How to earn consumer loyalty and, more importantly, why do you need it?
A loyal consumer is wonderful in the way that they translate information in their own volition. What does it mean?
We are eager to share positive emotions with people around us. We talk about things we remember with our friends, we share our impressions on social media.
The world is ruled by emotions. In our society, overwhelmed with information, only emotions can be of interest. And if consumers got interested, you have almost caught them. Your next task is to keep their attention. And interactivity is known to be the best option to get the emotions and loyalty of consumers.
Nowadays, marketing has many tools at its disposal – all technological innovations that can keep people’s attention and create wow-effect, including virtual reality, augmented, mixed, etc. However together with gadgets, game marketing takes more and more place under the marketing sun.
Why has the total gamification conquered the whole business world?
And why the quest technology is one of the most successful marketing strategies and advergames?
Consider the reasons why all people are keen on playing (even if they try to hide it behind a business suit and a serious face). Let’s take a closer look.
What is game to a person?
What conclusion can we make here?
The game itself is an incentive and encouragement, bringing people positive emotions. And the key task in any business is to attract, to capture, to trigger emotions in order to get the desired marketing result.
So, gamification or advergames are always a positive interactive experience for users when they interact with service/product/information (positive emotions, involvement, building relationships).
Бренд обязан вступать с людьми во взаимодействие, иначе не возникнет коммуникация «бренд-потребитель» и невозможно завоевать умы и эмоции потребители, приобрести лояльность.
Advergames are specifically created to promote advertised product or service – it is deep product placement with feedback and personification.
Okay. You might ask, why would a serious person in a suit and a tie agree to play games? This is easily explained from the point of view of psychology and cultural science. Because each of us has an inbuilt desire to be a hero.
Who is a hero? Let’s remember antiquity. Every person becomes a hero when they make a decision or a choice and overcome an obstacle, no matter how small it is.
The conclusion is obvious: marketing quest is the most effective advergame. Quest means a search, a game which involves performing certain tasks, where the character (participant) moves according to the plot with a specific goal.
Part 3. What is the advantage of quest compared to other interactive technologies?
Reality quests combine all the most valuable gaming characteristics and properties. Consumer participation in a marketing quest, overcoming some (minor and clear) obstacles, solving tasks, finding keys etc. – all quest techniques are based on complete immersion of a person into the gaming process.
Besides, participation in an interactive quest awakes a hero in people and you have to agree that this feels nice.
Another matter is that marketing quest development requires certain knowledge and developers themselves have to follow strict rules.
Let’s analyze how a marketing quest work from the example of the project we did for Russian Venture Company (RVC) at Open Innovations technology forum in 2015. At the moment, it is the first and the only experience of using the exhibition space as an interactive playing area.
The organizers of the Open Innovations 2015 forum introduced the event in B2C format for the first time. Therefore the participants needed to find exhibition solutions that would be attractive to large amounts of potential consumers of their goods and services.
The main issue was that all the products presented at the RVC booth were linked to the sphere of high technologies, so were distinguished by their targeting character.
Spreading the information about high-tech innovational products of RVC portfolio companies, promotion, higher awareness level and strong loyalty to the RVC portfolio companies brands.
Which goals did our specialists have?
What was our communicative strategy?
In order to form positive perception of the brand by Target Audience we decided to make consumer communication long-term and effective by means of ultimate interactivity.
What was our creative conception?
We found a completely new creative solution – to invite the visitors of the forum to complete an escape quest. All activities within the game were connected with the brands of RVC portfolio companies.
According to the quest plot, the team (2 to 6 people) finds itself in a secret laboratory in the future with two high-tech research offices. In order to move to the next level, the players needed to find correct keys by solving logic and engineering tasks, using hints, secret codes, by answering questions related to the exhibits of RVC portfolio companies. At the next level, the players had to get secret information about the future technologies by running exciting laboratory experiments and solving logic puzzles.
The target of the game is to find secret knowledge kept in a special vial with the help of the acquired keys and then to leave the laboratory.
The quest could be completed at the RVC exhibition booth and it was situated in a special area with several rooms. Two teams up to six people could play the game simultaneously. The game lasted 20-25 minutes, depending on the reaction and resourcefulness of the players.
When we designed this quest, we used different interactive technologies: reverse screen projection, RFID tags and reader scanners, electromagnetic locks, robotic arms, laser sensors, radar touch etc.
What performance indicators did we achieve?
Quest is one of the most effective methods in the field of game marketing and interactive technologies, as it affects human instincts, thus it triggers bright emotions, it results in full involvement, long-term retention and strong loyalty.
Where can quest marketing be used? It is effective in every field; however it is especially effective in less-variable spheres, such as exhibitions.
Why are quests still not used widely?
Design and creation of marketing quests requires quite a lot of efforts, creative solutions and particular knowledge of story-telling, for example, in creating the plot.