Brands! Get a FREE branded mobile game in 2018. 5 reasons why you should say YES

Brands! Get a FREE branded mobile game in 2018. 5 reasons why you should say YES

Meet consumers where they are

Now is the jolly time when marketers all over the world have put on thinking caps on to bring goals, budgets and tactics together and draft a strategy for the upcoming new year of 2018. What will make their brand special, stand out and look innovative?

It’s pretty obvious that brands must meet consumers where they are — on mobile. Smartphones are integral to daily life and it is not a secret any longer. Furthermore, brands have to act more open, be more generous and give something in return to be able to nurture relationships and level up the brand loyalty. In other words, value has to be provided before even asking for engagement, transaction, loyalty, etc.

If you already have an answer on how to solve these challenges, then the rest of this article will be a waste of your time. If not, the following will definitely provide you with some valuable insights and ideas.

Mobile gaming is on the rise

After ten years since the first iPhone was released and paved the way for the mobile games industry, we now have an audience of 2 billion people who would never call themselves as gamers, yet playing casual games is one of their top activities on mobile (Newzoo, 2017). Moreover, there’s a pretty positive outlook for the upcoming year of 2018 for the gaming industry. A market intelligence company Newzoo estimates that in 2018 mobile games will grow even bigger and generate 46% (43% in 2017) of the global games market, which will account to almost $48 billion (Newzoo, 2017).

Hence, a branded mobile game has never been so promising as it is going to be in 2018. And a big cherry on top — this marketing initiative can pay itself off. But for now, let us firstly explain the cool benefits of what a branded mobile game can do to your brand, and then we’ll tell you why it can be a magically free activity.

5 super powers of branded mobile games

  1. Engagement.

First and foremost a mobile game is played when a consumer wishes to do so. That means, it does not interrupt, it does not disturb, it does not annoy a person as usual forms of advertising might do. Think about huge billboards in a metro station, never-ending TV ads or pop-up banners online. Instead, a mobile game gets all consumer’s attention, thus the message a brand wants to send sticks. A study has shown that 71% think that entertainment is a preferred medium for brands to reach out to them (The Drum). And we also love to say — entertainment first. Quality branded mobile games are able to to catch one’s attention and keep it for hours. Every other channel can be considered as the kids’ league when we talk about engagement, while gaming is the master medium within this field. Don’t be surprised if on average people would spend more than 4 hours having funin a branded game provided by you. Lastly, casual mobile games are highly inclusive and can appeal to various kinds of consumer segments (i.e. age, gender, socioeconomic status).

2. Content and new media channel.

New content formats are on the rise and a mobile game is not only an innovative content form, but also an extra media channel. Having in mind that a player is highly focused and is having fun, the game is able to deliver meaningful branded messages that have a lasting reach as the game is played over and over again. A mobile game can be re-skinned to match seasonal events and campaigns, also push notifications can be used to send news on the spot. For example, Danish hypermarket Bilka has celebrated its birthday by adding a special birthday party tent to its Far til 14 game universe, which was consistent with the other activities of the birthday campaign. While Play London with Mr Bean got the game a spooky Halloween look, and later on a festive Christmas skin was added, so that players can discover the city in the respective holiday mood. Moreover, you can customize in-game ads and push your own commercials, which will have a 100% view rate if you trade with points (i.e. reward players). Over time this might actually help you save money on your TV media budget or reach an audience that right now is moving away from this media. Consider games as a new media channel. Lastly, a geo-fencing feature can be introduced and location-based notifications can be sent to a player that can enhance content relevance even more.

3. Community.

A mobile game is also a brilliant way to create or strengthen a brand community. It’s no surprise that people are keen on sharing their experiences, tips and tricks for the games they play because (digital) word-of-mouth is one of the most preferred means of sharing the fun games with the peers (FacebookIQ, 2016). Hence, a branded game can serve as an extra pool for consumer insights not only for the game development but also for your marketing team because the top players can act as brilliant brand ambassadors. For example,a fan group of the Far til 14 game has emerged where casually people talk about news in the game and share their tips and tricks. Meanwhile, a mobile game can built a new type of loyalty, or rather play’lty, that can also be enhanced further by the location based offers discussed above. Finally, game features such as ‘invite friends’ and leaderboards are effective tools to recruit new members to the brand community.

4. Permissions.

People say the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data (The Economist, 2017). Well, a mobile game is an effortless method to gather demographic and behavioural information, since players in exchange for significant insights get real-time entertainment and rewards. However, consumers are becoming more and more reluctant to give out permissions as they begin to favour products that protect their privacy. That will disturb marketers even more next year, since the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be introduced. Thus, it is now more crucial than ever to earn permissions rightfully. Luckily, entertaining content can fairly turn strangers into good friends with your brand. Consumers will happily give away information if you reward them with something that will help them in their game.

Read more about the efficiency of getting permissions through a mobile game here.

5. Sales.

As we have proposed above — provide entertainment first, and the rest will come. We are confident that B2C relationships nurtured by generous fun makes the good come back to you. Branded mobile games have proved to bring people to stores as more than 65% of Bilka customers playing Far til 14 game have visited stores and redeemed their vouchers they have earned while playing. Vouchers is a supplementary tool to drive traffic to stores that can be part of the game concept, when a branded voucher shop is connected to the game. Moreover, a recent study has also revealed that smartphone users who download a branded app will buy 40.4% more of the brand’s products or services. In other words, we can confidently say interactions lead to transactions, since playful experiences prove to create long lasting emotions.

How can all of this be FREE?

Well of course it cannot, but the investment of producing, maintaining and updating the game will pay itself back within the first year if you have the channels to deliver the downloads and add game promotions into your marketing mix. Games bring a new revenue stream from in-app purchases, where 3–4% of the players are willing to spend $10 or more on (lives, boosters, etc.) as they feel entertained and wish for more fun. Wait a minute… Will my customers spend money on my marketing initiatives? Yes! They will — if the level of entertainment is good enough. That’s the criteria. On top of that, you can add extra revenue streams from third party ads, sponsorships, etc. and of course count in the extra sales that this initiative will definitely bring. A game launched even in small markets can easily generate +$150.000 in a year, and since it lasts a lot longer you will soon start generating profit.

If you wish to know more about the pricing of a branded mobile game read here.

Key takeaways:

In 2018 a branded mobile game can provide:

  • Huge engagement rates (avg. +4 hours)
  • A new media channel
  • Target offerings based on demo- and geo-graphics
  • Valuable data and permissions
  • Drive-to-store mechanism
  • A new revenue stream that will pay back the investment over time

What is Pointvoucher?

Try a few of our branded games:

Sounds great?

If you’re interested in knowing more about how mobile gaming can help your brand next year, don’t hesitate to reach out. It may not be the answer to all your challenges, but it can definitely help you solve some of them. Give something entertaining and rewarding to your audience in 2018!

For more information please contact:

Head of Partnerships
Kasper Daugaard

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In Pointvoucher’s Let’s play blog, we’ve dedicated our time and space to give our readers in-depth articles on using gamification as part of marketing strategy. On top of that, we’ll bring you insights on what is happening in casual gaming, the basics of building a brand universe in games, the psychology behind gaming in marketing, case stories on branded entertainment and much more.

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