We are students in Northwestern's Medill IMC [Integrated Marketing Communications] program in a Direct and Integrated Marketing course that teaches social marketing. As a part of our assignments, we need to better establish our professional personas and begin writing blogs on key topics which concern our future professional industries. You can also follow us on twitter using the hash tag #NUSocialIMC. Enjoy!
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Gamification - Make it fun, make them loyal
Knowledgeable, independent, and savvy – those are the characteristics of modern shoppers. They have more power to the market, more access to different channel also to different information, and more knowledge about the product they are interested in. The traditional outbound marketing, including TV commercial, print ads, trade show, cold calls, and direct mail, has less and less effect on consumers. They know what they are looking for, and they know the exact price that they will be willing to pay. Worst of all, they have become less and less loyal to your product. The halo effect of a brand has been decreasing dramatically in recent days. The marketers have spent more and more time and resource maintaining the relationship with their customers. The products have become commoditized across all categories. People tend to pay less attention to the brand and walk away easily with slight dissatisfaction.
How to maintain the heat of a campaign? How to let the customers be willing to tell you about their likes and dislikes, what’s more, to tell you what do they want from you as a brand?
There’s an answer for that: Gamification. Gamificaiton is not a trick that only drives people to play and walk away with nothing. If you play your card right, this could be an ultimate tool to engage with your customers. The reasons are as followed:
People love games, and they love playing it. Through gamification you would be able to create stickiness with them. Through the process of playing, the brand would be able to understand their preference and behavior toward the brand. What kind of shoe they would buy? What kind of clothes they would go with them? Why does she choose the boot instead of the flip-flop? All these answers can be found within a game. The more time they spend in a game, the more you would get to understand them
Additional touch point
Gamification also could bring virtual to reality. There are reasons why people would go onine and look for information they want – because they have that need. They would look for Kelly blue book because they are looking for a car, and they would browse different technology blog because they are interested in such information. If a brand could leverage all these at the right spot right time, it is highly possible that it can turn this into revenue. Such as if you put an coupon or a 20% off on the bottom of the clothes they just set up for their androids, they might just click it and make the purchase. The ROI would be extremely high.
Another very good benefits that going for Gamification is that they will create buzz for you and you might even go viral because of those users. They propagandize your brand for free! This WOM effect are the thing you can’t buy from advertisement.
In all, gamification is a very good way for marketers to leverage under this very competitive and sophisticated world. If you haven’t tried it, you’d better start it now.