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Creating meaningful experiences this peak season
September 3, 2021
Often called the golden quarter, the name just about speaks for itself. The last three months of the calendar year are a huge focus for marketers, with some brands seeing as much as 70% of their revenue generated in these months. In addition to revenue, it’s also a time for brands to connect with their audience, give them a meaningful experience, and stand out from the competition. Statista found that in December 2020, the value of retail sales totaled nearly £51.4B despite the pandemic. It often kicks off with Black Friday in November, and PwC reports that this year, a third of consumers will do their Christmas shopping on Black Friday.
In essence, there’s real value in having an outreach plan for your audience that delights them and motivates them to take action, that sparks those human emotions that are absent from a lot of today’s marketing. The use of game mechanics make experiences more meaningful, help us experience ‘flow’, and get a dose of feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. Using well-known mechanics like competition or a challenge, meaningful rewards, fun, or showing someone how they compare to their peers (we call this mirroring), brands can predictably spend time with their audience and “pull” their audience in rather than pushing out the brand message.
Our customers do just this every day, including during peak season. On average, Christmas campaigns saw 62 seconds of time engaged. Compared to the time spent on digital content and digital ads, 15 seconds and 1.5 seconds respectively, and it is simple to see that when used correctly and meaningfully, game mechanics are incredibly powerful.
Prioritise customer experience and hit KPIs
It sounds simple: put consumers at the heart of your engagement strategy. And many brands do this, but with varying success. Accenture found that there’s a gap between the plan and execution: 80% of brands think they deliver a positive experience while only 8% of their customers agree.
Brands would do well to more deeply consider their audience’s journey; which pain points they could come across during the experience, and find ways to delight their audience when they do interact with your brand. By putting customer experience at the heart of the engagement strategy, marketers will accomplish the true goal of marketing: to be remembered.
This is especially important during peak season where consumers are inundated with ads and information. Brands can stand out by doing things differently and by offering experiences their audience will want to have.
Here are two great examples from our clients, delivering meaningful experiences during peak season:
The amusement park Legoland wanted a clever and on-brand way to engage their audience, gather marketing permissions, and create audience experiences for their low season. They created a daily calendar to run throughout December and used a modest ad spend to boost social media engagement. They saw solid results, including:
- 30,000 newsletter sign ups- 66% more website users
- 680,000+ video views- 2+ million organic Facebook reach
- 33% more park-related purchases (compared to the previous year)
They accomplished this with just €1,400 in ad spend and through organic social media (they have 250,000 Facebook followers so their reach is quite broad).
The popular sneaker reselling marketplace ran a 12-day holiday campaign, complete with a calendar game, reward mechanic and a new daily offering.
Finding a style that fit with their brand, they promoted via their website, social media and email, resulting in 11,000 registrations and 103% conversion.
And even better, 54% of that audience is still engaging with their brand almost a year later.
With so much expected of today’s marketers, it can be dizzying to choose the right path for peak season campaigns, especially given how much is (literally) on the line. But by prioritising what consumers want — convenient omnichannel experiences, brands they can trust, having their needs met — marketers can drive attention and sales with the help of gamification.