So what's a digital activation beyond just a meaningless marketing buzzword?
Over our years of experience, we’ve come to define it as:
A way to increase brand awareness and engagement through a digital experience, rapidly and at scale.
Whilst many brands attempt it, they often fall flat and miss out on the huge opportunity for delivering ROI. The good news is that, when done right, these multi-channel targeted campaigns have the ability to drive sales, leads and awareness through engagement on a mass scale.
So, what is the key difference between an underwhelming digital activation and one which generates over 28 million engagements? The answer is simple - gamification.
Let’s start by first addressing a common misconception - gamification does not mean arcade games. Nope, it’s actually:
The application of typical elements of game playing to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.
In other words, gamification sees us take the compelling elements of gaming and apply them in a non-gaming context. This means introducing elements such as competition and rules of play, point scoring, rankings, incentives and achievements.
And whilst not a new concept, gamification has become an extremely effective method of driving brand awareness and keeping customers engaged for longer in an increasingly noisy digital environment. It’s big business too, with the global gamification industry currently valued at around £7bn, and projected to grow to £24bn by 2025
Why use gamification?
Brands have always looked for low-risk and cost-effective solutions to drive results from digital. The global impact of Covid-19 however has dramatically accelerated this need.
With big holes in revenue and a need to get audiences back spending (both B2C and B2B) businesses are seeking innovative ways to cut through the noise and drive brand engagement, increasing share of voice, sales and growth.
Gamification creates a positive user experience
One of the most basic, yet important values of gamification lies in the benefits it brings to your customers.
Gamification enables us to create digital activations that are more enjoyable, more memorable and more engaging for users. By creating a sense of adventure and accomplishment, we’re able to harness these positive emotions and encourage stronger brand association.
We’ve become pretty adept at it too, with years of experience helping us to create and perfect high performance onboarding user journeys.
What are the tangible businesses benefits of gamification?
It drives action
Be it securing a purchase, driving footfall or data acquisition to name a few; gamification is great at steering your customers to the action you require. Through multiple gamified marketing activations we’ve consistently seen a substantial uptake in these measurable actions, with customers proving more willing to interact with something of interest, entertainment or value (and sometimes all three).
Desperados for example came to us seeking to bridge the gap between on and off-trade sales. Here’s how we helped them achieve 10,000 redemptions and a 530% ROI in the process!
It drives brand advocacy and engagement:
Gamified activations are a great way of building brand comms, as well as driving new product and service awareness more naturally. As a result of the positive experiences generated by gamification, users are more likely to develop an affinity to your brand, and pass this on to others through referral and social sharing - a tried and tested way of generating organic reach and engagement.
Having worked with Jet2holidays for 5 years now, we've seen 43% of campaign traffic come via referrals, demonstrating not only the power and cost effectiveness of sharing, but that users are more likely to engage with campaigns that come recommended by a trusted source.
It drives repeat play and customer lifetime value:
Whilst many activations have a relatively short shelf-life, gamification can ensure repeat visits and positively impact Lifetime Customer Value.
Whether through an average of 6,500 users returning weekly to the Carling Score Predictor), or one individual spending over 14 hours maneuvering a winged Christmas pudding through an obstacle course - gamification is great for piquing your customers’ interest, and maintaining it.
And it’s not just for one-off campaigns either. Research shows users remember positive brand experiences and as a result are more likely to participate in future activations.
Our KiwiCycle activation with Old Mout Cider ran for successive years, amassing over half a million plays in total and demonstrating sizeable YOY growth. In fact, the campaign went so well that stockists had to work hard to ensure there was enough supply to meet demand!
It drives quality metrics and database growth:
We’ve mentioned a few metrics already, and that’s because nothing generates them quite like gamification. From sessions to sign-ups, shares to redemptions - these activations are packed with quality and compliant customer data. All digital, all measurable.
And with brands always keen to grow their databases for re-marketing, we know from experience that no other type of activation comes close.
It’s easy to see why gamification presents such an opportunity for all kinds of brands looking for a powerful way to drive not only short term leads and sales, but also longer term advocacy.
Gamification offers unparalleled value, equating to low £CPA and tangible returns to both consumers and businesses, especially when compared to more simple digital activations - such as basic competitions or 'off the shelf' mechanics (eg. online forms), which can result in poor data accumulation, disengaged audiences and an inability to drive any form of meaningful action.
Time and time again we’ve seen digital activations succeed through gamification, and with a consistent approach, over time you’ll find that investment is not being spent on constantly sustaining or rebuilding, but growing.