Online Marketing: Loyalty Games?
How Gamification Works
Entertainment companies like USA Network have been pioneers in this space. USA Network knew its detective comedy/drama "Psych" had a young, loyal fanbase active online. So the network amped-up engagement by creating "Club Psych," a digital loyalty program that spanned all of their online, as well as on-air content. Fans were encouraged to consume, create and share content, as well as compete and collaborate with fellow fans—and, all the while, the data stream was captured and analyzed to inform even higher levels of engagement. Viewership across all the content soared. Within one year, website traffic increased by 30 percent.
More and more, consumer brands are using gamification to boost their other marketing initiatives, as well.
In 2011, the consumer food products supplier Chiquita Brands partnered with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. to promote the animated movie "Rio" and drive consumer engagement with a variety of Chiquita products. Consumers who logged onto the "Make Your Way to Rio" website could earn their banana sticker "badges" by accomplishing goals, such as watching movie clips, sharing recipes, playing games and reviewing product information. Most important of all, the badges were a key component in driving participation in the "Make Your Way to Rio" Sweepstakes. During this marketing campaign, the "Make Your Way to Rio" website received more than 1 million pageviews and had 800,000 unique site visits and 5.6 million word-of-mouth impressions. What's more, Chiquita now better understands the types of content its customers prefer, when and how they like to interact and which marketing messages resonate—and the company significantly increased the size of its marketing database, too.
Kraft Canada created the "First Taste" program to enable its fans to interact with each other while also enjoying exclusive, early access to new recipes, products and ideas from Kraft experts. Members earned points for trying and rating products, making and bookmarking recipes, writing and commenting on blogs and sharing with other members, friends and family on social networks and by email. The points were then redeemable for product coupons, kitchen gear and designs to customize members' pages. With "First Taste," Kraft engaged fans in a community where it could solicit their real-time opinions on both existing products and new concepts.