The video gaming industry generates more revenue than both the film and music industries combined. Recent survey findings from ESA (Entertainment Software Association) find that three out of four American households have at least one gamer, and gamers are more likely to have creative hobbies (56% compared to 49% non-gamers) with almost 60% report that they are civically engaged.
So with gaming and gamification strategies now a part of our everyday lives (whether we realize it or not) and with the unquestionable influence of the gaming industry over popular culture, there is a huge opportunity for marketers to use gamification to genuinely connect with their target audience.
Whether you operate as a marketing professional in a consumer (B2C) or enterprise (B2B) marketplace, here are three key strategies from the gaming industry that you can use to motivate, engage, and retain a loyal customer base:
The very diverse markets and consumers within the global gaming industry all have one thing in common: they all place extreme value on a first-rate user experience when interacting with the game.
A successful game is all about the interactive experience, with one of the main objectives being to have a ‘gamer’ totally immersed in a story, competition, role, or narrative to achieve a desired outcome. Another goal is to have users spend more time playing the game and tell others about it.
In a sales and marketing setting, marketers can achieve similar engagement outcomes by focusing on delivering an experience that:
By combining an interactive buyer’s journey with marketing campaigns, you have the chance to create several touch points and positive experiences for the customer as they move through the buyer’s journey. As a marketer, you will also have the opportunity to achieve certain marketing objectives, such as adding new permissions to your mailing list with the intention of sending them targeted communications.
For example, LeadFamly’s online Advent Calendar game is utilized by businesses and brands to engage with their target audiences every day for an entire month. Each day the user has a chance to win a prize by ‘scratching’ a field on the calendar. This is a gamification example by Bone’s Restaurant to get customers to return to the company website and interact with the business or brand on a daily basis.
The average time participants spent interacting with an online Advent Calendar was 70 seconds *each day*. That’s 1.680 seconds or 28 minutes of brand interaction in just 24 days.
The Advent Calendar game gives a business or brand the opportunity to create numerous positive interactions with their target audience. It also gives the marketing team new leads by requiring that new users complete a registration form while being engaged with the game.
The best video games always use powerful (and sometimes shocking) imagery to grab people’s attention. From promotional material to the actual gameplay itself, powerful imagery and visuals are commonly used by the gaming industry to demand attention and to invoke certain emotions from their target audience.
Marketers also want their campaigns to have attention-grabbing visuals that are able to connect with target audiences on an emotional level.
Marketing visuals have enormous power when it comes to attracting the attention of a target audience and drawing them in to deliver a specific marketing message.In fact, a recent survey found that 56% of marketers surveyed use visuals in their content almost 100% of the time. Marketing visuals can also have tremendous influence over a consumer’s actions and compel them to complete certain actions by leveraging human emotions.
By tying strong marketing visuals in with your brand or business, you are able to demand the attention, leverage human emotions to compel action, and create a lasting memory for your desired consumers.
An active online community gives businesses and brands insight into their customers’ preferences and needs. It also provides a convenient platform to collect and analyze valuable customer feedback.
Delighting your business’s online community should be a priority; this will help your business increase customer retention, improve customer loyalty, manage brand reputation, and ultimately provide a better customer experience for your target market.
In the gaming industry, the community is highly engaged and there are many forums (in addition to social media) to discuss live gameplay, the players, gaming consoles, and just about every other topic related to their favorite game. Gamers have emerged to be one of the most interactive groups of people in an online community.
Gamers are also notoriously loyal to certain brands and game franchises, and they will often promote their use of certain games on personal blogs, social networks, forums, and other online platforms just because they are a fan. This is free promotion, which so often is hard to come by!
As the gaming industry shows us, developing a strong community that is loyal and actively championing your brand, business, products, or services should be one of the top priorities for every marketer today.