The customer experience will increasingly become a determining factor for brand evaluation, and will go beyond the price and product value. It is difficult to be seen and create engagement with your target (maintaining it over time) in this age of strong digitization and spurs.
A challenge that combines many companies, is certainly the difficulty of maintain their target within their websites or apps. The dropout rate of an application or of any web service is always higher, also because of the large quantity of competitors and services that are very similar with each other.
The user has available many choices, so he has progressively decreased the degree of attention devoted to surfing the net; therefore even the smallest flaw or lack could cause an early and definitive abandonment of the app.
HOW DOES GAMIFICATION STIMULATE CUSTOMERS ENGAGEMENT?
Many companies, both foreign and Italian, has been to create funny and interactive online experiences for its users, able to increase interest and involvement.
The game is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools to reach and communicate with the audience: a gamification strategy, applied to the marketing world can be extremely useful, in order to draw attention of its customers (both prospects and leads one) .
As already described in previous articles, Gamification is a methodology that uses dynamics and mechanics (awards, rewards, rankings) typical of the gaming world, converting them into a real life and work context.
Using these elements borrowed from the gaming world, Gamification aims to entertain users by stimulating their participation through the promotion of particular actions and behaviors.
In this way, thanks to Gamification, companies can establish an emotional connection with real or potential customers, thus accelerating the process of loyalty.
THE BENEFITS OF GAMIFICATION APPLYIED TO MARKETING
There are many advantages of Gamification applied to marketing strategies. Here are some:
• Helps to present a new product or service to the public, in an engaging way;
• Increase user interaction in apps or corporate sites, making less interest-activities fun and challenging;
• It offers the user a unique and rewarding experience, speeding up the loyalty process;
• Customer loyalty decreases the rate of abandonment of the service and increases the number of active users;
• It helps to create a sense of corporate belonging and brand awareness;
• It collects fundamental data during user activities (target information, purchase logics, behaviour, product preferences...).
GAMIFICATION MARKETING PHASES
Gamification can follow and enrich different marketing phases, from product launch, to customer assistance during, pre and post sales, to facilitate the slow and delicate loyalty process.
• With Gamification it is possible to present a new product line or a new web service, in a clear and engaging way to the public. This kind of communication, notoriously explanatory and not very motivating, can be positive by stimulating the user in a layered path to understand, for example, the functioning of an app.
• As already mentioned, loyalty as well as being a slow process, is very difficult to obtain. Using Gamification to organize challenges, treasure hunts and prize competitions (with coupons, free gifts or free services at stakes), stimulates customers to take advantage of the company's web service more often, or to enter more easily into physical stores.
• The last phase, not for importance, is after-sales customer care. Lots of companies undertook in make less unpleasant as possible the waiting time with the customer service, by creating games with the chance to win coupons.
In conclusion, gamification can make difference in a marketing campaign and bring the company out from the “crowd” through new, strategic and effective mechanisms and logics.
Thanks to the integration with social media and the mobile, using gamification as a marketing instrument is very simple, effective and user-friendly. Not for nothing, an always bigger number of digital marketing managers started to appreciate the long-term impact, thanks above all to integration between mobile, cloud, social and GPS-based services.
Listed below there are two business realities that adopted gamification logics in marketing campaigns, aiming to increase sells and improve customer loyalty.
1. Gamification to launch a new line of luxurious shoes in the market
Jimmy choo is a famous luxury brand based in London. In 2010 decided to launch a marketing campaign to sponsor a new shoes line. The goal was to favour and boost brand interactions, stimulate press interest and in general increase communication around the new product and around the company itself.
A real treasure hunt based on digital clue has been created.
The company opened new accounts, created ad hoc from the name “catchachoo” on the main social networks (Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter). A staff member published surprised posts, spreading in this manner, clues through the web.
An expensive pair of shoes was the prize, for who reached first the treasure.
2. Gamification in strategic marketing campaigns: “M&M’s” case
M&M’s, the famous candy brand, decided to launch a marketing campaign called “eye spy pretzel” using gamification for increasing sales of a product sold in 2010 which struggled to be successful.
The project envisaged a real game whose main screen was literally occupied by M&M’s candies, in the ranks was hide the pretzel: the main character of the advertising campaign. The goal of this activity was to discover the sponsored product.
The simplicity of the game and the excellent web marketing campaign contributed to make extremely powerful the whole project.
The marketing plan reached 25.000 new likes on Facebook’s page, with more than 6.000 shares and 10.000 comments.
The campaign brought to the company a significant number of new users in a simple and fast way.
The clients o simple players got familiar with the product ad they sponsored it reviving in their profile page.
A virtuous and fruitful mechanism has started for the firm.
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