How to Effectively Engage in a Crowded Digital Landscape

LET'S TALK GAMIFICATION

By Jerry Epstein, Raving Partner and CEO, Engaged Nation

In 2004, the Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) conducted a breakthrough study which showed that 65% of respondents felt that they were being “…bombarded with too much marketing and advertising.” The report went on to state that the average consumer was inundated with between 5,000 and 10,000 marketing messages daily, but could only effectively process 10 to 12.

Thirteen years later, the digital communications landscape has become supersaturated. As consumers tweet, chat, blog, pin, post, snap, tumbl and flick about every imaginable topic, casinos aren’t just competing against other casinos for people’s minds, hearts, and wallets – they’re competing with other forms of digital entertainment.

So, how do modern-day marketers effectively engage and motivate their audience in a crowded digital landscape? It turns out the answer might be a powerful, simple communication strategy that’s been around for centuries. This communication method may have changed names over the years, but “gamification” (the application of typical elements of game playing to other areas of activity) has proven itself to be a highly adaptable and effective motivational tool.

The Strategic, Gamified Marketing Cycle

If anyone knows that games can be good business, it’s casinos. But they’re fully aware that you can’t create long-term modifications in people’s behavior with a one-off initiative. Just as you would never expect to permanently modify anyone’s perception of your brand with one ad, a single gamified email, activity or online event isn’t likely to make a lasting impression. That’s why casinos that are looking to adopt digital gamification need to be strategic in how they incorporate gamified marketing into their overall marketing mix.

The best approach to gamification is to create a digital experience that is reminiscent of the casino property experience and enhances on-property events. By creating an environment that players can return to online on a continuous basis, casinos can leverage educational, entertaining games and activities, structured events and drawings to motivate consumers to visit the property. Add an additional segmented rewards system that makes it advantageous for players to interact online, such as incentives that encourage visitation and an on-property “bounce-back” that returns customers to engage with you online, and you have built an incredibly powerful “engagement cycle” that generates incremental lift in revenue and visitation while strengthening consumer loyalty on an ongoing basis.

Moving Casinos into Gamified Space

While there is a high level of both excitement and trepidation about utilizing gamified marketing within the casino industry, it’s slowly becoming more prevalent on the national scene. You have probably experienced gamification in some way without even knowing it; that’s the subtle way it works.

No better segment of the gaming industry is better poised to reap the benefit of effective gamified marketing than Tribal casinos as it provides them a way to leapfrog their competitors.

As gamification takes its place as a vital component in forward-thinking digital marketing strategies, companies realize that there is no end to the ways that they can apply this approach to broaden their markets and strengthen consumer connections and bottom-line results.

Sound interesting? Read part II of this article in Raving’s October issue of the Strategic Solutions Magazine where I’ll list specific examples of how casinos have successfully incorporated gamification into their organization.

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About the author

Jerry Epstein
Jerry is a recognized leader in marketing communications management and development with over three decades of experience in branding, new product launches, and digital marketing. Meet Jerry and the team at the Engaged Nation booth #1318 at G2E and discover how their full suite of online engagement products and promotions will drive more guests to your casino.

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