral research has identified consumer tendencies towards products and experiences which reflect their ideal self-image.

We’ve always been driven by a need for self-actualization and self-fulfillment. We chose to participate in activities and events that bolster our ideal self-image. Are you an Eagles-loving NFL fan, or is an NBA game and DJ Khaled concert more your style?

What’s different today is that we have the social tools that enable these needs: we constantly curate and define our image via our social channels. Our social content says to the world: “here’s who I am.”

But here’s the catch: while we want to stand out from the pack and be seen as individuals, we also tend to seek experiences where we’ll be among our peers and where we’ll feel comfortable.

How does this impact arts, entertainment and sports marketing? The best entertainment marketing communicates “exclusive inclusivity”. It creates an attitude and image that sets the experience apart as unique but that also mirrors the attitude of the target audience. It says “you’re unique, but you’ll also fit in”. It taps into the psychographic needs of its target audience and encourages us to feel good about our decision to attend and about sharing the experience with others.

Our self-image changes over time – as do our entertainment choices. Field Day’s annual research shows clear and predictable differences in our live entertainment choices based on age, gender, education and geographic location. And those differences are influenced by our psychographic needs. The illustration below shows the differences in entertainment choices of an urban female millennial vs a suburban male boomer.

Tapping into the needs, motivations and idealized self-image of your target demographic and creating an atmosphere of “exclusive inclusivity” is key to marketing success.

Exclusive inclusivity – Part one: Why we attend

If you’re marketing an event, attraction, sport, museum or arts performance, the odds are you’ve gathered demographic data on your customer, and you have a fairly good idea of WHO attends.

But do you know WHY they attend?

If you don’t understand why people engage with your programming your marketing may fail to connect with your audience.

Why do we “attend”? What drives us to get up off the couch, purchase a ticket and go to a play, a gallery, an event or a game? It’s the desire to satisfy deep-set and often intangible values which the participant may not fully understand or be able to articulate.

Until recently, even researchers couldn’t agree on our motivations. One comprehensive research project stated that the most cited motivations for leisure experiences were pleasure and escapism. Another research paper said that the key factors were a shared experience and social engagement. Yet another paper said that consumers were drawn to challenging and socially-engaged leisure activities.

A 2011 study by University of Leeds White Rose University Consortium concluded that “the complex motivations of theatre audiences remain unclear.”

And yet, in the past decade, we’re starting to see patterns emerge in consumer behaviour research. Recent research identifies consumer tendency towards products and experiences which reflect their ideal self-image. This applies equally to packaged goods and ticketed attractions.

This may seem like a shift in motivation, but we’ve always been driven by a need for self-actualization and self-fulfillment – as psychologist Abraham Maslow noted in 1943 in his Hierarchy of Needs.

What’s different in the 21st century is that we have social tools that enable these needs: we constantly curate and define our self-image via our social channels. Twenty years ago when we visited a museum or went to a game, we likely only shared that information with a small circle of family and friends. In 2019, our every activity is shared – often with people whose only contact with us is via social media, and who form their image of us based on the content we share. We have the ability to shape our image via this content – and therefore by the cultural, entertainment and sports activities we choose to attend.

WATCH FOR PART 2 COMING SOON: “Exclusive Inclusivity”: How arts, sports and entertainment can feed our social needs.

4 hot consumer and marketing trends for 2019

What are the upcoming media and marketing trends for 2019 and how can you get ahead of the curve? Field Day looked at a number of studies and we’ve compiled four trends that we believe will have an impact in the coming year. From weak signals to megatrends, those four trends have already started to impact our culture, and should be considered in your 2019 marketing planning.

1. Escape
In 2018 we were inundated with non-stop polarizing news. From the moment we awoke to a push notification on your phone, to the late night talk shows, it was the year of pro-Trump/anti-Trump, pro-Brexit/anti-Brexit, Apple vs. Samsung, #ilikebeer… For many, we’ve passed the saturation point and the anxiety and stress have become too much.

The result: we all need an escape. Trendwatching describes the 2019 consumer as “an escape artist, able to plug into a universe of their choosing”. From fantasy sports leagues to Fortnite, escaping the real world is becoming more and more important for consumers.

If your customer is escaping via Fortnite, you need to plug your brand into the Fortnite universe. Perhaps your customer demographic escapes to the oasis of art galleries or museums… or to spa getaways. As marketers, look at your customer demographics, determine the type of escape scenarios they are most likely to plug into, and then engage with them through that world. Better yet, create your own escape for your customers.

2. Body first
“Consumers are treating their bodies like an ecosystem and seeking solutions that complement their personal health and evolving needs.” This is a major trend highlighted by Mintel.

More than ever, in 2019 we will pay more attention to our health and choose activities that support this health-first self-image. Brands that respect and support the health of their customers will have a clear advantage. Supporting a healthy lifestyle can take many forms. For example, Timeshifter is an app that provides personalized plans to help people adjust to new timezones when traveling. Intermarche launched a pack of yogurt that contains the same recipe with decreasing amounts of sugar, to help consumers in their “sugar detox”. Is your brand doing its part to reduce energy usage? If so, make it part of your brand message.

As a brand, think about all the ways you currently support your customers’ healthy lifestyle, determine what additional “healthy” changes you can make to your processes, products or services, and brainstorm new innovations to improve your “health-focused” customer journey.

3. “Social” is more than an online marketing platform
Social marketing has seen a big rise in popularity and effectiveness in the last five years, but consumers are now expecting more from brands in their social feeds. In 2019, brands with a clear social conscience will lead the way with consumers. According to Shelton Group, 86% of consumers want brands to take a stand on social issues. In 2018, few campaigns were more popular than Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad.

Consumers expect action more than words and pretty pictures. They want to align themselves with brands that reflect their own ethics and principles. For example, Starbucks closed 8,000 stores for racial bias training, while Patagonia sued the US government in a bid to protect Bears Ears National Monument and coordinated the fight to protect this public land.

4. Virtual companions
According to Nielsen, nearly a quarter of US households own a smart speaker. Today you can own a virtual assistant that can entertain, educate, mentor and even be a friend. Your Google assistant can place a phone call to book a restaurant or a hairdresser appointment. IBM launched an IA bot that mentors young entrepreneurs. KLM launched a city trip assistant: see it here.

AI is improving exponentially in speed and accuracy. Brands can respond instantly to consumer queries, and consumers receive efficient, immediate customer service, In 2019, consumers will expect even more, and better, AI assistance from brands. And they will be quick to reject unresponsive brands.

Beyond speed, brands should consider how their AI experience reflects their overall brand experience. According to Trendwatching, 72% of smart speaker users think “brands should have unique voices and personalities for their apps/skills and not just use the assistant on my phone”. How will you bring your brand to life through your virtual assistant?

Field Day has a deep understanding of consumer trends and how to apply them, and we can help you stay ahead of customer expectations and your competitors.

The beauty of instagram goes beyond the visual

They swipe up and down, they hold-on, they click, they like, they repost. And they’re doing it at home, at work, in the park, on public transportation, and in every social setting.

Instagram has captured the imaginations of millions of users. And while it’s extremely popular with the younger demographics between the ages of 18 and 34, it’s also exploding in popularity with older generations.

The key to Instagram’s success: its simplicity. It does one thing, and one thing only, really well: sharing visuals of your experiences. It’s fast, easy and immediate. “Look where I am right now! Isn’t It beautiful and cool?” Ego gratification and envy play a big part in our addiction to Instagram.

Instagram is the perfect social media channel for destinations and events to increase desire and yes, envy!

According to Field Day’s 2018 Entertainment Survey, Instagram is the second most popular social media channel to learn about events and destinations, and it’s gaining in popularity daily. How can you leverage it to reach new customers, build desire, and drive attendance?

Stories and LIVE feature:

If “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, then Snapchat should be flattered that Instagram copied their “story” and live feed technology. These features allow users to be the storyteller of their own life, creating ongoing real-time diaries of their activities.

For event and destination marketing, Insta’s LIVE and Story can be used to extend the event experience. Brands can use these features to show followers aspects of the event that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to: they can go backstage during a concert, drop in on rehearsals, watch the “real-time” installation of a new exhibit at a gallery, visit with the cast of a play during intermission… all from your sofa at home. When used effectively, you immerse your followers in your experience before they even attend. The end response: “So cool! Next time I’ll definitely book a ticket and I’ll be there”.

An array of ad options – Paid, Sponsored, Targeted:

As an advertising medium, Instagram began as the little brother of Facebook, but brands are discovering the effectiveness of using IG’s features to reach new audiences. The key is to understand how users interact with Instagram. Whether it’s video, image carousels, or retargeted static images, make sure your advertising content is simple, bold and visually compelling so that it stops users from scrolling past it.

Platforms like Instagram are always adding new features (like e-commerce) and it’s crucial for brands to stay current on the features of any platform and look for creative ways to leverage their potential to reach new audiences.

For more information, contact Andrew Arntfield, President at Field Day Inc. at 416.408.4446 Ext: 226

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD THE FIELD DAY ENTERTAINMENT SURVEY EXECUTIVE SUMMARY PDF

The limits of digital entertainment

Digital has an increasing impact on how we experience an event. Regardless of our age, we now expect digital engagement as part of our experience – whether it’s an art gallery, a concert or a sports event.

But how far should the relationship between digital and physical entertainment go? Will it reach a point where we skip the actual event for an even better virtual experience?

Field Day’s Account Manager Leah Rose and President Andrew Arntfield give us their perspectives on “digital vs real”.

How to identify and engage new target segments

We’ve all heard someone say “Museums aren’t my thing”, “Baseball is not my thing”, or “Travel isn’t my thing”. No matter what your organization does, whether it’s culture, tourism, sports or an event, there will always be people who have no interest or affinity in your offering.

What is the Culture Bubble?

We all live in bubbles, and our bubbles contain all of our cultural and entertainment interests: the music we love, the events we attend, the leisure activities we enjoy. Everyone’s bubble is different; the size and shape of our bubble is defined by our needs, our biases, and our environment.

The good news is that our consumer research shows that there are clear demographic trends to the Culture Bubble. Field Day has used this data to identify viable new target segments for our clients.
 
If you understand the defining needs and biases of your target segment, you can modify your offering, your messaging or your marketing tactics to meet those needs… and to move your brand INSIDE their Culture Bubble.

As part of Field Day’s work for event, destination and cultural organizations, we’ve helped many venues to attract new target segments.

If your customers aren’t talking, your marketing’s not rocking

We all know that it’s a photo-op-selfie-social-sharing world out there. People never let their phones out of their hands and can’t wait to post their experiences – especially if it’s something new, different or exclusive.
 Here’s the thing, though: it’s not just GenXers and Millennials who are doing the sharing – or paying attention to shared content.

 Our February 2018 Entertainment Survey shows that “word of mouth” is the top influencer for all age groups, and Facebook & Instagram are increasingly popular with older consumers. We’re all checking out each other’s’ experiences, and we’re all influencing each other’s’ entertainment decisions.

Are you creating unique and positive experiences that your audience will share?
 When I attended Art Gallery of Ontario’s “Infinity Mirrors” exhibition everyone from teens to grandparents were eagerly snapping pics. I also overheard complaints. The AGO did an excellent job of managing expectations – making sure patrons understood that there would be long lineups and only 20-seconds of viewing time in each room – but when the hype is so over the top, the reality can be underwhelming. One sentiment I heard more than a few times: “I barely had time to blink and I was being kicked out.” Another telling comment: “It felt more like a cattle herd than an art exhibition.”

 

People share their experiences, both positive and negative. If the experience falls short at any step – from ticket purchase through to post-event follow up – you know people will talk about it. And when “word of mouth” is the most influential medium, it’s crucial to create a positive experience at every step of the customer journey.
 

As part of Field Day’s work for event, destination and cultural organizations, we’ve helped to enhance the entire customer journey and to implement tactics to increase positive word of mouth.