Getting it right on mobile

Mobile gaming’s explosive growth comes as no surprise to anyone who follows the increasing shift of gaming activities from the online environment to smartphones. Mobile gaming revenues of €26 billion ($30 billion USD) are expected to surpass console revenues in the very near future. That fact alone should serve as a call-to-action for gaming operators and developers to capitalise on this tremendous growth and optimise their strategies to reach an ever-growing, increasingly mobile and diverse player base effectively… and deepen that reach to entirely new audiences. Today’s players are no longer in the minority, and the omnipresent smartphone provides an opportunity for game operators to benefit off of the mobile-saturated environment and increasingly diverse gaming audiences that are taking advantage of it. Stay-at-home parents, high-ranking business executives, school teachers – all new audience types comprise today’s mobile gaming audience, a sign of the industry’s evolution and expansion. Because of this multifaceted audience, game operators are challenged with finding ways to effectively reach and engage a variety of players – all with different interests, behaviours, preferences and activity levels. Every player will respond differently to the messages and experiences they receive within the mobile game environment. In short, what will work for some players won’t work for others. Targeting a specific audience might seem like a logical strategy, but a broad-based approach to an entire audience neglects opportunities that can be leveraged by optimising messages and content for more relevant and deeper, personalised engagement. Use data to your advantage: The key? Data – and not just collecting it, but analysing it and using it to influence messaging strategies based on insights, activities and salient metrics. Mobile game operators can turn these data-derived insights into real-time player engagement strategies that encourage users to explore, play more and, ultimately, spend more. More importantly, these mobile conversations need to happen in real time, simply because interactions on a mobile device take place in the “moment.” Collecting data, analysing it and delivering a relevant mobile message in response needs to be carried out in minutes, and ideally seconds, especially when the data is sensitive to achieving a new level or score, a certain event, location or time frame. Create relevant, contextual mobile conversations: Messages also need to be relevant and contextual. Game operators have unparalleled insight into the behavioural activities of their players, and are able to “follow” them as they move from game to game. Data provides insights on current activities or recent activities, interests and so much more – allowing operators to determine the most effective and relevant ways to communicate with their players. Operators can also capitalise on the intimacy of a mobile “conversation” and adapt messaging strategies to become more individual and valuable to their intended audiences. The bottom line is that mobile messages should forge deeper connections, increase engagement and encourage repeat behaviours. Deliver personal messages, seamless experiences: To deliver positive player experiences and have a chance of conversion, the entire gaming experience must be as seamless as possible. Because of the intimacy of the mobile interaction — one game operator to one player — operators need to tailor their messaging strategies to give the players what they want with precision and contextual relevancy. A single, ill-timed, irrelevant message can cause a player to discontinue play, quit an app, delete a game and never return. With voluminous mobile games and apps available, players are entitled to selectivity about how and with whom to interact and engage – or not. To that end, mobile game operators must place their players’ satisfaction at the top of their priority list, and this means delivering contextually relevant and useful real-time messaging to engage and delight them. One-way communication is a thing of the past, while a two-way conversation holds the best chance of increased mobile gaming revenues and success.