Why a Branded Game is good for business

Branded gaming has become a part of the digital landscape in the last few years, and it’s an area we here at Matmi understand perfectly. We’ve been creating branded digital games for brands for over a decade, and we know that a well-designed, branded games are one of the most cost effective ways to engage and communicate with customer, old and new. Here’s a few reasons why we think they are ace!

Cost Effective

Have a think about how much a TV ad costs to produce. Not only is there the cost of the ad, the editing, the media buying and all the rest. Whatever way you cut it, it’s going to cost hundreds of thousands to make something special. Then take that cost, divide it by around 20 and you could have a unique, creative, digital solution that actively engages the audience, and will see them actively coming back time and again. 

Take Vimto as an example. We developed a full interactive website which included a range of online games that have been played millions of times, and continue to generate interest over a year after release. Our ‘High Dive’ game has been played over 3.5 million times. That’s 3.5 million people who actively played a Vimto advert.

We don’t know of a TV advert that can raise that kind of awareness.

Positive Engagement

Now let’s think about those 3.5 million players some more. Another huge advantage of branded games is the positive, fluffy feeling they create. You can get millions of people repeatedly playing your game, and having fun. Those 3.5 million plays equates to nearly 250,000 hours of eyeballs on your brand.

What about great ROI?

If we look at all the games Matmi have developed, one similarity sits across them all. They’ve all been developed to not only be great games, but to act as traffic drivers through to our clients websites. And when we’ve never experienced less than 7% click though rate, it’s easy to see that they have all performed well. In fact 7% is the least you could expect. The highest click through rate we’ve seen was a massive 33%! 33% of millions of players means a lot of fresh eyes coming through to what you offer. 

Show me the Money!

A branded game can also generate revenue. Not just in terms of raising brand awareness and pushing a commercial message, it will do that as standard, but actually making customers spend their hard earned £’s and $’s as a by-product of playing a game. Take the award winning Optathlon campaign we developed for United Airlines alongside BD’M. 

We developed 5 online games, and 2 mobile games that went viral around the world, helping to promote UA’s range of travel options. The clever bit was in giving away a range of instant win prizes, ranging from flight discounts to free upgrade options. It was these discounts that encouraged the games millions of players to fly United Airlines, a simple promotional campaign that they felt help raise millions in additional revenue. Not bad for a simple branded game.

And the great thing is, these games keep on giving. Even though the competition element ran for six months, the games are still downloaded, and played by thousands of people online every day. So United Airlines still benefit from all the points we’ve made above, nearly two years after the initial campaign ended.

Going Viral

As memorable as some TV adverts can be (simples!), they do not go ‘viral’. This is where branded games come out on top. Matmi always create fully integrated social systems into our digital products. This helps the spread of the games through people sharing scores, UGC, pictures etc. via their favourite social networks.

Get it right and the players naturally become your brand advocates. Research has shown that brand recommendations made by friends have a greater impact on whether they will buy their products over a competitor. Nielsen’s latest ‘Global Trust in Advertising’ report repeats findings from previous years. They show that the most effective and trust worthy source customers listen to are recommendations from friends. 

Conclusion

With modern digital tv set-top boxes and on-demand becoming more popular, people are skipping adverts whenever possible reducing their effective ROI. Jumps made in the technology sector have opened up huge possibilities for creative cross-platform solutions for marketing brands. 

Branded games provide the opportunity to create something unique and memorable. They have the potential to not only increase brand exposure and actively engage the audience but also can deliver revenue in their own right (e.g. in-app purchases). A branded game can be truly social and can be spread virally with little promotional costs compared to traditional advertising.

 

For more information on what Matmi can do for your digital design needs:

PHONE: 01625 560771

EMAIL: info@matmi.com

Web: http://ww.matmi.com 

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Facebook Marketing Conference: Brands must act like people…

At the latest fMC, Facebook gave some simple but important advice to brands wanting to get the most out of the goliath social network.

The most important thing for brands on Facebook is sincerity and authenticity. You have got to get your act together and know what you stand for […] if you don’t know the value you can’t share it.

The over-arching message was for brands to be authentic, honest, open and to “develop meaningful conversations that users might have with colleagues and families on Facebook.”

 Andrew Bosworth, director of product engineering at Facebook said:

…the best way for brands to create these meaningful stories is through “richer content” and super considered, super beautiful media.

In it’s simplest form, the best way for brands to behave on Facebook is to act like a real person. Someone who users want to engage and communicate with. Find your brands identity and use it to tell a story. 

Read the full article here.



A Gamification Post Bundle

So it’s Friday, the sun has gone and I was struggling for inspiration for a post. Then I remembered some advice I read a while back. If you are stumped for inspiration, dig up some of your old posts and do a topic bundle. So that is where we find ourselves today. I have gathered together some of the musings we have done on Gamification and put them into one post. Enjoy!

1) Merit Badges: How Salesforce Motivates a Workforce 

We are no strangers to the gamifying of the work place and a company called Rypple have come up with one solution for motivating your workforce through adding a a layer of game dynamics. 

2) The future of the city: Crowd sourcing and Gamification

Here we looked at the possibility of using crowd sourcing and gamification in urban design. It’s an interesting theory and one worth a read. Although, as I mentioned in the post, if my experiences of SimCity are anything to go by, we would have quite an urban mess on our hands.

3) Will the Homes of the Future be Gamified?

The spark that ignited this post was a Channel 4 show about the home of the future. It plopped a family into a make-shift imagined futuristic home which included gamified aspects such as a bin that chastised them for not recycling. 

4) RedCritter Tracker: Motivation by Gamification

Here we give you an insight into our own experiences with using Gamification to motivate and reward fellow Matmians. Sounds kind of Big Brother-ish but that is not actually the case. The software is a project management tool, specifically designed to work with software development teams using the SCRUM methodology. 

5) Gamification of Educuation

The use of Gamification techniques within education is not on the horizon…it is already here. 6 months ago I highlighted the fact that the work teachers have been doing in classrooms across the globe for many years could easily be seen as a form of non-digital Gamification. 

I mention this now because an article on PSFK.com caught my attention. It was about a company in Singapore who have developed an educational application that takes advantage of gamification techniques and mobile technology.

6) Gamify your site!

And why do I want to do that?” I hear you cry. To engage visitors with your website for longer, acquire more customers and raving fans, and ultimately improve your profits. How does that sound? Really good – assuming you know what gamification is – so let’s start there.


This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the posts where we have mused on the subject of Gamification. If you are still interested in reading more, you can find all the posts here.

 

Magic Across Media…

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info@matmi.com

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6 Social Media Rules For Creating Brand Evangelists

Picture of social gathering

Here are six new rules of engagement, based upon an analysis of brand successes, behavioral psychology, and trends in consumer marketing and the social context……. 

1. You See Numbers, People See Themselves

Marketers who are trained in the nuances of insightful segmentation and consumer nuances seem to forget all that when marketing through social media. They blast one message to hundreds of thousands of people.  Even millions.  But creating a brand evangelist starts with a personal connection, and personal connections can’t be built with impersonal messaging.  Acquiring giant quantities of friends makes this more difficult, but the growth of Big Data and customer intelligence solutions makes it possible.

2. When People Share Values, They’ll Share A Lot More

Brands today are complex, impressionistic constructions of product, performance, perceptions, and belief systems. More and more, brands are taking stands on social and even political issues; companies like Whole Foods  and The Container Store, for example, are active members of the Conscious Capitalism movement.

Brands can also share values through the choices they make in how they communicate. Style is substantive. Zappos is widely regarded as brilliantly adept at creating wildly devotional brand partisans, and the Twitter feed of its CEO, Tony Hsieh, is a large part of that.

Here’s a perfect example of that; a Tweet he made last July. No sell, no offer, in fact, an anti-consumption message: Want happiness? Don’t buy more stuff—go on vacation!

It was preceded by a Tweet about research on getting kids to consume more vegetables, and a quote from Ann Frank.  This random glimpse into the mind of a CEO displays an emotional transparency that builds loyalty. You know that it wasn’t rubber-stamped by a Twitter Approval Sub-Committee.

So social media is the ultimate platform for communicating your values and energizing people around them. Of course, you can’t satisfy everyone, but the process of creating brand acolytes means that you cannot be equally meaningful to everyone. Deal with it.

3. Lameness Can’t Create Loyalty

Have you noticed how much social media is represented by Tweets and posts like this triteness display from McDonald’s:

Morning! How’s everyone’s week going so far?

24 Jan Favorite Retweet Reply

Would you want to be friends, and hang out with someone who always feels obligated to spout something, even when they have absolutely nothing of interest on their minds? So if you want to create evangelists, start with being excruciatingly demanding about every single thing you say. And how you say it.

4. Real Friends Don’t Impose—Unless There’s a Good Reason

Offline relationships are the psychological model for brand “friendships.” Well, before you ask a friend for a favor, you think through the implications. How important is it to you? How difficult or emotionally fraught might it be your friend to act on your request? When does the request over-stretch the implicit boundaries of the relationship?

Brands need to go through the same social calculus, but they seldom do. So a brand will ask you to forward something to a friend, or invite a friend to join a group, without really thinking through the implications.  They are pushing hard, if not violating, the natural limits of the “friendship”—and then they are surprised when they don’t get the results they expected.

To create evangelists who are ready, willing and able to use their social graphs to advance your brand, you need to develop some rules of reciprocity, and real customer intelligence about which of your current fans and friends are most likely to share. For example, those who have large networks, and high Klout scores, might be better evangelist than those who keep to themselves. But are you treating them all the same?

5. Surprise Everyone, Including Yourself

We become emotionally attached to those who bring unexpected twists and surprises to our lives. That’s because disruptive surprise and intrigue release dopamine, which creates pleasure (and its evil cousin, addiction.) Insufficient novelty creates dopamine boredom.   

Surprise can be the way you say something (style) or what you give them as far as rewards or incentives go (content). It’s a rich area for innovation.

Trouble is, many big brands see surprise as a risk, because it requires unexpected behaviors, which by definition, haven’t been done before and might be considered “off-brand.” Dopamine boredom is always safe. Hence the paradox of evangelists: to create them, you need to push on the limits of institutional norms. But if you do so, and surprise them and yourself in the process, you might actually find your dopamine will be flowing as much as theirs.  

6. Go Out Of Your Way For People, and They’ll Go Out of Their Way for You

One of the most powerful ways to create evangelists is to behave with breathtaking responsiveness. Many are halfway there. Increasingly, more and more companies are turning to social media to address customer service issues. So we’re seeing tons of responses like this from Target:

@XTEDDIX That’s frustrating! Thanks for letting us know. We’ll be passing your comments along to our Store Leadership team. Matthew

But what we’re not seeing are a lot of results. The average friend or fan is exposed to a torrent of problems, not solutions. So in the interests of being a responsive organization, brands can come across as customer-service train wrecks.

Wouldn’t it be cool if a brand posted, each day, the resolution of its most triumphant, confounding, and amusing customer services issues. 

via Fast Company

Mini Matmian►

Cultivating a Social Media community who engage with a brand takes time, research and constant monitoring…alot each. It can be a daunting task to begin on this long road. These 6 points are a good place to start.

Each brands needs are unique in some way and it is important not to lose sight of this fact. Tailor your SM campaign to the needs of the brand with the needs of the customers you want to engage at the forefront of everything you do.

Be bold, be relevant, don’t be afraid to try things out and most importantly…be real. No one likes to feel they are talking to a automated robotic response. [end transmission]

Have you any tips to share with someone starting out their social media planning journey? 



Using Gamification to Increase Brand Loyalty and Engagement

Gamification image via BigDoor

Samsung is embracing a business trend called gamification, which takes elements from games and applies them to other settings. Companies like Recyclebank, for example, use game incentives, like points and rewards, to prompt consumers to perform eco-friendly activities. Other businesses offer awards like virtual badges to induce their employees to embrace corporate goals and increase productivity. Meanwhile, a number of well-known retailers and brands, including Samsung and Warner Brothers, are employing point reward systems as a way to engage customers more deeply.

For companies, the premise of gamification is that it engages people in the kind of reward-seeking behaviors that lead to increased brand loyalty, not to mention increased profits. By tracking the online activities of people who sign up for such programs, companies can also amass more detailed metrics about each user — the better to identify the most active customers.

“People use gamification to measure and influence user behavior to meet their business goals,” says Kris Duggan, the chief executive of Badgeville, which designs game-based programs for companies, including Samsung.

Game techniques, Mr. Duggan says, prompt consumers to spend more time on company Web sites, contribute more content and share more product information with Facebook and Twitter adherents. One of his clients, he says, uses a gamification program to collect information about 300 actions — like posting comments or sharing with a social network — performed by several million people.

Read the entire NY Times article here

via theopportunityengine



How 9 Retailers Successfully Leveraged Game Mechanics



Social games have begun to influence consumer behavior and purchases. According to Saatchi & Saatchi, 66% of tablet owners play social games daily, and 46% of tablet gamers are women. In fact, the largest group of social gamers is women between the ages of 35 and 44, the second largest is women between 18 and 34. Men make up the third largest group.  

Marketing to these demographics in today’s economy is a top priority for retailers. And ramification offers companies a chance to engage young audiences and start to build consumer-purchasing habits that aren’t entirely based on continual discounts and free stuff.

Via mashable.com

Looking for an agency to whip up an innovative campaign for 2012? Look no further than the award winning Digital Agency MATMI!



Here’s What People Look at on Facebook Brand Pages

In an effort to catch your eye on their Facebook pages, brands have experimented with apps and splashy profile photos. But in almost all cases, it turns out, the humble Facebook wall itself steals the show.

In an webcam eye-tracking study for Mashable byEyeTrackShop, the 30 participants who viewed top Facebook brand pages almost always looked at pages’ walls first — usually for at least four times longer than any other element on the page.

SEE ALSO: Here’s How People Look at Your Facebook Profile — Literally

On average, the smaller pictures above the wall were noticed 85% of the time, and the “likes” column was noticed just 58% of the time.

View the rest of the results on Mashable HERE.