The Engagement Problem: Switch Your Consumers Back On With Game Mechanics

Imagine you’re scrolling Facebook or Instagram. As you scroll, you glance over ad after ad. But then, there’s something different: an ad asking if you want to compete to win a voucher for the business’s ecommerce shop. Do you click?

It’s not easy to stand out as a brand in 2022, especially as consumers are reaching saturation point when it comes to digital advertising. Overwhelmed by online messaging, they’re experts at filtering out and switching off. So how can brands cut through the noise and build valuable customer relationships? To find out, Leadfamly commissioned a report from YouGov: Marketing Is A Data Game: How To Create Game-Changing Possibilities For Your Brand. The report has insights from over 5,000 respondents to show how to switch consumers back on with meaningful and personalized experiences.

Traditional digital advertising isn’t working

Increasingly, brands are discovering that ROI (return on investment)  is no longer delivered by traditional media. Venture capitalist Mary Meeker estimated that, on average, people engage with a mobile ad for only about 1.5 seconds. That’s just about enough time to register a name – and then forget it. Repeat that experience multiple times in a day, and you have a consumer who’s feeling bored – or worse, irritated.

What results is a vicious cycle for marketers. Wanting to stand out from the crowd, brands ramp up the intensity of their marketing messaging. And indifferent customers, accordingly, respond by withdrawing their attention.

Game mechanics get people to listen

A beleaguered, hassled customer does nothing for positive brand recognition, so we need another way to get their attention – one that offers them something in return. The answer is in game mechanics. Interactive adverts transform the customer experience into something joyous and stimulating, and make all the difference to customer engagement. Put simply: people want to play.

YouGov’s report showed that 56% of respondents were more likely to click on a gamified ad than a standard one. And once they’d clicked, they spent 40 times longer on average engaging with it than with a non-gamified ad.

The numbers are pretty astonishing, but why do game mechanics make such a difference to consumer engagement? The most obvious answer is that games are – well – fun. We’re built to play games, and we enjoy doing it. By using game mechanics, you automatically create an experience that requires an active state of mind. In other words, players are receptive, alert, and enjoying themselves. In that state of mind, they’re much more likely to form positive associations about a brand and be willing to interact with them in future.

Game mechanics help to build brand loyalty

Gamified ads don’t just encourage consumers to interact, they actually help to build customer loyalty. 36% of the report’s respondents agreed that branded games had a positive impact on their opinion of a brand.  The additional time spent engaging with a gamified ad also means customers are more likely to remember you. It gives brands a chance to spend more time with their customers, too, learning what they want in order to offer valuable experiences and build loyalty further down the line. Furthermore, game mechanics can be integrated at any point in the customer interaction – so you can use them throughout the customer journey.

Want data? Offer a reward

A big pain point for many companies is consumers’ increasing reluctance to part with their data. Younger consumers are typically more open to sharing, with 18-34 year-olds 57% more likely to share first-party data than over 55s. However, both groups are unlikely to give away email permissions and data without something in return.

The advantage of gamified ad campaigns is that, by their very nature, they do offer something in return. By tapping into our innate motivation to play, and providing the opportunity, games offer intrinsic rewards. Add to that the potential to win prizes, coupons and discounts, and you have the potential to add an extra value dimension, too. In fact, 1 in 4 respondents said they would be more likely to share data if they were promised better offers from a brand in the future.

Takeaway: gamify your marketing marketing and get endless possibilities

Game mechanics are an opportunity to explore rewarding possibilities beyond traditional marketing tactics. For the full story on consumer engagement and incentivization, download our YouGov report today.

About Marketing Is A Data Game: How To Create Game-Changing Possibilities For Your Brand

YouGov surveyed 5,563 respondents, between 18 and 74 years old from Finland, UK, USA, Denmark, Norway and The Netherlands. We were interested to find out what captures consumer attention, and to what extent game mechanics could improve their experience.