“Holy Gamification Batman!” – Robin maybe at some point.
At its core, marketing is about promoting and selling products and services but it’s evolved far beyond that. Firms are now looking to create loyal customers by engaging them with very creating marketing programs. And if gamification is anything, it’s engaging. If there is a better duo than Batman and Robin, Gamification and Marketing is it.
Gamification: Makes it more exciting
Popchips, a San Francisco based potato chip company, was looking for way to get more out of their limited marketing dollars. Partnered with software company Kiip, Popchips began rewarding players with virtual coupons. When a level is beaten or high score is achieved Popchips awards players with a free bag of chips when they’re already on a gaming high with the goal to cement loyal customers. The same year this program was implemented sales increased by 40% for Popchips.
What gamification did for Popchips was personalize its mobile advertising. I believe that people like to be advertised and marketed to. Just look at the hype for Superbowl advertising. Human beings like to be courted especially when thinking about buying a product. The problem is that advertising became intrusive and no one likes to be interrupted for any reason. By gamifying advertising your consumer base will choose to participate in the advertising especially if it’s a game. This is the engagement that comes with gamification and that is why marketing and marketers should love gamification.
Gamification engages because it motivates participation.
Delta airlines wanted to reach the minds of New Yorkers. They also wanted to celebrate the best part of their brand and they decided on their flight attendants or “red coats” as they liked to call them.
Delta with the help of BoomBox, a marketing agency, hid read coats all over the city of New York. Players were tasked with locating these red coats with help from photo clues and geo-coordinates. Players also had to share their progress socially through various social medias. Delta used gamification to reach over 70 million people on Twitter and had over 180,000 direct interactions.
What gamification did for Delta airlines was engage an audience base to talk and share their brand while participating in a game. All in the name of selling the Delta brand and I guess, the catered flight from New York to L.A. definitely helped. But the point is marketing and gamification go together. It’s synergetic. The participation and engagement drives certain motivations. Any marketing program that gains the attention of 70 million people is pretty decent.
Gamification: Keeps ‘em comin!
Tim Horton’s and McDonalds both use gamification to increase engagement and ultimately loyalty. When Roll up the Rim and Monopoly comes around customers tend to choose them over their competitors for the simple reason that they have the opportunity to play a game. Of course these are short term solutions but there are cases of longer term programs that work.
Starbucks implemented its loyalty program back in 2008 now known as My Starbucks Rewards which was actually card-less and customers could participate using an app. Customers collect “stars” in order to spend them on rewards such as free drinks, gift cards and such. Their program is much more interactive than other rewards programs. It provides instant feedback and customers can participate via the app while working towards a “gold card” which has its own whole batch of benefits. What differentiates Starbucks program is the fact that it doesn’t offer discounts but rather allows customers to rack up spendable points. It also connects with customers via the app, gives instant feedback and allows for social sharing and convenience.
The program helped increased revenue by 11% to $3.6 billion in its first quarter and generates over 6 million transactions a week. The instant feedback for the customer puts the program at the forefront of the users decision making. Whereas with Arimiles, a program I personally deal with, relies on a card and isn’t often clear how to redeem, how many points a customer might have or even what a customer might buy with their points.
Gamification and Marketing: The perfect couple?
Marketing wants to sell a product to a customer and keep selling to that customer. Customers want to play games and keep playing games. Why can’t selling a product be a game? Gamification engages a customer. Promotions go from talking at the customers to playing a game with the customer. Gamification creates loyalty because mechanics create an immersive experience for a customer to become addicted to. Best of all, gamification makes your marketing simply more exciting.