With the number of consumers playing social games and mobile games growing exponentially and the demographics of those playing becoming more and more diverse, marketers need to be at the ready to take full advantage of this burgeoning marketing and advertising platform.

Back in May, I wrote of The Big Opportunity Marketers Are Missing Right Now, a post which dealt directly with online social gaming and how a great deal of those playing online social games were women, the same women who are responsible for the majority of decisions made in a household. In that same post I told of a Forester Survey which revealed 84% of companies surveyed had no plans to use online social games in their U.S. marketing strategies in the next year. The same Forester Study showed only 19% believe games will become more effecting marketing vehicles in the next three years.

That same lack of interest in online gaming was supported by a finding in the The Trends In Social Advertising Survey – which was conducted earlier this year via Brian Solis and The Pivot Conference. Notice the not so subtle read box around the line for Zynga and how only 2% of respondents to this particular survey have utilized the online gaming giant in a social advertising campaign.

I wonder if these same companies, these same people who participated in the aforementioned surveys would feel the same after hearing Lisa E. Phillips, e Marketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “Online Gaming Audience: Lines Blur as the Market Grows” … “Gone are the days when only males ages 18 to 34 were hardcore gamer’s or only moms were pelting their Facebook friends with requests for hens or heifers in social games like FarmVille.”

And I wonder if these same companies, these same people who participated in the aforementioned surveys would feel the same after learning this…

Social gaming will reach 61.9 million US internet users by the end of this year, or over a quarter of the online population.

us social gamers

Or this..

In 2011, 73.5 million mobile users will play games at least monthly, up 22.1%. By 2015, more than 100 million US consumers will play games regularly on their phone.

And now a word about I*N*T*E*G*R*A*T*I*O*N…

I’ve already told you Why An Integrated Marketing Strategy Is Vital To Success but it appears Integration is also key in the context of gaming…

“Although certain affinities still exist, most gamer’s are playing games on at least three different systems,” said Phillips. “However, marketers must still be prepared to support a promotion across multiple platforms,” – PCs and consoles to smartphones and tablets.

What’s your take on online and mobile gaming?

Have you incorporated either or both into an advertising and marketing campaign?

Do you plan to in the next 6 – 12 months?

Or do you think it’s pretty much a waste of time?