Because if you want to win sales, you have to play the game.
In a market where the myriad of active companies are all after the same thing — getting customers to buy, buy, buy, it is of utmost importance for your company to stand out from the competition. But you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to drive conversions, sales and a stellar ROI. To create a lasting impression that resonates with your target audience and motivates them through your company’s sales funnels and away from those of your competitors, you simply need to transform your “strictly professional” company into a highly relatable and approachable brand.
A brand with a unique identity, mission and approach to doing business.
A brand that tells its story, highlights its specialization and targets a niche customer base, without ever losing its authentic voice.
A brand that makes sales, but more importantly, establishes and nurtures long-term customer-company relationships.
After all, 77 percent of people refer to a specific brand name when making purchases, indicating that that brand is their preferred company to purchase from. Surely, you want to join THIS club.
What makes a company a brand?
Branding is an act that companies engage in that enables differentiation by providing customers with a multifaceted approach to identifying their offering — it gives them a clear, reliable reason to choose YOU.
At its core, companies that define themselves as a brand are making a promise to their consumers: when you purchase from us, you will get XYZ. Note that this promise extends beyond the mere product or service on offer, to include feelings, capabilities and other added value. How? Through the brand’s logo, language, messaging, packaging, and other marketing activities. All of these elements must consistently and harmoniously communicate your brand promise, shape consumer perceptions and expectations of your brand and its value, and be aligned with your brand persona, if your efforts are to produce the desired sales, retention and revenue goals.
To make an impression, brands must penetrate their customers’ favorite digital spaces.
Brand awareness is defined as the “degree to which consumers in the marketplace are familiar with particular brands.” And to enter the customer’s awareness and become “trendy,” “popular,” or “buzzworthy,” timing is of the essence. It doesn’t just happen overnight. Rather, entering the customer’s awareness is the result of repeatedly making your brand known to your target audience, at first in casual and eye-catching ways, and then later using more targeted, sales methods, once the customer journey has commenced.
Take the following example as a recipe for brand penetration success: remember the Pokemon Gocraze, which had people all over the world hyper-focused on “catching them all,” from the comfort of their mobile phones? McDonalds partnered with the mobile game to sponsor thousands of stops — gamers would find themselves walking into the fast-food restaurants to catch a Pokemon, where they’d then be surrounded by the sights, smells and flavors of their favorite eats, unable to resist buying a burger, fries, or McFlurry.
As many of brands’ customers are gaming more than ever, brands should heed McDonalds’ example, and be where their customers already are — in games as well.
A portrait of the modern-day mobile gamer
But who plays mobile games these days? Gaming is no longer reserved for the freckled, bespectacled teenage boy, or lonely gown man holding a Nintendo console. These days, 78 percent of smartphone users use game apps daily, and 88.8 percent of all digital gamers are now mobile gamers. 62 percent of users are female, between the ages of 25 and 54 years old, and members of the middle class — the most prominent purchasers on the market. They’re addicted to games like Candy Crush Saga, Pokémon Go and Words With Friends, and are willing to engage with ads to resume gaming, and even reap rewards.
As such, brands should most certainly leverage the mobile gaming world to enter their target audience members’ awareness and sell.
Mobile gamers are engaged and motivated to watch your brand’s ads, if it will enable them to resume gaming and even benefit in the short term. Here are some ways your brand can jump on the mobile gaming bandwagon and create positive brand associations, using ads:
● Interstitial ads — Create clear, concise and highly visual static or video ads that appear at the end of a player’s turn, the end of a level or upon completion of a challenge. Capture the gamer’s attention in a maximum of 15–30 seconds (though ideally even sooner) and then allow them to return to their favorite game.
● In-game rewards — Offer mobile gamers the opportunity to view your ad in exchange for some reward that will further their progress in the game they’re already playing. The extra lives, tools or time will generate a sense of goodwill towards your brand and is associated with a 90 percent completion rate.
● Playable ads — Allow your customers to interactively “try out your offering.” For a retail of cosmetics brand, this can mean a virtual dressing room ad, while for a toy or electronics company, this can take the form of “test-driving” the product for a brief, 20 seconds.
● Target audiences based on behavior — Identify games and their audiences that match your brand’s target audience and advertise your offering to them. This will enable you to market only to those gamers most likely to be interested in your brand, maximizing your chances at successful click-throughs and conversions.
Let the brand games begin!
When it comes to mobile gamers, you’ve got an audience of motivated players ready to spend. So, why not enter their playing arena and market your company as a clear, aligned and trustworthy brand that fulfills its promise for top products, services and support?