Advertisers and markers have one overarching theme to their jobs, and that is to get as many customers exposed and potentially interested in their product or service. Customer engagement is a tricky endeavor in almost any industry, but a commonly popular strategy has permitted brands to actively manage to expose users to their name, product, and service, while keeping the users entertained.
The secret to this approach is by reaching a target audience and potentially those outside of the direct target demographic by combining advertising and gaming. In other words, marketing, which remains steady by conventional methods, has found another access point to prospective clients, and that is via gamification.
So what is game-based marketing exactly? Can it be used to maximize exposure and revenue? Here we explore not only the different types of gamified marketing methods but also discuss their efficacy. Let’s dive into it.
Before proceeding, let’s clearly define what game-based marketing is. A marketer’s primary focus is to place the name of their brand in a place where the maximum number of people are most likely to be interested in its products or services (the target audience) spending their time. Of course, no potential clients are alike, so many different avenues of marketing would theoretically be needed to reach them all.
Therefore, marketers look for something that unites a great deal of potential future clients in an activity that a vast dominion of people enjoy: games. It is a brilliant strategy by which it’s nearly impossible for players to avoid seeing advertisements for products, registering the brand name, logo, or likeness in their mind.
Beyond that is the psychological factor. When someone is playing a game they enjoy, they are likely to be having a positive experience. Seeing a brand name during a positive experience inherently associates the brand with a person’s mind in a positive light on a subconscious level. And since most people tend to be continuously engaged in games they enjoy, only those players who enjoy the game will spend a significant amount of time playing it. Therefore almost every audience member that sees the brand’s name will develop a positive association with it, at least to some degree.
The reason games appeal to us is because they are immersive and energizing. They allow us to escape our world, if only for a time and engage with another world, its sights, sounds, and lore through interactive play.
The improvement in video game quality has seen exponential gains in just the last decade, and that has drawn over 65% of American households to play games regularly. Those that believe that video games are just something for young males (a very highly coveted marketing segment in their own right) might be shocked to find out that 40% of gamers are women, and 26% of adults who play are over the age of 50. Factoring in that the current generation of gamers is aging, while not losing their love for games, virtually guarantees that these percentages will skyrocket in the future.
That kind of environment is a legitimate treasure trove for marketers looking to get as many eyes on their name as possible, so it is unthinkable that they wouldn’t leverage such a powerful tool as games to get their brand’s name and information out there through games.
Video games are created for the user’s experience by game manufacturers. But these game makers and their companies can partner with particular brands who pay them to include the brand’s name or symbol in their games.
The best part is, that there is almost no limit to how these brand ads can be involved in the game. Perhaps a character is walking down the street and passes a name of a store that correlates with a brand name. A brand name may appear all over billboards in the game’s cityscape. A racetrack can be filled with cars that represent a particular brand. Sports games can have brand logos plastered around courts, arenas, ranks, and stadiums. Essentially, the limit of the diversity of possibilities is constrained only by the human imagination in game innovation.
It is also important to consider that most games today are connected to the internet which allows more advertisers to pay for their brand’s likeness to be included in the games, customized in any way they prefer, and have game players be exposed to it through periodic updates and enhancements to the game.
A branch off of the game-based marketing tree is called gamification. This is a strategy by which a brand or company develops a simple game with the specific intent of introducing and promoting their product to an audience. Hypothetically speaking, a snack brand can create an immersive experience for players who may play a simple game geared around a specific brand. This implants the brand in their mind, making them more likely to engage with that brand at some point in the future.
In a real-life example, movie studios anticipating releases that they want to help promote, have crafted simple, yet entertaining games that include scenes from the movies in them. The ads built into the game promote the movie more, getting an audience excited about seeing the film, and ultimately helping release date movie ticket sales and subsequent media purchases.
Getting into the game-based marketing market has been largely utilized by large corporations so far as it has been a method not financially viable for many small or even moderate-sized businesses. But as game-based marketing strategies evolve, more tools like Smartico.ai are helping more marketers tap into the immense power of this method.
Smartico.ai will help map out a unique and personalized journey for each desired customer type based on a variety of factors and provides gamification strategies that will help to keep players more consistently engaged and immersed in games that will allow maximum product exposure. It does so by studying user trends based on marketing research insights and operating through aspects that are based on the user’s interaction with the game, as well as their purchases.
Now you are familiar with what is game-based marketing and the immense power of its reach. Video games are not something that is going away and therefore remains a powerful vehicle for marketers to expose more people to their brands utilizing ever-evolving and innovative methods.
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