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When online video game review and news website IGN decided they needed a strategy to develop customer loyalty for their video gaming website, they turned to online web surveys to monitor the purchasing habits and gaming preferences of their 18 million registered users.

With their advanced data collection techniques using online surveys, IGN has moved itself even further ahead of the competition, positioning the site as the #1 online site for video games. Due to their ongoing success and high levels of customer loyalty and satisfaction, News Corps purchased IGN in 2005 for US$650 million.

In order to get the best data to sell to these marketers and developers, IGN runs an average of three to five short surveys per month, each receiving about 5,000 responses in less than five days.

The surveys are usually 10 to 15 questions and are based on input from advertisers and developers. The results allow IGN to provide interested companies with direct information on what gamers are expecting in new games and products.

IGN has a large network of video games products and services-from online gaming sites, product demos, and an editorial network that provides news, reviews, and previews about popular video games.

The site's popularity means that advertisers, game developers, and publishers all come to the site to market their new games and products.

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As with any popular website, building a loyal customer base is essential for survival, growth, and marketing research. IGN found a way to harvest their base users' strong opinions on video games and computers with online surveys, and sell this information to game developers and researchers. Users found that content on the site was becoming increasingly relevant to their interests and marketers could use the data to craft games and ad campaigns that sold better and sparked gamers' interest.

Other online sites with large reader bases should take note: by engaging readers with online surveys, IGN found that they could increase the profitability of their business by selling to both readers and marketers.


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