One phrase sums up this year’s message to retailers and partners:
2011 is the year when technology is finally closing the loop between online and offline data.
While the word social was replaced with Facebook (does anything else matter?) and mobile continues to prove out its worth and longevity.
Anyone who can’t see that retailers have permission to win with mobile are wrong.
With leaders like Walgreens fulfilling over 25% of prescriptions via mobile, convenience and utility aspects continue to be a key ingredient to mobile success.
When Rich Lesperance, Director of Online Marketing & Emerging Media – Walgreens spoke, I couldn’t help but be impressed with how he and his team are approaching digital technology and media. They not only understand how connect with consumers with technology; even better is they know how to measure success that allows continued investment.
The sparks kept flying as Marcus Starzel, SVP Sales at Millennial Media announced a new ShopLocal integration that will allow for new expandable mobile display unit that leverages circular information. Sitting in a room full of retailers, you could tell that this announcement was like hitting the jackpot. Capabilities allow progressive retailers to continue to leverage a proven approach (circulars) in mobile delivery.
Keeping the momentum, we dove right into a panel discussion around social (I mean Facebook) to make your cash register ring. Jai Ravant of ShopSocially, Patrick Toland of TBG Digital and Chris Tuff of 22squared shared many examples and some #knowledgebombs re: Facebook edge rank and the ability for brands to keep retail social (it always has been) by selling products via Facebook.
Over the weekend I was catching up on some reading and spotted a snippet from iMedia Connection on 15 Brand Examples of Gamification. While this is simply a rundown list (always helpful to pass along to clients or colleagues), it got me thinking about the larger scope of Gamification. If you all recall, gamification or game mechanics applied to experiences for consumers really got off the ground with Foursquare, then soon followed by about a million others including Gowalla, etc.
The issue I have with gamification that it seems to be one of those shiny objects right now for marketers, don’t get me wrong sometimes shiny is good and successful, but most of the time, not so much.
There is one simple question that any marketer should ask themselves when thinking about applying a game layer to their experiences.
Can game mechanics serve me long term? If you answer no or are unsure, my suggestion would be to think about it a bit longer.
While game mechanics are a great tool to foster engagement, the lynch pin is how you can roll this up to keep the conversation going after an initial launch of a program, app, sweepstakes, scavenger hunt, etc. The easy tie in here is baking it into an existing or new loyalty program. One caution would be to let people opt out for those ‘non-gamer’ consumers.
Recently a fellow colleague, Steve Daly, provided some more insight around gamification and a recent project for our client, Chiquita.
Picture by: What What
© 2011 Drew McKenzie. All Rights Reserved.
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