As we knock on the proverbial door of the fourth quarter of 2016, companies of all shapes and sizes around the world are gearing up for the calendar year’s biggest season for marketing.
With the mobile-first mindset of marketers more apparent this year than any other, MMW recently connected with Aron Ezra, the CEO of OfferCraft, to discuss a host of issues, opportunities, and obstacles pertinent to today’s mobile marketer.
MMW: OfferCraft’s broader mission is to “make business more fun.” How does your software platform achieve this?
ARON: By making business more fun, you can make it far more profitable and enjoyable for both customers and staff.
To create the OfferCraft platform, we first hired a mix of top behavioral economists, psychologists, engineers and game developers. Then we built software that could infuse playful game elements into marketing, HR, operations, finance — basically every department.
The results were pretty amazing. Today we often double or triple revenues for our customers compared to their prior efforts. By focusing on this one metric — enjoyability — we can dramatically boost bottom line results while making everyone happier.
On the marketing side, we are usually asked to insert these fun experiences into emails, direct mail, text messages, apps, digital signage, TV and radio ads and more to make them a lot more exciting. Ultimately, if someone has more fun interacting with a marketing message, they are more likely to tell their friends about it, to remember it positively, and to use it.
MMW: As a software platform designed to make offers and incentives more effective, what opportunities does OfferCraft offer mobile marketers that most are yet to take advantage of?
ARON: Think of virtually everything a mobile-focused marketer does around outreach: SMS campaigns, mobile websites, mobile apps, and much more. To date, we tend to focus on other important metrics: Does the campaign look good? Is it easy to use? Does it have a compelling incentive? Does it comply with all regulations?
But by also focusing on the fun factor — which is rarely a consideration — we dramatically improve the effectiveness of everything that a mobile marketer does. Adding fun elements boosts app downloads and engagements, it improves SMS campaign conversions, data collection, and much more.
MMW: Why is gamification becoming an increasingly more prevalent strategy used in mobile marketing campaigns today?
ARON: Because it works.
We see huge improvements in revenues and data collection in a very short period of time. People love playing games on mobile devices. Mobile gaming is already a $37 billion industry worldwide, and it’s expected to grow to more than $50 billion by the 2019. Virtually everyone loves to play a game, no matter their age, ethnicity, or country of origin.
And marketing is increasingly mobile first. Marrying consumers’ love of mobile with their love of games makes perfect sense.
We’re incredibly excited to be pioneers in this space. Today our clients span hospitality, energy, transportation, healthcare and other verticals across 3 different continents (and we’re growing fast!).
MMW: What’s the biggest mistake marketers are making with regard to their approach to gamification in mobile marketing?
ARON: Here’s my top 5 list of common mistakes when gamifying mobile marketing. Too many of the games are:
- Overly complicated
- Weirdly intrusive
- Not targeted to right demographic
- Paired with the wrong rewards
MMW: A variety of marketing programs can be gamified through any number of advertising channels (email, direct mail, SMS, billboards, etc.). Which advertising channels are most conducive to effective gamification today?
ARON: Every advertising channel can lend itself to gamification. If you add a game to an email (and promote an appealing grand prize in the subject line), you can dramatically increase open and click-through rates. If you put up a game on Facebook with a compelling image and call-to-action, you can drive many new customers to your business. If you add a game to a tablet at your booth at an event or conference, you’ll have a line of people waiting to play. Games can work just about anywhere.
MMW: As the 2016 holiday shopping season approaches, do you believe gamification and incentivized marketing campaigns will be more prevalent this year than in any previous holiday shopping season?
ARON: For our clients, certainly. Once the businesses we work with see the power of games to motivate and engage their customers, they look for any opportunity they can to add games to their marketing mix. And the gift-giving season is a perfect time to do that. Whether it’s a Football Pick ‘Em game timed to the heart of the NFL season, or a Christmas-themed sleigh racing game, you can drive some pretty terrific results.