2019 is the year to get a mobile game for your brand

2019 is the year to get a mobile game for your brand

Meet consumers where they are

Now is an exciting time of the year, when marketers all over the world open their marketing toolboxes to bring goals, strategy, and budgets together in 2019. What will make their brand be closer to a consumer in this mobile age, what will help them build new permissions after GDPR and what will help them attract more customers that will convert into sales?

It is pretty obvious that brands must meet people where they are  – on mobile. Needless to say smartphones are an integral part of daily life for the majority of modern consumers. Also, brands have to act more open, be more generous and give something back to consumers in return to be able to nurture relationships and build brand loyalty. In other words, value has to be provided before even asking for engagement, transactions or loyalty. 

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

Mobile gaming is on the rise

After more than ten years since the first iPhone was released and paved the way for mobile gaming, we now have an audience of 2.3 billion people who may never call themselves as gamers, yet casually playing games is one of their top activities on mobile, they on average spend 6.5 hours playing them weekly (Adweek, 2018). Actually, mobile gaming is the fastest continuously growing form of gaming that tops in consumer spend too (TechChrunch, 2018). In-app purchases and ads drive the revenue growth. Thus, many marketers tend to first try out in-game advertising as it is brand-safe, has great reach and delivers a high ROI.

The outlook of 2019 for mobile and gaming looks pretty positive too. 62% of global digital ad spend in 2019 will be on mobile. And the app store consumer spending is forecast to grow five times as fast as the global economy (TechCrunch, 2018), with more and more people jumping in to play a few levels on their phones.

Hence, a branded mobile game has never been so promising as it is going to be in 2019. It is a marketing tool able to carry the brand’s identity and presence, which helps to get closer to the audience through engaging content that inspires action. And a big cherry on top — this marketing initiative can pay itself off. But for now, let us first explain the cool benefits of what this game can do for your brand, and then we will explain why it can turn to be a free marketing tool.

5 superpowers of branded mobile games that reward people with real-life goodies

Before we jump into the superpowers let’s just look at a model of how a rewarding mobile game works.

The game is based on a casual game mechanic that could be similar to Candy Crush, Subway Surfers, etc. Games that most people are familiar with. The choice of game mechanic is based on how well it fits the brand’s target audience. The mechanic is wrapped into a branded universe that people are also familiar with and then we have something that people both understand and recognise. If the brand wants to use the game to collect permissions or drive traffic – a real-life reward mechanic can be added. It could be either the user reaching a goal or simply be time spent in the game. To claim the reward the user will need to deliver some data and a marketing permission to the brand.

Now let’s look at the superpowers:

  1. Engagement

Firstly, a mobile game is played only when a consumer chooses to do so. That means, this medium does not interrupt, it does not disturb, it does not annoy a person as usual forms of advertising may do. Now imagine huge billboards in a metro station, never-ending TV ads or pop-up banners online. Instead, a mobile game immerses a consumer in a fun experience, thus the message a brand wants to send through the game is 100% delivered and is more likely to stick. A study has shown that 71% of consumers prefer to be reached by brands through entertainment (The Drum). And we also love to say  –  entertainment first. Quality mobile games are able to catch one’s attention and keep it for hours. Every other channel can be considered in the kids’ league when we talk about engagement, gaming is the master medium within this field. Don’t be surprised if on average people would spend more than 4 hours having fun in a game provided by your brand. Finally, casual mobile games are highly inclusive as mobile gamers come in all ages, genders and income brackets (MarTech, 2018), thus a brand can target and connect with different segments.

  1. Content and new media channel

New content formats are on the rise and a mobile game is not only an innovative content form, but a space for it or, in other words, an extra media channel. Bearing in mind that at the time of play, a person is highly focused, the game can deliver meaningful branded messages that has a lasting effect as it is opened and 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 messages on the spot. For example, the Danish hypermarket Bilka celebrated its birthday by adding a special birthday party tent to its Far til 15 game universe, which was consistent with the other activities of the birthday campaign in their stores. Another game, Play London with Mr Bean, has changed its look 13 times last year to match the seasonal events taking place in London, among many other themes, the game got the colourful Easter, festive Notting Hill carnival, spooky Halloween looks. Moreover, one can customise in-game ads and push brand’s own commercials, which will have a 100% view rate if a player is rewarded with points. Over time this may actually help you save money on your TV media budget or reach an audience that right now is moving away from this media. Lastly, a geofencing feature can be introduced for location-based targeting that could be used to attract people to stores by announcing relevant offers. Consider games as a new media channel.

  1. Community and word-of-mouth

A mobile game is a brilliant way to create or grow a brand community. It is no surprise that people are keen on sharing their experiences, tips and tricks for the games they play. Hence, a 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, Bilka’s mobile gaming initiative has evolved into a huge community of loyal gamers who have even gathered into a Facebook group, where they chat and exchange tips and tricks every day. Meanwhile, a mobile game can build a new type of loyalty, or rather play’lty, that can also be enhanced further by the location-based offers discussed above. Finally, in-game features such as ‘invite friends’ and leaderboards are also effective tools to recruit new members to the community.

  1. GDPR compliant data and permission booster

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 generous rewards. However, consumers have become more reluctant to give out permissions, as they began to favour products that protect their privacy. 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 or offer vouchers for your products. Thus, mobile game is an efficient GDPR-compliant way to collect relevant data and permissions for your marketing campaigns.

  1. Add vouchers that drive sales

As we have proposed above  –  provide entertainment first, and the rest will come. We are confident that B2C relationships nurtured by generous fun make the good come back to you. And rewards in a form of vouchers will certainly help. Branded mobile games have proved to bring people to stores as more than 65% of Bilka customers playing Far til 15 game have visited stores and redeemed their vouchers they have earned while playing. Voucher 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.

Look at a reward mechanic this way: You can either spend $2 on AdWords to drive traffic to a website that you will then need to convert into sales. Or you can create a gift card with $2 and have people walk into your store with it. What do you think converts the best? We are not saying that vouchers are the holy grail, but they will make customers happier if they can save some money and have fun at the same time. And happy customers buy more!

There is a bonus!

The investment of producing, maintaining and updating a 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 even 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 is 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.

Key takeaways:

In 2019, a branded mobile game can provide:

  • Valuable GDPR compliant data and permissions
  • Drive-to-store mechanism
  • Huge engagement rates (avg. >4 hours)
  • Full control of a new media channel
  • A new revenue stream that will pay back

What is Pointvoucher?

An entertainment platform with great branded mobile games, that lets you play your way to real products and experiences.

Try a few of our branded games:

Sounds interesting?

If you’re interested in knowing more about how mobile gaming and loyalty technology can help your brand this 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 2019!

Reach out to Global Business Development Director

David McKie

dm@pointvoucher.com


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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