Tuesday, November 10, 2009

GameLogic Announces Groundbreaking Facebook Application Integration

LM Comment: Social games are the #1 driver of activity on Facebook. It's great to see the emergence of applications that specifically support lottery marketing.

GameLogic, Inc., a provider of interactive marketing services for the U.S. regulated gaming industry, today announced integration with popular social networking site Facebook, for its PlayAway, PlayerVantage and New Play suite of products. These programs extend GameLogic’s Internet player/database marketing platform to the rapidly growing world of social media.

“Regulated gaming operators face a myriad of challenges in building an effective presence in today’s many media channels. Media is more fragmented than ever, but social media sites are emerging as robust interactive channels with direct access to the consumer.” said John E. Taylor, Jr., president and chief executive officer of GameLogic. “With GameLogic’s new Facebook integration, casinos and lotteries can now effectively harness this popular media channel with little or no effort.”

GameLogic brings its industry leading turnkey approach to interactive marketing to deliver a rich social media tool, complete with personalized club portals, games, tournaments and promotions directly into Facebook. With this technology, Facebook can easily become the foundation for a much richer and meaningful player engagement with point balances, marketing calendars, coupon awards, sponsored games/tournaments and more. In addition to existing players, gaming operators will be able to leverage the viral nature of social networking to attract prospective new club members in a personalized, engaging way.

Facebook has over 300 million registered users, half of which login in on any given day, with the fastest growing demographic being people who age 35 years and older. According to Taylor, “Gaming operators must associate themselves with content that engages, coupled with a marketing strategy to effectively monetize those interactions. Through our integrated approach, a gaming operator’s most active players become viral advocates within the social space. This is a truly revolutionary step for land-based casino and lottery marketing initiatives. We see a unique opportunity to help our clients immediately leverage this growing channel in a way that is material to their bottom line.”

GameLogic will be demonstrating its entire product line, including its Facebook integration at G2E from November 17th through the 19th at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth 857.

Virtual Goods Start Bringing Real Paydays

LM Comment: Looking to innovate your online marketing? Perhaps a low cost, high impact loyalty giveaway?

November 7, 2009: summarized fro, New York Times -- Silicon Valley may have discovered the perfect business: charging real money for products that do not exist. These so-called virtual goods, like a $1 illustration of a Champagne bottle on Facebook or the $2.50 Halloween costume in the online game Sorority Life, are no more than a collection of pixels on a Web page. But it is quickly becoming commonplace for people to spend a few dollars on them to get ahead in an online game or to give a friend a gift on a social network.

Analysts estimate that virtual goods could bring in a billion dollars in the United States and around $5 billion worldwide this year — all for things that, aside from perhaps a few hours of work by an artist and a programmer, cost nothing to produce.

The companies that create and sell virtual goods, including Zynga, Playfish and Playdom, three online gaming start-ups in the San Francisco area, say they are recording significant revenue and profits, which have been elusive for many Web companies. In Restaurant City, a game by Playfish on Facebook, 18 million active users manage their own cafe and stock it with virtual casseroles and cakes. In Zynga’s game FarmVille, 62 million agrarian dreamers cultivate a farm, plant squash seeds and harvest their crops with tractors.

These games and many others have casual gamers reaching for their wallets, along with a few rationalizations, as they make the peculiar purchase of pixels on a computer screen. For outsiders, the selling of virtual goods — items with no actual value in the real world — might seem the very definition of a swindle. But often, strong — and somewhat rational — motives are at work. Users of social networks can buy one another gifts, like images of flowers and birthday cakes, typically for a dollar each. Facebook recently expanded its gift store to allow other companies to list their virtual wares, like greeting cards.

Game creators talk openly about their strategies to make people pay for virtual goods: get them addicted, then steer them to purchases that speed up the pace of the game and help them succeed. In FarmVille, for example, the tractors’ gasoline tanks replenish themselves slowly over the course of a day. Instead of waiting, players can pay to buy gas — something that might be considered cheating in more traditional games.

More at: http://bit.ly/3pOva2

Starwood Taps into Social, Mobile Habits of Its Most Valuable Loyalty Members

November 4, 2009: summarized from Promo Magazine -- In what it claims is the first effort by a lodging loyalty program to appeal to offer a full menu of social-and mobile-media options, Starwood Preferred Guest, the rewards program for the 960 properties that make up Starwood Hotels & resorts Worldwide, has rolled out a Web portal that aggregates all of SPG’s available social channels, from Twitter and Facebook to an iPhone app, in one Internet location.

The rationale for collecting all these sharing tools under one URL, is that the company’s research has shown that SPG loyalty program members take an active interest in social media, with 50% saying they use these channels frequently. Those heavy social-media users also tend to book and stay with the lodging group more often than non-social members—20% more likely, according to Starwood’s research. And SPG members who create and post to their own blogs are 80% more likely to arrange a hotel stay than those who don’t.

Visitors to www.SPG.com/stayconnected can friend the Starwood Preferred Facebook page and get access to the photo albums posted there. But they can also make use of a new Facebook app, SPG TripShare. Once downloaded, it will let Facebook friends post, search and view photos of their recent trips and make them shareable with their own family and friends. Users can choose their five favorite vacation shots, tag them with the descriptions of their choosing, and then post them. Their friends can then search for the photos by member name or by tag.

Site visitors can also reach the SPG Twitter account, launched last June under the name @spginsider. But a new mash-up combines Twitter content with mapping functionality from Google to let SPG travelers link tweets containing travel tips, such as attraction reviews and bar and restaurant recommendations, to an actual geographic map, so other user members can access them while on the road.

The new SPG Insider function accepts the tweets from users’ mobile function of choice, laptop or cell phone, and places them on the map using the geo coordinates of the device from which they were sent. Other travelers can then search the maps to get tips about things to see and place to go while they’re abroad.

Meanwhile a new SPG iPhone app, available for free download on iTunes with a link from the SPG.com Web site at www.SPG.com/iPhoneApp, will let members access their loyalty program account to view their Starpoints balance, find details about upcoming hotel stays they’ve set up and get door-to-door directions to their hotels. The iPhone app also links to the company blog, “the Lobby,” and to customer support services.

More at: http://bit.ly/aw2zr

Mobile Social Media, America’s New Addiction

LM Comment: Demographic for social media continues for mature.

November 4, 2009: summarized from World Market Media -- Social media is a rapidly growing market, with Twitter at the forefront growing over 1,000 percent since February. New sites are constantly rising and falling in an attempt to innovate the social media market place. With this new rise in popularity, the workplace has responded in its limitation of access to social media websites. Statistics show that over 70 percent of employers have banned such sites.

As always, The Man never fails to hold you down.

With new restrictions, the ever present work around arises, hence the birth of Mobile Social Media. Smart phones such as Blackberry, Droid, HTC and iPhone have all make it very clear that they are compatible with the big two, Facebook and Twitter. Social Media apps have become the new major selling point for all phone producers that support data plans.

I am completely guilty of being a part of this trend. The newest Facebook application is installed on my blackberry curve, and I am constantly checking it. It would be hard for me to go a day without accessing it at least once. With a data plan, the integration of phone and social media is almost seamless. The PC and mobile versions are equally functional, and with the added convenience of the mobile platform, I guarantee that we will see a large influx of innovation in the near future.

Although it is the teens who have paved the way for mobile social media, it is the adults who have the most use for it. As long as there is good cell phone coverage, and the boss isn’t standing right there, a working man can get his Facebook fix at any moment in time.

As a side note, a study has been conducted by Australia’s University of Melbourne concerning recreational internet surfing. The article states, “’People who do surf the Internet for fun at work - within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office - are more productive by about 9% than those who don't,’ said Dr Brent .”
Of course, a free-for-all in the work place is not the answer. There will be people who waste tons of paid company time messing around on the internet, but maybe it is time to lift some rules and let people relax a little in the workplace? No matter what the rules, if a consumer wants something, he will get it, and it is technology’s job to help him.

More at: http://bit.ly/1kyJpt

New NBA Game Time Monetizes Mobile Marketing

LM Comment: Consumer entertainment industries continue to create new media content to serve their online marketing.

October 27, 2009: summarized from Mobile Marketing -- Last spring, the NBA offered a phone app called Game Time that gave basketball fans live scores, in-game stats, and the most up-to-date standings on players and teams. For free, consumers can still get all that–on the iPhone, G1, myTouch, and certain Blackberry devices. But a new paid version hooks a fan up with live radio coverage, video recaps, detailed player cards, league news, Twitter updates, and more. (Check it out: http://www.nba.com/mobile/gametime/)

The NBA has long been proactive in mobile marketing. Back in March 2008, the organization had a web campaign that let enthusiasts create “Matchups” between their favorite players, and then sign up to receive messages—via voice (players like Steve Nash and Caron Butler pre-recorded the calls), SMS, or email—reminding them on game day that their chosen b-ballers would tip off against each other.

Seems the pro basketball authority’s strategy was to first use mobile to gauge consumer interest in the medium–and to whet fan appetite for it. With the premium version of Game Time, the NBA proves that mobile marketing isn’t just for branding. It’s also a potentially big revenue-generator.

More at: http://bit.ly/3b9GXs