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How will the customer experience transform in 2022?
February 3, 2022
Consumer behavior has changed dramatically during the pandemic. At the same time, the brand's foundation for digital marketing has been shaken to the core. For it to make an impression, meaningful engagement with consumers has to be anchored in core human behavior that can cut through the clutter in a fragmented media landscape. Gamification taps into core human behavior and can bridge the gap between brands and consumers.
Yesterday was the least complex day a CMO will ever experience. There has never been a more urgent need to become data-driven in marketing, but at the same time, marketers cannot rely on the traditional foundation of our marketing. Cookies are disappearing, razorsharp targeting is becoming more difficult, and marketing audiences are diminishing . The CRM revolution is upon us and unprecedented investments are being made in both marketing technology and skills within this area. Who would have thought that the more than 30-year-old email technology would be so vital in our day and age? What about addressable tv, podcasts or even digital outdoor?
Consumers are at the same time more impatient, empowered and demanding, and expect a frictionless experience. The digital acceleration in e-commerce’s home delivery that was expected to take a decade was done in 8 days and our expectations for an online experience are akin to what we are used to: the fast, seamless interactions with the likes of Airbnb and Amazon. Online penetration for retail has risen 30% compared to pre-Covid numbers, and now, online and offline have to be orchestrated seamlessly together. Any digital friction is an imminent threat to the customer experience and a bottom line for sales.
In order for a brand to start a dialogue with consumers, there is a need to position the right message, to the right user, at the right time and provide value.
Carlsberg is winning the customer journey with gamification
The beer brewing company Carlsberg found gamification to be the perfect bridge between brand and technology. Like other brands, Carlsberg wants to engage their audience in numerous digital touchpoints as they go through the marketing funnel.
This crucial need for activating and engaging modern consumers is emphasized by recent research on consumer behavior coined as the “messy middle”by Google. It’s in essence not a straightforward funnel we have to operate with, but a complex loop where consumers interchange between exploring and evaluating. Consumers are going back and forth in researching a category’s products and brands, and then weighing all the options. A process that can easily pause and go in many directions.
Behavior triggers such as social proof and a sense of urgency are familiar in this messy middle, but is there a way to build a guiding path for consumers, where a brand actually engages with consumers in a relevant way and provides value?
Winning the loyalty of their customers
Carlsberg has successfully tied the knot between their brand and consumers by using gamification. The overall tangible goal for Carlsberg was to run a big campaign during the Euro 2020 football championship (which was held in 2021). The tactical part of the campaign was for consumers to buy a limited edition can of Carlsberg and check the code to see if they won some football merchandise.
The campaign objectives were to engage with fans, create a strong brand association between Carlsberg and football, and drive sales. The campaign created much better results than expected: there was a redemption rate that was 2x higher than similar campaigns Carlsberg had run in the past.
In addition to a higher redemption rate, website traffic went up by 1,500% and time spent on the website increased by 2.5x.
Relevance, value, and removing friction are core to winning the consumer journey and Carlsberg managed to do this with gamification while adding very concrete customer value and a fun experience.
The perfect storm for marketers
Winning the consumer journey in 2022 will take a “test-and-iterate” mindset and an understanding of how to really connect with human behavior. In a world with unpredictable consumer behavior, complexity, a myriad of channels and platforms, brands need to “speak human”.
The “why” for gamification is very simple. We play because it’s in our nature to do so, as stated by Scientific American. So, gamify your marketing in 2022 and connect with your consumers.
Read more about how Carlsberg has used gamification here.