Gamified Campaigns: Your Trump-Card for Outstanding Customer Marketing

Posted in , on 28 July 2014 by:

Sometimes in life you have to give in order to get. In today's highly competitive landscape, it is essential that businesses deepen the relationship they have with customers by continually offering them greater value than their competition. Successful gaming operators increasingly use gamification as a popular tactic for deepening customer loyalty and engagement. Until recently, however, only large gaming companies with extensive resources have been able to execute these campaigns. Optimove's retention automation platform is the only system that now offers marketers from game operators and e-retailers the ability to plan, execute, and analyze innovative gamified campaigns on their own.

So, what exactly is a gamified campaign?

Ever receive a punch card from your favorite coffee vendor offering you a free cup of coffee after purchasing several cups of coffee from that same vendor?

This is the simplest form of a gamified campaign – the customer completes a series of actions (such as buying several cups of coffee from the same store) and the vendor then responds with an incentive (a free cup of coffee). The punch card, one of the earliest forms of gamified marketing campaigns, is so beautiful in its simplicity, yet so efficient because it functions as both a purchase tracking system and a marketing campaign simultaneously.

Another important aspect of gamified campaigns is its strong appeal to basic human motivation – the game itself often becomes more important than the prize the customer receives. In this video clip from Seinfeld, watch how Elaine becomes frantic and wants to win the game at any cost, even though she knows that the prize is only a free sub:

Let's take another example of a gamified campaign from a gaming operator. Imagine you're a marketer and you want to run the following campaign:

The campaign is targeted to a certain group of players, but only those that play on Wednesday and lose will be reimbursed with 20% cash back.

This gamified campaign offers a 20% reimbursement only to a specific subgroup of the targeted customers (those who complete the desired series of actions). That means that after sending this campaign, marketers have to take the additional step of identifying those customers who played on Wednesday and lost money.

This is much more complex database work than in a regular retention campaign, where the system automatically tracks those eligible to receive the incentive. (e.g., sign up now and receive 20% on your first purchase). In gamified campaigns, marketers have to rely on the IT department, business intelligence staff or database engineers for complex database work to identify eligible candidates. This prevents them from running truly innovative gamified campaigns, if at all.

Say, for example, you're a marketer for a multi-product e-retailer company. You've determined that you have a loyal customer base of high-value customers whose purchases are concentrated solely in one department. As they are already loyal customer who know and value your brand, your aim is to cross-sell to these customers and encourage them to purchase in different departments. You create a campaign like the one below:

This gamified campaign is a great way to engage customers. Finding the customer data needed in order to execute this campaign, however, can induce a data migraine!

Here's one last example. What if a gaming operator ran a campaign aimed to encourage players to be mega bluffers? Players could bet all their chips (all-in) on the worst poker hand of all time – the dreaded 2-7 hand – and if players lose, the house will reimburse them everything they lost on that hand!

Sounds complicated for marketers to execute, right? Sure, especially due to the complex database work involved.

These gamified campaigns, however, as complex as they might be, are exactly the type of campaign marketers want to run to ignite customer engagement!

Why? Simple. People love games, and this game experience is what ultimately gets customers hooked on your brand. Not the prize, but the game itself.

Optimove's advanced retention automation platform is the only solution available for game operators and e-retailer marketers to independently create and fully execute gamified campaigns of high sophistication, multiple challenges at different levels, and a complex series of actions.

If you want to learn more about how to execute gamified campaigns with Optimove's advanced retention automation platform, feel free to drop us a line!

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  • Jason Prasad 14 September 2014

    Another great read Pini. I particularly like the comment:

    “Why? Simple. People love games, and this game experience is what ultimately gets customers hooked on your brand. Not the prize, but the game itself.”

    …a lot can be achieved from an understanding of this comment alone.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Avishay Biton 17 December 2014

    Great article! Since Candy Crush, i”m thinking about how to use gamification for marketing. This article give me some ideas how to start. We are promoting a WordPress plugin – can you give us same tips how to use the gamified campaigns concept for promoting a plugin?
    Thanks,
    Avishay

    • Pini Yakuel
      Pini Yakuel 17 December 2014

      Thanks for your feedback Avishay. The concept of gamified campaigns can be applied to most types of businesses. In your case, I’m sure there are a variety of ways to use this creatively. I would be happy to hear more about your offering, and suggest a few directions. Feel free to contact me at pini_y@optimove.com.
      Cheers,
      Pini