Let the Client Play Your Game – AdverGaming and Gamification in Marketing

2018-10-21 | Katarzyna Stachyra | omnichannel martech development

Are players an important target group of the brand? Check what opportunities for marketers does gamification create. Learn about the benefits that AdverGaming brings, and keep it in mind when planning your marketing strategy.

From the article you will learn:

  • what is gamification in marketing;
  • what is AdverGaming;
  • what are the advantages of using gamification and advergaming in marketing strategy;
  • what are the ways of promoting a brand;
  • if players can be an important target group of a brand.

The feeling of being unable to make a purchase is not known to contemporary consumers. They have no problem with finding a similar product or service offered by another company. That is why marketers are constantly facing challenges and are looking for new methods to effectively distinguish the brand and increase its awareness among potential customers. Gamification and AdverGaming are another chance to break through with a marketing message.

Gamification – what is that

The importance of entertainment and games in human life and development is significant from the first years of life. Motivating children to perform simple duties is much easier when they are fun. It changes a bit with age, but does not go away entirely.

Gamification is based on the observed human behaviours. Rivalry and competition is part of our nature. We like to compete to prove our skills to ourselves or to others. The process of gamification also exploits the fact that most people are susceptible to the idea of earning points and collecting things. This technique is based on the pleasure that comes from achieving new challenges.

The use of gamification in marketing generally consists of adding a competitive (gaming) element in advertising activities. It involves using mechanisms from role-playing or computer games to influence human behaviour, in order to increase their involvement.

AdverGaming - what is that

AdverGaming, or the so-called Advertising Games, is – to put it simply – a combination of an advertisement and a game. It is a more and more popular marketing tool involving the use of games as an advertising medium. These can be both computer or console games, but also the games for mobile devices or social media platforms.

The essence of AdverGaming is to reach a wide audience with the advertising message of a brand, product or service, by providing the recipient with entertainment and the enjoyment that comes with playing. AdverGaming is about involving the consumer in the adventure with a brand.

Advantages of using gamification and AdverGaming in marketing strategy

An increasing number of companies see the potential of using gamification in marketing, and treats Advergaming as part of their marketing strategy. This is not surprising, because it is a tool that has many advantages and brings new possibilities.

Unconventional activities

In a situation where it is increasingly difficult to influence the consumer, especially using the traditional advertising tools, AdverGaming is a way to reach them in a different, less conventional way. The use of gamification in marketing strategy gives an opportunity to creative marketers.

Gentle communication

In times when consumers are constantly being bombarded by advertising messages and sales information, a non-intrusive form of communication gains their recognition. An invitation to play is perceived by them as a gentle and natural message, and at the same time – unobtrusive. For marketers, on the other hand, it is another medium for disseminating marketing information.

Measurable effects

By employing the so-called playability analysis, the company can easily obtain information on the number of players, played turns, or time spent playing the game. Based on the data available, it is easy to assess the effects of a given campaign and to summarise the sales results.

Vast sales market

The larger the target group, the greater the chance to finalise the sale. In the case of players, the sales market is becoming widespread and very vast. In 2018, the number of players around the world was estimated at 2.2 billion, and according to forecasts, it is expected to increase to 2.6 billion by the end of 2020.

No barriers

In the case of such a large market as the players market, barriers like age, nationality or language are not an obstacle. The game-based mechanisms are intuitive, making it possible to reach different groups. In addition, in the case of using mobile games, time restrictions are eliminated. That is because the consumer can play during a bus ride, or in a queue to the doctor's office, making the time pass more pleasantly.

Ease of data collection

By offering a game, companies can more easily obtain data about users of the brand. Consumers are more likely to provide their personal data, seeing an obvious benefit for themselves, for example – in the form of entertainment.

Increasing loyalty

You can see an increase in emotional interest in relation to the brand in a person engaged in the game. A player will be more willing to think about the brand and its offer, than a standard consumer. This way, it is easier to build a community around the brand, which in time can act as a kind of brand ambassadors.

Increased brand recognition

Through non-standard marketing activities, the brand recognition and awareness among consumers increases. By offering a well-developed game, the positive image of the brand is strengthened among players.

Wide range of applications

AdverGaming can be used by marketers for various purposes. Apart from the obvious use, that is – increasing sales, it can also be utilised for PR activities, consumer or loyalty programmes, and even for recruiting employees.

Ways of promoting a brand using AdverGaming

The greatest opportunities for creative marketing activities arise, of course, from creating a new game for the purposes of the brand and its promotion. This type of solution allows you to design the game to meet specific marketing needs of the brand. It is an ideal solution in the case of competitions in which, based on clearly defined rules, winners can be awarded on the basis of point rankings.

You can also purchase an advertising space in an already existing game. This type of solution takes the form of outdoor advertisements that appear during the game, that is billboards along the road, fences at the stadium, or posters at stops. In this case, the brand can change the message depending on the needs.

Another way to use games as a tool for advertising is product placement. It involves placing the product of the brand as a fitting element of the game. For example, the player can ride a specific car model, eat a popular brand's burger, or use a battery of a specific brand to charge energy. In this case, marketers need to plan their activities early, already at the stage of creating the game.

The least creative, but not ineffective way to advertise in the game are display formats. These are banner ads appearing in the interface or while loading the game. In the case of popular games, they can reach a really large group of recipients. The fundamental downside is the fact that many players may find them annoying, which is definitely not the goal of marketers.

Can players be an important target group of a brand

To answer this question you must first consider who is a player. An straightforward answer is not easy, because currently it is a very diverse group in many respects. The player's image differs more and more from a young, slightly withdrawn boy spending most of his free time in front of a computer.

In fact, everyone – both men and women – play. The same goes for young and older persons. Residents of large cities, as well as small towns and villages. Players are not only hard users, but also people who play less often and do not treat games as their passion, but only one of the possible forms of entertainment. This is great information for brands whose target group is non-uniform.

On the other hand, some of the players considered to be stereotypical, could be a separate group, a kind of niche. Marketing communication using AdverGaming is a chance to reach the people who are more and more resistant to marketing activities of brands.

Another aspect that speaks for the inclusion of players as a target group of the brand is the fact that it is a large group in terms of quantity. And most importantly, the forecasts predict that it will continue to grow. The most popular games can generate traffic counted in hundreds of thousands, and skilful marketing activities give a chance for a viral effect.

Treating players as an important target group is also supported by the fact that the player is maximally focused during the play, which is why an advertisement appearing in the game becomes more memorable. In addition, the duration of advertising impact on a potential consumer is relatively long, but not intrusive. AdverGaming provides a unique value, which is the consumer's engagement in the advertising message.

This form of advertising and marketing activities is certainly prospective and developmental. The broadly defined target group consisting of players offers great opportunities, and it depends only on marketers whether they will properly choose their message and tools to reach it.