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8 Things to Consider Before You Run a Game-Based Promotion

8 Things to Consider Before You Run a Game-Based Promotion

If you’ve never run a game-based marketing promotion before, it can feel a bit overwhelming.

There’s a lot to consider -- from prizes and legalities, to choosing the right game for your goals.

Having a great promotions vendor can help. But the secret to an amazing game-based marketing promotion is solid planning.

Here are 8 crucial questions to guide your planning process -- and help you maximize your ROI.

1. What are Your Goals?

First things first. You need to know why you’re running a game-based promo.

There are a ton of different marketing goals you can achieve with a game-based promotion, including:

  • Increasing purchase frequency

  • Increasing basket size

  • Growing your email list

  • Driving loyalty acquisition

  • Educating consumers

You need to decide which goals are most important, and prioritize them to maximize your ROI.

Free Download: Game-Based Marketing Goals Worksheet

2. What’s Your Budget?

Here are the components you’ll want to consider when budgeting:

  • Development

  • Graphics & animation

  • Legal & administrative fees

  • Hosting

  • Tech support

A good vendor should include these costs in their quote, but be sure to ask if any of these services are “add-ons.”

In addition to budgeting for the promo build, you’ll want to consider media spend, prize acquisition, and fulfillment. Some vendors will take care of prize acquisition & fulfillment, but there is typically an added cost depending on the number and size of prizes.

3. How Will You Drive Traffic?

Your game-based promotion is like a big event. It doesn’t matter how cool it is -- if you don’t tell anyone what’s happening, they’re not going to show up.

There are a number of different tactics you can use to promote your game-based marketing promo including:

  • Banner ads

  • Email blasts

  • Assets on your website

  • Sweepstakes forums

  • Social media posts & ads

  • In-store marketing

You can also encourage participants to share your promotion with their friends and family. Just provide an incentive, like extra game-plays or chances to win. This helps spread word organically. This tactic isn’t a magic pill, but every click counts, right?

4. How Will You Measure Success?

It’s important to know how you’ll define success before you start, so you have a baseline to evaluate your promotion’s results.

Keep your KPIs aligned with your original goals. For example, if your goal was to drive loyalty acquisition, you should measure success based on the number of new loyalty members -- not the number of people who registered for the promotion.

5. What About Prizing?

Prizing is a critical part of your game-based promo planning.

It’s what gets consumers to register in the first place, and often what keeps them engaged -- so it has to be strategic.

There are three things to consider when thinking about prizing.

1. What will the structure be?

Your prize structure should be determined based on your objectives.  For example if your goal is to generate repeat traffic, then you should consider a higher quantity of prizes which are awarded more frequently.

2. What will you offer?

Unless your target consumer is everyone, you need to think about what prizes will generate the most valuable leads for your business. Offering too general a prize can result in high registration rates, but ultimately leave you with a list of prize hunters -- not qualified leads.

3. Will you find a prize partner?

A prize partner can be a huge asset for your promotion -- from reducing costs associated with prizing to kicking in cash to feature their products. But to get them on board, you need to offer value in return.

Free Download: Choosing the Right Prize Worksheet

6. Do You Need a Vendor?

Planning, developing, maintaining, and administering an game-based marketing promo is a considerable amount of work.

If you’re planning to handle the project in-house you need to make sure you have enough bandwidth. You’ll need people to handle sweeps strategy, development, technical support, prize acquisition & fulfillment, legal requirements (i.e. rules and regs etc.), administration, and reporting.  

If you decide to go with a vendor, be sure to choose one with a background in game-based promotions. Check out our tips for choosing the right vendor here.

7. How Will You Convert Registrants into Customers?

Yup, game-based promotions will achieve a variety of different marketing goals. But the real reason we do campaigns like this is to sell stuff.

You need to have a plan for converting players into customers.

There are a variety of ways you can educate consumers and prompt them to buy. But the best way is to reward for purchase.

Some tactics you can use to reward for purchase are:

  • Pin-on-pack

  • UPC

  • Photo receipts

  • Loyalty integration

Having a direct tie to sales not only helps drive a sales lift, it also makes it easier to measure your promo’s ROI.

8. What Will You Do With The Data You Collect?

Game-based marketing will yield a ton of data about your consumers. You can collect everything from basic demographic information to product and shopping preferences.

One of the best use cases for game-based marketing data is targeted ads based on product preferences. Promotions like build-your-own-grand-prize sweepstakes provide a ton of information about a customer’s shopping preferences -- information you can use to target them with personalized offers and ads after the promotion ends.

But to do this, you need to be setup to analyze that data and take action based on the insights. Before you start collecting consumer data, make sure you have a system in place to actually use it.

The Bottom Line

Game-based marketing can be hugely successful when done right.

But it’s also pretty easy to get wrong.

Take the time to plan out your strategy. Answer these 8 questions. And if you’re not building the promo in-house, be sure to find a reputable vendor with a background in game-based marketing.

You can get more advice on planning a successful promo (plus 4 fillable worksheets!) in our comprehensive guide.

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