Engaged and loyal customers are the holy grail for any consumer-oriented business, but especially so for quick service and fast casual restaurants.
The competition is fierce, and the consumers are becoming more difficult to reach with traditional marketing techniques. Satisfying increasingly demanding consumers across multiple channels–online, in-store, and mobile has become the marketing challenge #1 for quick service and fast-casual restaurant marketers.
We must find innovative solutions that will allow us to connect with consumers on a personal level and create positive experiences in-store and beyond.
One solution that is increasingly gaining popularity involves interactive gamified experiences. Simply put, gamification uses game elements and techniques in non-game contexts in order to affect behavior and improve customer experience.
Done right, on-location gamification is a subtle, but fun way to get people engaged. Brand activations utilizing gamification are a great marketing tool for building loyalty, creating positive experiences and encouraging repeat visits. Creating an interactive game is a great start, but it not enough on it’s own. What can you do to motivate consumers to interact with your carefully crafted activation? In order for your gamification solution to get maximum results, make sure to create the Triangle of Engagement.
In order to engage with your activation, consumers need to notice it first. It is a given that the digital screen should be placed in a high-traffic location, be attention-grabbing and attractive. Often, consumers will need an extra push to start paying attention to the activation.
Here are a few simple tricks that can help to magnify awareness:
Use existing customer base: Your existing customer base is a good place to start. Promote your gamified in-store experience through multiple channels: Facebook, email, Twitter, etc. If consumers expect to see the activation when they get to the store – they are more likely to check it out. Other consumers will follow suit.
Use in-store marketing collateral: Complement your activation with print materials, such as roll-ups, stickers, printouts, flyers, etc. Place them all over the store, and don’t forget to generously sprinkle them around your activation screen. This trick might be simple, but it really does work. Strategically placed print roll-ups, explaining the rules of the game and promoting the prizes are an excellent way to draw attention to your gamified activation.
Use on-site staff: Your employees are your best promoters. Make sure that they understand, participate in the experience, and are excited about it. You don’t have to hire special promoters for the activation. Just make sure to motivate your on-location staff to take part in the experience.
Content is king when it comes to on-location gamification. Creating engaging and relevant content, tailor-made for your target audience and in-line with your company’s goals is the most crucial ingredient of a successful gamified activation. Moreover, your content needs to be adaptable and change quickly to keep users engaged.
Here are some practical tips from SCREEMO on creating killer content for your gamified activations:
Context: Connect the experience to what’s happening around you–holidays, big events, sports, latest trends. Creating holiday themed activations is a great way to capitalize on holiday craze that is happening all around us!
Keep it fresh: change and adapt your content constantly on a weekly/monthly/bi monthly basis, depending on the recurrence of the audience at your store. This way you can keep your visitors in anticipation of something new every time they visit.
All of the above is great, but if you don’t give your customers a reason to engage – they usually won’t.
Different customers will be attracted to different types of incentives, so it is important to shake it up a little and to cover as many bases as possible.
Competition: Some people by nature are very competitive and your game should take advantage of this. By introducing game mechanics such as leaderboards, scores and trophies you can tap into the competitive side of the consumers, which will addict them to the game.
Rewards: There are many ways to incentivize your customers to take part in the experience, but we found that the old fashion way of rewarding them with prizes that they can redeem in the store always works better than for example a place on the leaderboard. Hey, everyone loves free stuff and there is no better way to boost an ego then by combining a reward after a hard fought game.
Upsales and promotions: Keep it mixed between rewards and up sales, Our tip is to always have a “dream” prize to engage for, such as, a free meal, free tickets, merchandise that a few users win and a lot of diverse up sales the most people receive but still are unique and personal.
To learn more about on-location gamification, Click here to subscribe to our blog!