SteelSeries: Best Use of Data-Driven Media

The First-Party Data Advantage: Putting the “Game” in Game-Changing Revenue Growth

Executive Summary

SteelSeries faced a challenge to enhance net sales and identify additional opportunities for growth while continuing to diversify their product range amidst a notoriously competitive gaming landscape. To capitalize on key e-commerce traffic peaks, we looked to SteelSeries’ own users within their software ecosystem for key data to drive dotcom sales. In other words, we looked to our own gamers to deliver on the products that they will need for the games that they are already playing. 

Our approach revolved around extracting insights from GG’s first-party data, segmenting users into target customer groups, and crafting tailored paid media strategies. The combination of software and ecommerce data yielded impressive results: rapid month-over-month growth in 2023, a 49% surge in net sales via paid social from Q2 to Q3, and a 36% rise in overall revenue from paid channels. SteelSeries achieved a fivefold increase in monthly revenue within a year, underscoring the remarkable potential of leveraging first-party data to target highly diverse gaming audiences. 

Case Study Video

The Challenge

In the wildly competitive world of gaming, every move matters. As one of the world’s most category-defining gaming brands that’s loved by professional gamers and esports teams around the world, SteelSeries needed a way to increase their overall net sales and search for new opportunities for growth while continuing the expansion of their product offerings. In order to capitalize on peak periods of e-commerce traffic, SteelSeries looked to build a strategy around better leveraging the software arm of their business as a way of propelling their dotcom sales forward. 

This was particularly important as SteelSeries’ proprietary gaming software, GG, was completely free to use and needed a monetization strategy outside of charging users a fee for the software. With mounting data privacy concerns and limitations with tracking, SteelSeries faced the challenge of organizing, strategizing and monetizing valuable first-party data from GG in a way that could unlock untapped e-commerce growth and drive dotcom sales to new heights. 

The Approach

Our approach leveraged first-party data from Steelseries’ software arm to better understand different customer segments and target specific cohorts of interest-based audiences. For example, if users were tuning into Twitch, we’d know that they were gaming streamers who may be interested in purchasing a new streaming mic to upgrade their sound quality. This repository of user data was then translated into specific interest-based and engagement-based cohorts that served as hyper-specific target audiences for more personalized paid media initiatives.

While most e-commerce sites are able to leverage customer data to drive purchases based on past purchase, add-to-cart or browse behaviors, the seamless integration of software and hardware sales data unlocks a whole new arena of data to play with. Software-side first-party data, when used in conjunction with existing dotcom business data, enabled a more holistic view of users’ relationship with the SteelSeries brand as a whole, and informed more detailed audience cohorts from demographic, behavioral and psychographic perspectives. 

The Results

The brand experienced a +49% increase in net sales driven through paid social alone from Q2 to Q3, indicating the impact of a strong audience match.

SteelSeries experienced rapid month-over-month growth throughout 2023 led by a combination of paid acquisition efforts, marketplace management and personalization of the user journey.

Met with aggressive revenue targets, we worked to identify and target individual cohorts of users most likely to make repeat purchases. By incorporating site-wide and software-side first-party data, including gaming behavior and unique customer touch points, overall revenue from paid channels increased by +36%. SteelSeries increased monthly revenue 5x in a calendar year, showing impressive long-term growth for the brand — a testament to the power of data-driven media amidst a highly competitive landscape. 

35% Increase in overall net sales
49% Increase in net sales driven through paid social
18% Increase in overall add-to-cart rate
33% Increase in monthly active users Y/Y