In 2012, the number of tablet users increased by nearly 180%, compared to 2011. eMarketer predicts by the end of 2013, there will be about 128 million tablet users in the U.S., nearly 40% of them being Internet users. They also reported that for the first time, the majority of US Internet users will use a tablet. In addition, 75% of tablet users will play games on their tablets and tablet gamers will rise from 96.1 million to 143 million, possibly opening interesting gamification opportunities to retailers and other online advertisers.
Sephora for example, launched their “Beauty Fall” promotional campaign that ran during the month of October. This campaign offered free rewards that customers can claim during the check out process. After inputting a valid email address, Sephora customers were brought to an interactive landing page to claim their reward by playing a game. Similar to the famous Price is Right game, Plinko, customers clicked on a ball that fell through a field of pegs and landed in a slot that determined their free reward. Rewards ranged from 10% your order, to free shipping, and free product samples. Sephora ran a similar campaign last year called “Beauty Roulette,” where customers spin a wheel for similar rewards.
When it comes to travel research, tablet is becoming the preferred mobile platform. Travel companies like Southwest Airlines partake in gamification through their Rapid Rewards Miles program that gives customers points for every mile they fly which can be redeemed for free flights or flight discounts. In addition, for customers that have flown a certain number of miles with Southwest, they become “A-List” members, where they’re given perks such as priority boarding and check-in. Customers must also keep flying a certain amount of miles in order to maintain their A-List status. Other tiers include “A-List Preferred” and “Companion Pass” In order to maintain an“A-List” status, customers must keep flying a certain amount miles. Creative tablet marketing campaigns could tie the gamified Rewards Miles program to gamified ads by gifting bonus rewards miles for playing ads similar to those implemented by Sephora.
Because a majority of tablet users are gamers, implementing mobile/tablet friendly gamification within marketing campaigns could lead to more user engagement, which means more data, and most importantly, more conversions. By introducing game mechanics to your marketing campaigns, you expand the reach of your target audience and you build brand loyalty by engaging and interacting with your target audience. Being able to engage with your customers in a creative and engaging way also allows you to collect more data and information about your target audience. Which channel receives gamified campaigns most positively: social, paid search, display, or email? What kind of promotions work for them? Do you convert more with free reward-type games, like Sephora? Or a “Level Up” points system like Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards Miles?
If tablets are becoming dominated by gamers, then your tablet advertising campaigns would do well to implement gamified ads. The possibility of earning rewards through some form of play is a great way to incentivize engagement, which can give you more data points, and hopefully more conversions. The question is, are your ads game enough?