Gamification And The Value Exchange: How To Make The Most Of Location Data

Could location data be your brand’s competitive advantage?


High quality, first-party data like location is a golden opportunity to get to know your customers and give them meaningful, personalized experiences. Using gamification to get location data can be the solution. Adding game mechanics to your marketing strategy can help brands build trust by offering clear benefits in exchange.

Why location data is important for brands

Imagine you’re shopping online at your usual supermarket, and a particular item you need is out of stock. You don’t fancy a trip to the physical store in case it’s not there, so you abandon your basket and forget about it. Later, the supermarket sends you a notification. A store near you has the item you were looking for. Do you want to reserve it?

This interaction is one example of how knowing a customer’s location could remove friction and frustration from the user journey. The shopper saved a time-consuming and potentially unsuccessful store visit, and still got the item they needed. There are other opportunities, too, from alerting customers to relevant events in their area, to telling them about the opening of a new store that stocks their favorite, hard-to-find condiment.

In these instances, knowing a customer’s zip code means brands can meet (and even anticipate) their needs. They can solve problems for their customers, give them relevant, non-intrusive and helpful messaging, and create positive brand associations on which to build future loyalty.

The holy grail: first-party data

As the saying goes, good marketing is a two-way conversation. And as we’ve already seen, the more customers tell you about themselves, the better you can anticipate their needs, and the more value you can give them. But how can brands get the consumer data they need to offer such experiences?

With cookies and third-party data on the way out following GDPR  and CCPA  legislation, if you want to know your customers better, you’ll need first-party data – data they give you directly.

First-party data has a host of advantages over its outdated counterparts:

  • The data is compliant, legitimate, and high quality 
  • The consumer is in control of what they share, which builds trust
  • The data is collected overtly, not covertly.

That last may seem paradoxical – but consumers actually respond better to a direct request for information than to the potential that it’s being gathered on the sly. According to a YouGov report commissioned by Playable, 36% of respondents say they’d be willing to share their zip code if asked directly.

That percentage gets even higher when there’s a clear benefit to sharing – for example, a discount, prize or enjoyable experience, like a game. 41% of consumers say they will share first-party data in return for a better brand experience. More promising still, metrics from the Playable gamification platform show the number that do choose to share is actually closer to 55%. By using gamification to gather location data, you create a meaningful experience and can enrich your database.

The value exchange: give before you ask

Deciding whether or not to share your personal information requires a mental cost-benefit calculation. On the one hand, sharing takes effort, is potentially intrusive, and means a certain loss of privacy. On the other, there are enticing rewards, like financial incentives, personal relevance and entertainment.

Customers are much more likely to share first-party data if it’s clear what they will get in return. Better still – if they have already got something. This means that companies that make the benefits clear from the outset are more likely to collect data than companies that don’t. In short: give, before you ask.

Gamification means built-in benefits

Adding game mechanics to your marketing strategy is one way of offering consumers a benefit straight-up. Everyone loves to play games – we’re competitive (with ourselves and each other) – and we enjoy being in-the-moment and having some fun. By offering a game first, and a registration page later, you know that players have already had a positive interaction with your brand before you ask for email permissions.

At Playable, we have seen extraordinary engagement from this approach. For the most used game types, for example, the average unique registration rate ranges from 54% to 67%. That means well over half of players choose to share information with clients who use our platform, after playing one of our games.

The benefits of gamification to aid data collection are manifold for both brands and their customers. Brands can learn about customers directly from them, and build trust by being transparent about the data they collect. They can also offer a fun, memorable experience that contributes to customer acquisition and retention.

For the customers, the benefits are outstanding personalization, an honest, transparent value exchange, and brand relationships that give them what they actually need.

The bottom line: first-party location data has the potential to transform customer relationships. But to get value, first be prepared to give it.

To learn more about how to create game-changing possibilities for your brand, take a look at the YouGov report:

Learn more about location and other first-party data.

We commissioned a study with YouGov to see how powerful data and game mechanics are

yougov leadfamly data report