Online Games, Marketing and Engagement - What Marketers Miss About FarmVille
The most successful games, like World of Warcraft, dish out hundreds of varieties of rewards: players progress, see more of an entertaining story, explore secret areas, find collectibles, earn bragging rights, build social networks ... it's practically Pavlovian.
So when you're looking at games as a way to market your product, or just trying to find some new insight into your consumers, remember that's it's all about the rewards. And then you can start to think about games as a real marketing tool.
If you build an advergame, why not tie promotional offers to in-game achievements? Beat the game, get a coupon. It's the simplest game marketing idea in the world, but no one's doing it.
Or why not offer rewards on your site that mimic rewards players find in games? Imagine what your customers are going to say when someone finds out that putting two specific items in a shopping cart is rewarded with a secret discount? Or if after loading X number of pages on your site, you reward their time with some unannounced free gift with purchase?
Don't get caught up in the cartoony, sparkly bits of the gaming phenomenon — they're not the reason games are finding wide appeal. What can your brand offer consumers for playing that others couldn't, and how can you get them to chase that and have fun at the same time? That's what marketers can really learn from gaming.
You want engagement? Reward the time customers spend engaging. It's only fair.
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