Tag Archives: trends

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.

Millennials: Healthy Eating vs Convenience

The past decade has seen an increasing consumer trend to move away from functional foods (food that is processed, modified, and/or contains additives) toward more basic, “whole foods”.

But millennials, more than any other age group, prioritize convenience over healthy eating. They spend less time on food preparation than any other age group. They eat at restaurants and get takeout food more than any other age group. And food delivery services and mobile ordering are increasingly popular with millennials.

Millennials say that they prefer healthy, whole foods over functional foods, but not at the expense of convenience, taste, and cost.

This represents a big opportunity for health food brands and quick service restaurants (QSRs). How can your brand deliver both healthy eating AND convenience?

Health food brands should consider offering packaged, prepared take-home meals that offer convenience without processed ingredients. It’s a growing category in groceries, and these meals could also be available via your own online ordering & delivery service.

Likewise, quick-service restaurants can offer complete “meal in a box” packages via their app or website, including home delivery, making it easy and convenient for consumers to have dinner delivered right to their door.

The New Age of Digital Advertising

This past summer, Google took steps to give users more control over their online privacy, allowing users to block or clear third-party cookies more easily.

The past few years have seen numerous media reports about how companies are harvesting and using seemingly personal data to do everything from delivering personalized advertising to influencing political opinions. Consequently, consumers have become increasingly leery of platforms like Facebook and Google.

In recent years, election interference in multiple countries and cyberattacks have resulted in new data privacy legislation, such as the EU’s GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act. These new regulations control how brands and technology providers gather and use data, which in turn limits advertising capabilities.

Google hasn’t eliminated cookies, because cookies are also used to keep users signed in to favourite websites. But Google and other online providers recognize that cookie technology can be exploited and is under fire from legislators, and eventually new, more secure technology will take its place. Brands must prepare for a cookie-less future.

The demise of cookies will transform how brands and publishers gather and utilize data. As more users block third-party cookies, targeted advertising won’t be as easy as it was during the cookie era. Brands will have to rethink how they reach their target audience, spread their message and trigger interest.

Customization and pinpoint targeting are currently the greatest benefits of digital advertising. Until technology companies find new, less invasive methods of online targeting, digital marketing will become more of a mass marketing platform.

In the cookie-less world, creativity will be the most important factor in order to engage your online audience, encourage conversation and sharing, and provide value to your customers.

The future of sports sponsorships measurements

It’s not a secret that when you place your corporate logo on a jersey or in an arena you expect your reach to extend beyond the event itself. When brands spend six or seven figures to sponsor a team (or in the case of Scotiabank, $40 million per year for the next 20 years for naming rights to the former Air Canada Centre) they expect measurable return on their investment. Yet for too long, sponsorship has been an inexact science.

Digital has changed the way we consume entertainment; it has also changed the way brands approach sponsorship. With social media measurement tools, camera ad tracking and other digital innovations, rights holders and teams have a clearer understanding of the value of their offering, which helps to set realistic KPIs for brands.

Let’s look at how technology might change sports sponsorship in the near future:

Real-time sponsorship

Some sponsorship opportunities will be purchased programmatically and priced dynamically. Teams and right holders will capitalize on games with the highest viewership – or even individual plays within a game – knowing that they can prove the ROI to sponsors. Would Coca-Cola pay more to be seen on camera during the final moments of a decisive Game 7 in the playoffs?

Someone will own the market

Many companies currently offer sponsorship measurement tools to brands and teams, utilizing a variety of technologies. GumGum sports has created an analytics dashboard where brands can see the media value each day, measuring social, streaming, broadcast and digital reach. Elevant has created a similar platform with its own measurement algorithms. Signs indicate that “Google Analytics for Sponsorship” is coming. The question is whether one platform will own the market before leagues, teams or big tech companies can develop their own measurement tools.

Data leads to innovation

As sponsorship tracking improves and brands are able to gather accurate viewership and demographic data, how will they utilize this data to create more targeted, relevant and engaging content? And how will teams and rights holders use the data to develop more innovative sponsorship opportunities? The opportunities are there for the taking.

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.

How Instagram checkout works

Instagram has changed the way we consume fashion, food, and even entertainment. Most importantly, it has become a powerful window display for a new generation of brands and shoppers. It was inevitable for Instagram to get into mobile commerce. Late in March 2019, Instagram introduced the checkout feature, which allows consumers to purchase products without leaving the app. This new initiative is in closed beta for businesses, and currently available to the US market only.

How it works for the consumer

Checkout tags will show up on brands’ stories and feed. Instagram did not specify whether the tag could appear through influencer’s posts. When users tap the post to reveal the product tag, they will see a checkout option that replaces the current “view on website”. On their first purchase only, they will enter their payment information, which will be saved for future purchases. After their order, users will be able to track the package with a new “Orders” section on their profile with options to return, contact the merchant, or cancel the order.

How it works for the seller

In addition to having a more appealing ad platform, Instagram will generate revenue by charging the seller a nominal fee per transaction. While the selling fee hasn’t been revealed, Instagram did communicate that prices will not change for consumers. This means that sellers will have to cut their margin instead.
Instagram is accelerating mobile commerce. Will you be ahead of your competitors and conquer the “Social shopping” market?

Top digital marketing trends for 2019

What are the digital marketing trends for 2019 and how can you get ahead of the curve? Field Day has compiled four trends that we believe will have an impact in the coming year.

1. Social Channels are the new storefront

For a while now, e-commerce businesses have had the ability to link to their products or services from their social media posts and ads. However, in 2018, Instagram announced the ability to buy tickets and make reservations right on the Instagram app.
This is a big advance in social commerce, and we expect Instagram (and other platforms) to continue to expand and enhance this business model. We predict that 2019 will bring the ability to add products directly to a cart and complete the purchase – all within the Instagram app. This will remove steps and clicks from the customer journey and the fewer clicks, the more likely you are to complete the sale.

2. Visual search

While voice search gained popularity in 2018, we expect that 2019 will see the emergence of visual search. Amazon, Google and Pinterest are focusing on developing a stronger extension to SEO and will most likely be the main actors. According to Voluum, “Visual Search would identify objects within the image and then search for images related to those objects. For instance, based on an image of a bed, you’d be able to use visual search to shop for an identical or similar bed to the one in the image.”

3. Digital for good

The techlash was one of the defining shifts of 2018, according to Trendwatching. Consumers became aware of how algorithms track our online activities, access and analyze our personal data, and use it to influence our decision making – whether it’s to feed us ads for products it thinks we’ll like, or to influence our political decisions. In 2019 the techlash will continue, and we will see more brands leveraging and promoting their use of digital technology for social good.

4. Amazon will join Facebook and Google to form the digital advertising triopoly

In 2018, Amazon made strong moves in self-serve programmatic advertising, expanding the ability for brands to purchase ad space on its websites and through its ad platform. In the first quarter of 2018, Amazon saw its ad revenue grow 129%, reaching $2.2b. In 2019, expect for Amazon to become a key channel for digital media planners.

With 30 years of marketing experience, Field Day has a deep understanding of digital trends and how to apply them. We can help you to stay ahead of customers’ expectations.

Top sports marketing trends for 2019

What are the sports marketing trends for 2019 and how can you get ahead of the curve? Field Day has compiled three trends that we believe will have a big impact in the coming year. From weak signals to megatrends, these trends have already started to impact sponsorships, distribution, and even teams. Whether you are a team, sports organization or a business looking for opportunities in this sector, those trends should be considered in your 2019 marketing planning.

1. A flexible ticket sales strategy brings new customers

Freedom and flexibility are key customer strategies for any business. Leading sports franchises understand that not every fan can afford a full season package, and fans don’t necessarily want to be restricted to a specific number of seats for each game. Teams have long offered “mini packs” with a pre-defined set of games and “flex packs” where fans can choose their own games.

Some teams are now taking flexibility to the next level. The New York Jets have launched the first subscription-based mobile passes that allow fans to attend a predetermined number of games for a flat fee.

Organizations like the New Jersey Devils offer a “banking” system membership, whereby fans choose to make an advance deposit into an account, which is debited to purchase tickets throughout the season. Fans have the ability to choose from any game and any ticket quantity at discounted prices. They can purchase a single ticket or a block of tickets to a game. It’s a ticketing strategy that’s attracting a wider base of customers who appreciate that their favourite team is responding to their varied needs and interests.

2. Learning from the explosive growth of eSports

Efforts to commercialize esports and harness its audience engagement power are intensifying, and the sector is primed for further strong growth.

Sponsorships are bringing the money, representing 40% of the total market revenues. In Germany, McDonald’s switched from soccer to esports sponsorship, partnering with the German National Championship for video games, and ending a long time relationship with the German Football Association.

Smart sport organizations are redefining what it means to be a “customer”. It goes beyond “bums in seats” and merchandising. Teams can continue to expand the fan experience and can learn from esports innovations, particularly in fan engagement, live streaming and the event experience.

3. Tech giants will find their sports business model

In developed markets, pay television has been the engine of media revenue growth for two decades or more. It is clear that this model is being disrupted. The tech giants, particularly Facebook and Amazon, are challenging traditional sports media with Facebook acquiring the rights to the Spanish soccer league “La Liga” for the Indian subcontinent. The social network already broadcasts MLS in the United States at a reported cost of $1m per game, according to Nielsen. As with the rest of Facebook, the content is free but supported by targeted advertising.

Speaking to Reuters, Facebook’s director of global live sports said the La Liga streams would at first be advertising free, but it was considering how best to monetize them in the future.

The internet has globalized the fan base for teams, and in 2019 sports leagues and teams need to rethink their broadcast models. Fans wants and expect to be able to access every game from any location. Local blackouts only penalize your most die-hard customers. Just like flexible ticket packages, when leagues negotiate broadcast rights, they need to keep fan freedom and flexibility as the primary objective.

With 30 years of sports marketing experience, Field Day knows how to reach fans for sports brands and organizations. We can help you to stay ahead of customers’ expectations.

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.

Seniors are breaking the internet

Do you remember the uncomfortable feeling you had when your grandmother first commented on one of your Facebook posts? Or when you discovered she had an Instagram account?

Seniors have many reasons for starting their e-journey: Facetiming with their grandkids, texting their friends, managing their money, accessing their local library… Given how digitally connected the world is in 2018, it was inevitable that seniors would find their way online.

Field Day recently studied changes in media use in the two years between February 2016 and February 2018. People were asked to name their sources of information for events and destinations. One of the results of the study: there has been a clear and dramatic rise in use of digital media by those over 65 years of age.

Facebook use by those 65+ increased from 26.92% to 38.24%, Instagram from 0% to 4.41%, and e-mail from 31.45% to 49.29%. Meanwhile, traditional media use declined – especially reliance on newspapers, radio and television.

This trend will continue in the future as tech-savvy boomers move into retirement. As well, our research shows that seniors are looking for activities that provide inner fulfillment and connection to the world around them: travel, arts and culture, philanthropic or community-based activities.

While many organizations are focusing on how to engage young consumers in order to “future proof” themselves, seniors are a viable segment who can be reached with an effective digital marketing strategy. One example: employing senior e-influenceurs.

Field Day understands how and why consumers make their arts, sports, destination and travel decisions. We identify viable target segments for our clients and create compelling marketing campaigns that drive attendance.

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

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