The explosion of digital has turned the marketing space into a crowded and complicated one for marketers to navigate. The key is finding a platform that offers the most efficient solution to acquiring, engaging and retaining your brand’s audience while reflecting the expectations of today’s generation of consumer.
Last year, the number of existing, active smart devices (7.5bn) surpassed the number of human beings on Earth (7.12 billion). More significantly, over half of these mobiles and tablets are being used to play games at least once daily; that’s more than 3.7 billion people playing games every single day globally.
Some of the world’s leading brands – LEGO, the BBC and Uber to name a few – have already discovered the power of play to better market products, educate audiences and even increase efficiency of staff recruitment. Branded mobile games have the ability to market a business, product, or both in a subtle, dynamic and cost effective way that delivers measurable results. Players can immerse themselves in a game for minutes, even hours, interacting digitally with products, characters and storylines, resulting in hundreds of years of brand engagement at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.
Play is human nature
Humans are naturally motivated by winning (and take almost as much joy in watching others lose!) We’re hardwired to crave the rush of a challenge and take pride in beating opponents. Today’s generation, one most coveted by marketers, has grown up immersed in a world of rapidly evolving technology, constantly confronted by interactive experiences. Marketers can leverage this innate human desire to play to get in front of, and truly engage with their audience in a way no traditional, one-way communication channel can.
Fun drives results
When it comes to designing a marketing game, the approach should always be fun first, business objectives second. Fun is essential to audience engagement, and without this vital factor your business objectives will fall at the first hurdle. The fun aspect of games blurs the line between marketing and entertainment, creating a more compelling experience for the user. The more fun a game is, the longer the user will continue to play, resulting in increased brand interaction. The marketing message need not be obvious, but instead be a function of their playing experience. The more subtle the branding the less it distracts from the actual gameplay, the component that will ultimately translate into positive brand value and in turn build long-term loyalty among your audience.
Games influence behaviour
Marketers can harness the qualities games already possess for reaching, selling to and engaging an audience. The appeal that captivating, interactive content has over other more traditional, one-sided and passive forms of marketing means users will happily dedicate meaningful hours of play to your brand. Through analytics, valuable consumer behaviour data can be obtained to offer powerful, insightful information about the desire of your client base. This can then be utilised to revise and adapt gameplay accordingly in order to maximise ROI and gain more mileage from your marketing spend.
Another way marketers can drive user behaviour and encourage increased brand interaction at no extra cost is through offering in-game rewards. There is no need to give physical rewards, as the natural sense of competition and achievement means virtual rewards are enough to encourage users to continue coming back.
Entertainment inspires sharing
It’s also important not to overlook a game’s potential to go viral. Key game components such as achievements, leader boards and social network integration naturally create a sense of competition between friends that leads players to invite and encourage others to play and talk about the game. Social media expert Erik Qualman identified that 90 per cent of consumers will trust peer-to-peer recommendations compared to a marginal 14 per cent trusting adverts; when it comes from a trusted source, the recommendation is endorsed.
Above all, the most valuable marketing tool is existing consumers. Games inspire the loyalty needed to create lasting positive connections with an audience, transforming them from interested user into a brand devotee. Interactive marketing experiences, rather than traditional one-sided communications, are fundamental to sustaining brand awareness and creating meaningful, lasting connections with the consumer.
Join the @AmuzoGames conversation on Twitter using #PowerofPlay.
Hannah Peers, Media and Marketing Coordinator, Amuzo
Tel: +44 1202 767300