Understanding and influencing gamers’ path to purchase.

Research that tackles the buyers’ holistic evaluation and purchase process.


The Challenge

Maximizing Impact in a Rapidly Growing Industry.

Electronic Arts (EA) is one of the world’s leading video game publishers, but a rapidly changing industry challenged top line growth. New platforms and devices are rapidly emerging, and there was increased competition from companies that hadn’t existed even a year before. EA understood that even the highest quality game will only be successful if people know about it, can find it, and choose it over alternative titles. EA needed a comprehensive approach to identifying where they can maximize their impact on the purchase process.

The Results

Powerful Insights into the Customer Journey.

The results of the research allowed EA to understand the duration of the typical customer decision journey, and set guidelines for EA’s marketing opportunities throughout the product launch. The research also provided another powerful tool to triangulate likely ROI for specific media sources by incorporating this with Marketing Mix data.

Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) conducted a two-part study to quantify the customer journey and purchase facilitation aspects of the shopping process. In partnership with a qualitative firm, we developed a multi-phase approach. The work included:

  • Deep-dive, in-home ethnographies to uncover the motivations that influence decision making.
  • In-store shop-a-longs at major game retailers, identifying over 50 discrete “touch points” that gamers interact with along the path to purchase.
  • Fielding a comprehensive online questionnaire administered to 4,000+ game buyers, to determine the factors and decision-making stages that influence awareness, consideration, and desire before consumers enter a store.
  • Quantifying the duration of the typical customer decision journey, and set guidelines for EA’s marketing opportunities throughout product launches.
  • Conducting TreeNet-based predictive analytics to build a very strong model (92% of cases correctly classified) to prioritize which media sources and other touch points were most associated with eventual purchase.

The work helped us understand how paths varied among customers. We saw that one of our key segments was engaged heavily in digital media and much earlier in the launch cycle. This really helped us with our Battlefield 3 marketing, where we were able to tailor our creative to effectively differentiate the behaviors of groups of customers and act accordingly. It also reinforced what we were seeing in ROI analysis based on Market Mix modeling, and made us even more confident there. It has helped confirm that we’re making the right decisions by investing more marketing dollars into digital and video.

Zach Anderson

VP, Marketing Science and Analytics at Electronic Arts

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Our People

Meet our top-notch team who made all the difference.

Blair Bailey Senior Director, Data Management

Brant Cruz SVP, Platforms & Audiences

Liz White Sr. Director, Analytics & Data Management

Marty Murk VP, Platforms & Technology

About the Client

Electronic Arts Inc. is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment.

EA develops and delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, mobile devices and personal computers. EA has more than 300 million registered players around the world. Learn more about EA here.