The interactive nature of games means that they can be used to generate a wealth of data on how consumers interact with brands digitally. This data informs future marketing strategies and product development.
These game features include entertaining and rewarding customers, creating brand awareness, compiling mailing lists, and generating customer profiles.
In this post, we focus on:
- Defining “marketing game”
- Outlining three scenarios where marketing games can be used effectively
- Your next strategic move
What Is A Marketing Game?
A marketing game is an interactive experience designed to promote a particular product, service, or brand. Drawing upon the principles of game design, marketing games are utilized to engage consumers in an entertaining, enjoyable manner.
Customers typically participate in activities requiring problem-solving, decision-making, and competition, all within a game genre themed around the brand’s identity or offering. The intent is to create positive brand associations and increase customers’ familiarity with the brand.
The effectiveness of marketing games can be measured with various metrics. They tap into people’s intrinsic motivations for play, such as the desire for achievement, competition, and social interaction.
You may wonder how a marketing game can help promote your company’s products and whether it can be tailored to your specific industry and target audience. Most game engines have a range of settings you can customize when creating a marketing game.
Let us look at three scenarios where you can tailor an embedded mini-game or microsite game to help you engage new customers. We will discuss the game concepts and the most suitable distribution channels. We will also provide real-world examples of companies successfully implementing these games.
3 Marketing Game Scenarios:
Scenario 1: Lead Generation
- Game Concept: Spin The Wheel
- Game Distribution Channel: Social Media
- Example Of A Lead Gen Marketing Game
Identifying and cultivating potential customers is a critical activity in the marketing function, called lead generation (lead gen). Lead gen serves as the initial step in the sales process.
First, you need to determine your target audience: those individuals or businesses most likely to be interested in your company’s offering. Market research and building up an Ideal Customer Persona (ICP) are popular ways to determine your target audience.
Then, you can develop strategies to attract the attention of this target audience using a combination of marketing and communication skills.
Once your target audience’s attention has been captured, you must find ways to engage them and gather their contact information. This is often done by offering something of value in exchange, such as an eBook, informative whitepaper, discount code, or access to a webinar. This stage is where the prospect becomes a “lead.”
After a new lead has been generated, the relationship needs to be nurtured. This can be done through personalized communications and marketing automation to convert the lead into a customer. The nurturing process helps to build trust and establish your brand’s credibility.
Game Concept: Spin The Wheel
A simple, reward-based game is one of the most effective ways to generate new leads. Spin The Wheel is an embeddable mini-game where the customer taps or clicks on a button for a chance to win a prize.
To capture their details, you can add a form before or after the customer’s spin. This will automatically create a lead profile on your customer relationship management (CRM) platform if you have integrated it with Brame.
Choose your rewards and how often a winner is placed when your marketing game is in its design phase. You can also tweak these settings any time after the game has been published.
Game Distribution Channel: Social Media
If you aim to gain new customers through lead gen, use existing communication channels to find and engage them with your brand. Social media gamification presents a vast audience of potential customers already using social platforms for entertainment, shopping, and personal connection.
Promoting your brand on social media may not gain as much publicity as you hope to because of algorithm updates and other limitations placed on business accounts. But offering interactive games with rewards provides an engaging experience for users. This means they will also be more open to learning about your brand.
Example Of A Lead Gen Marketing Game
A real-world example of a wheel of fortune marketing game used to capture leads is the international insurance company Wefox.
Wefox was using other types of sweepstakes to generate leads but felt this approach was too generic. As a sponsor of the Royal Arena Hip Hop Festival, Wefox implemented a Spin The Wheel Game to attract new customers. Besides offering the chance to win tickets to the festival, prospects could also win Wefox-branded swag or an iPad.
A free Wefox consultation worth CHF 250 was given as a consolation prize to prospects who did not win any of the other prizes.
Scenario 2: Customer Loyalty Program
- Game Concept: Scratch Card
- Game Distribution Channel: Microsite Game
- Example Of A Customer Loyalty Marketing Game
New customers tend to try a new product or service but take their time to return. You should not consider it as customer churn. Sometimes, new customers need a “nudge” to remember a new brand they recently engaged with.
Customer loyalty programs are generally regarded as highly beneficial for businesses and consumers. From a business perspective, they serve multiple purposes, including customer retention, data collection, and profit increase. From a consumer’s point of view, these programs offer more value and reward.
Loyalty programs often focus on customer retention, which is vital because retaining existing customers is typically more cost-efficient than acquiring new ones. By offering rewards, discounts, or other incentives, businesses encourage repeat purchases, fostering long-term customer loyalty and increasing the customer’s lifetime value (CLV).
From the consumer’s perspective, loyalty programs offer tangible benefits such as discounts, freebies, or exclusive access to products or services. These benefits can enhance the customer’s experience, increase satisfaction, and create a sense of connection with the brand.
A successful loyalty program offers the customer real value, aligns with the brand’s identity and expectations, and is easy to use. It should also be flexible and personalized to respond to changing customer needs and market conditions.
Game Concept: Scratch Card
You can implement a digital Scratch Card Game that allows customers to reveal various discounts, coupons, and voucher prizes. This type of branded game is highly effective for marketing to new customers and increasing existing customer retention.
As part of a customer loyalty program, digital Scratch Cards can be made accessible to customers each time they make a purchase at your store (whether online or offline). Another approach is to promote your Scratch Card Game to encourage new purchases and create more incentives for shopping with your brand.
How Scratch Card Games Increase Customer Loyalty:
- Make customers aware of new products and services
- Motivate recurring purchases
- Provide engaging, memorable customer experiences
- Reward customers for shopping your brand
Game Distribution Channel: Microsite Game
A customer loyalty program can be run as an activation campaign separate from your company website. Many brands release mobile gaming applications to facilitate customer loyalty programs. However, this requires customers to download an app that takes up phone storage.
Web-hosted games can be much more accessible to new customers. A web-hosted game can be embedded on a page (mini-game) or have its own dedicated web address (microsite game). These games can be responsive to various screen sizes and provide a seamless omnichannel experience.
For instance, you can create a QR code that opens the link to your Scratch Card Game’s microsite. Your customers can immediately engage with the game without taking extra steps and waiting for an app download.
Example Of A Customer Loyalty Marketing Game
When McDonald’s opened a new restaurant in Switzerland, they launched a marketing campaign to create awareness and encourage repeat purchases at the new branch.
They implemented a branded Scratch Card microsite game that rewarded customers with instant prizes such as a burger, ice cream, or breakfast muffin. These rewards could only be redeemed at the new store, incentivizing customers to return to the same outlet again.
This meant that their marketing game engaged new customers, lowered the cost per lead compared to their static campaigns, and drove more foot traffic to their new brick-and-mortar store.
Scenario 3: Gift Cards
- Game Concept: Advent Calendar
- Game Distribution Channel: Email
- Example Of A Gift Card Marketing Game
Your business can provide more value for customers and encourage word-of-mouth marketing using gift cards. There are several reasons why this marketing tool can increase customer acquisition and retention.
Firstly, gift cards can function as a form of word-of-mouth marketing. When an existing customer purchases a gift card for someone else, they effectively endorse the brand to that individual. This personal recommendation can carry significant weight, as people often trust the opinions of their friends and family.
The gift card recipient, who may not have previously interacted with your brand, is introduced to it in a positive, non-obtrusive manner. This increases the likelihood of them becoming a new customer.
Secondly, gift cards can help potential and existing customers reduce the perceived risk of trying new products or services. They present a chance to try something new without a high personal financial investment. If the customer’s first experience is positive, they may become a regular purchaser of that product or service.
Thirdly, gift cards often result in increased basket size. What “basket size” means is the amount spent per purchase. Gift card recipients tend to view the card’s value as “free money.” As such, they may be willing to spend more than the card’s value when redeeming it. And this increases your business’s revenue.
Lastly, gift cards provide an opportunity for you to showcase your offering and deliver a high-quality customer experience. A positive first experience often results in the recipient becoming a repeat customer and potentially even an advocate for your brand.
Game Concept: Advent Calendar
One of the oldest gamified experiences is the advent calendar. Advent calendars began being used in the nineteenth century to celebrate each day leading up to Christmas Day.
Marketers use an assortment of advent calendars to build up the “Christmas spirit” and encourage gift purchases. But a digital advent calendar can bolster your overall marketing strategy.
It is different from other online marketing games because it does not have a competitive element. You choose which gift cards should be awarded daily, and customers tap or click to be surprised and delighted.
Game Distribution Channel: Email
You can opt to email your customers each day of Advent to prompt the gift card reveals. We recommend compiling a mailing list with all your customers’ contact details (name, surname, and email address are usually sufficient).
Segmenting your mailing list further will provide a more personalized experience. For instance, try creating customer categories according to their purchase history, demographics, or sign-up date. This way, you can create multiple Advent Calendar Games tailored to the tastes of specific groups of customers.
Mailing list segmentation will not only ensure higher open and click rates but also increase gift card claims and repeat purchases.
Example Of A Gift Card Marketing Game
Kitchen utensil manufacturer Kuhn Rikon was seeking a way to encourage more sales during the festive season. They designed and implemented a customized Advent Calendar Game with a special discount hidden behind each day’s door.
They also saw a 76% conversion rate, meaning over two-thirds of their online marketing game players redeemed their Advent gift cards.
Your Next Strategic Move
Marketing games can be customized and tailored to different scenarios, such as lead generation, customer loyalty programs, and gift cards. They can capture contact information and nurture relationships with potential customers.
Effective lead gen requires a deep understanding of the business’s target audience and a strategic approach to attracting, engaging, and nurturing potential customers. It is a complex, ongoing process for your business’s growth and success.
Customer loyalty programs give businesses a personalized way to reach and reward customers, encouraging them to make repeat purchases.
Gift cards can be a highly effective tool for customer acquisition. They leverage the power of personal recommendations, reducing perceived risk and encouraging higher basket value. They also provide an opportunity to deliver a superior customer experience.
We provided real-world examples of these marketing game scenarios for you to consider for your own business context. You can also learn more about each Game Concept covered in this post.
3 Game Concepts For Marketing Games: