Gamification – influencing customer behaviour 2.0

| October 3, 2017 | By

While gamified marketing campaigns have been around for a long time, Yoyo’s co-founder and CPO, Michael Rolph, says brands and retailers have yet to harness the full potential of gamification. “We need to start thinking about holistic experiences that can interest, stimulate, motivate and, most importantly, influence customer behaviour.”

Influencing customer behaviour. It’s a phrase that will always make retailers sit up and pay attention. Getting customers to make the decisions you want them to make is, quite simply, the holy grail of retail.

But which campaign methods actually go on to achieve this? In this blog post, I’ll focus on “gamification” and how it can change a customer’s mindset through a positive experience.

We’ve all been exposed to a gamified campaign, even if we didn’t know it at the time – think back to those McDonald’s Monopoly scratch off cards in the 90s (a campaign that is still running to this day!).

Move to 2017 and everyone now has a smartphone in their hands – it’s the centre of your customer’s universe, where they converse with their friends, take photos and videos, post updates, pay for goods and, yes, play games (Candy Crush, Candy Crush, Candy Crush!).

Only last year, we saw Pokemon GO sweep across the globe. Within a few weeks, it had more than 21 million users in the US, many of whom, I’ll bet, had never before even considered that it might be fun to go out and find Pikachu – such was the popularity of this new augmented reality experience.

Many a big brand, including McDonald’s for that matter, were quick to swoop in to take advantage of this new-found phenomenon.

Pokémon GO developer Niantic claimed that it drove 500 million visitors to sponsored locations like McDonald’s, who were reportedly charged anything between 15 to 50 cents for each visitor they received through the experience.

So a year later, how can gamification be taken to the next level? Rather than piggy-backing off the success of another, how can a brand create a holistic experience that can equally interest, stimulate, motivate and, as a result, influence customer behaviour?

So far, most gamified campaigns have worked through the following:

Campaign launch → interaction with offline/online marketing material → customer gamification experience → customer engagement with retailer → potential sales uplift → potential return visit.

These have worked well in providing an enhanced experience for the consumer, but they still take a rather traditional marketing path.

But imagine a gamification experience that seamlessly and anonymously wraps itself around an everyday customer routine – such as payment.

As well as using the point of sale to automatically unlock a rewarding experience and increase engagement, more importantly it takes the transaction experience beyond just payment for consumers – something that has needed to happen for a very long time, but sadly not addressed by any of the big payment companies.

Now let’s re-imagine the experience:

Campaign launch → consumer automatically enrolled at PoP through mobile → customer instantly goes through gamification experience → customer wins surprise and delight reward → customer returns to repeat rewarding experience.

This campaign path would create suspense, enhances motivation and tie the point-of-sale to the end-to-end user experience in-store. But more importantly, it would tie everyday habits into wins for both the customer and the retailer.

Try this one for size:

Take a brand that might want to run an advent campaign. For the 24 days leading up to Christmas, the brand wants to keep their customers constantly engaged, make them aware of new product offers and drive them in-store to make regular purchases throughout the festive period.

Typically, this would involve a large advertising spend, increased in-store activity, social media campaigns etc – all with the hope of attracting the attention of the busy and usually stressed out Christmas shopper, with little room for measurement and evaluation.

But, how about a simple digital advent calendar competition, which customers are automatically entered into when they purchase an item through your payment and loyalty app?

How would this gamification expereince work?

1. Users are notified through push notifications that your campaign is coming / has kicked off.

2. When customers make a transaction through your payment and loyalty app, they are automatically enrolled into the campaign.

3. When the next transaction takes place a “mechanic” appears, let’s say a snow globe or advent calendar window, which the customer needs to interact with – whether shaking their phone or swiping the screen.

4. This interaction would then reveal a prize.

5. A prize table will already have been created, which includes a set probability of winning. For example, on any given day, five users will win the most valuable prize, 20 users will win the next prize down, 30 winners will win the next one down and so on…

6.These prizes could range from loyalty points, stamps or in-store rewards (based on their previous purchasing behavior to ensure they receive prizes they actually want) to something even more special through a brand partnership.

7. If a winner, the customer redeems their prize instantly at the checkout through your payment and loyalty app.

This sort of campaign could be transposed into any number of formats – a Fresher’s AR campaign for instance, where students would need to achieve a task through your loyalty app to be in with the chance to win a free beer.

Even if the free beer was not forthcoming on occasion, the potential for photos and videos of the experience being shared on social is huge!

The next level of gamification needs to build off every day customer behaviour – combining mobile payment, with engagement and loyalty – all this through one seamless experience.

It’s a level that Yoyo is working on right now – watch this space!

About Michael:

Michael is an experienced entrepreneur and business developer. He is co-founder and CPO of Yoyo, which launched in 2013 and has become the fastest growing and largest multi-retailer mobile wallet in Europe.

He was previously an advisor at Azimo, a mobile and internet money transfer company, and a mentor at Seedcamp, where he helped jumpstart the entrepreneurial community in Europe.

Prior to that, Michael was non-executive director at The MoBank Group, which specialises in creating and operating transactional systems for mobile commerce, banking and payments. He was also director and EiR at Anthemis Group, a specialist advisory firm for growth-stage companies in financial services, markets and technology.

Michael also has experience working at PayPal, First Data Corporation and Barclaycard Business.