Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Game-Based Marketing Takes Off From Frequent Flyer Programs to Social Media

March 30, 2010: summarized from GamesBeat -- Gabe Zichermann coined the term Funware to describe the use of video game mechanics in everyday, non-game applications. It was a big idea that has now become a rallying cry for the spread of video games beyond their traditional borders into industries that seem remotely related to games.

What Zichermann, chief executive of beamME and a 12-year game industry veteran, realized was that games motivate people to do things that they wouldn’t ordinarily do. The book (subtitled “Inspire customer loyalty through rewards challenges and contests”) debuts this week and is a must read for marketers, including the folks who are attending the MI6 game marketing conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

Funware is an intuitive concept. If you turn work into game, people willingly do it. If you make a tedious school assignment into a game-like competition, kids will become engaged with it. If you add a rewards-based loyalty program to your product, people will choose it over rivals. The time has come to “game-ify” all of the boring industries so that users will be motivated to use products and services because they want to, not because they have to. In fact, the authors argue that just about any task can be designed so that it can be more fun.

Over the past couple of years, the idea has gained steam. Venture capitalists such as Bing Gordon, former chief creative officer at Electronic Arts and Kleiner Perkins partner, believe that Funware has the potential to change all of advertising.

Game-based marketing is one of those things that has been around forever, but is only now getting recognized for what it is. Games have grabbed a bigger share of the entertainment market because they’re sticky. They get people to come back over and over in a way that ordinary ads or marketing programs do not.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/bz8Ui5

Loyalty Programs Need to Keep Evolving

March 15, 2010: summarized from Promo Magazine -- Status Quo and the Rolling Stones are two rock bands that first became popular in the 1960s. However, only the latter is really a household name today. Why? Mick, Keith and the boys created a brand and kept evolving.

That, said Rene Mizwicki , director of Hyatt Hotels' Gold Passport program, is an essential part of building a successful loyalty program in today's marketplace. The competition for consumers' attention is tougher than ever, and marketers must keep finding new ways to engage with their audience.

Mizwicki and Steven Fuld, managing director, card marketing and services, spoke at the New England Mail Order Association's spring conference in Boston last week on proven ways to improve customer loyalty.

Changing your perspective is one great way to do this, said Mizwicki. "[Marketers often] expect members to buy something before we give them anything," she said. "In the Hyatt world. We changed that. We think Hyatt members deserve our loyalty all the time."

To this end, the hotel chain launched the "Big Welcome" competition to create awareness. The company gave away 365 free nights to one winner each in three regions—North America, Asia/Pacific and Europe.

Likewise, Sony partnered with the game show Wheel of Fortune to create the Wheel Watchers club. Sony Card members can get a "spin ID" they can enter on the contest site to win prizes.

Each night, a SPIN ID number is displayed on air during Wheel of Fortune. If it is a member's SPIN ID number and they go back to the game site to verify it, they win the same prize as the on-air Wheel contestant. Club members can also get Sony Reward Points for completing a bonus round puzzle, as well as access to special offers.

Both Fuld and Mizwicki were both proponents of "surprise and delight" programs, rewarding high tier customers with perks like concert tickets or trips. "The freebies cost us little but have great value from a consumer perspective," said Fuld.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/c9L1U2

Smartphone Adoption Shifting Dynamics of U.S. Mobile Gaming Market

Editor’s Note: Provides some great insight into the use of mobile for accessing interactive media. Be sure to click on link below to view all of the supporting facts and figures of the study.

April 14, 2010: summarized from comScore.com -- comScore, Inc. released the results of a study on mobile gaming highlighting the potential for growth in the mobile gaming market despite a 13-percent decline in the number of U.S. mobile gamers during the past year. This overall decline was driven by a 35 percent decline in mobile gaming among feature phone (i.e. non-smartphone) subscribers, who represent approximately 80 percent of the market, which contrasted with the sizeable 60 percent increase in the number of gamers via smartphone.

The inevitable ascent of the mobile gaming market depends not only on smartphone subscribers’ higher propensity to play games on their mobile devices, but also their heavier gaming activity across nearly every dimension. Smartphone subscribers (47.1 percent) are three times more likely than feature phone subscribers (15.7) to play games on their device at least once a month. They are more than five times as likely to play games almost every day and far surpass their feature phone counterparts across various methods of game play.

Smartphone subscribers also install significantly more games on their devices with 27.3 percent having installed at least one game compared to just 5.6 percent of feature phone subscribers. A third of smartphone subscribers with games have more than five games installed on their phones, while less than one percent of feature phone subscribers have that many games installed.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/aqzAwe

Research Report: Future of the Internet IV

February 19, 2010: from Pew Internet & American Life Project -- The web-based survey gathered opinions from prominent scientists, business leaders, consultants, writers and technology developers. It is the fourth in a series of Internet expert studies conducted by the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University and the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. In this report, we cover experts' thoughts on the following issues:

• Will Google make us stupid?

• Will the internet enhance or detract from reading, writing, and rendering of knowledge?

• Is the next wave of innovation in technology, gadgets, and applications pretty clear now, or will the most interesting developments between now and 2020 come “out of the blue”?

• Will the end-to-end principle of the internet still prevail in 10 years, or will thre be more control of access to information?

• Will it be possible to be anonymous online or not by the end of the decade?

Download report at: http://bit.ly/93hEZj